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Free fun games you can play as a family

Having fun with the kids doesn’t need to cost you a penny. We’ve got some great games from parents you can play together to keep them happy.  

Tip #1: Secret agents

Everyday things like a trip to the shops doesn’t need to be boring– why not play a game where you pretend the shopping list is a secret mission you have to complete together? You can even create “levels” you have to complete like getting everything you need under a certain price!

You can play secret agents at home too by making invisible ink with stuff you have lying around at home and sending each other top secret messages

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Tip #2: Amazing inventions

Talking to your kid about inventions is a great way to keep them entertained. Ask them 'What does an inventor do?' to get them thinking. If they're not sure, you could talk about characters like Willy Wonka - and people like Steve Jobs, the guy who invented iPads and iPhones. You could explain that an inventor creates new things that people haven’t seen before. They could even try to invent something, and you could help them to write a sentence or two about it.

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Tip #3: Spaceman shopping list

'What does a spaceman do?' Lots of kids are fascinated by space, and the idea of walking on the moon. You could chat about space travel, and watch some YouTube videos together, or watch interviews with astronaut Tim Peake. Asking them things like 'What would you take into space?' can lead to some really funny conversations about your child’s priorities in life! Keep them busy by writing down five things they’d like to take into space on their rocket ship.  

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Tip #4: To unstick them from their screens

To help unstick kids from their screens, try poster play. Creating a poster of their favourite film is a fun way to keep them busy.

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Tip #5: Who’s coming to tea?

Get your child to make place names for a family meal or get together. They can fold a piece of paper in half, and write down everyone's name. Then they can choose where everyone sits. Who gets to sit by them?

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Tip #6: Family fun

Most kids love drawing their close friends or family. Get them to think about what everyone looks like and the clothes they usually wear. When they’re finished, help them to write down everyone’s name.

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Tip #7: My best day

A good one for a rainy day. Writing a story about their favourite ever day can keep them entertained.

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Tip #8: Party planners

Remember being a kid and telling people exactly how many months, days, hours and possibly minutes it was until your birthday? Those were the days!


Help your kid to get that excitement too by marking a special event on your calendar together. Ask them to count on the calendar how many weeks or days it is until the big day. It’s a great way for them to get more confident with counting, and build excitement for their special day.

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Tip #9: How many sleeps?

Your child will feel really important if you let them help you plan a special event. A bonus for you is that it will keep them busy while you’re trying to organise everything!


Talk to them about what they want to happen on the day, hour by hour e.g. at 10am the guests will arrive. Talk about how long each activity will take - lunch is 30 minutes, games are 20 minutes. Making a schedule helps with their counting, and it’ll help you on the day too! When you’re done, get them to write down your party plan.

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Tip #10: Count the carrots

If you've got a game or toys that come with lots of different pieces - like building blocks, or toy cards - you could use these to help your child share out items into equal groups - 5 for you, 5 for me, and so on. It teaches them about sharing AND counting. Win win!

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Tip #11: Sweet treats

Counting doesn’t have to be tricky – all it takes is a fruit salad. Get them to count out 3 grapes, or 4 strawberries or 5 blueberries for each of you. Then get them to find out what happens if they have 6 grapes and give 3 away.

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Last updated: 9 Dec, 2019