Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play

Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.

Around ages 2-3 is the perfect time to start playing more organized games with children.

My Very First Games: Animal Upon Animal        Ages 2+

One by one children carefully stack the animals on top of each other. This helps with special relation, you can also work on vocabulary works by having children identify each type of animal before stacking them. You can also use this game to work on colors, discuss the color of each piece before placing it on the stack.

HiHo! Cherry-O                    Ages 3+

A classic that children love! Children build on basic math skills and have fun picking fruit to fill their baskets. Pick your pretend fruit & practice counting, adding and subtracting. The first person to pick all their fruit wins!

My First Carcassonne     Ages 4+

This is an abridged version of Carcassonne; the original game is good for ages 8+ so it’s something children can grow into if they enjoy My First Carcassonne. Drawing tiles players slowly build the landscape around the city of Carcassonne, the first person who manages to place all of their meeples wins the game.

LCR         Ages 5+

LCR which stands for Left- Right- Center is a dice game that can help reinforce Left/Right directional. Every player starts with 4 chips you roll 3 dice and then pass one chip in each direction the die commands. So if you roll one left, and two rights you would pass one chip to the player on your left, and two to the player on your right. The game continues this way until all but one chip has ended up in the center the last person with a chip wins. 

Wits & Wagers Family Edition   Ages 6+

A family-friendly party game, Wits & Wagers Family Edition is the perfect game for your next gathering. Made for up to 10 players Wits & Wagers asks you a question everyone writes down their guess then everyone gets to place their piece on the guess that they think is closest to the correct answer. The first player to 15 points wins!

Ticket to Ride    Ages 8+

A great game for kids and adults, Ticket to Ride is simple but also requires some strategy. The game can be learned relatively quickly, each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or get additional Destination Tickets. Points are awarded for completing train routes with bonus points awarded at the end of the game for longest route and for completing “Destination Tickets.” According to Ticket to Ride author, Alan R. Moon “The tension comes from being forced to balance greed- adding more cards to your hand, and fear- losing a critical route to a competitor.” A fun game for all that will help develop strategic thinking skills.

Flash Point         Ages 10+

Flash Point is a cooperative game of fire rescue. There are two versions of game play in Flash Point, a basic game and expert game. In both variants, players are attempting to rescue 7 of 10 victims from a raging building fire. As the players attempt to rescue the victims, the fire spreads to other parts of the building, causing structural damage and possibly blocking off pathways through the building. Each turn a player may spend action points to try to extinguish fires, move through the building, move victims out of the building or perform various special actions such as moving emergency vehicles. If 4 victims perish in the blaze or the building collapses from taking too much structural damage, the players lose. Otherwise, the players win instantly when they rescue a 7th victim.

Forbidden Island             Age 10+

 

Forbidden Island is another great game for older children, in Forbidden Island, everyone must work together to win the game. Players take turns moving their pawn around the ‘island.’ As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult sacrifices must be made.