Playing With Kids: 30 Ways to Play


Jan 20, 2021

Reading Time: 13 minutes


According to recent studies, 65% of the toddlers going to kindergarten in the years 2020-2025 will end up working with technologies that are still not invented yet.

Fascinating isn’t it? So what this essentially means is that the rate of change in technology and our education systems is increasing drastically. And you will be surprised to know what an important role playtime plays in shaping kids to deal better with such changes.

Earlier, playtime was given much more important than it is given today, children were left to their own toys and imagination and were motivated to spend more time outdoors.

But the current situation is totally different, With pressure to perform well academically, schools have significantly cut short the time spent on playing in favor of more time in the classroom.

Recent research shows that kids who remained sedentary due to increased classroom seated time performed poorly in exams as compared to kids who spent time studying and playing equally.

The kids who got to play in between studying performed better as they knew a short break was coming to refresh their minds.

The importance of playing with kids

When a child plays, they learn about the environment they live in and their reaction to it gives the parents an idea about what their child’s interests might be.

Playing is how children familiarize themselves with the world that exists out there.

We might not realize it but playing can contribute to building your child’s worldview more than books do. There are a host of benefits that playtime provides to toddlers and growing children.

Playtime is central to instilling confidence in your child, they feel loved, happy, and independent and understand their peers and external environment.

The child learns to make decisions on their own, preparing them for adulthood.

Playing requires the child to put in effort physically which improves the child’s hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills useful for running, dancing, walking, activities they will perform in the future.

Children are like sponges, they absorb everything they see, feel and touch. Playing with kids can help them communicate their feelings effectively and get an active start in life.

Parents need to understand the importance of playing with kids. As soon as a parent starts playing with their child, they become an active role model for him/her.

They impart in them soft skills like listening to others and sportsmanship. The child learns to solve problems, work collaboratively and ask questions.

The parents get to step into the child’s shoes and understand their interests, thoughts, and feelings.

They learn how the child reacts to obstacles, failures, and successes and identify whether the child has special learning abilities or disabilities early on.

When deciding how much should a parent should play with their child, the child and parent should engage in about 4-5 hours of free, unstructured play together to get the maximum benefit of making the child ready for the future.

"Playtime is essential to a child’s growth.  Not only does it promote brain development but also improves intelligence, sparks creativity and imagination along with mental and physical competence necessary to encounter crucial life experiences."

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Playing With Kids: 30 Ways to Play


30 Ways to Play with Kids

Here is a list of 30 fun ways to play with your kids-

  1. Word Search

Playing with words

Word Search is an engaging game to teach little kids how to remember new vocabulary words.

How To Play

This game is a mental challenge for kids as they have to find hidden words from a  word puzzle based on a theme. The difficulty level of word search can be from very simple to challenging depending on the child’s abilities.

  1. Word Family Game

Kid playing with his family

Word Family Game is one of the many fun games to play with kids that enhance a child’s vocabulary and fluency. 

How To Play

Word Family Game are printable sheets wherein the child is given successive words from the same word family and have to complete them with various letters or vowels to make meaning. 

  1. I Spy

The game of I spy helps strengthen your child’s working memory.  It is a classic game and a common pastime for parents to play with kids.

How To Play

To play I Spy the parent has to announce an object within sight saying “I spy with my little eye ….” stating the first letter of the object. The child has to look around and use their visual and spatial reasoning to guess what the object is.

  1. Unscramble The Words

Unscramble The Words is a word game for kids and toddlers that boosts memory,  helps with spelling, and boosts working memory.

How To Play

Unscramble The Words is available in the form of printable worksheets and online games. The unscramble list of words can be found at the bottom of the page. The child has to carefully separate the vowels and consonants in a word to unscramble and complete the list.

  1. Scattergories

Scattergories is a delightful game that promotes critical thinking and learning of new words.

How To Play

Each player is presented with a category. The child must come up with an item from that category starting with a letter decided by rolling a 20 sided die. The first player to come up with unique answers the fastest wins! 

  1. Words within a Word

Words within a word is an insightful game to play with kids. Its aim is to teach kid anagram, a technique to form new words or phrases from an original word/ phrase. It enhances vocabulary and logical thinking

How To Play 

This game can be played on paper or on a whiteboard for better understanding. Present the child with a word, be careful not to give a word that is too long or too short. A word with 2-3 vowels would be a good fit. Ask the child to form as many words as he/she can from this word. This an excellent game to play to stimulate your child mentally and promote learning.

  1. I am going on a Picnic

Kid going  to picnic with family

I am going on a Picnic is a classic memory game. It is a simple game to play while in transit to keep your child occupied.

How To Play

The parent starts the game by saying “I am going on a picnic and I am taking ….” stating an object starting with A. The child continues the game by listing objects from all alphabets. The parent can make this game even more interesting by incorporating tongue twisters and common phrases.

