It’s December, so it’s time for The Playful Parent’s annual event!  For the past three years The Playful Parent has held an Elf Workshop to promote learning through play. This year the Elf Workshop will be held virtually with an awesome Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway and a community wide Christmas Eve Jingle! Starting December 1st The Playful Parent will host a fun giveaway in which a different board game with be featured and given away to one lucky winner from December 1st – 12th.  From the 13th until Christmas eve we will sponsor a photo contest, share craft projects, and provide resources to spread holiday cheer. The event will end with a big community connection on December 24 at 6pm; families are invited to join where ever you are to go outside and ring bells and make joyful noise for two minutes. Please join the Christmas Eve Jingle in SOMD event page on Facebook to stay connected and have lots of fun.


I’m sure you are wondering why I have chosen to feature board games this year? For starters you should know, I may be a little biased since our family is a bunch of board game nerds. We have an entire wall filled with over 200 games (no joke!) A big reason I decided to share about board games is due to the increased time at home and the cold weather bringing in cabin fever. Board games are a great solution for filling the time with something fun. Family board game nights are a great way to bond and make fond memories. Not to mention, board games help with social skills such as turn taking and good sportsmanship. Which I might add, is great for working on sibling rivalry. Also, depending on the board game you are secretly helping your kids work on a variety of skills such as; color identification, math skills, reading, problem solving, etc.  I highly recommend the games listed in this article and the previous article I wrote on The Best Strategy Games for Kids. As you can see board games are a great option for gift giving this year.


I want to take a moment to the thank our sponsors. These amazing companies donated board games in order to make this program a success. Instilling a love of learning is of great importance;  these toy companies were hand selected because they believe in the power of play. Each company listed does a remarkable job at providing entertaining toys that aren’t only fun but are educational too! The goal of the annual Elf Workshop is to help parent’s invest in toys and games that help their children play, learn and grow! Each partner sent a copy of their game to not only share in this article but to giveaway as prizes. Let’s give them a huge round of applause.

I love Think Fun games because they promote family bonding and provide hours of endless fun! We own a closet full of board games for kids ages 1 to 100 and we own and love a lot of Think Fun games. Anytime we host a board game night in the community, you can bet we will have a copy of Cow Snatchers, Dog Crimes and Code Master in tow. We are excited to add to our collection and giveaway a copy of My First Rush Hours and Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle.

I could go on and on about Marvel Battleworld by Funko. This is hands down my kids favorite game to play as of late. Funko has done an amazing job with combining collectibles with gaming with this new game. In this epic game, Thanos has created a new world, The Battleworld. This planet assembles some of Marvel’s greatest heroes in the ultimate face-off. Battleworld features 30 collectible mini pieces that are used in the game. I can’t wait to giveway of a copy of this game, its sure to be a big hit.

Play Monster is an award-winning creator, manufacturer and distributor of fun toys. They have been awarded as a the Best Toy Finalist for 2021 for Snaps Ships which my boys love playing with on a daily basis. We are excited that Play Monster sent Trailz to test out and giveaway!

It isn’t hard to see how Educational Insights was voted by the kids at the 2018 Elf Workshop as the number one toy company of the year! Educational Insights makes toys fueled by kid-powered play! Educational Insights toys inspire creativity, imagination, good sportsmanship, and out-of-the-box learning. I could go on and on about all our favorite toys by Educational Insights; Design & DrillGeosafari Jr Talking Globe and The Sneaky, Snack Squirrel game are at the top of the list. This year they sent  Pete The Cat- I Love My Button.

It’s easy to see how Learning Resources was voted number at 2019 Elf Workshop; Learning Resources is know for making innovative, hands-on educational toys that are trusted by teachers and parents and loved by children. I could go on and on about Learning Resources for days. This is hands down one of my most favorite toy companies. My boys love Beaker Creatures and Botley the Coding Robot. The Playful Parent and Learning Resources agree on the importance of the power of play. “Kids learn by doing, which is why toys and games are the perfect tools for teaching. Educational toys and games allow children to wonder, discover, and explore the world around them through play.”- Learning Resources. This year we are excited to add Slam Ships to the collection.

We love Thames & Kosmos Games because they make some of those most creative and fun strategy games! Those with older kids in the household will really find these games to be entertaining. Anytime we host a board game night in the community, you can bet we will have a Ubongo or Zeus and Hera. To add to the shelf and giveaway this year they have sent Exit-the-Game.

The Playful Parent is a HUGE fan of iello and their sister company Loki because they make games that are high quality and very durable. These family friendly games are awesome strategy games that allow families with kids of different age ranges to play together. In our collection we have Zombie Kidz and SOS Dino which are both cooperative games and Farmini and Fairy Tile. We are excited to learn how to play and giveaway King of Tokyo Dark.

Ravensburger games are a classic in house. There moto “Enjoyment. Education. Togetherness. Since 1883,” truly explains what their games are all about. Some of the best games we’ve played are by this famous and fabulous company. Villainous is wicked fun but we also enjoy El Dorado. I’m super excited they were able to send us three new games: Villainous-Marvel, Magna-Tile Treasure Hunt and Strike!

HABA toys and games are a staple in our home. HABA’s company philosophy is based on one simple principle: Children are the most important things in life. Haba understands the importance of instilling fundamental values through play and create toys that aid in the healthy development of kids and inspire creativity from the first day on. You may or may not recognize their name right away but I can bet you’ve played with their toys. They are popular for their wooden blocks and baby toys. We also love their board games and are excited to play and giveaway Hedgehog Haberdash.

After visiting Smart Games booth at Toy Fair this year, I couldn’t be more excited to add them as a partner to our holiday article. Their games go hand in hand with The Playful Parents initiative to promote learning through play. They sent us two copies of Froggit to add to our board game collection. I can’t wait to share this one at board game nights in the community hopefully some day soon!

Thanks to the partnership between Tryazon and Spin Master we were sent the popular toy Bakugan to share about and host a giveaway for. Both my boys love all things Bakugan…the show, the collectables, the imaginative play and yes even tournament challenges. At first glance Bakugan look like little action figures for imaginative play. However, these collectibles are also used to play a fun game called Bakugan Brawl! Visit their site to learn more and details on how to play. I think the school aged kids follow the giveaway will be most excited about this one!

****Thank you sponsors for donating all 12 games. The Playful Parent is a 501(c)(3) and writes reviews and hosts giveaway to promote learning through play. The Playful Parent is not paid to work with companies and shares information with a non-biased opinion. All content and photos are property of The Playful Parent and may not be used without permission.***