Nowadays, parents are often left feeling desperate to work out some non-screen entertainment options for their young kids, especially teens. In fact, there’s a wide variety of indoor games available for kids of all age groups, going beyond typical remote-driven car models and Barbie dollhouses. Before you run out of options, here are a few top choices of super-fun games, puzzles, and STEM kits for your children that are both exciting and challenging.
For Toddlers and Little Kids (Ages 2-5)
Little Thinkers’ Block Logic Puzzle
This colorful set of games includes 30 puzzles to solve by manipulating nine coloring wood blocks. In each challenge, the player needs to fit all the blocks on a grid while matching stars and blocks by color. Your toddler can start with the easier ones that also include suggestions for players. After getting the hang of it, they can move to the harder ones.
SmartGames Three Little Piggies
This brilliant game is perfectly capable of engaging your little ones for a much longer period of time. It includes a book with multiple puzzle games to solve. Every puzzle has the same mission of protecting three little pig figures with three little houses to save them from the Big Bad Wolf. A few parts of the game are easy to clean up and portable enough to carry anywhere outside so that your little kid can work on their brain power wherever they go.
For Big Kids (Ages 6-10)
Outfoxed! by GameWright is a cooperative whodunit game. Here, the player practices deductive reasoning and problem-solving while moving around a board and trying to figure out who’s the thief that has stolen a valued pot pie from the main character Mrs. Plumpert. Because it’s a group game, friends or siblings can have a great time together, working out the games to win, but hopefully without quarreling or bickering too much!
Discovery Toys Marbleworks
This STEM toy was around even before STEM was a common acronym. With this toy, your child can spend hours playing fun open-ended marble games. The pieces are durable and are perfect to be easily put together by small kids. As your kids build and tinker, they get hands-on experience in physics, especially stability and balancing. It’s a great way of learning while having fun!
For Tweens and Teens
The Happy Isles by The Three Magic Puzzle Company
The puzzle games by The Magic Puzzle Company are for those who have stamina in them! One elaborate 1000-piece puzzle alone takes multiple evenings to finish. Incredibly well-designed with a mysterious setting, The Happy Isles is immensely satisfying to complete. It’s especially more fun when tackled in a pair or small group. So this one can be the perfect sibling or family project to spend a few fun brainstorming evenings with together.
PuzzleGears Precision Clock
This teens-special STEM kit is a super-cool and perfectly working pendulum clock, to be made from scratch. The gears and structures are made with laser-cut wood pieces and are powered by springs. Patiently completing this mammoth 166-piece challenge will earn your teen a true sense of accomplishment. The complete project will also look stunning sitting on a shelf!
Being invested in your children, and especially in their early educational experience, is the rite of passage to parenthood. But it’s not easy to be involved in your kid’s school community if you’re socially awkward, introverted and easily overwhelmed by social demands. Here we’ve rounded up a few strategies from experienced parents to help you out in such situations.
Avoidance is indeed the path of least resistance. But, when it comes to your child, that’s not always an option. No matter how introverted you are, it’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about all the happy memories your kids will have if you attend that evening meeting or volunteer at the school event.
Always remember that getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t entail biting more than you can chew. Know yourself and don’t pressure yourself to go to extremes at first. There’s no need to run for the executive board of the parent-teacher association immediately. Focus on doing as much or as little as you can.
Fake it Till You Make It
Constantly fighting the urge of staying hidden and not being noticed takes a huge amount of willpower, and yes, acting skills. You may feel like you’re acting while attending social events at your kid’s school because that’s what you’re doing! So, keep pretending. Make yourself look comfortable, start a conversation, and gradually you’ll learn the rest.
Inviting Others Into the Circle
When you’re at a parent gathering at school and notice someone who might feel introverted just like you, don’t hesitate to reach out. Introduce yourself, invite that person to join your table, and make conversation. This gesture will help that person as much as it’ll help you, if not more. It’s a baby step toward broadening yourself.
Being Honest About Your Feeling
Don’t hold yourself back from sharing your feelings of discomfort and awkwardness with others. You’ll be surprised to learn how many people actually feel the same way, even the seemingly put-together parents. Also, sharing your feelings with your children will help them understand you and the reasons behind your actions.
Taking Time to Recover Afterwards
It’s normal for any introverted person to feel physically and emotionally drained after an episode of not-so-willing socializing. In such a case, you need time to recharge before tackling the next challenge. Spend some time with yourself, alone, or in a comfortable setting, doing only those activities you enjoy. It’s helpful to make you ready for the next one.