  1. Story Prompts

Kids listening to the stories

Story Prompts is a refreshing activity to try with kids. Writing or verbalizing stories allows them to express their imagination and also helps them to regulate their thoughts.

How To Play

Story Prompts is a fairly simple activity. All you need to do is look up on the net exciting one-liners and story prompts to kickstart your child’s imagination. Some good examples are-

  • ​​A kid who becomes the Principal of the School
  • A family vacation in the woods
  • A dog with magic powers
  • A family who wins the lottery
  1. Colouring 

Kids coloring

Colouring Books and sheets are one of the most important educational tools to advance the learning of preschoolers and toddlers. From improved hand-eye coordination to developing motor skills. Coloring is a holistic activity to engross your child. If you are a new parent who doesn't know how to play with kids, coloring will help you get started!

How To Play

There are a host of coloring books and sheets available online as well as offline. With colorful and vibrant patterns, they encourage your little ones to let their creative juices flow in full swing.

  1. Hide and Seek

Kids playing hide and seek

Hide and Seek is an age-old game to strengthen your child’s brain and working memory.

How To Play

A fun game to play with parents or friends, here one of the players closes his/her eyes and counts to 100. They then attempt to find all the other players. The first one to get caught in the next seeker and the last person to get caught is the winner of the round.

  1. Treasure Hunt

Kids playing treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is a classic game that gets kids moving. By playing treasure hunt, kids get better at following directions and solving tasks independently.

How To Play

The parent can start by creating clues to find a location or an item and placing the clues at different spots with every subsequent clue waiting at that spot. The child follows the clues to find the treasure (a toy or a treat) while learning about sequencing and the importance of staying in order.

  1. Hot Potato

Hot potato or the classic game of passing the parcel is a huge hit with kids. It promotes quick thinking and aids decision making for young learners while having fun.

How To Play 

All the players arrange themselves in a circle, the aim is to pass around an object while music is being played in the background. As soon as the music stops the person holding the object is out, the game continues. The last player remaining wins.

  1. The Listening Game 

The listening game is an innovative game to get your kids to actively listen.

How To Play

To play the listening game, sit with your child and ask them to close their eyes, now play different kinds of music or noises like a wind chime or a rattle toy or you can download a host of music online like nature sounds. The aim is to introduce mindfulness to the child while helping them relax.

  1. Bubbles

Kids playing with bubbles

Playing with bubbles is a great activity to stimulate your child’s oral sensory and motor skills. Not only does it keep them engaged but also develops their visual perception. 

How To Play

Create a bubble solution by mixing soap and water and there you have it. Play with kids and pop the bubbles with various body parts or try to catch and pop bubbles, the kids will surely stay entertained.

  1. Simon Says

Simon says is a classic game that exercises your child’s listening skills.

How To Play

In this game, one person is Simon who gives commands to all the other players This game is fairly simple but can get challenging and will require kids to make use of their motor skills and listening skills.

  1. Touch and Feel Box

Touch and Feel Box is a sensory guessing game useful to mentally stimulate your child.

How To Play

With the help of cardboard create a box and remember to punch a hole open at the top of the box. Fill the box with various items like toys, stationery, books, etc. Ask your child to put their hand in feel the object and name it. This game is ideal for toddlers to learn and identify objects while having fun.

  1. Indoor Basketball

kids playing the indoor basketball

Indoor Basketball is an excellent game to improve your child’s hand dexterity and hand to eye coordination.

How To Play

To play this game all you need is a dustbin and some old newspapers to play this game. Scrunch up the newspaper to make balls and have a competition with your little one to see who can throw the ball the furthest.

  1. Paperless Painting

Want to introduce your child to the world of colors while also integrating the concept of recycling? then Paperless Painting is a wonderful activity to engage your child in while generating zero waste.

How To Play

What you need to do is activity is plastic storage bins or cans, paints, and brushes and let your little Picasso unleash their creativity. After they are done with painting, wash off the paint for their next adventure.

  1. Magical Parent 

Don't know how to play with your child? Why not show them a few magic tricks! It will help them immensely in building necessary social skills.

How To Play 

There are a variety of magic tricks that parents can learn online and show their little ones, the most common one being to disappear a coin. The main move is to perfect the sleight of the hand in such a way that the child doesn't notice. And there you go, you are your child’s hero!

  1. Building Forts

kid building forts

Indoor forts are an amazing idea to beat boredom for both parents and kids! Not only do they enhance creativity but also keep children active and entertained.

How To Play

An indoor fort is super easy to make. Arrange chairs in a straight line and drape blankets over them to make the roof of the fort. Put a mattress underneath the roof and line them with pillows and cushions! And there you have it! Play, study, sleep and spend quality time with your child while having fun.

Math games for kids 

 Here is a list of 10 Exciting Math related games to brush up your child’s skills- 

  1. Math Tic Tac Toe

Math Tic Tac Toe is a fun game to play with kids while teaching them different math skills. 

