So, sometimes it rains, and rains, and rains some more. Those times call for indoor entertainment. In my house, that usually means extra TV and screen time, but eventually that gets old too. We try to get the kids together and play games. I have always loved board games. I grew up playing Life, Monopoly, Pay Day, Chinese Checkers, and the list goes on. My husband’s family likes card games. Their favorites include Rook and a newer one called Five Crowns. He isn’t crazy about long drawn out board games, and I am not a huge fan of card games of any kind. When you add our kids to the mix, it gets more complicated to choose something to play because of course they have their own opinions when it comes to games. My son has to be winning at all times or he gets angry and his determination can be a bit over the top. My daughter has to feel like she is winning or she just walks away from the table and declares that she is done playing. If we aren’t aren’t careful, we have tears on our hands before we even really get started. Over the years, we have discovered some games that work really well for our family. I will share them here in hopes that others will find the list helpful.
Family Game Night
*Ninjago The Board Game – This is a Lego game that we absolutely love! The best part about it is that everyone playing is a team. Everyone either wins together or loses together. It’s perfect for our kids because it takes that competition against each other out of the picture.
*Toy Story Yahtzee Jr. – This game comes in lots of different themes, we just happened to get ours during the Toy Story 3 craze. I am sure they are all pretty much the same. It is great for young kids because there is no reading and it is over very quickly. Each person has 5 turns and then the scores are added. That’s it! Game over. It’s great for short attention spans and for kids that can’t stand knowing that they are losing for many many rounds.
*Star Wars Trouble – Again, this game comes in several themes. We got this one as a gift before my son was a huge Star Wars fan and enjoyed it from the start. Even though it can take a while to play, since people are always getting sent back to start, the best thing is that even though it looks like you are losing terribly, you can still come back and win. It literally isn’t over until the very end. Someone can have 3 pieces in home base before someone else even gets a piece off of start and still end up losing.
*Apples to Apples Disney Edition – This one won’t be for everyone. If your family isn’t familiar with the Disney movies, this isn’t the right game for you. My sister-in-law gave us this game one year, and it has been one of the funniest games we have every played. There is a reading element to it, but even young kids can play it without reading successfully since they can go by the pictures. (Please note: The regular edition doesn’t have pictures and would not be suitable for children that do not read.) The judge draws a card with a word on it and each player picks the card they have in hand that best matches that card. So if the judge draws the card Silly, you pick your silliest card. The judge decides which card is the silliest and the person that played the card gets a point. My daughter was playing this game at 3 and winning almost every round! It will have everyone laughing from the very start!
*Uno Roboto – This game was another gift to our family and has been a pleasant surprise. It isn’t one we would have picked up for ourselves because as my husband said the other night, “who would think you needed a robot toy to be able to play a simple card game like Uno?” The robot actually adds a lot to the game and keeps it interesting for younger players. For example, he will randomly tell 2 players to trade all their cards. Bingo! There goes that feeling that you are losing. You never know what he will say, therefore it is always possible for anyone to win, no matter how bad it looks like you are doing. As an added bonus, you frequently get to rename another player and of course that can get hilarious with my kids!
*Blokus – This game is for the older crowd. It doesn’t require reading, but does require some higher level thinking. My daughter did well with it starting at 7. I wouldn’t recommend it for the preschool crowd though. The best thing about this one is that it is completely different than your typical board game. There is no rolling dice, spinning a spinner, or moving your game piece a certain amount of spaces. It is a spatial reasoning game. Each player takes turns putting a game piece on the board and trying to block the other players from being able to put any pieces down. It is a game of skill and thought. If you don’t like games of chance, you should give this one a try!
Please comment and share your favorite family games. We can always add new ones to our list. Happy Gaming!