100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

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Achieve Quality Family Time with Games

Games are a terrific way to spend time together as a family. Instead of discussing school and business, you can engage with each other on a common goal. Here are a few ways to make game time easier.

  • Games from the Hat- One rainy Fourth of July we voted on various games to play and threw them into a hat. We spent the day pulling games from the hat and enjoying them together.
  • Sticks in a Jar- Pictured below, the sticks have the names of our games on them. This is a creative way to remember all the resources you have to use and the objective way of making sure you use them!

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Preschool Games for Family Fun

There are a lot of games out there for young children. They make a great start into the world of taking turns and playing games together.

  • Moon Balance Game- a fun game of balance using a cylinder blocks on a rocking moon surface
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar- A feed the caterpillar game based on the Eric Carle book
  • Boggle Junior- fun preschool letter and word game
  • All Around Town- A lovely errand running game which makes a great go along for the book The Big Green Pocket Book.
  • Scrabble Junior- Word game for young spellers
  • Don’t Wake Daddy- Just plain fun for moving around the board and taking turns.
  • Silly Faces- Colorforms faces make for a lot of fun
  • Candyland- Need I say more?
  • Chutes & Ladders- Just when you get to the end, you have to start over! This is a great add on gift price.
  • The Ladybug Game- Nice first game for preschoolers
  • Sequence for Kids- An animal themed sequence game for young players
  • Goodnight Moon- Memory game based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown
  • ABC Game- by Eric Carle on letter recognition and sounds
  • Clue, Jr- a young player version of Clue introduces kids to the game play of figuring out the mystery. Each version has a theme that is kinder than the murder mystery of the regular game.
  • Rivers, Road, & Rails- Path laying game for younger and olders, but game play starts at preschool age.

Math Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Games for Kids of All Ages

Parents everywhere get sneaky with math games. What’s not to love? Whether you are practicing computation, strategy, or visual discrimination these games will make it all a fun time.

  • Monopoly Jr- Counting money skills for young players. This one requires no strategy. It’s all in the luck of rolling and landing.
  • Spot It- visual discrimination game
  • The Amazing Labyrinth- Gather all the artifacts by navigating the moving labyrinth board
  • Blokus- Spatial reasoning game for all ages
  • Triominoes- Triangular domino game
  • Dominoes- These come in various configurations with as many as 12 dots on the highest domino. If your kids aren’t playing a game, they can use them to build tracks
  • Monopoly- Classic game of money domination, fun for all
  • Monopoly Empire- Buy brands and win by having the most money
  • Monopoly Millionaire- Great game for teaching place value in large numbers, the first player to one million dollars wins!
  • Monopoly Electronic Banking- Use an ATM card to handle all your money and there’s a machine to keep track of the big sums
  • Math Dice- Roll the dice and use the numbers to come as close you can to the target number. You can use any operation in your skill set so this is a great game for abilities (just not maybe all at once!)
  • Math Dice Jr- Same as the original with larger dice and simpler operation suggestions and a scoring mat
  • Yahtzee- Roll the dice and try to score points as you collect elements of a poker type hand. Great for practicing adding.
  • Zingo 123- Number recognition with two levels of play starting with preschool and going to 5th grade
  • Sumuko- Number tile game based on multiples

Geography Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Geography games are a lot of fun! They are a great way to practice geography skills and facts. The trick is to keep an up to date game. We also love classic games like Where in the World or USA is Carmen Sandiego, but obviously the world edition is behind the times. Which ones are your favorite?

Card Games

These are wonderful for quick games or having games on the go. We keep ours stored in an IKEA box so we don’t have so many individual boxes.

  • Uno- The quintessential family card game. There are MANY forms!
  • Blink- Fast paced visual discrimination game
  • Professor Noggin- Trivia games based on lots of topics
  • Linkology- Card game of relationships based on various topics of science
  • Timeline- See if you can put the events in the order they happened.
  • Set- This is a great math game too for visual perception!
  • Sabateur- You are dwarves trying to get to the gold but there is a player who is secretly the sabateur
  • Monopoly Deal- A fast paced card edition of Monopoly
  • Ziggity- Card game from Cranium
  • Labyrinth- Navigate the labyrinth by laying down cards and collecting the artifacts. Card version of the board game.
  • Waterworks- Lay down pipes to finish the job and try to avoid the leaks to win the game!
  • GeoCards World- Educational world geography game
  • Scrabble Slam- Fast word building game with cards

Dice Games

These games all involve rolling dice as a primary part of the game play. Which ones are your favorites?

