Classic games for family time

Family Time Games

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest toy craze, to hunt for that “must have” gift. During the holidays, we are often bombarded with Holiday Toy Lists and Hot Toys of the Year. We are told what toys are popular and which will be the hardest to find, so buy it now.

But in my opinion, board games and card games are still the best family time activities – better than movies and video games, where we stare at the screen instead of pay attention to each other.

So I wanted to share some of the all-time favorite games that my family enjoys. There are no flashing lights, CGI, or robots, but these games don’t need it.

* Chutes and Ladders (preschool). I remember playing it when I was a kid, and I introduced it to my son. Even as an adult, I chant the number I need to roll to reach a ladder or avoid a chute. The game is pure luck, and not really competing against other players – you’re racing against the game to avoid the chutes and land on the ladders.

* Uno. In our family, it was Cars® Uno, a Crazy-8s card game on steroids. My son loved the bright colors, the quick-changing cards, and collected wildcards (he hoarded them like gold). You have to pay attention to the game, with all the color changes, reversals, and skip turns.

* Spot It. This is a wonderfully clever and ingenious card game that I discovered when my son was in elementary school. It really is mind-boggling. Every card has exactly ONE picture match with every other card in the deck. Our family played a lot of Spot It, including the “On the Road” and “Words” (with Disney® Pixar® words and characters) versions. We play tough – you have to say the matched object out loud (no finger-pointing allowed).

* Monopoly. We started with Cars® Monopoly, spinning for race car “properties,” but now we’re hooked on the classic Hawaii Edition, with properties like Ala Moana Center, Aloha Airlines, and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It’s about strategic buying, deal-making, and the strange realization that jail is often the safest place to be when the board is filled with houses and hotels.

* Chess. Technically, this is not one my favorite games, but my husband and son really enjoy it. And I enjoy reading a good book while they play.

Shh, don’t tell: for the holidays, I’m going to introduce Would You Rather?, a card game that asks you to choose between two options. There’s no changing the question or qualifying the answer. For parents with young children, The Measured Mom came up with her own “Would You Rather Question Cards” that is free and downloadable for personal and classroom use.

What toys did you play with as a kid? What toys do you enjoy playing with kids?

 

Clipart from MyCuteGraphics.com.

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