Growing up, we had one particular closet in our house that was solely dedicated to all the board games my brother and I loved to play with family and friends. Each shelf contained layer upon layer of boxes and boards, each holding the small but important collection of pieces vital to the game's success. By the time we were in middle school, the closet was stuffed full of games enjoyed throughout our childhood. That worked out just fine for our country house, but living in a small square footage space necessitates a different approach in collecting your family favorites over time. There are many exciting choices for games these days, but here are five small and engaging games for children that are guaranteed to only take up a portion of *one* shelf in your closet.
1. "Rapido", by Hape, found at Black Wagon.
Rapido is a quick categorical style game for ages 3+, with the goal to collect as many of the colored balls as fast as you can, but in the right order. Hape makes high quality games and includes a drawstring bag with this version, allowing you to ditch the box.
2. Bananagrams, found at Piccolo Mondo Toys.
Bananagrams is an anagram-style game built for speed and requires no board, pencil, or paper. Just spill the tiles onto a table and you are ready to play! This game is part of a family of word games, the others called "Appleletters" and "Pairsinpears". Each game is stored in a handy fruit-shaped zippered case that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
3. "Life on Earth", by Eeboo, found at Peapods.
These beautifully illustrated card tiles appeal to pre-schoolers and older children who enjoy matching and memory games. Eeboo also produces a variation of this matching game, called "I Never Forget a Face!"
4. Bamboo "Tumbling Tower", by Schylling, found at Fine Wooden Toys.
This strategic tower building/dissembling game is actually based on an ancient African block building game. Some might be familiar with the 90's version, called Jenga. This version is made out of bamboo (instead of soft-wood like it's predecessor) and kids 6+ will enjoy building up the tower and relocating blocks with a steady hand with hopes that they are not the one to make it tumble!
5. Peas in a Pod "Mancala" game, found on Etsy: Jack Be Nimble Toys.
Mancala is a classic game beloved by kids 3+ and teachers alike, exercising fine motor skills and mathmatical concepts. This version is a true keepsake with it's wooden bowls and felted wood peas and pods.
Do you have any favorite (small and well-designed) games to add to this selection?
(Images: as credited above)