How To Play

The child is presented with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, and as soon the child solves the problem they get to mark an X or O on the board. The child competes with their parent or friend and the first one to link three X’s or O’s wins!

  1. Countdown

The countdown is a simple math game that can brush up your child’s basic math skills.

How To Play

To play this you need 4 big number cards from 25 to 100 and 20 small number cards from 1-10 with each number repeated twice. A number is generated by rolling the dice and the child has to use basic math skills to add, subtract, multiply, and divide to reach the total of that number.

  1. Salute

Salute is a game that brings verbalization and maths together.

How To Play

For this game, you need two sets of cards numbered from 1-10, The parent holds one number to their forehead and the child has to make them guess the number based on statements like the product of no two numbers is this number or the sum of two numbers makes this number, etc. and vice versa. 

  1. Bang Bang

Bang Bang is an excellent game to brush your child’s ability to recall.

How To Play

A question is called out like what is 5*5? The child shouts Bang Bang and says the answer. The parent can keep a timer to help the child answer faster. This game effectively builds your child’s problem-solving skills. 

  1. The 24 Game

24 is an engaging game that boosts your child’s arithmetic skills which they can also play with their friends.

How To Play

All you need is a pack of cards and each player draws 4 cards at random. The kids need to work with numbers in such a way using any of the four operations (+,-,*,/) to get the number 24 as quickly as possible.

  1. Multiplication Hopscotch

Are you a parent wondering how you can be fun with your kids while ensuring they get to learn while playing? Try Multiplication Hopscotch! We have all played hopscotch as kids and this game integrates the basics of multiplication into the classic game of hopscotch to enhance the learning of basic math concepts in kids. 

How To Play

On the ground, with the help of chalk, draw hopscotch with multiples of a number or multiplication facts. The child skips and hops while actively learning numbers and how to multiply quickly.

  1. Telling the Time Activity

Telling the Time Activity makes kids learn to tell time correctly in the format of a fun little game.

How To Play

Draw the layout of a clock on the ground with the help of chalk and ask your child to draw the hands of the clock for different hours, minutes, and seconds. This activity makes the tricky task of telling time easy for kids to learn.

  1. The Biggest Number

The Biggest Number is an appealing place value game for primary school children. 

How To Play

All you need is a deck of cards and a notebook where the child draws a place value grid with thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones. The child needs to utilize the numbers on the grid in such a way that they end up with the biggest number.

  1. Dots and Boxes

Dots and Boxes is a classic game like Tic Tac Toe and there are high chances that most parents would have played this game when they themselves were in school. 

How To Play

It's a simple pen-paper game wherein the player has to join a line of dots to another dot to form a box until the whole grid is complete. The play with the most number of boxes wins!

  1. Guess My Number

Guess my number is one of the best fun games to play with kids that promote number recognition and logical thought.

How To Play

The parent chooses a number from 1 to 100. By using the basics of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication, the parent gives a clue like - this number is divisible with both 2 and 3 and is less than the number 10. The child then uses a logical reason to guess the number accurately. The aim is that the child guesses the number correctly as fast as possible.


We live in a busy world. A world that once advocated modest pleasures has now turned into a rat race. The concept of families as we know it has changed forever.

Parents undervalue the time they spend playing with their kids. What they should realize is that children grow up in the blink of an eye and it is important to be intentional when it comes to playing with kids.

Most parents don't know how to play with kids and are often puzzled thinking by the fact that how can they be fun with kids.

They need to understand that children crave time with their parents while they are constantly juggling tasks to strike a balance between their personal and professional life.

Playing with kids can be a fantastic learning and bonding experience with the child.

The increased interaction between parents and kids can help the parent explore the child’s worldview and build trust while making them let go of their professional commitments momentarily and enjoy the lighter side of life.

About Cuemath

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the 4 types of physical activities?

The four main types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and stretching. Aerobic activity is the type that benefits your heart and lungs the most.

What activities help child development?

10 Ways to Promote Your Child's Cognitive Development

  • Sing-a-longs. Sing songs with your child and encourage him to sing along with you.
  • Identify Noises.
  • Practice the Alphabet.
  • Practice Counting.
  • Practice Shapes and Colors.
  • Offer Choices.
  • Ask Questions.
  • Visit Interesting Places.

What are the 5 basic exercises?

5 Essential Fitness Exercises

  • Squats. Squats are a simple exercise but often performed with poor form.
  • Lunges. The working leg should be forward, the back leg hip-distance apart, and in a split stance.
  • Pushups. Start in a basic plank, hands slightly wider than your shoulders and your palms on the floor.
  • Pull-ups.
  • Rotation.

External References

To know more about Cuemath teachers, please visit these blogs:

Learning to Play with Your Kids

The Secret Power of Play

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