The winter holidays are officially underway, which can mean a whole month with the kids running up and down the house — hopefully not causing havoc.
If you don't want to spend too much money during these holidays, try getting your kids fun indoor games to keep them busy. Here are five that range from the pure fun to the educational and instructive.
Unless you're suffering for arthritis, Twister is fun for the whole family. It can be the perfect challenge for game nights.
The game is simple in theory: spin the arrow and see what colour you land on — but it's guaranteed to quickly tie everyone's limbs in knots. Remember if your knee or elbow touches the mat, or you fall over, you're out.
Jenga is a game of mental skill which can be quite challenging if you do not concentrate. Players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks.
Each block removed is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively taller and more unstable structure. You need to be precise, your hand skills must be good — and remember to think before you play.
The classic board game in which players move around according to dice throws, buying and trading properties, trying to develop them with houses and hotels that earn rent. It is highly educational, if you want to teach your children the basics of capitalism — the chief premise, after all, is that you can earn more money from any property or service once you have a monopoly.
So yeah, the object is to have everyone poorer than you paying you for as many rentals and services as you can acquire; it's pretty good preparation for modern life.
But it is as much fun as it is competitive — and also a great way to teach kids about assessing potential future value, and bargaining for the right assets at the right time accordingly.
Want your kids to be a wordsmith and have an aptitude with words? Then Scrabble is the perfect game for them.
The word game is for two to four players, who score points by building words with their letter tiles on the 15×15 grid of squares. It's a great way to introduce kids to new and unusual words, improve their spelling, and generally give them a more useful vocabulary.
You may not even need a board — there are free apps to download on smartphones that allow you to play against family and friends, or complete strangers.
5. 30 Seconds
Want your kids to be general knowledge junkies? 30 Seconds is for them — it's all about how much you know, and how well you can express it in 30 seconds.
30 Seconds is played with a series of cards, which contain names and topics. Teams can have between two and sixteen players, but in reality can accommodate any number, as long as you can all hear each other.
One team member takes a card with several words on it, and then tries to explain what each concept is to the rest of the team without using the actual words on the card. If the team guesses the name, the player moves to the next one on the card. The number of correct guesses by the team in 30 seconds becomes the team's points scored for the round.