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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Introducing games to babies rss

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Luiz Takei
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Hi everyone. My daughter is going to turn two very soon and I am starting to think about possible games for her. I would like to ask two questions to the parents out there:

1) From your experience, how young can a baby be and successfully (whatever that means) play a game?

2) Assuming 2 years old is old enough, what games would you recommend? (I have my eyes on the "My Very First Games" series from Haba. Are they any good?)
 
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Brian Jurney
United States
Tooele
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Really depends on the kid. My daughter was ready to play games and do puzzles at 2, but my son didnt really have the attention span to do anything more than just throw the parts around and then leave the table a few minutes later.

A popular one with kids though is Go Away Monster! from Gamewright.

Good luck!
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April W
United States
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I bought Snail's Pace Race for my daughter's second birthday. She likes to play with the snails and place them on their matching colored starting spaces, but doesn't seem to have the patience yet for actually playing the game by the rules! I am giving her a memory game for Christmas, so we will see how that goes. I'm also interested in trying First Orchard with her, but will probably face the same issue of wanting to play with the pieces but not following the rules.
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Petra Jagold
Austria
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@1: I used to work in a kindergarden, and to my experience the age where kids are able to play varies tremendously. I've seen two year olds who were perfectly able to play games, and 5 year olds, who were not.

@2: I think, dexterity games like Splish Splash Catapult are the best to start with.
 
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Mike Esko
United States
White Haven
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Feed the Woozle is such a great game for kids. they love it and it teaches counting.

another similar one is Cat in The Hat: I Can do that!
 
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Dave Schmidt
Canada
Strasbourg
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I HIGHLY recommend animal upon animal because you can play the game and/or store all the animals in a baggy in your diaper bag and have it available as a little toy for kids to play with at restaurants or other emergencies.

We've played it for real a bunch but it gets used as a toy a lot as well.

I also like "Snug as a Bug in a Rug" and will be introducing my soon to be 3 year old son to "Catch a Falling Star" and some other game about a pig race..

OH OH and one more - Ugg-Tect works well with my son. We don't play exactly by the rules but we race to put the puzzles together and then scream UggTect and hit eachother in the head with the blow-up clubs.
 
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lampeter
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I agree that readiness varies greatly between children.

My third child has loved games much longer than she has been able to play them. Her favorite Christmas gift when she was 18 months was actually a used deck of cards we put in her stocking. At 3, they are still very precious to her, and she has gotten tons of practice shoving cards into the tuck box.

The big thing about playing games with really young kids is that you have to expand your idea of playing the game. At two, the child most assuredly will not finish a game, however short. Pretty much anything with a short turn is great, because taking turns is a huge focus at that age.

Animal Upon Animal does indeed have that double-as-a-toy feature, which is great, especially since playing at stacking will actually improve how well they play the game. Plus it will be valuable for years to come.

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is great. In my experience, the sweet spot is around age 3. Before that, I would re-spin when the icons tell you to steal an acorn or put all the acorns back in the box.

UNO Moo has a fun toy-factor, too. It is basically UNO with cute little ball-shaped animals and a big plastic barn instead of cards. Completing a game without help still eludes my 3 year old, but it has been fun for her since her 2nd birthday.

At age 3, I highly recommend Hoot Owl Hoot for children who have color-matching down. Very fun co-op.

Also, for kids who don't stick small things in their mouths, sitting down with some dice and a pile of pennies/counters to roll and count out treasure can be a really fun activity.
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Luiz Takei
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions and advice!
 
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Sarah
United Kingdom
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Hey, I had more luck with games like jenga and kerplunk when she was two - jenga was her fav as she loved it when the tower fell down. SHe also loved matching games and puzzles such as animal bingo/dominoes/pairs, basic few piece jigsaws and ones with a track with wind up tractor kind of thing. A bit later in her twos when could count on a dice just about, she liked those build-a-beetle games and a ladybird counting game and when she was three, her favourite became The Enchanted Tower - which is a kind of memory and hiding game. She loved the rory's story cubes around this point also.

I would imagine it would differ between each and every little one but just think about what they like to do best (stories/matching/counting/puzzles/bashing things up) and see if anything might work

 
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Sarah
United Kingdom
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Oh and she loved marble games - just the traditional things where you try and roll through wooden things - although she was one who didn't put things in her mouth lol
 
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Josef Estabrooks
Canada
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If she is attentive and non-destructive, she'll likely enjoy 'being a part' of whatever else is going on. If you play any games where supplies are filled up, get her to do it, or roll your dice, or whatever. Get the concept of turns (by having to wait to act) in her while she sits on your lap.

Then try Candy Land and Snakes and Ladders as she learns to count.

My 9 year old can play Seven Wonders (and could at 7) largely because games have just been a part of family life.

Just don't push them, invite only, and scale back if frustration appears.

Games are for FUN! If you are crying or frustrated (or the kid is ) stop right there.
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