Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Family Games

Angela at Homegrown Mom is hosting a blog roundup of Family Fun Night ideas. I'll be the first to admit that my efforts in that department aren't going to win any creativity awards, but I thought I'd share a few of our favorite family games. It ain't easy, pleasing a six-year age spread. But bravely we soldier on, determined to HAVE FUN AND BOND.

1. Don't Eat Pete!
   You can download this game for FREE, y'all, and print it out for hours of rowdy enjoyment. Yup, I said "free." God bless the lady at Sparkle Power.

2. Harvest Time and  Secret Door
   I'm listing these two together because they're brainchildren of the same company, Family Pastimes, and -- here's the kicker -- they're what's known as cooperative games. As in, everyone works together toward a common goal. As in, no one loses. As in, no tears and no drama. Hooray.

3. Apples to Apples Junior - The Game of Crazy Comparisons!
   Great for a group, ideally of four or more. My oldest child tends to eschew games of strategy in favor of more verbal, open-ended options like this one (if you know him, you're not shocked). And whaddya know, so do I! We sometimes get this one out to play around the dinner table, and refrain from pointing out that they're learning the difference between adjectives and nouns. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

4. ThinkFun Zingo!
   Like Bingo, but with a zippy little gadget. No reading required; one of the few that's equally fun for all the ages that comprise our offspring.

5.  Somebody Board Game
   It feels funny to include this one, since it's really more "educational" than recreational, I suppose, but all I have to say is, we ALL had the giggles about the pancreas the other night. Eventually the pancreas sang them off to their bedtime routines, which was deemed totally hilarious. I guess you had to be there.

6. You've Been Sentenced!
   Ian's current favorite. See item #3 for a description of his taste. More fun if you're flexible on what constitutes a logical sentence. Also, more fun if you can read -- unless you team up with an adult. Still, more fun if you can read.

7.  Snorta
    Don't even think about maintaining your dignity while you play this. You're going to be making barnyard noises, and there's just no way out of it. Your kids will laugh at you, and is there any more important ingredient for a Family Fun Night? (Good for a range of ages because younger ones can play at a slightly easier level.)

8. Wig Out!
   Fun. Quick. Cheap. I rest my case.

Do you have any favorite games in your family? I'd love to hear more suggestions!


Kristin said...

We love Apples to Apples Jr. and Zingo. One of the kids' (2@9yo) favorite games is "The Original Dinner Games" www.familydinnergames.com. You draw a card and follow the instructions. Some examples of the cards are..."Animal Zoo": Go around the table naming animals that start with A, B, C, etc. "Who Wore What": Everyone tries to guess who wore what clothing yesterday. "The Last Bite": Pass a small bowl of edibles such as raisins, baby carrots, grapes etc. Each person takes on piece, whoever gets the last piece wins. Or, the last person to eat gets to clean off the table. The kids ask to play this just about every night. We have started to reserve it for one night a week as a reward for good manners the other nights. A good variety of games that work for lots of ages.

Stephanie said...

We really like Apples to Apples, too. But I should probably invest in the Jr. version since I end up spending some time at the beginning filtering out inappropriate cards and time during gameplay trying to explain my daughter's cards to her ("The industrial revolution was ...")

We also like chicken foot (dominoes). The kids actually like Scrabble, but we have to be sure to keep the pace moving or they get bored. Recently we pulled out the old Pictionary game, which everyone liked, although we had to modify the rules and just played it our own way. This is fun if you have a dry erase board. We haven't played Uno in a while, but everyone likes that one, too.

I don't think we keep score in any of our games, except for Scrabble maybe.

Tamara said...

I really appreciate these ideas! They all sound great. I was especially interested in the cooperative play games--I'd never heard of such a thing. Thanks for the post :) (And thanks to the commenters for additional ideas.)

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