General Games

This category holds all the plain old family games we grew up with along with some new games.

  • Sequence- A combination of cards and placing chips
  • Life- Make choices and live a life while going around the board. This game plays a little differently than the one when we were kids. We like the older version best!
  • Jenga- Build a tower and see if you can keep it from falling while removing pegs
  • Forbidden Island- A cooperative game for the whole family
  • Sorry- The classic board rounding race game
  • Trouble- Another board rounding race game with a popping bubble to roll the dice
  • Clue- Solve the mystery! There are several editions of this game, but the classic (or if you can find it, Master Detective) is best.
  • Battleship- Naval War game on a grid, it’s sold in a variety of forms now. I like the one we grew up with.
  • Othello- Turn over more of your color
  • Cadoo- Young family game for all
  • Family Fun- Similar to Cranium for the whole family
  • Stratego- Battle game
  • Cranium- Family edition, fun trivia and stunts for everyone
  • Pictionary- The drawing and guessing game in various editions. We still have two volumes plus a Bible edition from the Pictionary heyday!
  • Trivial Pursuit- Lots of editions to see if you know your stuff. We have a Disney edition, two genus editions, the 20th anniversary edition, and my personal favorite- the 80s edition!

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Word Games

No home is complete with word games! This would be our family’s second favorite category of games. You can’t beat word games for the vocabulary building.

  • Scrabble- Classic crossword building game. We like the Super version with the tile grid lock.
  • You’ve Been Sentenced- Build the best sentences given your cards and earn points.
  • Scattergories- Choose a category and try to think of words that start with the letter you roll that fit the category.
  • Spill & Spell- Cube crossword game
  • Very Silly Sentences- More sentence building
  • Silly Sentences- Sentence building games with picture cards and words
  • Word on the Street, Jr- Word category game using letters
  • Funglish- A word guessing game using only word tiles!
  • Apples to Apples Jr- Making word comparisons, is a great party game. Apples to Apples has much more adult sort of themes in the words to compare, but the Jr seems to be just right even for adults.
  • Boggle- Classic word search game still gets a lot of play at our house!
  • Bananagrams- Compete against players for building your own crossword and using all the tiles you pull. Fast paced and fun for the family

Strategy Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of Ages

This is arguably our favorite game category. We have some classic games we love to play, but our family goes big for the strategy games that take a long time to play.

  • Dominion- Build your kingdom by collecting resources and purchasing land. Short and fun, a family favorite along with its many expansions!
  • 7 Wonders- You lead an ancient civilization from its barbaric roots to a world power
  • Ticket to Ride- Love this game of rail travel by saving tickets and laying down routes
  • 1910 Expansion- Fun expansion with extra tickets for Ticket to Ride
  • Ticket to Ride Europe- Another rail game with a little different play than the USA version
  • 1912 Expansion- Extra set of tickets for Ticket to Ride Europe
  • Merchants & Marauders- Be a merchant or a pirate on the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy. Our family loves this game!
  • Settlers of Catan- Popular game of settling an island and garnering resources.
  • Cities and Knights Expansion- The best expansion set for Settlers of Catan including making larger cities and employing knights
  • Seafarers Expansion- Settlers expansion involving sea travel
  • Traders & Barbarians Expansion- A small expansion for Catan giving you extra resources
  • Munchkin- A little card game of role play. Very humorous if you’ve ever played popular role playing games
  • Axis & Allies- Game of World War II war strategy a lot like RISK
  • RISK- Classic game of world domination
  • Chess- This classic takes only a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master
  • Memoir 44- Short war strategy game based on actual battles
  • Carcasonne- Fun builders game where you settle the countryside, short game play, lots of expansions
  • Mastermind- Mind puzzle game where you guess your opponent’s color sequence

A Note on Junior Games

Play up when you can. Kids grow into (or out of) junior games quickly. The mechanics of many games are easy for preschoolers to get, it’s just strategy that is more difficult and since younger child games don’t have much that’s not a big concern! When it comes to games, I’m looking for the lasting game play. Most junior games just don’t have it. However, having a few around is great to get your game play started when all the kids are young.

Homemade Games

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Some of our kids love to make their own games. How about yours? We like to keep game making supplies on hand for when the mood strikes. Ethan, our 16 year old, has made some really nice games in the past.

