Article by: Jillian Schmett (with special guest contribution by Joey Schmett)
Hey Everyone! I often see people posting in forums or on Facebook groups looking for advice on games to play with their children, nieces/nephews, students, etc. so I thought I would post a blog about some games that we like to play as a family.
I grew up on all the classic board games, my grandmother taught me to play Chess by the age of 4 (although I’m still not actually any good at it) and we loved to play Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Boggle, Scattergories, and the like. Those are some of my favorite memories as a child, so my son was pretty much destined to play board games with me from the start. Luckily for him, we started really getting into the hobby and amassing a decent collection before he was old enough to really play games, so he’s quite literally grown up on designer tabletop games.
When he was 5, we had just bought Blood Rage, and he was always asking to play. He didn’t just want to play with the mini’s either, he wanted to play the game the right way. We decided that if he learned some games that had the mechanics incorporated in Blood Rage, such as Sushi Go for drafting (and to be honest I can’t even remember what the others were, but I know there was something we used to teach card combat, possibly a very simple all green creature MtG deck), and we told him that once he was able to play through those games without help from us then he could play Blood Rage. I fully expected him to lose interest but he did play the games we “assigned” many times, until we felt comfortable that he knew what he was doing. Then came the big day when we all sat down for a game of Blood Rage. He was able to make it through the whole game, and understood the rules, although he definitely wasn’t making the most strategic decisions (but none of us really expected him to at that point, not even Joey). We finished the game and he never has asked to play it ever again. Which makes me happy because honestly I don’t enjoy Blood Rage myself (gasp!) but I was proud of him for that and I’m glad that now he has more reasonable expectations for what he is able to play and actually enjoy playing. Here is a list that he and I compiled of some of the games we play most together.
Honorable Mentions: In order to keep my catchy title, some games had to be cut from the original list, but we play them often and I feel they should be included in this article. I thought it would be easy to group a whole bunch of dexterity games all together, so here they are with very brief descriptions:
Pitch Car: Fun racing game with wooden discs you flick around a track. We also bring this to family game night at his school every year and it is always a hit.
Ice Cool: Kind of similar to Pitch Car except you’re flicking little plastic penguins around a bunch of classrooms constructed from cardboard boxes. We really like this one and it’s also always a hit with other kids when he has friends over to play.
Rhino Hero: Stack cardboard cards, try to sabotage other players a la Uno style with skips and reverses, and don’t be the one to knock down the tower. We even bring this game to parties that will only have adult guests and everyone always has a blast playing.
Loopin’ Chewy: Like Loopin’ Louie that you probably remember from your childhood, except with Chewbacca riding the Millenium Falcoln around and trying to knock over your Stormtrooper discs. We even have our one year old daughter “play” by letting her sit and whap the little lever, which she thoroughly enjoys for about 60 seconds before deciding to grab Chewy and disassemble the entire thing as fast as she can. One negative about this one is that it only plays 3 players instead of 4 so it feels a little imbalanced, but it’s not really a problem since it’s not a very serious game.
What are some games that you think are good to play with the younger generation of gamers? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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