Each year I highlight some great games that we’ve found and enjoyed playing. We love games. We play a lot. This year, rather than just a brief explanation, I was inspired by my friend who is going with a theme for Chanukah this year: Family Game Night. Each night they’re going to open a new game and play. LOVE this idea. So, my suggestions for 8 nights of family game nights:
First Night: Think Fun S’Match. We received this as a birthday gift (from Zareen, thanks Zareen!) for my 4-year-old and its been a great family game for all of us. Its Memory with a twist. Instead of just turning over 2 cards and hoping they match, you push a spinner and it tells you if you are matching category, number or color. My babysitter was hooked after playing one Thursday, so that night I knew we had to check it out.
Second Night: Hasbro CirKis: This one was a sample and I was concerned that the kids wouldn’t enjoy it. Simply because it is for ages 8 and up. The 6-year-old found it, was intrigued by the box, and we opened it about a two weeks ago. I kid you not, we have played it nearly every day in the past 2 weeks. It is a challenging game of spacial relations with lots of rules. But if you have a little one with good spatial relations skills, like my 4-yo, this is a great game. You’ll definitely have to help out with score keeping and we did alter the rules a tad to make it less frustrating for the kids. This one is really fun for the whole family.
Third Night: Uno Card Game. This summer’s camp season was leaden with too many rainy days for my liking. It meant a lot of time indoors and not enough in the pool or on the tennis court. But the kids wouldn’t have known it. Each day they went to the game room and were introduced to new games. Apparently, the 6-year-old’s bunk loved Uno. C came home the 2nd day and asked if we could buy it. Fortunately, I had it in the gift closet and pulled it out. Since then, its become a game we play every sick day, every rainy day and, almost, every breastfeed when the kids are looking for something to do. Its one of the classics that every house needs. (And, as of this writing, its less than $3 at Amazon.)
Fourth Night: Wii Sports Resort Apparently, this is a big seller for Nintendo. And I can totally see why. It has a lot of the classic sports games, like bowling and a twist on golf making it Frisbee Golf, but it also introduces about 10 new interactive games. I’m loving wake boarding and archery and the 6-year-old could play basketball and Frisbee for hours. The 4-year-old even gets into the game with Air Sports. It comes with a new Wii MotionPlus sensor, and you’re likely to need at least one more if you use 2 remotes.
Fifth Night: Gobblet Jr. When we received this game 2 years ago it instantly was on the top of faves my list and its never faltered. Its a two-player game of strategy that we pull out very often. You’re trying to tic tac toe, can loose the spot you already played. Very user friendly and a great game for kids 4 and up.
Sixth Night: Sorry. Okay, I’m officially Sorry that I’m recommending this game to you. Because you don’t realize how long this game can last until you play it again. In fact, the first time we pulled out Sorry this fall we were shocked that we sat for over 30 minutes playing. But that’s the thing. All 4 of us sat and played. No one was distracted. No one threw down a card in frustration or lifted the board in a fit. Everyone played and played happily. Its another classic that belongs in every home.
Seventh Night: My First Making Words Snap. We only just took this out of the wrapper yesterday. Inside was a deck of 52 cards with phonics sounds on them. Your job: to make a match that spells a word. So that “ch” and “at” will match but “ch” and “sh” don’t. You can also play a Memory-style game with the cards. The 6 year-old was busy enough testing himself with the words he was making not to notice that the 4-year-old didn’t know his sounds and was just learning them with me. Its a great beginning reading game. And its under $5. Plan to hang some stockings? This is one that belongs inside.
Eighth Night: Think Fun’s Zingo! Its a bingo game with a zing. Instead of calling out numbers, the Zingo dispenser dispenses tiles with pictures on them (and the words). Players race to grab a word if its on his Zingo card. We started playing this one at age 3 (with help) and now the kids can play on their own. This one is a playdate favorite.
For what its worth, today I asked the 6-year-old what his favorite family games are right now. Without pause he responded Cir*kis and Sorry. His favorite current Wii game is Wii Sport Resort. The 4-year-old’s favorites were My First Making Words Snap and Cir*kis.
Cir*kis was received as a sample for review. Zingo, Gobblet, Jr. and ‘Smatch were all gifts. Uno and Sorry were won in a charity raffle. The 6-year-old purchased Wii Sports Resort with his own birthday money, though I pitched in and purchases the 2nd MotionPlus. And My First Making Words Snap was once sold at Precious Personalities (I opened my final deck yesterday taking it out of stock.)