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Since 2006, families have been hopping out of their chairs to unlock a new realm of interactive games on systems like the Nintendo Wii. I’ve discovered that a few innings of baseball is a great way to reconnect with my grandsons. It gives us an ideal chance to catch up with what’s been happening in our lives. At the same time, he’s learning skills ranging from hand-eye coordination to gaming strategies. Besides getting us off the couch, we can play any game we want, whenever we want… no matter what the weather is like! That’s a big plus when winter’s on its way.

There are loads of games and game systems that can educate while they entertain.  Here are some of my favorites –they’ve been kid-tested and grandparent approved!

Draw Something

Remember Pictionary? With the Draw Something app, players can relive their board game days by taking turns sketching images for each other. Pictures are based on a word which the game provides to you – and skill options range from easy to tough. You and your opponent will laugh yourselves silly as you mistakenly interpret each other’s images. With the ability to comment after each round, you’ll get the perfect opportunity to congratulate your grandchild’s creativity!


If you already have a Facebook account, you can use it to play the same classic game of Scrabble that you used to enjoy as a child. Many variations have been created, and can be accessed via great gaming sites like Want to take the game out with you? Scrabble is currently available for the iPhone or iPad, and can be downloaded via Apple’s online app store. If you and your grandkids are both game, why not install a couple of copies and start playing right away?

Scramble with Friends

Alright, here’s the challenge: you get three two-minute rounds to try and make more words than your opponent. Sixteen letters are scrambled atop a grid. The objective is to make the longest and highest scoring words possible.

Want to have a conversation while you’re playing? No problem. This game has a handy built-in chat option. Alternatively, you can always play against people who reside at the same retirement home as you do. It saves you the trouble of having to text each other mid-game.

Recognizing kid friendly games

Seniors have known about the Nintendo Wii for quite some time now. You can already find that particular game system in the rec rooms of retirement homes and seniors’ centers across the country. Praised for their inoffensive software design, Nintendo has a great reputation for offering family-friendly game experiences.

Heading to the mall to purchase games? It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the latest game rating system. These days, games can be rated anywhere from “E for Everyone” to “M for Mature”. Just like the movies we share with the young ones, it’s also important to screen the games we select for our grandkids.

I have fond memories of playing cards and board games with my own grandparents. To this day I appreciate the arithmetic skills I learned in Monopoly, the powers of deduction I tapped into by playing Clue, and how I learned to spell countless words thanks to hour-long games of Scrabble.

By Alice Lucette