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Family Game Night {Board Games For Toddlers}

After a long week at work I’ll be the first to admit that playing imaginary games, cars or hockey in the yard are not things at the top of my priority list. I do however feel that Friday nights in particular are supposed to be “fun nights” – when you’re a teenager you basically live for a Friday night as it begins the weekend and sets up the fun to be had for the next two days. It’s not a school night, staying up late is more than acceptable and eating treat food is to be expected. 
family game night

As a mom, we sometimes think Friday nights can’t be quit as exciting but like everything in life – it is what you make of them. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have a great desire to get home and play cars for two hours, but having a treat, staying up a bit later than usual (and yes, 10 pm is more than acceptable as “late”) and having fun can all happen at home with a toddler, little kid and even the bigger kids.

My favorite things to do with Little Dude are crafts, drawing/coloring or playing board games. Board games have given me an interactive way to spend times with him, teach him something and have fun while not playing with something only to make him happy. I discovered this about a year ago when he turned two. I bought him the Monkey Around Board Game for his birthday and it was an instant hit.
family game night

Monkey Around boosts hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills while having a great time hopping around, passing the banana and having fun with this silly board game. It is highly interactive, keeps Little Dude’s attention and is actually fun for the Mr and I to play with him.

This led to Christmas time and the search for another board game appropriate for a two year old. I added the Bedtime Bunny game to my Family Gift Guide and luckily Little Dude ended up receiving it for Christmas. 

This game goes through the steps of going to bed and is all about giving your toddler the power to make choices and solve basic problems. Of the two games Little Dude prefers Monkey Around, but this game is actually a good one to play during the week or when you are trying to wind things down for the night as the theme is about going to bed.

We also have a few Match Games, some of which I have used pieces of for travel games – Little Dude tends to get a kick out of finding a match! We make up our own rules for these kinds of games and play as a team more than competing for matches to make them more suitable for a two/three year old, but still make sure he understands the concept of finding a match, using his memory and that no matter who gets a match we celebrate their win. Eventually we will play against each other, but for now we are working on him understanding the game vs. focusing on winning and losing.
family game night

This year for Little Dude’s 3rd birthday I bought him the Friends and Neighbors Game. This cooperative matching game is all about naming emotions and working together to solve everyday problems. I’m really excited for him to open it on his birthday so we can try it out. Based on how we already play match games and his love for making faces (as prompted in Monkey Around) I think this game will be a great combination with a fun new twist.


Last but not least, to help celebrate Little Dude’s 3rd birthday and my dear friend Christy starting her new venture with Barefoot Books we are giving away one top selling board game (you get to choose from the 3 options below if you win)!


Prize Options:
#1) Mindful Kids – 50 Activities for Calm, Focus and Peace
Introducing Mindful Kids, the one-of-a-kind mindfulness activity deck for kids age 4 to 104! Make any moment mindful from morning to night with 5 categories of cards, designed to fit into each part of the day. Whimsical full-color illustrations on both sides of the cards provide easy-to-follow steps for each practice. The cards and 8-page instructional booklet include tips for children of a wide range of abilities, making this deck an inclusive tool for nurturing inner peace and strength.
Ages 4 and up
Value: C$19.99

A classic game with an educational twist! As you fill your bingo board with fact packed tiles, you’ll learn about science topics including mammals, marsupials, fish, plants, birds, insects, minerals, fossils and more!
Ages 5 and up
Value: C$21.99

Practice naming emotions and work together to solve everyday problems with this cooperative matching game! A fun prompt for starting conversations about empathy.
Ages 3 and up
Value: C$22.99

My shoes for that: Toddler Bunny Slippers

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