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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Geography Quest: Game Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quests- Game Edition

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Welcome to Day 2 of Family Geography Using Geography Quests. I hope this week you’ll find some practical advice on how to have fun with geography as a family. Our family loves to play games. How about you? Here’s a list of the geography themed games in our closet. Which are your favorites?

Games for United States Geography

Where in the US is Carmen Sandiego ?- This one is still around in software form and it’s easy to pick up at used book sales. While its world counterpart has gone out of date, the US edition is fun to play and is still relevant.

Scrambled States of America (and the card game version)- based on the book, The Scrambled States of America, these fun games reinforce state spellings and shapes.

Ticket to Ride- Best with the expansion, this game is loads of fun and helps to familiarize players with the continental US and its Canadian border to the north. You have to build routes by collecting train tickets.

Borderline (US)- a card game where you lay down cards that border ones that have been placed down.

Great States- This game touts landmarks and state industry along with state capitols and a detailed map for reference.

Great States Junior- great little game for primary kids on US Geography. You can match state shapes and learn state spellings or what states begin with M, for example. One card set is all landmarks for each state and the board is big and colorful for players to reference.

10 Days in the USA- this is a tough game where you try to build a ten day itinerary with some rules that make it more difficult- like not being able to switch your cards after you first place them.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Game Edition

Games for World Geography

Ticket to Ride Europe (and the expansion)- There are a few European versions which focus on one country or region of Europe, but this is the whole of Europe and it has rules not introduced in the original version.

Borderline- a card game where you build on opportunity with border cards you hold.

Around the World in 80 Days- based on the book by Jules Verne. You get the sequence in which the trip was taken along with the general setting of the story in a game.

RISK/Axis & Allies- allows kids to have some general geography awareness with necessarily being entirely accurate. RISK is all about world domination, but Axis and Allies is a World War II themed game. So, if you have any WWII buffs (like I do), this game is a lot like RISK but way more detailed and you have different resources to work with like planes and a navy.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Game Edition

10 Days in the Americas- This is the newest of the 10 Days series of games and concentrates on the geography of North and South America.

10 Days in Europe- Travel around Europe by foot or car in this itinerary building game.

10 Days in Asia- This map includes Oceania and the rest of Asia. You can travel by boat, car, railroad and it’s the most intricate of the 10 Days series.

10 Days in Africa- All about the continent of Africa you can travel by air, car, or foot. You’ll know the countries in Africa in no time after playing this one a few times.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Game Edition

Make Your Own Geography Games

We make our own games as well. E15 made a Truth about New York game a few years ago which plays like Monopoly only you can build parks and monuments instead of hotels and houses among other things. The first time he hand made the cards and once it was destined for the New York State Fair, he upped his “game” and worked out the cards on the computer. It came home with a blue!

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Game Edition

Find out more about making your own games from materials and resources to themes for games in the post Adventures with Games.

In the game Conversion, you are a missionary who is trying to convert the peoples to Christianity. The geography in this game is Europe (in the Middle Ages).

Games are fun way to go Geography Questing as a family. Pull out your favorite game and play today. Better yet, work on plans to make your own game. Don’t forget to subscribe to Blog, She Wrote via email so you don’t miss this Hopscotch series on Family Geography Using Geography Quests. You can see what other iHN bloggers are up to this series by clicking the picture below.

Autumn-Hopscotch-2013

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Adventures with Games

Do you have any game lovers in your house? I have some here and providing an Adventure Box full of games and their history along with activities would be a great challenge for any game loving child.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

Playing Games:

No Adventure Box of Games would be complete without the frequent opportunity to play games. I would definitely choose some new games to add to our repertoire for this theme. I might add a large board game and a smaller game like a card game. Remember you can choose what to add to the Box and when. Surprises are always fun!

Blog She Wrote: Adventures in Games

How about a List of Great Games?

