12 fun games for ages 6 to play & entertain

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  April 4, 2020

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Games are a great way for kids of all ages to burn off some energy and get those endorphins flowing.

And they are critical to 6 year olds as they build social, math and emotional skills.

Whether playing a group game or a game for two, 6-year-olds can learn a lot from the simple lessons games teach them.

In this article, I look at 12 fun games that you can play with your 6-year-old child.

Collage of 4 games for 6 year olds

"Choose games that you, the parent, want to play," says Susan Newman, Ph. D, social psychologist and author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day.

Participating in your child's games means that your kids can learn so much more and have a lot more fun in the process.

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If a parent is half-heartedly playing, running, or appearing distracted, a child feels a parent's disinterest.

The best games engage and challenge the child, but are not so difficult that he or she loses interest.

Are you looking forward to spending the weekend with your child, but not sure what games to play?

Is everyone fed up with the same boring board games? Or maybe that last round of hide and seek didn't go so well?

Read on for these unique and creative activities to play with your 6 year old.

Best games for 6-year-olds

Mancala

Mancala board game

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This simple game with a wooden board and glass bricks was first played in Ethiopia in the 14th century.

The object of the game for two people is to collect more stones than the other player.

The game is perfect for 6 year olds as it encourages light competition. 6 year olds are generally very competitive.

They cheat and get very upset when they lose, and overdo it when they win.

Many children can only get along well with winning and losing when they are about nine years old, but from about five years old you can help your child learn to deal with competition.

View Mancala signs here

Snapshot

Snapshot game with portraying

A great game for two children, but also with a group of six or more children.

The mirror

Two children who imitate each other with jumping

This is a great game to develop motor skills. Nice for 2 people, but with more you can send children and in pairs.

One member of the couple has to perform silly (but appropriate) moves while the other copies them at the same time, like a mirror!

Then you turn around and alternate the couples if necessary.

I'm going to have a picnic

I'm going for a picnic and I'm taking with me

Fun to do with your family, but also the perfect game for a group of eight or more kids.

I know this one from the past with “I'm going on vacation and taking with me”, but I also really like the variant with the picnic and it is a bit easier for 6-year-olds to remember food alone than all possible things on vacation, but try them both agree!

Team sports

2 boys of 6 are playing football

Cooperative games are also a good choice for this age, as all players win or lose together. A great lesson they are ready for at this age.

Sports such as basketball and football are particularly easy to learn for 6-year-olds and can be played almost anywhere.

Basketball maybe with a small low basket for someone of 6, and football you can set up anywhere with small goals (or just two trees like we used to do).

Snakes and ladders

Small Foot Company snakes and ladders

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This ancient Indian game teaches children about opportunities and luck. Take the old board game off the stack that you might still have from the past, or there are also many new editions, such as this nice wooden from Small Foot Company.

Musical statues

Play musical statues

Very similar to musical chairs, for musical statues you really only need a music player and speakers.

It used to be a cassette deck that you could easily pause, now maybe just your iPhone and Spotify.

Hide and seek

2 children hide in a wardrobe

Of course, hide and seek could not be missed for 6 year olds because it is a great fun game that they can completely lose themselves in.

It is best with two or more players, so you have a chance that you really have to participate!

The advantage is that you can also play it fine in a house or an apartment, so you don't necessarily have to go outside when it rains (also read about These 25 Great Activities for a Rainy Day).

Variation: If your house or apartment has no space, have one child “hide” the thimble or other small item and encourage other players to find it.

Bowling corridor

Bowling hallway with empty bottles

Fun for six-year-olds and also to play on your own, but with more is also fun. All you need is a long, empty hallway.

Variation: Put glow sticks in the water bottles and turn off the lights for some glow-in-the-dark fun.

We have previously written here about glow in the dark toys where they stand between.

Rock Paper Scissors

2 kids play rock paper scissors

Best for: Fighting siblings. You have to play it with the two of you and you can do it wherever you are.

The game is over when one player overpowers another:

You can of course play this best of three times, or best of five. However much you want.

Thumb wrestling

2 hands wrestling thumb

This one is nice for the kitchen table, the playroom or the floor of the living room.

Variant: more than two children? Hold a tournament. The player who outsmarts everyone else wins.

Command… ..pink!

Group of children imitating each other

You can play it fine with the two of you, but it is best in larger groups.

The game ends when there is only one player left.

It is a game that trains the concentration of children, and in general there are three difficulty levels.

  1. The classic command gives four different commands: "blink", "hollow", "convex" and "flat". With command pinky you have to drum your pinkies on the edge of the table (that's why it is also called command pink). With hollow you have to place your hand with the back down on the table like a bowl, with a ball you have to place your hands flat on the table with the bottom of your hand towards the table to form a ball.
  2. In the second variation you stand together and the pastor can shout what he wants and everyone has to imitate this. There is much more variation in what to imitate and you have to think carefully.
  3. The third variation is more suitable for older children: whatever is said, do the opposite. When it is said, "Raise your right arm," the players raise the left. When “standing up”, the players sit down.

Conclusion

This was my list of fun games for 6 year olds. Hope there are some good ones you want to play with your kid (s).

A few classics that you may still know but no longer knew exactly how, and hopefully a few new ideas too!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.