Like many families, we make a conscious effort to spend time with each other and enjoy each other's company. One of our favorite things to do together is play a good family game. It brings out our competitiveness, teaches us to play fair, and helps the kids learn to experience victory and defeat gracefully. (Trust me, that last bit is a work in progress!) The games we play most often take from 20-30 minutes; none of them are over an hour. I expect that will change a bit as our kids mature, but right now we know our limits. At ages 6 and almost-9, they are capable of a lot, but are still working on patience. The toddler just sits on our laps and plays with the extra pieces.
In no particular order, here are some of our favorite games to play as a family:
- Carcassonne - my kids refer to this as "the map-building game." They really enjoy laying out the tiles to make roads and cities. We started playing this in teams, so that they could participate before they really understood all the rules.
- Forbidden Desert - I purchased this game on a whim based on the ratings on Amazon. It has become one of our favorites! It is a cooperative game; all of the players work together to make it out of the desert after a plane crash. There is strategy involved as well as a degree of luck; the rules are pretty simple but the task is quite difficult! Because it is a cooperative game, we make sure that everyone in the family gets to express their opinions of what our strategy should be.
- Qwirkle - this game is rated for ages 6 and up, but I know my kids enjoyed it when younger than 6. It involves matching attributes of blocks and lining them up to score points. In addition to being fun, it helps the kids learn how to reason through and eliminate options that won't work.
- Uno - a classic, quick pick-up game; we love Uno when we want to play for fifteen minutes or so without a lot of fuss. The kids know the rules pretty well. We never keep score; actually, I have never learned to keep score in Uno!
- Ticket to Ride - the longest game on our list, it is also the most challenging. Our 6 year old can't quite handle it on his own yet, but he can work with Mom or Dad and enjoy it. We have the original U.S. version as a board game, but I have my eye on some of the different versions. The Heart of Africa expansion pack would be perfect for this year, since we will be studying the geography of Africa in Classical Conversations this year!
What games are favorites at your house?
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