I’m bored. What to do? There’s nothing here? Play with me! These are just some of the sentences that resonate with many households these days. The already known games briefly capture children’s attention, prompting parents to reach for new content or peek into their childhood memories. Numbers, lyrics, words, numbers, but also a series of fantasy games that they played as children. How many hours did you spend playing “Calodont,” “Name, City, State,” “Bottles of Truth,” or “Faulty Phone.” Both your little ones, and those slightly larger, will be happy to participate in your proposals that are new to them, unexpected. You will arouse their curiosity to explore, learn with you and most importantly have fun and enjoy the time you spend together. The game is learning, and such learning is fun.


Before you start the game, think about your child’s skills and abilities so that the task is appropriate, by no means demanding, and to avoid possible frustration, thus interrupting the fun before actually starting the game. And keep in mind, praise success and reward yourself together.


Games that only take your time. It is possible to play them in pairs, with three people, include all family members


  1. “By the letter, by the letter? …”

To start the game, you must select the letter of the alphabet. The participant who is selected to start the game in himself or herself spells the alphabet in such a way that he spells the letter “A” aloud and continues to speak the alphabet within himself until the teammate, to his right, says “STOP”. Then the game can start, with the lettering stopped. All words we know can be pronounced on the selected letter, only animal names or only personal names. Create the game by mutual agreement or adapt it to your child’s abilities. A new round of play begins when you exhaust all the words to a given letter. If children who do not know the alphabet but know the letters participate in the game, you can prepare the game in advance. Cut thirty slightly firmer pieces of paper and type one letter in alphabetical order. Put the papers in a bowl or other plastic container (a sock can also serve) and pull out one letter. Or simply, for children who do not yet recognize the letters, have them say one of the letters they want to play


  1. The Endless Story

This game can also be played during some other, not so much fun, activity for the child. At the time of meal preparation, cleaning, ironing and more. Invite your child to play and start the story. It is enough to say a few words and let the child continue the story, and so take turns. For example, start “It was a nice and sunny day …” or “In a storm in the middle of the sea …” You can always choose a topic that is appealing to the child, insert it in the middle of the story, but also use an event that is close to the child. … ”Or“ Veronica got a toothache… ”. This play will sometimes produce excellent literary works. You can write them down and read them again and again with your child, supplementing and changing them. Maybe one of your things becomes a bedtime story.


  1. The kicker

The object of the game is to avoid a single word or all words that begin with the letter you have chosen. Imagine a morning when you are forbidden to say all the words in the letter Z or, more interestingly, a morning in which the word “NO” does not exist. The playing time can range from five minutes to several hours, and the one who has withstood the given challenge wins. You can also add to the game an additional challenge by asking your teammate to use a forbidden word. You can also simplify the game by making it a task for everyone to speak softly or not to speak at all. With smaller children, as you know, this last game will be short.


  1. Guess Who, Guess What

One of the participants in the game imagines a thing or a living being. Other participants, in turn, ask a question that the first person can only answer with a “yes” or “no”. You can start the game by asking “what did you imagine was alive or not alive?”. Ask questions about color (blue or red?), Size (is it smaller than a car?), Location in the household or habitat. The place of the “imaginator” belongs to whoever first came up with the imaginary term. Set up a game for younger children by imagining a part of their body, one of fruit trees, clothing, or the like.


  1. Opposites pierce

The youngest player starts the game by saying one word, for example, “warm” while the next one responds “cold” by age and speaks a new word, say “summer”, and the next (again by age) answers with “winter” and so on indefinitely, while don’t get tired. During the game, it is possible that you may be stolen by a non-opposing word (such as the word June), thus prompting a discussion of the exact opposite possible. Take the challenge!


  1. Everything on “b”

One of the players suggests a single letter, such as the letter “B”. At a certain time, which you arrange, each participant invents a sentence with as many words as they begin with that letter. It is also possible to write it down. Each participant utters his sentence aloud, and of course counts the words. The next round of play begins with the one that had the most words.


  1. The fictional world

What would the world look like if people went wrong? When would all the traffic lights go off? When would kids come to kindergarten without shoes? This is a game where we fantasize about possible but also impossible situations. The first round of the questioning game can be started by an adult player and encourage children to answer as many as possible, devising a story. Try to encourage them to think about the consequences of particular situations. Various crazy sentences are allowed to create a fun world.


  1. Related

One player utters the default term while the others, in turn, utter words that link the default term. The term can be a kindergarten where children will say (slippers, snack, sleep, play), the term can be one of colors, red for example, where children will respond (cherry, blood, strawberry). The one who found the most words wins the game and starts a new one.


I wish you plenty of fun, laughter, new discoveries and ideas.


By: Tamara Gojkovic, B.Sc. social worker

Illustrative photo: istock.com


Allue, J. M. (1998). Velika knjiga igara. [Great game book] Zagreb: Profil International d.o.o.

Bennett, R. and Bennett, S .(2001). 365 dana bez televizije. [365 days without television] Zagreb: Mozaik knjiga.

Bilopavlović, T., Čudina-Obradović, M., Ladika, Z. and Šušković-Stipanović, R. (1993). Dosadno mi je-što da radim. [I’m bored-what to do] Zagreb: Školska knjiga.

Einon, D. (2004). Igre učilice.[Classroom Games] Zagreb: Profil.


Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center can not be held legally responsible for any  translation inaccuracy. 

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