Favorite Games for the Whole Family

FAVORITE GAMES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY We kind of sort of love games in our house – it started with each of us coming from game-loving families, continued through a collection of games for two players for inexpensive at-home date nights, grew into game nights with friends and is now something we enjoy with our own two boys {age 5 and 6.}

games for kidsA lot of our games are waiting for our boys to grow into, and a few of the kid-games you see on the shelf have not yet been played, but were passed on by friends that highly recommended them. So I can’t personally vouch for everything you see in the above picture, however these are the games that survived when I recently did a game-purge. {and excuse the dust on the floor. I collect it.}

I have been meaning to share a few favorite games, and when a few people asked, it was just the motivation to get this done! All of these games are ones the boys can play together, without parental involvement. But they are also all games that we enjoy playing with them. {in other words :: these are the games that don’t make me want to pull my hair out.}


Favorite Games for the Whole Family


DSC_4332Perfection :: this is an old game everyone probably played themselves as kids. It is a race against the timer to get the shapes into the correct box before it’s too late. It is great for reinforcing shapes, and a simple to play game. The boys are very likely to pick this one up and play together.

DSC_4341Guess Where? :: A fun twist on the classic game Guess Who? {which we also enjoy} This one has you placing family members throughout a house, and you need to guess where your opponent has placed their people with “yes or no” questions. The boys are also very likely to pick this one up to play against each other.

DSC_4335Spot it! :: I cannot wrap my head around this game. {and, if I were to suggest just ONE game to buy this would be it.} You get 55 circular cards, each one having something matching on any other random card. You have to spot your identical object before anyone else. At first we could easily beat the boys. Now, not so much. It’s tricky! And really fun. It packs up easily and I often keep it in my purse for spontaneous game playing. 

games for the whole familyStory Cubes :: We love story telling and improv activities and rhymes and silly things like that and while these story dice are intended to inspire the imagination, they don’t quite do that for us; they teach the boys how to stay focused with their story telling. It’s a good thing, and I love what these add to their creative process. We have used these in so many ways. Basically you roll the dice and then tell a story based on what you roll – so many fun ways to adapt this to your own family and needs! {If I had to add one more game to the ONE game I would recommend, this would be squeezed in with the game above!} This is another game that is often found in my purse and strangers have stopped to ask about it when they have seen us playing it and laughing over it.

DSC_4337Lucky Sock Dip :: This is like Memory for the ADD person. You are trying to match socks {all of which are very similar to each other} and collect 5 pairs first. We adapt for adult/child play by allowing the kids two hands and the parents can only use one hand. Way better than a monotonous game of Memory. But if you enjoy Memory, than this is probably not your game. 

DSC_4339Uno :: Another classic, old game but one that really gives opportunity for the kids to do well AND teaches great number/color coordination. I really like playing this with the boys.

DSC_4340Pirate Plank :: I was genuinely surprised by the fact that I actually like this game! It is a strategy type game that gives you the opportunity to choose between a couple choices each time you roll, which at first the boys had trouble keeping straight but now they seem to have it down. I find it fun to play!

DSC_4342Minotaurus :: This was our first introduction to Lego games and it is another fun intro-strategy game that I enjoy playing with the boys. It takes a bit longer to play than the Pirate Plank game, and the dice has more options on it that you need to remember. But again, the boys eventually picked up on the more detailed parts of the game and they play either one of these Lego games on their own at times when we can’t play with them.


I highly recommend checking second hand stores for games – especially in January when people are passing on the Christmas gifts they didn’t like and stores are donating their excess inventory. This is the main way we have built our game collection. Games also make their appearance every birthday and Christmas.

 

Jessica Lynette

5 Comments

  1. I love Perfection and Spot it! We have been playing Uno Moo, Curious George matching, and Cootie with EJ a lot lately! Can’t wait to try out some new games as he gets older…there are a few from your list that look like so much fun!

  2. I see some of my favorites up there…Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Wooly Bully, Bonanza, Setters of Catan!

  3. I have been looking at those lego games and wondering if they were actually any good – thanks for the tips! we love games too and are excited that the boys are getting old enough to play without getting upset every time someone else is winning:) I had completely forgotten about Perfection! I loved that game and will have to add it to our Christmas list.

    Right now the one they pull out when I am busy is Angry Birds – although it isn’t my favourite to play, they really like building the different structures shown on the cards to knock down and they are getting pretty good at it. Their fine motor skills have improved as well as their willingness to let people knock their stuff down.

    A family favourite that I don’t think I saw up there is Qwirkle. We love playing that as a family and it has been great to see their ability to plan moves ahead and use strategy improve.

What do you think?