Do you have time to play with your kids? Many parents may answer no, but with many benefits for both children and their parents, it is time well spent. Check out our 11 best question games to play with your kids.
Lots of kids love to ask ‘why?’ While this can lead to some parents questioning their sanity, there is a bright side. Turning your child’s natural curiosity into a game can have amazing benefits for the whole family.
Parents play a significant role in their child’s learning. While young children’s high energy and short attention span can make traditional learning techniques ineffective, games (but not video games) are one of the best ways to help your child learn.
The Benefits of Play for Kids
Engaging in play is a great way to challenge children’s minds. Active play can help strengthen muscles, improve hand-eye coordination, and improve strength and balance. It also helps to counteract obesity in children.
Board games can actively encourage children’s problem-solving skills, memory retention and improve their general knowledge. It can also help with math and literacy
Games can also help children develop their social skills. Many games require teamwork and allow children to practice good sportsmanship. It also provides a platform for children to learn how to interact with both adults and children.
The Benefits of Play for Adults
In addition to the advantages to the development of the child, play also allows an opportunity for parents to fully engage with their children in a positive way. In fact, the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health has issued a report outlining the importance of play for children. The report cites increasing busy lifestyles and afterschool activities as barriers to play and calls on pediatricians to encourage more play in families.
- Play is not only beneficial for kids. Parents who play with their kids can experience a relaxing and stimulating environment that is beneficial for their emotional and mental health.
- Play can help relieve stress by releasing endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemical.
- Playing strategic or memory games can help improve brain function and prevent memory problems down the road.
- Play can stimulate your imagination and problem-solving skills.
- Sharing laughter and fun through play can increase family bonds and intimacy.
Now that you know the importance of play for the members of your family, how do you incorporate it into everyday family life? Between work, school, sports, and other activities our days and nights are busier than ever. How do you find the time to play?
The Benefits of Asking Questions
Along with benefiting from play, kids also benefit from asking questions. In fact, questions can help children improve their recall, keep them engaged and strengthen understanding.
A great way to add play to your daily activities is with question games. Not only are these games fun and adaptable for many age spans, but many also require nothing more than willing players and can help you deepen your relationship with your kids.
Any time spent together as a family can be used to play. After all, you are already gathered around the table, why not start a new fun family tradition? A simple game can turn breakfast from a stressed out meal to a full-blown family fun down.
Guess my Dream
This is a great way for younger kids to express their imaginations first thing in the morning. Each person takes a turn giving a few ‘clues’ for where they were in their dream, who they were with and what they did. The first player to guess correctly ‘wins.’
While most kids probably won’t be able to remember their dreams by breakfast, this is basically just an excuse to practice some imaginative storytelling as well as learning to take turns without knowing they’re following rules.
Equipment needed: Just your imagination!
What’s the weather?
This is a fun option to do around the table that will also help kids to determine how they should dress for the day. Each day one family member gets to look outside to determine the weather. The other members get to ask yes or no questions to determine what to expect that day. Have a parent check the weather online to compare with the observations seen outside.
Can I wear shorts today? -No
Do I need rubber boots? -Yes
Is it raining-No
Do I need a hat? -Yes
Is it snowing? -Yes
Equipment needed: an Internet connection or newspaper to check the weather against your outdoor observations.
Making Memories in the Morning
Starting your morning with games sets a fun tone to the day. Kids will get a kick out of taking turns, getting positive attention and spending quality time in the morning.
Implementing these games can help turn a traditionally stressful time of the day into a fun one. It also encourages the family to spend time together eating around the table rather than grabbing a quick bite on the go.
Games for the Car
Long drives and people– particularly kids– don’t always mix, especially once boredom sets in. Many parents struggle between guilt over giving their kids screen time in the car and the constant distraction of their kids whining or fighting.
One way to make car rides a more positive family experience is to play question games to pass the time. It’s a great way to pass the time having fun as a family.
This classic game is a great way for younger kids to work on identifying colors and still fun enough for older kids to play a few rounds.
Equipment needed: just your imagination!
This one is great for those long car rides or even game night with your spouse, family or friends. Divide the family into two teams. One person will decide on a ‘celebrity’ to be, and their team gets 20 questions to figure out who they are supposed to be.
Equipment needed: A notepad and pen would be nice to take notes on answers but is not strictly necessary.
Plant the seed of curiosity in your kids with a Trivia book! Kids can learn about everything from sports, science, history, and geography. Make sure that you select a book that is age appropriate to avoid frustration or boredom. We love this one!
Long car rides can be hard on parents and kids. Games are a great way to have fun together and pass the time, yet it is unrealistic to play for hours at a time. Next time you know you will be driving a long distance, try downloading a family friendly podcast. We love NPR’s But Why: a Podcast for Curious Kids. You can even record and send in your own kids questions!
Games to Play Outside
Getting outside for fresh air and exercise is beneficial for the whole family. Getting some much-needed exercise, fresh air and vitamin D is a great way to spend time together while boosting everyone’s mood. While it is important for kids to have unstructured outdoor play, there are also some fun question games for the whole family to play.
What time is it Mr. Wolf?
This classic is not only a nostalgic activity for mom and dad, but it helps little ones to learn the language around telling time as well as offers some practice taking turns. Kids can also practice their counting and burn off some energy in the process. Parents will love getting in on the action of this nostalgic pastime.
Equipment needed: A large open space to run in and some willing players.
This is a great one for birthday parties. Hide clues all around the yard, campsite or even in your house with each question leading to the hiding place of the next clue. The final clue will lead everyone to the treasure!
Example: Where do the dirty socks live? Answer: The hamper!
