Family Games to Play at Home

Written by lisa porter
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Organise a weekly game night for some quality time with the whole family. Board games work well to get your whole family to interact, laugh, compete, and develop logical and critical thinking skills. Build a collection of board games that you can get out on a rainy day or low-key night.

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Boggle

You can play classic Boggle with a four-by-four grid, or Big Boggle with a five-by-five grid. Players mix up the Boggle pieces on the board and then try to find as many words as they can before time runs out. Players earn extra points for finding longer words. If two or more players find the same word, however, they do not get points for that word. Boggle will help your children develop vocabulary, spelling and quick-thinking skills.

Scrabble

The slower pace of this classic word game gives players more time to contemplate each move. This game will also help children develop spelling and vocabulary skills, particularly if you use words unfamiliar to them. For an added challenge, learn useful two-letter words or words that begin with the letter "Q" but don't include a "U."

Pictionary

Divide into teams for this fun drawing game. Teams take turns selecting one team member to illustrate a phrase or object while the remaining team members try to guess that phrase or object. Speed counts in this game, so careful drawing skills often go out the window, leading to humorous drawings and off-the-wall guesses.

Wise and Otherwise

This game contains hundreds of ancient proverbs from all over the world. Players take turns reading the first half of a proverb, while the remaining players try to invent a second half that sounds good enough to trick opponents into believing it's the real one. The reader writes the actual proverb, collects the other players' fake proverbs and reads them all aloud. Each player guesses which proverb is the real one, and players get points for guessing the real proverb or for having other players guess their invented proverb. Have fun imagining the endings to a wide variety of ancient, sometimes silly, phrases.

Apples to Apples

This game inspires hilarious associations and comparisons. The game contains two decks: a green deck full of adjectives and a red deck full of nouns, including objects, events, celebrities and intangibles. Each player is dealt a hand of red cards. Players then take turns acting as a "judge." The judge flips over a green adjective card and the remaining players choose a red card that they think fits the adjective, whether in an accurate, ironic or simply silly way. For example, the adjective might be "Frazzled," and players might put "My First Kiss," "Charging Rhinos" or "Julia Roberts." The judge chooses her favourite card for that round, and the player who selected that card earns a point. Play this game with children in middle or high school.

Art Memory

Art memory games work well for younger children. A deck of art memory cards comes with a certain number of pairs of famous paintings. Deal the cards face down in rows on a clean surface. Players take turns flipping over two cards at a time, looking for a pair. If a player finds a pair, he earns an extra turn. This game will help children recognise and identify famous works of art while developing logical thinking skills.

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