As a family, we love to play games, so I thought I would share some of our favorites and why we love them. I’m going to break them down by age group to help you find the ones to fit your family.
Preschoolers (3-5 years old)
- Hi-Ho Cherry O- This is a great one to encourage counting and turn-taking. Something I really like about this game is it can be cooperative so you work as a team to pick all our fruit before the bird gets them. There is a 9-piece puzzle included in the game and if the puzzle is assembled before all players pick their fruit the bird wins and vice versa.
- Candyland & Chutes and Ladders- These are classics for a reason. Candyland is particularly great for the youngest game lovers because there are no numbers, just colors. Both help kids develop good game playing etiquette like taking turns, moving game pieces, and since they are both games of chance vs. skill, some disappointing losses are inevitable to build character and good sportsmanship. It can also give them a lesson in humility. Don’t gloat too quickly in these games because the tables can turn quickly!
- Uno Moo- This is another great one for the youngest set since there are no numbers. They have to match either the animal, the color, or play a farmer (wild) to change the color. If they can’t go they have to choose from the barn. The pieces are also really cute and Ember plays with them outside of playing the actual game, which is a bonus.
- The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game- In this game, you have to fill up your tree trunk with five different color acorns. My favorite part of this game is that to pick them up you have to use a squirrel shaped "squeezer," which helps develop fine motor skills. This is another one that helps in their development of good sportsmanship. When the sneaky squirrel is spun whoever spun it may steal an acorn from another player, therefore this game uses a little more strategy than any of the games listed so far.
- Memory- This game too is a classic game and now you can get this it with your children’s favorite characters on it. The objective is very simple; flip over two cards to try to make a match. The players have to pay attention and remember where the match is, which is a great skill to develop in your young people. The other great part about this game is that you can make it easier or more difficult depending on how many cards you start with.
Early Elementary (6-10 years old)
- Frog Juice- This is a card game that has spells, witches, witch wash, and a black cat. Kids need to be able to do simple addition up to number 12 for this game to be fun for them. To collect cards you need to add cards in your hand to pick up cards in the discard pile or complete a spell.
- Lazer Maze- This game really makes them use their brain power. It starts out really easy to get them used to each of the pieces to understand how they work and then gets progressively more difficult. Because it starts out easy they build confidence in their skills. It's educational in that it teaches them how light does bend and it's great because they can play independently or with others.
- Cashflow for Kids- This game helps kids learn the true value of money and they win if they make it out of the "rat race." This is great if your child is a budding entrepreneur and wants to learn about how money works in a fun way.
- Pokemon Go- This game has become a family affair. We like to take the kids out to the park and take them "Pokemon Hunting." This game gets us off the couch and out in nature in a fun way. The kids beg to go to the park and then after we're done catching as many as we like the kids like to play with real kids in real life at the playground. It's a great way to get them excited about leaving the house even if we're doing something not so fun.
- Jenga- We love Jenga. It's so simple, but really takes a lot of concentration and patience. These are certainly qualities I want to foster in my children!
Teens and Adults
- Fresh Biz- This game is not actually available for purchase at home, but if you ever have the opportunity to play it- DO IT! I had the opportunity to play it at a recent QLM Mastermind retreat and it was very eye opening. Basically, there are no rules, just like life. You start the game with money based on a roll of the die (chance) and there are opportunities given out on cards. You can open businesses along the way and the goal is to get everyone playing to an island where everyone wins. The outcome is that everyone learns that when we share resources and cooperate everyone gets to the island much faster and with fewer obstacles.
- Cards Against Humanity- If you need a great laugh this game is in order. Everyone playing gets some cards that say random things on them. One person plays a card and everyone else plays one of their cards that they think that person will choose as the funniest. It's a great way to find out more about your friends and their sense of humor. Some cards are pretty crude, so you may not want to play with your kids.
- Scrabble- This game too is a classic. It helps to have a big vocabulary, but depending on placement of the word even very simple words can get big points. This was one of my favorites as a teen.
- Rummy- All you need for this game is a deck of cards and at least one other. There are many varieties, but my favorite is 50 Rummy. You may lose a round, but not the game. It's a game of calculated risks a strategy and that's why I love it.
- Heads Up- This game is an app on a smart phone or tablet and is hilarious. Similar to charades, but the app comes up with the words for you. The guesser holds the phone and flips it down to reveal a new word after they guess correctly or up to pass. The other players act out the words for the guesser. As long as your kids can read they can play.
I'm grateful I have kids who love games just as much as I do. I'm grateful games teach valuable lessons in a fun way. I'm grateful for Fresh Biz and the way it's shaping business as usual in the future. I'd love to hear what games you and your family love. Please comment below or, better yet, join the conversation in our Facebook Community.