• Rachel

Quick and easy games to fill in five minutes to half an hour - some free, some handbag-sized!

Whether you normally look forward to the long summer holidays or you dread them, this year is different in so many ways. We'll be spending more time at home so I won't be popping our usual games in my handbag, as I normally do in case we stop off for a drink or coffee somewhere and need some emergency entertainment. We'll still play some at home, when we need a quick time filler or calming activity!

Games without resources

'I spy,' can be played in lots of different ways: 'I spy something beginning with... I hear with my listening ear... I spy something red... I spy something sharp... I spy something high up...' Change the focus depending on the ages and stages of your children.

'Grannie went to market' is a great memory game and is good for creating categories if you send Grannie to different places, e.g. 'Grannie went to the clothes shop and she bought... Grannie went to the farm and she saw...'

'Yes/No game.' I don't like this one but my children do! You ask questions and the other person must not say 'yes' or 'no.'

'Alphabet hunt' is great for out on walks. You start with A and find something that begins with A, moving through the alphabet as you go.

Handbag-sized games to take with you

Dobble is our all-time family favourite! Each picture card has one symbol that matches another card. It's amazing! This game develops visual tracking skills, matching, vocabulary and even patience! It's available here:

Story cubes can be different every time you use them. The little images on them can be used to create a story that you tell to your child, they tell to you, or you could take turns to add a little. You can purchase them here:

Guess Who? is another of my favourites and it's the best for developing questioning and sorting. Pick a card and keep it a secret from your partner, then ask questions to eliminate other faces on your board to guess their character.

Uno brings back memories of playing with my own family. It's easier than standard card games so it's a good introduction for three year olds, plus. Match colours and numbers to play your turn, and say 'Uno' when you get to your last card. At the time of adding this link, the game was only £3.78 which is a bargain! It's a great one for birthday presents!

Standard-sized games

Guess Who? (my fave!)

Articulate (oh my goodness, another favourite!) is brilliant for language development. It's more of a team game and there's an adult version, too:

Kids' game (another bargain at time of searching at just £12.99)

Adult game (so many bargains today - just £17.99)

Operation wasn't a game I had as a child but it's been around a long time. It's great for developing fine motor control, even if the buzzer is a little annoying!

Pass the bomb! I love this, too! The bomb ticks whilst each player passes it round and gives a word from a given category such as items from a garage or a flower shop. Pass it quickly before the bomb goes off! Unfortunately, at the time of writing, it is advertised at £161 so don't buy it yet!!


The People Awards

We're learning about influential people in history with this brilliant book for dipping in and out of. It won't fit in your handbag but it's a good coffee table book.

Read Me First

Try a poem for every day of the year to introduce children to poetry in a gentle way. It's a bargain at £3.12 at the moment, too!

I hope you've found this list useful. Please click on the heart if you liked it!

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