I am always on the lookout for ways to spend time with the kids where we are doing something we both think is fun. Sounds obvious, but the Venn diagram of our intersecting interests probably does not work in my favor. (playing pretend, while I do it = torture) Games fit the bill, and we are always on the lookout for games that adults and kids can play together. My criteria for a recommended game is the following: it is not purely a game of chance (Risk, you kill me), there are finite steps to the end, and it resolves in a reasonable amount of time (I’m looking at you, Sorry), kids can play competitively against adults (so, not chess) the kids are learning something other than how to turn over a card (Uno). Here are our favorites we find ourselves reaching for time and time again, including our favorite games for grownups.
Games to play with little kids because you want to include them
Animal Upon Animal. A fun game for all ages! Quick and easy stacking animal shaped blocks until it falls over! A careful 2 year old could play this.
Spot it. We received this as a gift and have loved it. Be the first to find what item your card has in common with the “it” card. A focused 3 year old could play. You can plan as many or as few hands as you like.
Games you can play with adults or kids and enjoy
Blokus. Lay different geometric shapes corner to corner until there is no room left. The key is playing with exactly four people. A 5 year old who is willing to follow instructions can play this. It moves quickly as each player places one piece per turn and then play moves on. When all your pieces are gone, or no one can anything down, the game is over. You can be as strategic as you want, or can place tiles randomly and things may work out! All ages can play together well. Personal Favorite. Kids and adults alike.
Rummicube. Lay numbered tiles down in sets of numbers and runs. In my opinion you don’t want more than three players for this. A five year old can play this, but will need some help. Very fun to play with 7+
Lost Cities. A two person game that is quick moving. This is great for 6+ and easy to take on trips
Ticket to Ride This is a great game as long as everyone plays by the rules, yes? You are trying to build on routes through Europe. We’ve had good luck with kids 6 and up. Learning European cities is a bonus.
Mostly for the older crowd (and by older I’m thinking 12+)
Settlers of Catan – Jared and I love this game and were stoked when the kids were old enough to play. What age is that? We can’t tell. Around 7 they can play, but not very rationally. Quality play for tweens and up. Fantastic game for couples game nights/late nights at the beach house with extended family etc.
Any suggestions? I hate the process of learning new games, but love discovering new games to play. Please suggest!