Family Game Night

Once upon a time, my job was to help create educational materials for both children and parents (and "community stakeholders"). Part of that research-based work was encouraging families to spend time together, particularly having a regular family dinner time. It's supposed to be very healthy for family relationships!

Now that I have a family of my own, we try to sit down together for dinner as often as we can. On top of that, in the past year we've also started a regular Family Game Night. Every Friday after dinner we play something--sometimes two of us, sometimes three, sometimes all four. It's something to look forward to all week!

I cleaned out a closet shelf above our puzzles & activity books to create a games shelf.

One of our newest games purchased on a special trip to FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue. This is Chutes & Ladders, the My Little Pony edition. Besides the usual chutes and ladders, there are also rainbows that can lead you even higher up if you're lucky.

I adore this vintage game, it's a cooperative one with Eat-Locally-Think-Globally values called Back to the Farm. We got our first edition back in the 80s so it's part of my own childhood. I took it to college and lost it to basement apartment flooding, but my mother got me a replacement (yay! Thank you!). Now my kids love it!

Guess Who? is for two people (or two teams). You each pick a secret item and then answer yes/no questions about its characteristics. You flip down the doors to eliminate possibilities until you figure out the other person's choice. We also found it's easy to make your own cards that fit into the holders.

Another favorite from my own childhood: Boggle. Our eight-year-old is now sophisticated enough to get into finding words. We use the iPad as our timer since our set only has the cubes/shaker. That's my photobombing beer there.

Trouble is a new one for me, but seems similar to Parcheesi. I like the satisfying gesture and sound of pressing the bubble in the middle to roll the die.

Junior Monopoly is great! It goes MUCH faster than regular Monopoly, but has the same features of amassing cash and real estate. I think it's just as satisfying as the adult version.

This was a Christmas gift (Thanks, Uncle J and Aunt G!), and we love it already! It's called Wildcraft! and it's another cooperative game. The premise is you travel up the mountain path to collect huckleberries (the blue chips in the center), and you encounter problems and harvest herbs to solve those problems as you go. Besides learning some basic herbalism, there is a lot about helping others and even tracking the motion of the sun throughout your journey!


This one is Feed the Kitty, a seemingly simple game of dice where one's luck can change in a moment. You never know who is going to come out on top—particularly with four players!

We have other favorites too, including Zingo (like Bingo but with images that emerge from a "shoe" and you try to grab them before others do), Blind Spell (you are given a word and blindfolded, then handed letters that make up that word plus a few extra; you have to spell the word by feel and identify the extras before the timer rings) and Busytown: Eye Found It (Richard Scarry!!!! Goldbug!!! Awesomeness!!!).

What games do you love? Do you play anything regularly?

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