We love to go on vacation! As a mom of eight children, with one currently in the age range of 3 to 5, I know there are times that we are waiting for other family members in the hotel room and we need to make it fun to help the time pass by quickly! Here are some indoor games for kids ages 3 to 5 that are small enough to pack for vacation use.
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When we stay at a place with a waterpark, sometimes my youngest wants a break back at the hotel room while Dad takes the big kids on the waterslides. We get some quality time in the hotel room or rented timeshare we found on eBay. I bring these games for each of my children when they are ages 3 to 5 because they love them so much! I love that they don't take up much room in the activity bag!
Dog Bingo (ages 3+)
This game has pictures of dogs instead of numbers. (We actually have the Horse Bingo version, but I don't see that one available currently.) It takes up most of the bottom of my activities bag at 11 inches by 9 inches, but it is very thin at about 1 1/2 inches high. Bingo is a very nice time-passer that even the older kids will play when we are waiting for pizza to be delivered! There are many other Bingo Games exactly this size by Lucy Hammett Games.
Hi-Ho Cherry-O (ages 3+)
I have seen these in larger boxes, so be sure to get the small 10 inch by 8 inch size. There are little plastic cherries that need to get picked off the tree and put into the bucket. There is a spinner and sometimes the spinner lands on “spilled bucket” and the cherries go back on the tree. Hi-Ho Cherry-O teaches counting.
Memory Game (ages 3 to 6)
This is a simple game where each player just picks two cards, see if they match, if they do, they go in that player's “keep” pile and if they don't, they go back where the card was found. Ravensburger Great Outdoors Memory Game measures 7.5 inches by 7.5 inches.
Fisher-Price Games (ages 3+)
These are older games and may be hard to find but are so worth it. Ice Cream Game and Oreo Cookie Game.
Shopping List (ages 3+)
You basically win this Shopping List game by being the first to match your products and place them in your shopping cart. It measures 7.5 by 5.5 inches.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Card Game (ages 3+)
I should really get a new caterpillar card game, it has been used so many times, my box is starting to fall apart and the cards have creases. I see they also sell it in a tin nowadays too. Well, my oldest child is 24, so I guess it's an oldie, but a goodie! It is like a jumbo pack of cards at about 6 inches by 4 inches. My 4 and 6 year olds make munching noises as the caterpillar “eats” the food shown on their cards on the days that the storybook and game says they are eaten by the caterpillar. We have a board book that I pack along as they like to look at the book as we play this game too.
Old Maid Card Game (ages 4+)
All the cards get dealt to all the players and somebody has the forbidden Old Maid card! Players draw from each other's cards not knowing if they will get her. Matches are made. Eventually, only one player is left holding a card, the Old Maid! That person is the loser. This is a nice game to play if you have a child that gets jealous of the winner because there will be more than one winner if at least three play. I know the package says ages 4 and up, but if you are playing this with your three year old, you can help and they will enjoy it very much. 6″x4″.
Go Fish Card Game (ages 4+)
This game has pictures of fish that get matched up and when someone runs out of cards, the matches are counted and the one with the most matches wins. This Go Fish Card Game also says 4 and up, but your three year old can play with your help. 5″x3″ approximately.
A Few Extra Things I Pack In The Activities Bag
Some of these items are used by my littles, but just in case you have some older kids, here are some other items to consider:
Uno Card Game (ages 7+)
I do include my 4 year old when we play the Uno Card Game and she does fine with help and reminders of what card she is looking for.
Standard Decks of Cards, Card Game Instructions Book, Paper and Pens (ages 3+)
We bring along enough decks of cards for everyone in the family. There are so many games that can be played with cards, either alone or with other players. I can't always remember all the rules so I like to bring the card games instructions book, which also gives us ideas for other games to play too. With some games a score needs to be kept, so we bring along paper and pen as well.
Coloring Books or Activity / Puzzle Books
I hope this list has given you some ideas of what to pack for your next vacation with the kids!
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