At RocketLearn we are all about combining the best of technology and the best of people. Yes, we encourage online learning, equally we ensure real teacher input is involved. We strongly believe offline and online have equal value in the teaching world. However, when it comes to family games we are offline all the way - this isn't a professional opinion, its a personal preference!
With the long summer not too far ahead of us and travelling not looking that likely, not to mention us all having spent most of 2020 experiencing “family time,” the need for a good board game is strong. Love them or hate them, family board games can be a great way to keep the whole family downstairs and engaged in the same task, rather than dispersed around the house on different devices. As a competitive, low attention span family, these are my top five recommendations. If you haven’t tried them give them a go – and if you’ve forgotten them try revisiting. All the below should take no more than 20 minutes and allow children aged four upwards to join in.
Once you’ve got over the title this game is fantastic! It involves building a tower out of cards and trying to be the player who gets their counter to the top when the tower finally topples. It has a great mix of strategy, (choosing where to place cards) luck (there’s chance in terms of the role of the dice) and risk taking (deciding whether to play it safe and keep your tower long and flat or go for the win with it high and tall). It is also all over pretty quickly and children from as young as four can join in with adult/sibling support, as there’s no reading involved.
This is a great game – it's like a cross between connect four and noughts and crosses. Again, children of all ages can play this. The one problem is that you can’t have more than four players – the upside though is that it is small and therefore quite easy to take in a bag and whip out at a dinner table. The other reason this is a family favourite is that you can chat whilst playing it as it’s not so intense and each player takes a couple of minutes to choose their move.
One of the mysteries of the modern world is how a game that involves throwing two small plastic pigs can be so much fun – but it is. Again, children of all ages can play this and it is small enough to carry around in a bag. The other huge upside of this game is that it is great for mental arithmetic when children keep count of their own score.
Another small game in terms of portability. This game involves a series of cards and is based on the winner being able to find matching symbols. It is quick, easy and again accessible for all the family. Be warned it can get rather loud and intense – however a quick round can be over in five to ten minutes.
Uno is a universal card game we’ve been playing since our children were three and I love the complete chance element, meaning everyone will have their day as a winner. Be warned, every country seems to have its own slightly different version of rules!
Looking for something a little longer/cerebral?
This article from New York Magazine looks at the top board games as reviewed by Amazon purchasers.