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Subject: Game recommendations for tired kids (4-6 years old) rss

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zgirod
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Some days my kids come home from school so tired that they really have nothing left. We play outside on days that are nice and try to play some games before dinner however there are some days where they end up in front of the tv for a bit. I would like to minimize those days and have more days of play (outside, games, etc..). I am curious if there are any good recommendations for games that tired kids could play before dinner. Games that they could play by themselves while I finish up work or with a brother.

Games the older one likes right now:
Ticket to Ride (First Journey)
Outfoxed!
Sleeping Queens
Sushi Go
Pandemic (modified rule set)
Hoot Owl Hoot!

None of those games seem to work before dinner. After dinner once they get some energy back they are good but none really work that well before dinner. Any ideas on games for tired kids?
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Code Wiz
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Lisbon
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Bobby Sitter
Ghost Blitz
Spot it! 1,2,3
Rhino Hero: Super Battle
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I Taylor
United Kingdom
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I'd say... maybe forget the games for that short period? Though games are fun, they don't necessarily equate to 'down time' which (from your post) sounds like what they need at that point of the day. Instead, I'd go cuddles, reading, just playing with toys, maybe watch a couple of cartoons, drawing, colouring books...

Or maybe just letting them lie down somewhere, thinking, mulling over, looking around, making sense of their busy day, imagining.

But if you're still looking for games, yeah Rhino Hero might be good.
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David B
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Ian taylor wrote:
I'd say... maybe forget the games for that short period? Though games are fun, they don't necessarily equate to 'down time' which (from your post) sounds like what they need at that point of the day. Instead, I'd go cuddles, reading, just playing with toys, maybe watch a couple of cartoons, drawing, colouring books...

Or maybe just letting them lie down somewhere, thinking, mulling over, looking around, making sense of their busy day, imagining.

But if you're still looking for games, yeah Rhino Hero might be good.

Yeah I agree. If you want your kids to enjoy games, it’s probably not a good idea to push games on them when they are mentally drained and need some down time. Wait until after dinner for that. You don’t want to make your kids resent games.
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zgirod
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@code wiz. Thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out.
 
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zgirod
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pfctsqr wrote:
Ian taylor wrote:
I'd say... maybe forget the games for that short period? Though games are fun, they don't necessarily equate to 'down time' which (from your post) sounds like what they need at that point of the day. Instead, I'd go cuddles, reading, just playing with toys, maybe watch a couple of cartoons, drawing, colouring books...

Or maybe just letting them lie down somewhere, thinking, mulling over, looking around, making sense of their busy day, imagining.

But if you're still looking for games, yeah Rhino Hero might be good.

Yeah I agree. If you want your kids to enjoy games, it’s probably not a good idea to push games on them when they are mentally drained and need some down time. Wait until after dinner for that. You don’t want to make your kids resent games.

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. Completely agree. I want them to enjoy games - which they do! And I don't force something if they aren't in the mood. Kids are funny with their phases; one week they love coloring/mazes and the next nothing to do with it. We also have a switch and my kids play some kart, rocket league, mario, etc. I have also found audiobooks work pretty well - at least for the current phase.

I would love to get them thinking/imagining but haven't figure out how to pull that off yet at least for an extended duration.

I know some adults can zone out and play solitaire or minesweeper or something and I didn't know if there was anything like that for kids. Just looking for something else to add to the toolkit. I'm always on the lookout for options.

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I Taylor
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Ah, this is our curse and burden as 21st century parents - that gnawing feeling we should be providing the stimuli for our children constantly. Compare that with my parents and my childhood where they hardly did anything with me at all (except on holidays and Christmas), nor did I expect them to. Instead, it'd be up to me to amuse myself, usually with mates but if not then on my own.

I can only go on your posts but I think you deserve to give yourself some time off, you've undoubtedly earned it with two young ones. You don't have to pull off getting them to chill - just leave 'em to it. Meanwhile, you can play Pandemic on your own without having stupid children mess it all up by removing cubes when they should really be flying to Karachi.

Here endeth the lesson from a perfect father who has never put a foot wrong in the upbringing of his children.
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Derek H
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Ian taylor wrote:
Ah, this is our curse and burden as 21st century parents - that gnawing feeling we should be providing the stimuli for our children constantly. Compare that with my parents and my childhood where they hardly did anything with me at all (except on holidays and Christmas), nor did I expect them to. Instead, it'd be up to me to amuse myself, usually with mates but if not then on my own.

I can only go on your posts but I think you deserve to give yourself some time off, you've undoubtedly earned it with two young ones. You don't have to pull off getting them to chill - just leave 'em to it. Meanwhile, you can play Pandemic on your own without having stupid children mess it all up by removing cubes when they should really be flying to Karachi.

Here endeth the lesson from a perfect father who has never put a foot wrong in the upbringing of his children.
You took the words right out my mouth, Ian! who knew there were two perfect fathers in the world?! shake
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Peter Schott
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Man, for 4-6 year olds who are tired I doubt I'd be looking for a way to play games with them. Most kids that age I know would rather play with toys/pieces than concentrate on a game. If you want a game, something they can set up themselves with a toy factor would be a positive. That might include Monopoly Jr, Outfoxed, Ice Cool, Busytown (for a larger game).

But sometimes just encouraging them to chill with a book that's appropriate to their age isn't a bad idea. There's a lot to be said for letting a kid be "bored" and finding ways to entertain themselves appropriately. Our youngest fits that age range and after the obligatory "I'm bored" whines, is able to amuse herself with playing, drawing, reading, setting up a game and messing w/ the components.

