During the school year, it seems like everybody is on a tighter schedule. Between school, sports practices, and work it can be difficult to get the whole family together for some quality time. That's why game nights are great. They provide a family with the chance to get together, laugh, bond, and be engaged in something that stretches the mind... no matter how old or young you are!
There's no secret that some of the best games to play on family game night are the classics. For example, Candy Land, Monopoly, Life, cards, or Chutes and Ladders are always crowd pleasers. However, it may be time to put those back in the closet, (at least for a little while) and check out some new games: games that are equally as fun to play! The following selection also provides some great options for toddlers!
5 games to add to your next family game night:
1. eeBoo Color Go Fish Playing Cards (Ages 2+)
This game is great if you're looking for something your toddlers can be involved in! Instead of using numbers like Go Fish normally does, it uses colors, but still helps them practice counting skills. Therefore, it is easy for your little ones to understand and gets them thinking! It requires no reading and helps with their color recognition. As the kids get a bit older, this game will remain a popular choice among them, especially if they want to play a game without the help of parents.
2.Spot-It (Ages 4+)
This award winning game is fun for the entire family! The game focuses on visual perception and speed. Similar to eeBoo Go Fish, there is no reading involved, so your little ones, who aren't the strongest readers yet, can play too!
Between any two cards there is only one matching symbol. The goal of the game is to be the first to call out the match on a pair of cards and call out the name of what it is. It's lighthearted and introduces friendly competition without getting too heated for those kids who love to win.
Another big plus about this game is that it's small and travel-friendly; great to take anywhere and keep the kids entertained!
3. Qwirkle (Ages 5+)
Another best-seller, Qwirkle, is great for color, shape, and pattern recognition. It introduces critical thinking and a bit of strategic thinking. It will help your kids begin to think ahead and be a little more tactical in game playing. With these benefits, one would think the game would be complicated, but it's simple! It takes a short time to explain, so anyone can jump in and play! Just build lines by matching either colors or shapes. It's the ability to build complex combinations that will challenge your kids and keep them engaged.
4. Ticket to Ride (Ages 8+)
For the kids that are a little older, Ticket to Ride offers loads of fun and challenges. Players of the game collect and play matching train cards to build routes connecting cities all across North America. The goal is to make the longest routes to get more points. Bonus points are available to players who connect distant cities or build the longest continuous railroad. Qwirkle lovers will love Ticket to Ride as they get older, and are looking for a bigger strategic challenge. Similar to Qwirkle, it can be picked up very quickly and is fun for the whole family!
5. Apples to Apples Jr. (Ages 9+)
Apples to Apples is a classic. For those who haven't heard, this game will get your family giggling. The "Game of Crazy Comparisons" asks players to submit one of 7 cards in their hand (all random nouns) that most closely pairs with the adjective at play. The players rotate as being judge and choose which noun they like the best! The combinations end up being hilarious for any age to enjoy! The winner of the round gets to keep the adjective card. The player with the most adjectives in the end wins!It pushes kids to start playing with words and wit.
Apples to Apples Jr. version has nouns that would be more familiar to your little ones, such as Sesame St. characters and their favorite restaurants.
So get the family together, and pick a night that works for everybody! You can make it a habit, or switch it up every week. Your kids will be mentally challenged, you will bond as a family, and not to mention you'll have loads of fun doing it.