Afternoon at home? 2 players and 16 ideas to play

Locked in the house with a child all day. Or with two children who argue instead of playing together? It’s not easy! Choose one of the games for two to play at home that we offer and the afternoon will pass faster!

Entertaining a child alone can sometimes be difficult, especially if they are an only child. But not only that: all children, even the most independent and used to “do it alone”, during these long days at home may feel like a little company and a shared activity. That’s the moment when you have to transform yourself into fun and imaginative playmates.

As you know if you frequent our blog a bit, we often deal with games: fun activities to do at home with the children , how to choose games according to age , and even play with objects from the house . This is because play is really the child’s job, as Maria Montessori said .

So here are some games suitable for ages two and up, listed in order of increasing complexity. For the very young we recommend our posts on games for babies (up to 12 months) and activities for 1 and 2 year olds .  

Clap your hands (with nursery rhymes)

Two of them, one in front of the other, clap their hands: left against right, right against left, the two hands of each player with each other and then both with those of the other. Ideal for developing coordination and, if combined with a nursery rhyme for children , memory and language. For older children, the game can get complicated until it becomes a real nursery rhyme with choreography !

The mirror

Make a grimace, a funny face and ask the child to imitate you. Then you change your turn, and it’s up to him or her to make faces and you to “act as a mirror”.

Who laughs first

Very classic game, made by generations of children of all ages. Incredible how funny it is to be forced to be serious!

Game of silence

This is also one of the oldest and most popular games for two to play at home, among other things very useful after a more physical game, to rest a bit. Whoever opens their mouths first loses, which happens as soon as you are distracted for a moment and, try it, parents lose more often than children!

Chinese morra

Hugely popular hand game around the world, with various names. In Italy it is called Chinese Morra . The funniest thing when playing with younger children is that: a) they cheat by waiting for the other player to speak first; b) put forward imaginative reasons for rejecting the established rules ( the card wraps the scissors therefore wins the card ). In any case, fun.

Domino

The objective of the game is to build a chain of tiles, combining those of equal value (the points for the older players) or with the same figures (version for the younger players). Fun game and great gift idea for kids. You can also make it with paper, scissors and a marker.

Bim bum bale down (also called even or odd)

Before each spin, everyone bets on even or odd. Then, while saying Bim-Bu-Bale-Giù, the hands swing from left to right, downwards each player opens them indicating an even or odd number with his fingers. The sum is added and the player who had bet on even wins if the sum has given an even number, on odd in the opposite case. Game suitable for children already able to do simple accounts, therefore from the second grade onwards. (Does the child show interest in maths and math? Suggest one of our games to learn to count !)

Games for two to play at home for boys

Now let’s move on to games for two to play at home with older kids. Oops, maybe not really kids but for sure kids of the last grades of elementary school and the first of middle school: from 8 to 12 years, then.

Names of things and cities

Don’t tell me you don’t know this game, of which there are infinite variations, regularly invented by players according to their strengths (names of players, animals, colors and so on). If properly customized, in fact, it always has a great success.

Battleship

Great game for two to play at home: all you need is squared paper and a pencil, although realistic versions have been made, with plastic ships, and electronic versions. The playing area is a square made up of ten squares on each side. Each square is identified by the intersection of letters (top) and numbers (left column). Inside, each player places the different ships, which are of different sizes: from two, three, four, up to five squares. Then it starts: A7, H7, I2 … if the named square is occupied by a ship piece, the player scores an X and informs his opponent that he has hit the target. At the beginning each player will therefore start a little by chance but once he has hit the mark he will know how to orient himself towards the final goal: to destroy the enemy fleet.

Tris

The game plan is made up of nine squares, three by three: the goal is to form a string of symbols horizontally, vertically or transversally. There are those who attack and those who defend themselves, those who claim to have great strategies and those who try! If you want to exercise, there is also a free online version: try typing “tris game” on google !

Come on four

An alignment game that’s kind of the big, commercial version of tic-tac-toe. Here the row of aligned pawns must be four and is played on a 6 x 7 grid. Great fun, Forza 4   is a good  gift idea for a 7, 8 year old child who will entertain you too.

Broom

Traditional Italian card game, the king of games for two. La Scopa is already a game suitable for a 6-year-old child . Going a little ahead with age, from 8 years old, you can also move on to trump!

Lady

Like Chess, which follows in our list, Checkers is a game for children aged 8-10 , an age in which one is better able to understand the rules, respect them and anticipate the opponent’s moves. The Lady is the triumph of tradition against the overwhelming power of video games (unless you want to play online, but here we are talking about games for two to play at home). And if you don’t have a chessboard at home, you can make it with cardboard, ruler and pencil.

Chess

The game to teach children to think strategically. It is not very simple, to tell the truth; but you will be surprised to find out how enthusiastic boys can be. If you want help, search online for guides on how to teach chess to children .

Elastic game

Or a game of twine, Did you understand what I’m talking about? Of that game that is played with a piece of knotted string or an elastic, weaving it between the fingers according to pre-established patterns. If you need a refresher, the best thing is to search for String game on YouTube : you will see that it will all come back to your mind!

Guess the animal

The typical game to play in the car or on the plane when traveling with children . One of the players thinks about an animal and the other player has to guess based on questions that can only be answered yes or no. For example:  Is it a mammal? Can he fly? Does he have big ears ? Obviously the game can be customized according to common interests. A TV series, sports and so on.