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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 | 5 comments

Games We Love to Play Again and Again

Games We Love to Play Again and Again

It’s often during the holiday season that we add to our collection of board and card games. We love playing games with the kids and grandparents, and the girls enjoy playing them together and with friends (although we have yet to get through a whole game of Yahtzee, I must admit). Last year, I bought one of the year’s most popular card games as a stocking stuffer, Spot It!, and the kids love it.

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It’s a simple game to play with 2-8 kids in which you put two cards down and have to quickly find the matching images on the cards. When you do, you add the cards to your pile. (Uno is another classic card game that the girls play avidly with their grandfather.)

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Another game I have on my shopping list this year is one our friends in Baltimore taught Ana and Nadja over the summer – Ticket to Ride. The objective is to see the most cities in the United States by rail in seven days. Players also earn points in various ways during the course of play.

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They collect train cards to allow them to claim train routes.

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Ticket to Ride is fun to play with partners and is a great thinking and strategizing game.

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Othello is another great strategizing game in which the objective is to end up with more spaces of your color taking up the board. It’s a game from my childhood that I loved as a board game (and still exists), but we don’t yet own it. On a summer road trip, I discovered a simple online version for the Kindle called Reversi. You can play against the Kindle or with another player. I’d still like to own the board game version, but this was a good activity to have at the ready in the car.

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By age 9, Ana has officially become as much a Scrabble fanatic as the rest of our family. This game is a mainstay in our home, so we’re thrilled she’s loving it too.

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Mancala has become another popular game in our house over the years. Ana taught Nadja how to play this year and we’ve recommended the game to countless friends. It’s easy to learn and compulsive to play –  the games go quickly and you learn strategies for increasing your chance of winning after playing a few games in a row. Played the world over, Mancala is a “count and capture” game in which the objective is to capture more pieces than your opponent.

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Do you have any board games on your holiday shopping list or favorites from your childhood that you still play?

5 Comments

  1. I’m so glad to see you give a shout-out to board games! My sons grew up playing many different board games, some with their grandmother who loved to play, some with friends, others with the 3 of us. (They are now 29 and 34 yrs old.)

    I’ve been happy to see that they still play with their adult friends (no kids yet), and last Christmas they wanted to play a game… so my older son made a trip to a store and bought Settlers of Catan just so we could play while the 3 of us were together over the holidays (not as a present for anybody… just so we could play). In their college years, I saw that board games were more of a party focus than getting drunk. Establish the tradition early! Keep the minds moving… play board games!

    • We’re hoping to learn how to play Settlers from Catan from our next door neighbors who rave about the game. I can’t wait!

  2. Don’t forget Scattergories, which we love to play together. Fun for all ages! Donna/DeeDee

  3. My family favorites growing up were: Mille Bournes, Take Off, Yahtzee and of course Scrabble.

  4. Frog Juice, Rat a Tat Cat, Zeus on the Loose (all great card games from Gamewright, Frog Juice being our fave, and one that encourages addition skills); Blokus (spatial skills), Rummikub (tile version of gin rummy); Hive (like free form chess w/ insects,but not too hard, and with lovely substantial pieces); Settlers of Catan; Rivers, Roads & Rails (card game that makes a huge map all over the floor); Bananagrams (super portable version of beginners’ Scrabble); Peanut Butter & Jelly (from Fundex, card game for little kids); Labyrinth (both junior and regular versions); and Mastermind (old school, logic for older kids).

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