These 4 Rainy Day Games Will Live In Your Kid’s Happy Memories Forever

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Picture it: Summer break. You’re nine years old and super stoked because your mom is taking you and a couple friends to the pool. You look outside and see clouds. Soaking rain. Maybe even lightning. You and your pals are crushed. But then your mom produces a stack of games from a closet. She puts out a bunch of snacks. Suddenly the rain doesn’t seem so awful. And before you know it, you’ve spent the whole afternoon sinking battleships, getting four in a row, and holding your breath while you create unstable towers out of wooden blocks – and it’s a blast. This is living!

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Now that you’re a parent yourself, you know there will be days when the weather cancels your plans. And you’ve got to be ready to come up with fun, easy activities that keep everyone engaged and entertained. While extra screen time might seem like the easy fix, after the past couple of years, most of us would prefer to skip that option. We crave IRL engagement – even our kids do, whether they want to admit it or not.

This is where classic games come in clutch. Playing games together sparks hilarious conversations and allows everyone in the family to be fully present with each other. Laughs during game nights – and days – are where lifelong memories are born.

Not sure where to start? Try one or all of these nostalgic faves!

Connect 4

Aside from the absolutely classic TV commercials, there’s another reason to love this game: Connect 4 is quick! If you’ve ever entered hour three of a family game night, you know the sweet relief that comes with a game that can be played quickly – though kids will probably want you to play round after round. Also, there’s something oddly therapeutic about dropping tokens into open slots on the game board and anticipating that elusive row of 4… and then toggling the switch at the bottom and watching the tokens spill out. That sound always sends me right back to childhood.

Guess Who?

You know how psychology experts are always saying we should encourage our kids to ask questions? Well, Guess Who? may not exactly prompt questions of an existential nature, but this OG of guessing games does require the use of deductive reasoning, and it may convince your child that they have the observational skills of a secret agent and should join the CIA. We especially love this edition of Guess Who? because it includes double-sided character sheets so you have the option to play with classic characters or superheroes, and it comes in a convenient fold-up case that’s super easy to store.

Battleship

If you’re looking for more serious rainy-day strategizing, get out Battleship. This classic two-player ship-sinking game lives in every Millennial and Gen X parent’s childhood memories – remember the intense strategizing that went into arranging your ships on the grid, hopeful that your chosen positioning would be the best one to avoid being hit? It’s a full-circle moment to watch your kid experience that same suspense as they get closer and closer to finding their opponent’s ships even as their own fleet is being gradually sunk. Whether you’re pairing up with your kid to play or enjoying a hot cup of coffee while they play with a sibling, Battleship is pure entertainment.

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Jenga

Ah, Jenga – who doesn’t love this suspenseful classic balance and stacking game? Setup is quick, and play is straightforward; just build a tower three blocks wide from 54 small wooden blocks, then take turns removing one block from the tower and placing it back on the top.

Parents who’ve played Jenga with their young kids know there are few things more hilarious than watching the gears in your child’s head turn as they compute for the first time that certain configurations of blocks will indeed be subject to gravitational forces. And of course we’ve all tossed aside the Jenga rules and used the blocks to build little houses and towers, right? Who needs screens?

One of the most rewarding parts of being a parent is getting to share the things you loved as a kid with your own kids. It feels good to know you’re giving them opportunities to make rainy-day memories that will last a lifetime.

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