Family Time – Fun Board Games

In praise of good clean family fun

Ah, the joy of a family night of fun board games at the dining room table! From Chutes and Ladders to Monopoly to Tripoly and Clue to Stratego, Risk and Battleship, board games are just plain fun.

When we were young, our movies were books and our game consoles were kept in boxes on closet shelves. I recently rediscovered this joy with my seven year old granddaughter. We made the decision to watch less television and spend more time doing things that fostered conversation and personal interaction. It was a great decision. We spent the summer doing puzzles, reading books together, and playing games at the dining room table. Now I know which girls in her class laugh too much, which boys will chase you on the playground, and how much homework “they” expect her to do. I also had the pleasure of watching my very smart and very funny granddaughter turn into a card shark.

All this time together took me back to my childhood. We never really had to decide to watch less TV. We only had three channels and my father’s interests ranged from news to soccer. Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Joe Namath pretty much dominated the airwaves in our house. The Philco was Dad’s. So we would play outside in the sun and play inside when the rains came or dusk forced us inside. I can still feel the sensation of sitting around the kitchen table on a cold night with my brothers and sister and sometimes my parents, the smell of cooking delicacies, the laughter that grows with the ups and downs of the game. I remember so clearly knowing the warmth and comfort of my place in the family. And all this is connected in my mind with the delicious fun of board games.

Board games for adults can be fun!

Board games for ADULTS??? Okay, “adult” doesn’t have to mean “for adults,” If you know what I mean.

Seriously, most of us just want to have a good conversation, good company, and clean fun when we socialize. What better way to enjoy the company of friends than with a quiet afternoon playing a game or two. Put on a cup of coffee, heat up some banana bread or a coffee cake, and pull out a crowd-pleasing board game.

Pictionary is a terrible game. I have a friend who guesses the image of a straight line. Honest. I’m having trouble identifying a photo, so they wait until I’m out of the room to pick the teams. I’m much better at Scattergories. and trivial pursuit. I am a worthless fountain of knowledge.

And you? Are you a brain? Perhaps Cranium or Scrabble are to your liking. If your skill lies in strategy, you may prefer Chess or Mastermind. Backgammon and Yahtzee use a combination of strategy and fortune. There’s always Clue if you’re a sneaky son of a bitch or harboring suspicions and conspiracy theories. The good old Monopoly allows you to practice ending up financially. And for all of you would-be kings of the world, it’s hard to beat Risk for world domination.

There are many more. Pick a favorite board game or two and call the team. The adult crew. Adults – adults – having fun just playing some board games. Hanging out. You know you want to. It’s been too long since the last meeting.

Teenagers also want to have a fun little board game.

Fun Board Games For Teens It sounds like you’re trying too hard. Actually. But you are not. Young people are just people. They have friends. They like to do things with people they like. They get tired of trying to say the right thing, wear the right clothes, hang out with the right people. Heck, they get tired of trying to figure out what all that is. They need some quiet time with no major consequences, just a chance to slow down a bit now and then. Throw them a board game party.

Risk, Yahtzee, Pictionary, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit – these all lend themselves to team play. Trivial Pursuit comes in a number of variations, so if you are big Lord of the Rings fans, go with that one.

However, they will play with a different intensity than their parents. “Soorrryyy” could take on a whole new meaning in your home. Players’ pieces may move around the board with more energy than you might expect. The Game of Life may be assigned options that are not listed in the rules. Scene will make them monopolize the television while Monopoly will give them time to take over the fridge. Who cares? They are at home, at your house, laughing their heads off and having more fun than they ever thought. No keggers, no missing parents, no car trouble, just friends, food, and fun. Even teenagers have fun with board games.

And what about the children? Do they have fun playing board games? Mayybeee.

The basis of board games: board games for children. I’m talking about the heart of childhood, elementary school, making a game of all age group. They make their own board games. They play board games at school when the weather is bad. They play board games all summer in the flat, usually by the kitchen door. They just play. So what are they playing?

The old understudies are still loved. Checkers and chess are easily obtained and only two people are needed. Monopoly can take an entire afternoon and even then it may not end with a clear winner. There’s a Monopoly Jr. now that’s perfect for beginning readers and only takes about thirty minutes to play.

Sorry and Trouble, with their big Pop-O-Matic dice, continue to be crowd favorites. The Game of Life has gotten quite complicated, but children still like to play it. Mouse Trap is fun to build and has the added value of a half hour of catching mice after the game is over. The upper grades have a lot of fun with Clue and Colonel Mustard and the Library, with the chandelier. Then there are games based on cartoons (think SpongeBob) and Junior versions of Trivial Pursuit and Cranium. And Chinese checkers, ludo, operación, tribono, mancala, aggravation, backgammon, scrabble and… oh, you get the idea. The list of board games for children is as long as your imagination.

Don’t leave out preschoolers. Board games aren’t just fun. They are useful.

We don’t always think of board games for preschoolers when we think of their game. The little ones run and jump and fall and get up and do it again. Sometimes we limit their quiet time to TV – cartoons and kids’ movies are pretty good when mom and dad need some quiet time. Still, we miss out on some important training for the little ones, as well as time spent together in a calm atmosphere. Increasingly, children are losing the art of polite conversation and civilized interaction with adults. A solution? Get out the games!

Preschool board games help children develop the skills they will need to read. They learn to match colors, count, recognize letters and their sounds, think sequentially, win gracefully, and lose gracefully. These are pretty important concepts. Candyland and Chutes and Ladders will wear you down, because your child will want to play again and again. There are all kinds of dominoes (I know, it’s not strictly a board game) that allow kids to match cartoon characters instead of dots. There are games that allow them to match cards with pictures arranged in a grid and games that require fine motor skills. You will find that all of them are a lot of fun for your four-year-old.

Take the decisive step. Board games with your preschooler. How much fun can you cram into one day?

WOOOOOO! Funniest section. Old board games.

Yeah, fun board games from days gone by, making them ancient. nice word for old. Well, maybe not that old. Do you remember these?

Tripoli. We played this with the neighbors. I don’t remember much about it except that we used poker chips. There was a big green carpet. And it was poker. And rummyish, too, I think. That’s all. That’s all I remember. Probably because he was in love with the neighbor.

Then there was the States Game – VERY educational.

I’m pretty sure this was a gift from my aunt. Very sure. Actually. aunt helen. She was always the best at finding “educational” things that were quite funny. Thank you, Aunt Helena. I miss you.

We really learned all kinds of things about the states. We learned capitals, state birds, agricultural products, population, none of which I remember now. Not much would be the same anyway.

Now let’s talk about the REAL fun we had playing board games. How about tycoon? You had to be greedy and conscience free. My brothers killed me. What are some others? Stratego. Mystery date! Now there’s a great game for a sleepover. Surfing guy. Hmm. Remember it? Clue, Monopoly, Scrabble, Rook, Payday, Stock Market – all great games. I wish I still had them all. But there was one we played ALL THE TIME:

Square mile.This was the game with plastic roads and bridges. There was a railway and a swamp. There were these little buildings: houses, a school, a church, factories, apartment buildings, a shopping mall. This was a cool game. Square Mile was the best for a rainy day.

Board games are incredibly fun. I recommend its resurrection even if you only take out the Monopoly game for one night. Step away from the x-box, look your children in the eye and say:

“That’s Boardwalk with four houses. You owe me $1700.”

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