Fun Single-Player Games For Children

There are times as a family when we enjoy playing games together. However, with busy after-school and weekend schedules, the sun, moon and stars often need to be aligned in order for all of us to be home and available at the same time to play. I happen to only have one child, who is extremely competitive and loves to play games. However, since he doesn't have a sibling, we are his primary playmates. There are so many skills children learn when playing games, like logic and critical thinking,...MORE not to mention all of the social aspects involved in taking turns and communicating with others. However, since it's not always feasible to play lengthy games are 6 single-payer "games" for children that don't require reading to play, that are also fun, exciting and attention grabbing.

  • 01 of 07

    While this is one of my favorite "first games" for preschoolers (children ages 3-5), Pop-Up Pirate is a great standalone game. A child pushes the pirate down in the middle of the barrel before inserting swords into the container, one at a time. How many swords will it take for the pirate to pop out of the barrel? Kids love the spontaneity and randomness of this game.

  • 02 of 07

    I often find my son re-arranging the different cars and vehicles from this game in his play area or pushing them into Play-Doh, but this is another one of my favorite single player games for kids that promotes problem solving.

    Using the cards, which range in complexity from easy to difficult, children arrange the vehicles in a specific order within the grid. When finished, the goal is to move the vehicles side-to-side or up-and-down, re-arranging the traffic so the ice cream truck can drive out. 

    R...MOREead a full review of Rush Hour Jr. here.

  • 03 of 07

    Similar to the Rush Hour Jr. concept, instead of re-arranging vehicles, players follow cards of varying difficulties to design a functioning marble track. Even if a child is not yet able to truly understand the directions of the cards, many children have enjoyed re-arranging the pieces to design their own marble tracks.

  • 04 of 07

    There are dozens of types of Spot it! card games, many of which feature popular characters from  Disney's Frozen! With this game, players look at 2 cards simultaneously, then as quickly as possible identify the picture that is the same on both cards. 

    Read a full review of Spot it here.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    This is such a simple game that children love playing competitively against each other, but it can easily turn into a "beat the clock" type of game where players race to roll the dice in order to match corresponding pizza toppings on a triangular "slice" card. Once a child rolls dice to match their card, they pick a new card and continue on until they complete the pizza (6 cards). 

  • 06 of 07

    Handheld gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS XL include a lot more than just the ability to play Super Mario video games in either 2D or 3D. While it's still important for adults to familiarize themselves with the parental control options, these gaming devices are fun for both children and adults. The game play spans interests levels and ages from 7 through adulthood. On the device, participates can also access the internet to enjoy websites, engage in peer-to-peer gaming with gamers around...MORE the world, as well as download apps to watch movies on popular streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu Plus.

    Read a full review of the Nintendo 3DS XL here.

  • 07 of 07

    It's hard to not include technology in a single player game category given the versatility and personalized nature of apps and activities.  Educational learning tablets from VTech and LeapFrog are recommended for children ages 4-9. These affordable touch-screen tablets with tilt-sensors encourage children to play games, draw pictures, take photos/videos, and even surf child-safe websites on the internet through a secure wifi connection.