parents play with kids

You MUST Play with Your Kids – That’s Why and How

Why Parents Don’t Like To Play With Kids

Many Parents don’t really like to play with their kids for all kind of reasons.

There are parents who stress the tasks of life and make them forget the importance of the game, and the enjoyment of it. In the daily race, there are always more important tasks, discipline and agenda to deal with, and the game is marginalized and rarely exists. It is natural and almost inevitable in our modern and stressed lives.

There are parents who admit that they do not like the children’s games, feel stupid, and bored. They prefer to do other things with the children. They avoid playing as much as they can, and if they have to play, they do it with no pleasure.

Other parents avoid playing with their kids because they find it hard to deal with the negative emotions of their children during or after the game. Children are not always happy while playing. They can get angry, be frustrated by losing, be sad or try to take over. For them, the game is ‘like the real life’ and they take it seriously. The parents try to educate children to “enjoy the game,” and get upset when children express other emotions.

Why It is So Important To Play With Kids

Here are some reasons why despite all the written above you should play with your kids:

  1. Playing games with your children develops a close and meaningful relationship with them. Games are fun, joyful, and a closeness is created without much effort, simply through the shared experience. This way your kids acquire security and family closeness.
  2. Through the game, children acquire knowledge, learn ways of coping, for example with the rules of the game, and with competition and losses.
  3. Through the game, your kids practice physical, intellectual, and social skills. Playing games gives a significant boost to their development.
  4. Kids always love playtime and fun with their parents, but it will not be like this forever! They will enjoy your company mainly in their young ages, up to adolescence. Then, they will become these annoyed teenagers that don’t want to see or hear you. And you will miss those times they wanted to play with you. You will regret you were not using the opportunity to spend quality time with them when they still wanted to.
    Another aspect of this is – that if you will play with them during the young ages, it will strengthen your relationship, and will make you closer. And this would be really of a help for you to approach your child during these difficult years of adolescence.
  5. Playing games helps not only to your kids but to you as well. It helps to loosen up a bit and to forget for a while about the daily troubles and the stress. Games are fun. That’s why people invented games.

Games of parents with their kids have only benefits.

parents play with kids

Tips For How To Overcome The Lack of Desire to Play

  • Understand and remind yourself that a common game is not only fun, but it’s also important for your kids. It is as necessary as school lessons or any other educational subject, such as doing homework, helping with house chores, etc. Keep it high on your priorities scale. When the understanding of the importance of the game will permeate into you, it will be more natural for you to push yourself to play with your children.
  • Establish a habit of playing a family game once a week. A regular time in which to play. Friday afternoon, or one of the weekend days when you (parents) are more available. This way you create a routine which is easy to follow. When you have a slot in your schedule defined especially for this matter of playing – it will be easy and natural for you to dedicate this time to the game with your kids. The habit instills the game to be a part of the family experience. Children and parents remember the habit, and it becomes a pleasant part of the family memories.
  • Choose games together with the children. Pick something that delights them, and you as well. Take the kids to the store with you, and give them a guideline – which games they can choose from. For example, a range of certain box games that you define, and then negotiate a joint choice.
    It is also possible for each child to choose a favorite game, and also the parent will choose a favorite game. Then, play the games in turns. Every week a game favored by one person. Thus, the children will learn to take into account the wishes of others and strive for it. This is an educational message of the highest order.
  • Diversify the games. Buy a new game every period (let’s say, every year), so it will be interesting and advanced enough according to your children’s development.
  • Choose games that have educational and developmental value for children. No need to choose very expensive games with fancy packages. It is precisely the old and classic games that we played in our childhood that are both fun and develop skills.
  • Choose games that will enable children to succeed. Choose games at the level of the children, who can experience success and victory, even if not all the time, at least part of the time. So the game will be a fun and not a frustrating experience.
  • Allow yourself to enjoy the game “like a kid”. Let yourself laugh, compete, be angry, be silly. Let yourself enjoy, and let your children see their parents in a different way than the adult they are used to.

parents play with kids

Games I Recommend

(Clicking on the images will take you to these games on Amazon.)

For younger children

Matching Game

The matching game really good for training the child’s visual and spatial memory. It also practices a quick scan of images, and the focus on the desired image.

You can start from the age of three. First, you have to play with a small number of cards, and make sure that the examples on the cards are clear and familiar to the child. As age rises, start playing with a larger number of memory cards.

Card games

Card games such as “Go Fish”, “Old Made” and “Crazy 8’s”. It is possible to play these from the age of three onwards, and each time to use other card game. The game trains the ability to sort and generalize. It also teaches children concepts, a common denominator, what is similar and what is different. The game also exercises memory skills and teaches counting and spelling.


A great game from the age of four and a half. A practitioner of fine motor skills, coordination, concentration, patience, and planning. Sometimes the child with his small fingers is more successful than the adult in the close separation.


Children from the age of five can learn the game, but children from the age of seven will make the most of it. It is a strategy game in which the child must take into account many data and treat them simultaneously. This is a game that teaches ‘to think ahead’ and to plan, and also to relate to the planning of those in front of you. Guess what he thinks, and thus practice an important social skill.

This is an excellent game for impulsive and hyperactive children because they have to learn not to ‘react from the gut’ but to think and plan to succeed.

For older children

Cluedo (Clue)

A game for the practicing of drawing logical conclusions in the context of solving a detective problem. You have it also in a “Harry Potter” edition for Harry Potter fans 🙂


Develops logic and spatial reasoning skills.


Teaches financial management and knowledge about cities in the world.


A game that teaches the child to plan and develop strategical thinking. And a Star Wars edition for the fans.


A game that extends general knowledge.



Most games have educational value, in addition to the constant positive family value of shared time spent by parents and children.

So what are you waiting for? Go and play with your kids as much as you can!!


Anna Riabzev

Hi, My name is Anna. I'd like to apologize in advance, my English is not perfect and full of mistakes, just like my parenting. But I try my best. In both :-) I am a mother of three adorable kids. Orel, is my amazing red-head boy from my first marriage. Gabriel is a blond sweet child, who was born with a rare genetic syndrom (2q37 - to those who would like to google it). And Marina - my beautiful brunette princess. Although in pictures everything looks perfect, it's not. But it's ok! If everything would be perfect it would be boring - right? In this blog I'd like to share with you my parenting experience. The good and the bad. My successes and failures. The things that cause me guilt feelings, and the things I'm proud of. I hope you will enjoy this blog. Will be really glad if you'll leave me comments and tell me what you think. Have a great day! :)

2 thoughts to “You MUST Play with Your Kids – That’s Why and How”

  1. Wow Anna,
    This article should be mandatory reading for new parents, then they should have to tape laminated copy to the bathroom mirror until the kids are past the stage where they will be with you ! I was so blessed to be aware of this when my kids were younger. And they both still had a teen age rough patch ! I believe you are right, they pulled back out and became decent human beings much quicker because we spent the time when they were young. Now that they are young adults we have a very close relationship, I am sure because of all the time we spent when they were young !
    Very perceptive and well written article !

    1. Thank you, so much, Mike!! 🙂
      Spending time with your kids is really crucial. I’m glad for you and for your children that you invested the time and the effort. I’m sure it’s paying off! 🙂

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