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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Family Game Night

By Tracy S, CSP

Last week, my husband had to work through dinner one evening. As the kids and I were just finishing up our own fancy dinner of Mama Fu’s take out, my son Jake asked me “Mommy, can we play UNO tonight after Ryanne goes to bed?”

“I don’t think you can play with just two people, sweetie.”

“Sure you can! I play with my friend at afterschool all the time. When you play a skip, you just get to go again … and same with a reverse because it comes back to you. And when you play a ‘plus 2’, the other person picks two and you go again!”

“Alright, we’ll give it a try” I say skeptically. After all, he only just learned to play UNO 2 short months ago and can barely even hold all the cards in his little hands. This should be a quick game, I thought to myself.

It was quick all right - two hands into it: Jake - 0, Mom - 180!!! Apparently the kid not only learned how to play UNO, but some strategy as well!

We played for about an hour and he ended up beating my little smarty pants right off me! I appeared to be upset for his benefit, but deep down inside, I was thrilled!

We are finally turning the corner of FUN family game nights! No more Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders (or just Ladders in my husband’s case). We have finally arrived at some REAL games. I remember so often growing up, clearing the dinner table and immediately launching into a heated game of Aggravation … or the marathon Monopoly games on a rainy Saturday afternoon. What a fun family bonding experience. And a great alternative to TV watching!!!

We’ve slowing been expanding our game library - here are a few of our favorites thus far:

Go Fish
Sorry Sliders (kind of like curling for any of you fellow olympic junkies)
Connect Four (I actually can hear the sweet sounds of Matt and Jake playing as I type)
Rush Hour (this is actually a one-person game, but is GREAT for developing thinking skills and its fun to pass back and forth, challenging one another with various set ups)
Bulls-eye Ball (similar to a miniature Skee Ball game)

Zingo (this is a game for smaller kids, but wanted to include it because its such a great one)

Help us build out our game cabinet. What are some of your family faves? Share some of your fun family game night stories too. Happy game night!


jenna said...

We just got a new game for Easter called Doodle Dice. You roll 6 dice and use the shapes to make different pictures that match up with the game cards. My older kids loved it (7,9, and 10) and even my 3 year old twins could join in the action with only a little adult guidance. Great fun for the WHOLE family!!!

RLR said...

We are turning the corner, too, and it's great! We enjoy Blokus, and were introduced to Qwirkle yesterday. Another favorite of mine - which is easily portable - is Pass the Pigs. Its simple enough - two pig 'dice' and a scoring system - and still lots of fun and laughs. Thanks for your suggestions, too - I've wondered about Rush Hour and Othello.

Jill said...

I've recently learned about Toss Up; it's travel size and even my 4-year-old can play it. Mancala is fun, too - younger kids enjoy just moving the marbles around but older kids (and I) can employ some strategy to win. And though I lament the end of "little kid" phase, I must admit I'd much rather play Othello, Checkers, or Crazy Old Fish War with my 7-year-old than, um, Barbies or Polly Pockets with my little one!

Summer said...

our kids are currently loving uno, old maid, scrabble slam, connect four (which my husband refuses to play with me) and good old fashioned checkers. I have tried several times to get them interested in boggle (another of my Favorites) but the shaking of that plastic cube is too loud for me to stomach anymore.

maythi said...

Disney DVD Bingo is great for younger kids (3-6). We got it as a birthday gift and the kids love it. We can even play in the car no long trips. I laminated a few sheets and they mark them off with dry/erase markers.

Anonymous said...

Phase 10 is a great card game as is Quiddler, which reinforces spelling skills. It's kind of like a card version of Scrabble. Scattegories and Taboo are great for older kids.

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