  • Ticket to Ride (US & Europe versions)
  • Settlers of Catan (and all its variations)
  • Dominion (and all its add ons)
  • Carcasonne (with add ons)
  • RISK
  • Axis and Allies
  • Merchants & Marauders
  • The Amazing Labyrinth
  • 10 Days in Africa (as well as Europe, the Americas, USA, and Asia)
  • Great States of America (and the Junior version)
  • Monopoly (and variants of the original)
  • Clue
  • Rivers, Roads, and Rails- great game for younger kids
  • Scrabble
  • Equate
  • Boggle
  • Yahtzee

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

That’s a partial list of the games we own and I’m sure your family has its favorites. Sometimes we pick a game stick out of a jar and play that game…when you have a lot of games it’s a fun way to keep variety in what you play. You might try game sticks in the jar for your Game Themed Adventure Box.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

Making Your Own Games:

Making your own games is a lot of fun. E14 loves to make his own games and he likes to make them complicated…just like he likes to play them!

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

We get our game making materials from Bare Books. You can find several styles of blank boards along with money (blank or printed), game pieces, timers, and dice. The boards make a fabulous starting point for creative game makers!

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

Most of our home made games coincide with something going on in our homeschool, but it’s usually not my suggestion. My oldest, for example, likes to choose his own projects and will usually choose a game. This NY Monopoly-esque game was E14’s idea. He wanted a game that would combine Monopoly type play with state trivia. At first he did his cards by hand, then he learned how to use Microsoft Word to make all his cards. It took him a bit to learn, but the results are fabulous. This won a blue ribbon at the NY State Fair in 2010.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

In this game, you are trying to buy improvements for your city including monuments, campgrounds, and parks. In order to build you have to have a building permit. All of these actions require answering NY State History and Geography as part of the turn. So, the basic game design is like a Monopoly game but it has some fun twists.

The key to great homemade games is allowing your kids the time to get imaginative. Summer time adventures offer kids the time. Your job is to provide the materials and fodder for ideas. My kids know they can always print on cardstock and typically we have game boards on hand or another way to make them such has poster board.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures in Games

Last spring 14 worked on creating another game. This one is called Conversion and is a culmination of his studies of the early Church and Paul’s missionary travels. Again, this was his idea and he worked on it for a long time. He wanted a game that was based on converting the people to Christianity and he included much of what he learned while studying the early Church. He did a fantastic job coming up with scenarios where you’d encounter people and then another scenario based on what decision you made from the scenario card.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

In the end, he came up with a nice game which plays relatively well. After the county fair last summer, we worked out the game’s playability before sending it on to the NY State Fair where it earned a blue ribbon. Playability is key! We found out we were lacking resources to start the game. We didn’t have enough to do much and we couldn’t save a lot quickly. The directions were adjusted to give the new play a chance. This was a great exercise in reliability and whether or not people enjoyed playing the game.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

The hallmark of this game is all the creative scenarios missionaries could walk into…all of them a potential opportunity to make converts to Christianity. If you’d like to read more about the game play of Conversion, I blogged about it last summer.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

Some games are a lot simpler like the pictures of animals all laminated. I used this game to practice animal classification as we encounter the animals in our studies. It’s mostly a sorting game, but it has a few variations.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures in Games

Books for Game Makers and Players:

Journey to Gameland- a book about how to make a board game based on your favorite book written by a boy who make a game based on the Harry Potter series. Fun for creative ways to turn your favorite book into a game.

The Monopoly Book- Strategy and Tactics of the World’s Most Popular Game. My kids loved this book. It has a history of the game along with ways to win!

The Game Makers- The Story of the Parker Brothers. Fun history of the gaming brothers’ company

The Game Inventor’s Guidebook- all about how to create and sell board games

Game Design Workshop- A playcentric approach to creating innovative games

Scrabble Puzzles- for playing alone

Bananagrams for Kids- a puzzle book for kids

Bananagrams: The Official Book- a puzzle book for all ages with facts about words and bananas

The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games- this one has great reviews for providing an overview of the past in great illustrations

The Usborne Complete Book of Chess- chess strategies and how to’s of the game

Chess Puzzles- great book for chess fans. This one is for kids who already play and want to improve their game. Our kids have enjoyed it a lot.

Blog She Wrote: Adventures with Games

A Game Themed Adventure Box full of games to play, materials to create his own games, and game themed books will provides hours of creative play time for a game loving child.

Have you made homemade games at your house? Tell us about them here!

Hopscotch-With-iHN-Spring-Collage2Be sure to check out the other bloggers who are sharing a series this week through iHN’s Spring 2013 Hopscotch.

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