It’s been said that nobody knows you like your family. Whether enjoying a family dinner around the table or enjoying a car ride together, nothing promotes family bonding like some together time. One great way to strengthen the bonds of family is to play games together. The Land of Nod has a great assortment of battery-free games that the whole clan can enjoy!
Many of our toys are secret learning tools in disguise. While kids are having fun playing, their brains are also expanding as they explore new games. When kids are younger, tactile toys such as theLetters Entertain You Block Puzzle and the You Can’t Spell Abacus Without ABC toy help to develop senses and motor skills, all while teaching sequencing, patterns and the alphabet! One toy that my family has particularly enjoyed is the A Trip Down Memory Game, which we’ve adapted into many different modified memory games. When my daughter was very young, we used half of the tiles and left them all face up so that she could identify matches without having to remember the location of each tile. Once she’d mastered face up matching, we turned the tiles over into a traditional memory game, but still using only half of the tiles in the box. As she grew better and better, we slowly added more and more matches to the game until we were playing with the whole bag of tiles. Sometimes, she would use the tiles as if they were dominoes and create long trains of matches on her own. My son is now about the age of my daughter when we first started playing, and she greatly enjoys showing off her expertise when we play the face up memory game with him. For me, though, the best part of the game is that it comes with a bag to store the pieces! Easy cleanup! No matter how we played with this game, we had a lot to talk about and greatly enjoyed both the game and our time together!
On days when it is rainy (almost every day this spring in Chicago!) we find other games to play together that make those long afternoons move by a little bit faster! In March, my mother gave the Let’s Go Fishing Game to my son for his birthday, and this game has provided BOTH of my kids with endless entertainment! The fact that the set comes with TWO poles is a major highlight for us, as both kids can play together in their quests for the big shark. I’ve even put this game into a bag and hooked it to the center console of my car and the kids have happily played together in the back seat of the car, which makes this game worth its weight in gold! Other games that we’ve happily enjoyed for hours are the Livingroom Bowling set, which is hefty enough to provide a challenge, but soft enough to not risk lamp and limb while you play in your home.
Lastly, for a classic one-on-one gaming experience, our wooden Chessand Checker sets can’t be beat! Both are time-honored games that encourage strategy, communication and planning! These sets are gorgeous, heirloom quality pieces that your kids will use to play against their kids. The checker set is both cut and finished by hand, and the chess set is made of maple and cherry hardwood and is laser engraved. These are both classic games in classic styles, and they are perfect to leave out as a conversation piece!
No matter what games you play, family togetherness can’t be beat. What sometimes starts out as a simple way to pass the time before bed or to give some structure to a lazy afternoon can be the start of wonderful, warm memories that the whole family can enjoy—much like the games!
By Jayne Mangione
Jayne has a lot of experience with children as a former elementary school teacher and a mom of two kids. In her job as a customer service specialist at Nod, she offers advice to customers on our wide array of products, 90% of which she and her family already own. A Chicago native, she’s mastered multiple seasons, often in one week, while being able to cite 90’s pop culture and musical references at the drop of a hat. Speaking of hats, ask her about the time she looked like Blossom.