Equipment: Paper and pen to write the clues and a treasure to find at the end of the search!
Question Games to Pass the Time
Whether you are waiting in the doctor’s office or trying to pass the time during a rainy afternoon, question games can be a great way to have some fun in a pinch. Most only require a pen and paper to get started, and others are video games. All of them promise some family fun.
Sporcle: the Trivia Website
Pass an afternoon challenging your brain with thousands of online quizzes on virtually every topic! What are you an expert in? You can connect to social media to publish your stats and show off your brain power!
Equipment needed: A computer/tablet/phone and an internet connection.
This classic combines spelling, letter recognition, and basic drawing skills together in one classic game. Make the game even easier by adding accessories like clothes, sunglasses, and shoes for extra chances to solve the puzzle.
Equipment needed: Pen and Paper
Wheel of Fortune
Some video games are better for a healthy lifestyle than others. Similar to hangman but without the gruesome imagery, download Wheel of Fortune to sharpen spelling and literacy skills along with some old-fashioned skill and chance.
Equipment needed: Can be downloaded on a tablet, phone or play online.
Still bored? Check out our list of fun things you can do instead of shopping to keep you busy and your budget in check!
Game Night Fun
Creating fun family rituals such as family game night is a great way to strengthen family bonds. It also creates a great reason to spend time together as your children get older. Question games can range from simple card games to complex trivia challenges perfect for a wide range of age and skill levels.
A great first card game for young children, Go Fish teaches young children number recognition, matching and memory skills. It also helps them learn how to take turns and learn how to win or lose with grace.
Equipment needed: a standard deck of cards.
This fun card game can be played both in the car and around the table. The cards provide the questions and then try to guess each other’s answer. The question prompts are family friendly, and this is a great way to increase literacy skills in a fun way. You can also play this game with your spouse to learn more about your favorite person.
Equipment needed: Loaded Questions game, pad and paper.
Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is a fan favorite that can be customized to suit most ages. Kids will love choosing outrageous dares for their parents to perform and parents may even get some much-needed answers to their burning truth questions! Older kids may enjoy this board game version to play with family or friends.
Equipment needed: Just your imagination!
This game of quick thinking challenges players to come up with five answers to one question. A quick wit is rewarded in this game that is great for all ages. You can change this up to create a word association game as well, which encourages each player to think critically and quickly.
Example: What are five things that make you sneeze?
Equipment needed: Name Five game and some willing players!
A fun trivia game with over 1000 science, history and spelling questions from the elementary school curriculum. This game features two sets of questions to challenge both kids and their parents.
Beat the Parents
This fun twist on the typical trivia board game teams up kids against their parents! Kids are asked questions that you and your spouse should know and parents are quizzed on kid’s stuff! Teaming siblings up against the parents is a great way to encourage sibling bonding and a surefire way to promote family fun!
Equipment needed: Beat the Parents and some willing participants!
When it comes to question games to play with your kids, there is nothing like the classic Trivial Pursuit. In this family-friendly edition, players face off with over 1400 questions in six categories: entertainment, science, and nature, history, geography, arts and literature, and sports and leisure.
Equipment needed: Some smarty-pants family members or friends and Trivial Pursuit.
More Family Fun Nights Without Spending a Fortune
Starting a family game night tradition is one where for a small investment, you can have countless nights of fun and make many family memories. You can always pick up a simple deck of cards quite cheaply, or take a look at your local secondhand store for their games on hand. Look for unopened boxes (this is sadly quite common) or open to make sure they include all the pieces!
Questions for Bedtime
While not strictly a game, a great way to bond with little ones is to spend some time asking questions to help them wind down before bed.
Winding down is especially important since issues with sleep affect both children and their parents. In fact, a lack of sleep can affect much more than just your mood. Research shows that a lack of sleep can cause ear infections, allergies, and even social and emotional problems.
Luckily, there are ways to help your kid’s get enough rest. In fact, studies show that maintaining a consistent bedtime routine can help children maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Having some calm one on one time with a parent is a great way to wind down before bed and bond.
Here are 30 questions to get you started:
- What was the funniest part of your day?
- If you could have one superpower what would it be?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite character?
- Would you rather have your own boat or have your own plane?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- If you could design your own house, what would you have to include in it?
- What makes a good friend?
- What is your dream vacation?
- If you could make your own movie what would you call it?
- What is the hardest thing about growing up?
- If we could spend the whole day together, what would we do?
- What food would you choose to eat for the rest of your life?
- If you could choose to be an animal, which animal would you choose?
- Would you rather go back in time or forward into the future?
- What would you rather own-a pet monkey or a pet reindeer?
- Would you rather deliver presents with Santa or eggs with the Easter Bunny?
- What kind of pets do you want to have when you grow up? How many? What will you name them?
- Would you rather go to the zoo or the aquarium?
- Do you want to have kids when you grow up? How many?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite flower?
- Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?
- What’s your favorite song?
- What’s your dream dessert?
- If you had an imaginary friend, what would they be like?
- Where would you go in the zombie apocalypse?
- Who is your celebrity crush?
- If you made your own sports team, what would you call them?
- What’s your favorite food to eat for supper?
Bringing People Together
No matter what games you choose to play with your kids, spending time together as a family and testing your knowledge can strengthen the family bond. Playing games can start a conversation and each question and answer teaches you more about the player. You will increase your knowledge and create a great family tradition for years to come. After all, when you look back on your kid’s childhood what do you think they are most likely to remember? The time spent watching tv or the time spent playing together making memories?
Interested in starting some new family traditions? Check out our list of frugal family traditions perfect for the holidays!