  • Game Making Supplies- From Bare Books include all kinds of game boards, pieces, spinners, dice, and money. All are perfect for serious game makers
  • Make a Game Prototype- Did you know you can send away and have a game made more professionally? I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s fun to think about.
  • Game Adventure Box- Have you ever visited any of my Adventure Box posts? This one is all about games!

Would you believe we own all the games I’ve listed here? Actually, we have quite a few more, but many are out of print or no longer available. Perhaps you have some of our favorites like Zooreka, Starfarers of Catan, or the Catan Card Game. Any one of these games will bring hours of family fun to your home.

What are your favorite family games?

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Learning Geography with Atlases

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

I love a good map, don’t you? Ever since I was young, I have always loved to pour over a map- whether they are local or world maps. It’s fun to think about place and people. Even better than just one map is a whole book full of maps! Or many books full of maps of all kinds! Today’s post is all about Learning Geography with Atlases.

Learning Geography with Atlases

As with most things, you can direct learning with an atlas in a formal or informal way. I think it depends on your purpose and the goals you have for teaching geography. We use both approaches in our homeschool. Here are a few examples of resources requiring an atlas.

  • NorthStar Geography- A middle and high school geography course for high school credit. Written by Tyler Hogan at Bright Ideas Press, this curriculum offers specific strategies for using atlases and being a student of geography.
  • Geography Quests- Featured here at Blog, She Wrote, the Geography Quest is a mix of formal and informal as we set on adventures incorporating seasonal and news based geography.
  • Google Earth Lessons- A place where you can find lessons on geography of all kinds using Google Earth.

Our Favorite United States Atlases

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

No post on atlases would be complete without a run down of our best loved editions. First up are the United States atlases. Although you can find the U.S. in a World Atlas, you’ll find better detail in an atlas devoted entirely to the United States.

World Atlases for Learning Geography

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

World atlases are a great tool for gazing through a window to the world! Here are a few we have on hand for our world travel in the homeschool room.

Electronic Atlases

For those of us who like to take advantage of technology, there are some nice electronic atlas options.

  • WonderMaps- This is map making software from Bright Ideas Press that allows you to customize and print maps. Not only can you print maps for school any way you’d like, but it is a great reference atlas as well and very easy to use on any computer.
  • Google Earth- I *heart* Google Earth! It’s a virtual globe with gobs of detail which lets you visit any place in the world. You can even use the ground view and see pictures people have uploaded from that area. What a fun feature if you’ve never been. Families can learn so much from spending time with Google Earth.
  • Atlas Apps- Check your favorite app store for low cost atlas apps. I know Kindle has a few available for purchase. While not super detailed, these are fun for quick reference on the go. How many of us school in the car?

The great thing about electronic atlases is they are always up to date! You can update an electronic file much easier than making a new printed edition. This is one of my favorite features of WonderMaps.

Specialty Atlases

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

Of course, United States and World Atlases are not the only types of atlases out there. You can find historical atlases, literature atlases, and atlases of plants and animals. Here are the ones we have:

In finding links for some of these atlases, I noticed that some are older versions and many are still available used. If you want to know what to look for in an atlas, take a look at Tyler Hogan’s post on Choosing the Right Atlas.

All About Atlases

Recently, I took part in a G+ Hangout with Bright Ideas Press All about Atlases! Tyler Hogan from Bright Ideas Press and fellow Finishing Strong Co-Host, Kyle McVay joined me for a fun conversation about atlases. It’s hard to miss the enthusiasm. Take the time to watch!

Black Friday Sale at Bright Ideas Press

Great news! It’s that time of year and Bright Ideas Press is offering 20% off your entire purchase during Thanksgiving Weekend. This is a fantastic time to pick up WonderMaps or NorthStar Geography. Bright Ideas Press has other geography resources as well. Take a moment to browse the shop!

2014 Black Friday Sale BIP

 

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 38

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Finishing Strong, the link up for homeschooling middle & high school students.

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #38

Every week you share some amazing posts with us. We love reading about your homeschooling journey. The more we share our experiences about schooling our middle & high school students at home, the easier it is for all of us.

Finishing Strong is co-hosted by: Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, & Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Here are the four posts that had the most clicks last week. If you didn’t get the opportunity to read them, here’s another chance.

Middle School Chemistry: Chemical Reactions from Education Possible

Night Classes and Other Benefits of Homeschool from Hodgepodge

Get into a Homeschool Routine – Make a Schedule from Living Life and Learning

Homeschooling Through the Eyes of a High Schooler from Starts at Eight

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we will be taking next Wednesday off from this link up. We’ll be back the following week, December 3rd.

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