Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Family Board Games (Part One)



Top Ten {Tuesday}

I love games and am fully convinced that these are great educational tools that are dismissed much too easily.  RISK gave me a basic understanding of continents when I was a kid and I'm not embarrassed to say that it gave my kids a head start too.  We have a closet full of great games and every year I decide to spend a month just playing all these wonderful games but it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe we'll end our year like that?  All I know is, we need to stop thinking about adding these to our day or night or weekend and start PLAYING.  Go, play with your kids.  It's educational, fun, and a great way to spend time together!

I can't bring myself to rank these in any sort of order.  That'd take too much brain power for me and I know I'll miss my favorite one and gasp in horror a couple of hours from now.  So in no particular order I give you Ten Five Favorite Family Board Games (come back next Tuesday for part two!):

Settlers of Catan
My teenagers played this game several times and always came home raving about it.  We picked it up and spent one of our vacations playing every night.  It's a great strategy game of building roads and settlements and cities.  Sounds boring as all get out but it's actually a whole lot of fun.


Forbidden Island

This is a new one for us, and it's only four players, but we liked it well enough to buy it for ourselves after playing with friends.  This is a cooperative strategy game where you work together as a team to rescue four artifacts from an island before it sinks beneath the flood waters.  I love the idea of working together to beat the game and, despite my own competitive nature, found it to be a lot of fun.

RISK

A beloved game from my childhood, this is the chosen family game for vacations and days we want to feel like vacation.  This covers basic geography skills but the real focus is on strategy and critical thinking skills.  We have the anniversary edition which contains Mission cards (not sure if all editions do).  These are great for the days you don't have 4-8 hours to devote to a game.  There are many different versions of RISK available today.  We still like the good ole' original.



 Apples to Apples


This is the place to start if you're new to the idea of gaming as education.  Apples to Apples comes in various editions, including Junior and even Disney versions, and is a great way to review vocabulary, adjectives, nouns, and analogies.  One player throws out an adjective card and the other players must play the noun card in their hand that makes the best match.  Hilarity ensues.  Great game for all ages.




Mexican Train Dominoes

I admit, I am a big fan of strategy and RPG style games.  Card games can be fun.  Dominoes?  I was not at all interested.  Aren't those the things you stack in crazy configurations and watch them fall?  Friends of ours introduced us to this game and I was quite skeptical.  I ended up having a blast and realized how much strategy is actually involved in this game!  And you have the dominoes with the dots that represent their number and the kids who learned how to play pretty quickly and love this game and it all adds up to a lot of family fun.

What are your family favorites?  My school budget has room each year for new games, as I truly do believe there is learning to be found there.  I'd love to hear your recommendations!  

And please come back next Tuesday for Part 2 of Favorite Family Board Games (we have so many, this may need to be a continuing feature)!

1 comment:

Firefly Mom said...

Apples to Apples is one of our favorites, too! Some other favorites are:

Blokus
Scattergories
Rummikub
Sequence
Scrambled States of America

And, of course, oldies-but-goodies like poker, blackjack, dominoes and backgammon.

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