Monday, November 21, 2016

Games for the Whole Family

Last night we had a comfy Sunday evening at home. We didn't have church and because of our coughs (which have been hanging on for Weeks) we decided to not make any other plans.

Our lovely fall weather abruptly changed to freezing temperatures and howling winds this weekend, and Ed started a fire in the fireplace. We got out hymn books and enjoyed singing (until the coughing made us curtail that activity), read out loud (but that is hard to do coughing too), and enjoyed some games.

It reminded me how much I enjoy winter evenings. Our family loves outdoor activities like hiking and biking, but there is something special about indoor activities on cold winter evenings.

My mother-in-law has blessed us with some great games for our children's birthdays. In case you are looking for some new family games, here is a list of some of our favorites, starting with the very easiest to play and moving to harder games.

Can You See What I See?
This is a current favorite of our two-year-old. The bright cards are irresistible.

Too Many Monkeys
I think all of our five-year-olds have went through a stage that this was their favorite game. It can be played by non-readers, but a little more challenging than Uno.

Another game that non-readers can play but appeals to all ages. This might be my favorite on the list. There is just enough variety to each game to keep it interesting yet it isn't too mind stretching for a weary, side-tracked mom.

Dutch Blitz
Ed teaches my children the classic games such as checkers, Monopoly, chess, and scrabble. I'm glad he does because I'm too hyper to enjoy games of strategy. Dutch Blitz has been my favorite for years because you don't need to take turns. Everyone lays out cards at the same time.

Another game that is fun for all ages. We have the travel version that is played by only two people, but there are many other versions.

Apples to Apples
My oldest daughter's favorite. A game of crazy comparisons.

Sometimes the old games are the best. Rummikub is a current family favorite. Create sets and runs with tiles, then build on the other players' tiles. Fast moving enough for even me.

Describe a word, without using a list of words. This one is difficult for those like me who talk without thinking, but good practice in communication skills.

What games are your family playing?

(This post contains affiliate links.)


  1. We love rummikub and Dutch Blitz as well. Have you seen Spot It? I prefer the camping version and there is also a junior version. I don't really like some of the symbols on the regular version (eg. skulls). It is fast paced and also only takes a few minutes per round (you can do many rounds or just one or a few). My youngest likes the game Loto, its great for very young children but my older children like playing it with her. We also like Yahtzee for the older ones and adults.

    1. I've seen Spot It but we don't own it.Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Oh and our children have also enjoyed "feed the kitty" for non-readers.

  3. I'll have to look for Dutch Blitz and Qwirkle, sounds fun. Here, Ds loves Clue and a similar game, 13 Dead End Drive, Monopoly, and Life.
    We also have Sequence, checkers, battleship, Kings in the Corner, Racko, Sorry, and connect 4.

    We love playing games together, good times for dark, cold nights.

  4. Rummikub is one of my mom's favorite games, we played it often when we all lived at home. My husband I love to play Yahtzee. We even found a vintage set for Word Yahtzee, both games are great fun.

  5. Thanks for this list - I'm not familiar with all of them.

    My big kids (ages 8 and 11) are really into Monopoly right now because they are learning how to handle money in real life. Also Mastermind, which is excellent for logic skills.

  6. oh - and Rack-o with great-grandpa is a favorite. I love Rack-o, too. I'm also looking forward to playing Boggle with them in a few years.

    1. I loved playing Rack-o at my grandparent's house and when my Grandma died I asked if I could have her game for a memory.

  7. Have you ever played "fast" Rummicube? So much faster and more fun. You don't take turns, everyone just plays at the same time! You still have to have the correct amount to be able to start. If you can't go, you draw until you can - at the beginning and throughout the game. We very rarely play regular Rummicube any more! 😄

    1. That sounds like a variation that I would love!
      Thanks, Gina

  8. I had several suggestions until I remembered that you have some very young children who might be tempted to eat small game parts. So I thought maybe Twister would work, if you have the room. It can be fun for lively children. There's also the old-fashioned game, charades, and all you need are paper and pencils. Back when the Limbo was a popular dance, I taught it to my siblings. They enjoyed it, although they didn't use music. You need just a pole and two people to hold it; participants can take turns doing that. The players take turns walking under the pole, which the pole-holders lower a little more after the others pass beneath. Players have to stay face up, bending further backward for each pass as the pole lowers. Little ones go through face up or they bend and crawl; they just seem to like being part of things. It's very simple. The person who can pass under the pole without falling when no one else can get that low is the winner.
    p.s. - - The folks in our household have coughs, too. It must be that time of year.

  9. Our favorite older games...board and card

    MONOPOLY various versions
    PHASE 10

    Favorite newer games...board and card

    SPLENDOR (this is my favorite)

  10. Great list! Thank you!

  11. Monopoly Deal has become a favorite of ours. It can be played in 15 min. Also the farming game. But be prepared to stay up late. It can go on & on & on. But it can be fun. Evening of playing games & eating popcorn make such good memories! God bless you, Gina!

  12. I'm loving all your ideas! You are reminding me of some games that I played as a child that I need to introduce to my children!

  13. Have you tried Pass the Pigs? It's fun but can go slow, although we recently saw a multi player set, that has several different colored sets of pigs, don't know how that works though. Of course, Dutch Blitz is my all time favorite but the men in our family don't enjoy it so the girls and I rarely play it. Othello is another good strategy game for 2 players. Our girls also liked noisy things like Ker Plunk, Don't Break the Ice, Thin Ice, and Jenga. Fun times, I must dig out some of these games (not sure what we kept over the years) to introduce to our granddaughter. Enjoy!

  14. Gina, my husband and daughter always want to play Scrabble but I prefer Boggle because it goes faster! We all like word games... We also play Speed Scrabble (you can google it to get rules; it makes things very fast and chaotic!) and have several old games like Scribbage and Scrabble Crossword Cubes, which we enjoy (they probably work best with similar skill levels, but we have adapted them to encourage younger fingers to join in and spell out words too). - Suz

  15. When I was a child we played taboo and I agree it was hard not to say certain words and then when I was in the youth group we played catch phrase alot and I really like that! Great for groups but I imagine it'd be fun as family also. Thanks for all these ideas!


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