Whether it’s the holiday break, a sick kid at home, a doctors appointment waiting room, the carpool line, or just a rainy weekend we all need a little quiet time, amiright? I love a good sensory play situation, but even I don’t always love the time and mess that comes with the set-up and the takedown of sensory play. It’s also not super convenient to bring sensory activities in the car or in an office. While buying single player games might not be the most cost-effective way to get some quiet time, those moments of peace and quiet sure do feel priceless.
Rivers, Roads, & Rails: A current favorite in our house right now. This might not be as compact as some of the others, but I’ve seen it entertain our 5 year old for over an hour! This path building game can be played with 1-8 people (and mom has been known to have a lot of fun with this one). It is labeled for children ages 5+.
Balance Beans: A 1-payer game geared towards math and logic, this one comes with a travel bag and is very easy to take on the go (though not car friendly). The games comes with varying beans to balance and incudes 40 different scenarios to beat! This one took a bit of getting used to, but is one that is often played with. Labeled for children 5+.
*This particular brand has multiple other games to choose from, many being 1-player games. Gravity Maze, Laser Maze, and Rush Hour are some we have our eyes on to purchase next.
Snap Circuits: This one took some supervision the first few times, but once your kid understands the concept, the building options are endless. This is a STEM toy that has a variation of models to choose from. A beginner level labeled for kids 5-9, a junior level labeled 8+ (however I think this can be used for much younger), a Pro version, and an extreme version.
Smart Farmer: Smart Farmer is a product of the company SmartGames and is my absolute favorite place to find stimulating, yet calm single players games. Smart Farmer was the first one we purchased. It is game of problem solving and concentration, labeled for 4+. This games comes with 60 challenges ranging from easy to hard.
Chicken Shuffle Jr: Another SmartGames product, advertised to ages 4+, this game is very compact and can be taken out of the house with ease. Focusing on problem solving and spacial awareness, this is a game that even mom enjoys figuring out. This game comes with 48 levels to work through.
IQ Twist: Another compact game from SmartGames, this game focuses on concentration, logic, and planning. It is labeled for ages 6+ and I have to admit, I personally enjoy this one. This is a great one to play quietly next to mom or to bring to sit in a waiting room. This one comes with 120 different challenges to solve!
*Other games by this brand we have our eyes on–Colour Code, Brain Cheeser (magnetic), and SmartCar Mini.
Tenzi Buildzi: A few things to note–this is labeled at a 2-4 person game but functions just fine as a 1-player game. It’s also labeled for ages 6+, but I do think younger aged kids are capable of the stacking components of this game. With 32 different towers to build, this game brings the suspense–think Jenna–and is fun for the whole family on a game night.
Waffle Topple: This game is also labeled a 2-4 person game, but trust me when I say I’ve seen this played for a long time by just our child. It’s labeled to children 6+ but it is VERY appropriate for younger ages. The premise of the game is to roll a dice and stack breakfast foods on top of a fork> Its sweet and innocent and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought. We love it!
Magnetic Pattern Block Kit: A Melissa & Doug staple in our house for the last 3 years. This requires help for the younger ages (2-3), but is an easy 1-player activity for those 4+! There are plenty teaching opportunities with shapes and colors during the early years. With over a dozen patterns to chose from, this magnetic board has provided our family with ample quiet time.
Qbitz Jr: A new addition to our collection this year, which can be played with 1-4 people. This puzzle game focuses more on visual and spatial awareness, alone with patterns and shapes. With 60 pattern cards, I’ve seen this one hold attention for a solid 30 minutes. This is also a great one to pack up and take on the road or to an appointment.
I mentioned a few games we like to take with us out of the house, and while maybe some mamas carry bags big enough to hold board games, I am not one of those. We bought these bags on Amazon and keep almost all of our puzzles and games in these for easy to pick up and go, and also no more broken boxes!
What are some games you would add to the list?!
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