Let’s Play a Game!
by Jennifer AlLee
One of my favorite memories from growing up was playing board games with my mom. I can remember sitting on the floor playing Uncle Wiggly (which was extra fun because the pieces were shaped like rabbits) or at the table, looking intently from the Scrabble board, to my tile tray, then back to the board.
Playing games is still one of my favorite things to do with family and friends. Over the years, I’ve discovered a whole new world of games, beyond old-school favorites like Monopoly and Clue. I’ve also found out that lots of my adult friends love to play games. This is something every generation can agree on!
Another perk to game play is that it gets everybody involved. Have you ever had a get-together at your home, and most of the people are chatting and enjoying themselves, but a few are off to the side, looking uncomfortable? Starting a team game like Pictionary or charades is a great way to make those shy folks feel included.
Why not try a Family Game Night? Plan at least one night a week to have dinner together, then follow it up with a game. To keep things interesting and fair, let a different member of the family choose the game to be played each night. Along with the fun and laughs, conversation with your spouse and children will almost certainly occur.
There are lots of reasons to give games. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Games that encourage interaction.
Not only are you encouraged to communicate during these games, it’s actually a requirement.
- Apples to Apples – At least once during this game, someone will laugh so hard he or she will cry. I guarantee it.
- Pictionary – It’s okay if you can only draw stick people. In fact, the least realistic drawers usually do better in this game.
- Trivial Pursuit – Impress your friends with how much you know, or at how good you are at guessing.
- Clue – Everyone has his or her own strategy for flushing out the criminal. What will yours be?
Games that can be played at (almost) any age.
If you find yourself with a mix of children and adults, here are some games that are fairly easy to understand and play, but are still a lot of fun for everybody.
- Connect 4 – A classic game of dropping pieces to, as the title implies, connect four of them.
- Sorry – This game comes with rules for simpler, faster play. It also has the traditional rules.
- UNO – How fast can you scream UNO? And how many times will your son play that draw four card on you?
- Ticket to Ride – A fun game of collecting colored cards, trading them for train pieces, and making your way across the United States.
Games for a more mature crowd.
If you like your games with a lot more strategy and complex structure, these are for you.
- Settlers of Catan – It’s a race to settle the island of Catan. Clever trading and building will help you in your task.
- Race for the Galaxy – In this card-based game, you settle new planets, produce and trade goods, and accumulate victory points.
- Agricola – In an agrarian society, you must plow fields, plant crops, build barns and fences, and make sure you produce enough to feed your family.
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