This past week I asked my son what he was looking most forward to during the Christmas break. He said “Skiing”, and “I hope Santa brings us a new board game”. Getting a new game on Christmas has become one of our Holiday traditions and I was thrilled to hear that he was looking forward to enjoying that time together as a family.
Since the holidays are perfect for breaking out some raucous cold weather entertainment, I thought I would share a few of our favorites over the years.
Probably the most requested and played game we own is Ticket to Ride. With elegantly simple game play, the game is very easy to learn. Recommended ages are 8 and up and 2-5 players can play at one time so it is perfect for our family. As we’ve played this over the years we’ve loved that the game can grow with the ages of your children. Older players enjoy more strategic and tactical decisions every turn. An award-winning game that lives up to the hype.
Blokus is another favorite. It appealed to our kids when they were as young as 5, and to my husband and I as well. There aren’t a lot of games that can span that age gap (believe me!)
Blokus is strategic, competitive, and really fun. My husband and son play to block their opponents, my girls and I play to keep our options open. Does this say anything about Mars vs. Venus?
Either way you play, this is an addicting game. The only drawback is you can only have up to 4 players, so someone always has to sit out…usually a parent.
Sleeping Queens is another family favorite. Take one look at the box and you might think this game only appeals to the feminine members of my family. Not so. My husband and son enjoy it just as much as the girls. Playing this game, you might be amazed that it was invented by a 6 year old girl! I am. It is clever and fun and one of our first choices for many a game night. It can be played with 2 to 5 players which is perfect for our family.
We’ve loved playing Qwirkle. Game play is sort of like dominoes… or Scrabble, but Qwirkle can be played and enjoyed by young and old.
Last December I walked in the door after a looooong day of working with my mom to see my husband and kiddos sitting in a circle looking like the photo above.
I had been up and out the door at 5:00 am and it was now 6:30 pm. I took one look at my family and laughed myself silly. They were playing the game Hedbanz, a gift that had just been delivered that evening from a friend.
That’s not the first time I’ve laughed hard while playing Hedbanz. Our family loves to play. The object of the game is to stick a card in your headband without looking at it, then ask questions to help you guess what you are before the sand timer runs out. The first person that guesses three cards wins the game. The cards are objects, food or animals. Playing with kids can get interesting when you are something like a hamburger and ask “Am I an animal?” and they all say yes… you can spend a lot of time not realizing that you were an animal.
We received Bananagrams as a gift and love it. It’s a crossword game where each player is racing to use up all their tiles to win the game. I love that even younger kids (beginning spellers) can play (though not competitively with an adult) and it really helps their spelling skills as well as strategy. It comes in the small and handy banana bag you see, which means it’s a perfect game to take on vacation. We spent some fun evenings playing it at our family’s Ranch vacation this past summer.
Quiddler is awesome. Our kids have finally got the hang of it. It’s still enough of a challenge though, that its not usually their first pick to play.
The object is to use all the letter cards in your hand to create words. Each card has a point value that gets added if it’s used in a word and subtracted if it doesn’t. Each round you receive one more card and the game gets more interesting.
If you have older children, say 11 and up, or want a game to play with adults, I highly recommend Quiddler.
I know time is short, but we are looking for a great new game this year. Any ideas??