We’ve reached the end of this little summer series and I hope you’ve come away with some new ideas for your family game closet!
I’m wrapping up with a hodgepodge of games that are varied in content and play, but unified by the “fun” factor. In our family we have six people with different ideas of what is a ”favorite” but most of the time everyone is still willing to play a game that they don’t adore. The following games are truly loved by all of us, though, and so they hold a special place in my heart.
Family games that please everyone
- Doodle Dice- This is another of those random finds that simply become a staple in our game time. I don’t think I had ever even heard about it, but while searching the game shelves at Target I picked it up on a whim. It’s cheap and endearing, a kind of cross between Yahtzee and Pictionary. The game consists of six dice, each bearing on its sides six little doodles, a stack of cards with pictures that can be made with the doodles, and a cup for shaking them. You have three rolls in which to make and claim any of the pictures on the cards in the center of game play, and to win you must collect six cards, one of each color. Even the youngest can play, matching dice to the picture, and it can be played by up to six players.
- Art Memo I and II- I’m big on art, and so I always find a way to include art appreciation in our homeschool. We do a bit of Charlotte Mason-style picture study, but often my children remember more through games. The Art Memo games are simple memory games, but with famous paintings as the subjects of the pairs of cards. The cards are sturdy, and the images are beautiful. I can’t think of a better way to learn about styles and artists!
- Smarty Pants- This is family Trivial Pursuit, Wii-style (which means there are some shaking, dancing, jumping and other silly moves added in.) I love that this game can be played in cooperative mode, taking the competitiveness out of the equation for family members of varied ages. Each player chooses a Mii and enters his age (which is how the game chooses trivia questions). As a family, you try to complete a certain amount of questions in a certain amount of time, therefore garnering victory for your team. Our 5 year old can play, and his questions center around basics of daily life: clothing and tools, colors, games, and science. I have to admit that after we’ve played cooperatively, the kids always like to sit by and watch hubby and me as we play competitively. And it ain’t always pretty!
- Zooreka- This is a clever game from the makers of Cranium, Cadoo and Hullabaloo, and has players traveling the board trying to complete their own personal zoo using resource cards collected around the board, and of course, to do so before their opponents. The board is colorful and bold, with fun animals to choose to fill your zoo (like naked mole rats, bats, and a shark tank), and as you travel the board you either gain or lose resource cards depending on how well development is coming (sometimes your monkeys throw food instead of eat it, for example.) This game is tons of fun, and up to four people can play.
- Snorta- I saved the best for last today, and this one will have even the grumpiest kid screeching with excitement and laughter. Snorta comes with a bag of cute little rubber animals to choose from, and a little personal barn for each player. There is a hefty stack of cards to be passed out among the players (a whopping eight players can play at one time!) and play goes quickly as cards are laid out one by one around the circle. Here’s the catch: anytime your card matches anyone else’s card on the board, you have to be the first of the two of you to
yell scream shoutcalmly call the sound of the matching opponent’s animal. But all the animals are in their respective barns, so you have to remember them all and be quick about it! It is hysterical, and often you’ll hear something like, “Dog! Bow-wow!! Cock-a-doodle-do!! Hee-haw!! Hiss!! Darn, what’s your animal again?!?” The player to get rid of all his cards first, wins. But really, with a game this fun, everyone wins! **Just noticed that this is super expensive on Amazon! I’m sure you can find it used somewhere cheaper. I hope they haven’t stopped making this fabulous game!**