Of course, with 2+ of them, that has a tendency to have them turning to each other for entertainment. That can be both good and bad.
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zgirod
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Agreed kids should be bored more.

Sometimes they are able to self entertain and sometimes not as well. I think Rhino Hero: Super Battle was a great suggestion, play with that and build a tower. Just looking for options for things that might help them self play a little better. In addition to coloring pages, mazes, books, etc..

I will check out Ice Cool.
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Nate Daniels
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Ian taylor wrote:
Meanwhile, you can play Pandemic on your own without having stupid children mess it all up by removing cubes when they should really be flying to Karachi.
haha love it. I have such a hard time not quarterbacking pandemic with my 5 year old. She says it is her new favorite game so we get to play it a lot.

As for the kids. I am a big fan of legos for chill time. I know it is not games but it is good for their brains and it is nostalgic for me to have the legos out.
 
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I Taylor
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daniels190 wrote:
Ian taylor wrote:
Meanwhile, you can play Pandemic on your own without having stupid children mess it all up by removing cubes when they should really be flying to Karachi.
haha love it. I have such a hard time not quarterbacking pandemic with my 5 year old. She says it is her new favorite game so we get to play it a lot.

As for the kids. I am a big fan of legos for chill time. I know it is not games but it is good for their brains and it is nostalgic for me to have the legos out.

Now you've done it. You've riled the Lego is plural brigade. They're coming for you as I type...
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Dan Renwick
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I agree that kids should be given time to learn to entertain themselves, but if you want something for kids that are both bored and tired, I’d go for games that don’t require much thinking, like Animal Upon Animal, Loopin' Louie, or Jenga. Not every game that kids, or adults, play has to be clever.

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Laurence Gillespie

Sarles
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Games that the kids I know seem to enjoy include Blokus, Situation 4,Waterworks and Mille Bornes. There are almost no rules to learn in the first three games listed, which helps, and the kids seem to really like them. Blokus can even be used as a building toy (and often is) by the kids I know.
 
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Nate Daniels
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Ian taylor wrote:
daniels190 wrote:
Ian taylor wrote:
Meanwhile, you can play Pandemic on your own without having stupid children mess it all up by removing cubes when they should really be flying to Karachi.
haha love it. I have such a hard time not quarterbacking pandemic with my 5 year old. She says it is her new favorite game so we get to play it a lot.

As for the kids. I am a big fan of legos for chill time. I know it is not games but it is good for their brains and it is nostalgic for me to have the legos out.

Now you've done it. You've riled the Lego is plural brigade. They're coming for you as I type...
Oops! Well...I may die today at the hands of angry pluralists but at least I learned that lego is plural. That makes it an honorable death.
 
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Mr P
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Pick up a set (or different ones at once) of story cubes.
 
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G
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daniels190 wrote:
I am a big fan of legos for chill time [...] it is nostalgic to have the legos out.

Must..Contain..The Rage...
 
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One extra thought from me re. Rhino Hero: Super Battle. The game for 2 only is a load of vacuous nonsense, in my opinion. The only redeeming thing about it is the building aspect. But really, you can achieve that with a deck of cards.

What about Nine Tiles? It’s simple. The bare minimum of rules to wrap their tired heads around, and a nice little distraction.
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Cass
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Agree with everyone about skipping games if they are tired.. let them ask to play rather than making it a type of homework.

One idea though, that I have success with in a similar situation (bedtime actually).

We play 'storyteller' a made up game that the kids love. It is basically RPG withoit the dice or rules.

One mperson sets the scenario, and then the pther two just add to the story and describe our actions. It gets ridiculous, it makes no sense, young kids are horrid story tellers (they get better), but they love it.

Best part, no rules, no equipment (it is all verbal), no age barrier, fits in anywhere.
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Mr Pavone
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zgirod wrote:


I would love to get them thinking/imagining but haven't figure out how to pull that off yet at least for an extended duration.

Rest and unguided play are important for kids in their development. If you are the one always guiding them through the day they'll come to you to keep them entertained all the time. There will be times where you just need to be the adult and get adult things done.

Trust them to think and imagine for themselves. They can do it, they're kids.
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Isaac Myers
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I would have to go with a little push-your-luck dice game called Pig (or Pass the Pig).

It’s very simple: on your turn, roll a single die. Every time you roll it, you bank a point and have the option to stop or keep going. If you stop, you save all the points you banked that turn (add them to your total score) and the next person plays. If you ever roll a one, you lose all the points you banked that turn and your turn ends.

It’s very fun to play with kids, but beware: they’re tough to beat!
 
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Tara H
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At 4-6, they may just need a good nap. My kids are 5, 9 and 10, and I still make them take a solid rest time after school- they don't have to sleep, but they have to be on their beds and quiet- reading, coloring or playing with one toy for 20 minutes. It makes everyone's night better.

You mentioned wanting them to use their imaginations. What about Lego/Duplo, wooden blocks, art supplies (crayons, watercolors, washi tape, stencils), toy animals, play-doh or puppets/stuffed animals/dolls? And books. Always books! Bubbles or chalk outside too.

You asked for game ideas though, so here are some that your kids might like:

Feed the Kitty or LCR
Spot it! of any theme
Pass the Pigs
Tenzi
Domino
UNO all sorts of themes
Disney Eye Found It!
Mancala
Memory (lots of themes)


Games they might not be able to play by themselves but might have fun with the components:

Blokus
Set Dice
Codenames: Disney Family Edition



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