I have been receiving lots of requests in the past months to share our favourite games so I put together in this post a list of those we enjoy the most:
The idea behind the collaborative games is that there is no competition between players. Instead of competing, all the players team up with a common goal. These games are usually Montessori-friendly
“The little Orchard” from Haba for age 3+, available in 8 languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Greek, Italian and Polish. One of the most popular collaborative games and for good reason. It’s fun, it creates a good spirit amongst the players and the game is beautifully made in Germany out of natural materials (paper, wood,..)
“The Yoga Garden” created by a yoga teacher from San Francisco. There is no specific recommendation regarding the age of the child. We started playing it when my daughter was 2,5 years old. In German the name of the game is “Der Yoga Garten”. I could only find it in English and German but possibly translated in other languages. It can be a gentle introduction to yoga for little children or a way to practice yoga together. We love it! I have added a gong and we make a little gong-sound each time a player takes a new card
Bärenspiel” from Amigo for age 4+ This is one of the games that waits patiently in the cupboard for the next game rotation. In our home not all the materials and toys are out at the same time, we rotate them.
“Unser Baumhaus” from Amigo for age 5+ I also save this one for later, when my daughter will be a little bit older. I love the idea of the game and can’t wait to play it with my daughter
Princess Magic Fairy from Haba. In French: Le Cercle des Fées, age 4+, available in 5 languages: English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish. This game was recommended by one of the members of my community on Instagram. It’s on our wish-list ;),
They are great tools to foster memory and especially visual memory. For little children they can be used as matching materials. For older kids you can use these games as a basis for further discussion and exploration
Beijing memory game. This game captures through beautiful pictures some elements of the Chinese culture and scenes from the daily life in Beijing. We bought in Beijing to remind ourselves of our years spent there. I’m sure that you can find similar memory games on other cities. My daughter started playing it when she was about 18 months and now we are using it as a starting point for storytelling and discussions about the Chinese culture. We have leaved in China for 2 years and these cards remind us of our time spent there.
Tierkinder memory by Ravensburger, age 4+ One of my daughter’s favourites. It comes with a big poster. When she was younger, she enjoyed matching the cards with the images on the poster. Now we play it as a memory game and I have to say that she always wins.
They are not my favourite but my daughter is a huge fan, so we play them quite often. They are great for practicing visual memory, focus and practicing paying attention to little details. In these two bingos (that I strongly recommend) the illustrations are beautiful and the cats/ birds show only subtile differences which really encourage focus and memory.
Gentle “competitive spirit” games
Some games do make players compete with each other, but these two games encourage fun over competition.
“Le loto de la Famille Souris“ from Ecole des Loisirs, (The Mice Family) age 3+. Available only in French but the rules are very simple and, if you manage to translate the rules (they are really simple), you can play it in any language. You can download the rules of the game here This is my daughter’s favourite game ever. We have played it hundreds times and we still have fun with it. They are based on Kazuo Iwamura’s books, the very talented Japanse illustrator and children’s books author. We have almost all his books about the Mice Family and the cards of the game are from the books. It’s a sort of matching games where focus and speed are encouraged.
Who am I?” from Haba available in 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Euskara. This game was a recent present. Players need to ask questions in order to guess the card that they have drawn but cannot see. It helps children to develop curiosity, vocabulary, classification skills (which object belongs to which category: like for example when a child asks “Is this a mammal? Is it a reptile? Is it a bird?, etc..”
Games for early age
“My first Orchard” from Haba, available in 11 languages, age 2+ We have started with this game and my daughter loved it from the first time we played it. It’s a collaborative game for little children. Players need to team up and collect all the fruits from the orchard before the raven comes in. I always laugh when I think about this game because my daughter made it even more collaborative than it was thought by the editor. She team up with the raven too and gave him fruits to eat “because he is hungry too”
Magnet Fishing Game. There are many different versions available on the market. We have this one, it’s called Angelspiel in German . Search for “Jeu de pâche magnétique” in French. This game is great for hand-eye coordination and focus.
We love playing this games on week-ends and on holidays with grand-parents and larger family. And at the moment games are also part of our Morning Basket that you can discover here.
What are your favourite games? I would love to know. You can leave me a comment here or on Instagram