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Favorite Family Board Games

Updated on July 19, 2011

Board games are a great way to laugh, learn or spend time with your kids or grandkids. We have four grandchildren and some of the best times we've had were in situations where there was no electricity, such as power failures and camping. Four games stand out as our favorites.

We still play Cranium Cadoo. It's for kids ages seven and older, but we played it with kids five or six and just altered some of the tasks a little. One reason I like it so much is that it gets kids to try drawing, sculpting or acting, depending upon where they land or what card they draw. We leaned so much about each other, in a fun way, when each of us had to draw a scenario or act out a character or animal. We sometimes let the shyer kids watch until they wanted to play - and they almost always joined in once they saw it wasn't so much a competition as a way of having fun and sharing. I highly recommend it as a getting-to-know-you game.

Outburst. This is an older game and we just made up our own rules as we're not big on score keeping. One person is chosen to ask a question, such as, "Types of Candy" or "Wizard of Oz" trivia. The game says players then shout out answers and the score keeper has to look at the answer list and see who shouts out the most words that match the list. Our group got a little cranky with this method and nobody wanted to keep score as it's a bit nerve raking, so we just had fun with it and all tried to guess, sort of in turn, an answer. Many of the questions in the game ‘were' common knowledge when the game was first introduced, for instance "Iraq" and who is the leader - can you believe Saddam Husain was the answer? So, we sorted out those for the adults, "Sitcoms" included "Three's Company" and "All In the Family" which made it a nostalgic, funny game for the grown-ups. You can still find the game on Ebay. I think there's an updated version, but not by much. We've made our own questions and answers over the years.

"Hot Potato" is a real no-brain game for younger kids. It's a battery operated, fuzzy "potato" that you toss back and forth until it goes off with a buzzer. One of the reasons I purchased this was for our grandson who is autistic. He couldn't really join in with us in board games and would get fidgety and bored (no pun intended). So, we'd play "Hot Potato" in between rounds of board games and he loved it. He took it to his school and the teachers loved it too and we ended up donating one to the school.

"Pretty Princess" is a girly game, but once the boys joined in and we really laughed our insides out! There are four sets of jewelry; earrings, bracelet, necklace, etc. in four colors. Each player chooses a color. There is one crown. The object is to go around the board and collect (or put back) items of jewelry in your color. The winner is the player who ends up with their entire set of jewelry AND the crown. We have some amazing photos of us playing Pretty Princess (which will be good for black mail when they start dating).

The next time you want to have fun without a keyboard or TV, and you have children between the ages of seven and seventy, give these a try!


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