Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Board Games for Family Fun

Board games are a dying pursuit these days.  Family evenings spent around the dining room table have been replaced by movie nights, and time spent playing computer games, or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.

That's not to say that board games don't have a place, though.  Many families are adopting tech free evenings where they "unplug" for one night per week, spending time playing with toys for children, chatting, and de-stressing.

Then there are holidays - when you're out camping, caravanning, or even stuck in a hotel room in Rome waiting for the rain to go away, a board game can help to pass the time.  Here's a few ideas for family friendly fun:

  1. Scrabble - this is an old game, but one that never loses its charm.  As long as you lay down the rules about which dictionary you'll be working from before you start playing, this game is less likely to cause fights than, say, Monopoly, and it's educational fun.
  2. The Logo Board Game - how well can you recognize the logos of restaurants, cars, football teams, and other popular brands?  This game is best played with slightly older children, as younger kids may not be as brand aware - at least not when it comes to things like car manufacturers.
  3. Civilization: The Board Game - if you enjoy the computer game, why not replicate it away from the keyboard?  This one has a hefty rule book, but is engrossing, fun, and educational in its own way too!
  4. Twister - you've had a lot of practice leaping over toys for children, dodging pets running under foot, and stretching behind the sofa while tidying up.  How fit and flexible have you become?
  5. Articulate - are you a fast talker?  How clearly can you express yourself?  You'll find out if you play this game.  Many of the challenges are harder than they seem at first glance!  One good thing about this game is that it's a smaller box than many of the others, so you can keep it in the car for emergency entertainment.
  6. Go - this game is easy to learn, but genuinely difficult to master.  All you need is a board and some black and white markers.
  7. Chess - if you have a small chess board with you, you'll never get bored.  Chess is suitable for all age groups, and the critical thinking skills it teaches will last a lifetime.

One problem with board games is that once you've played them a few times, the appeal can start to fade.  However, there's a lot you can do with some board game basics. Instead of spending a fortune on new toys for your children, why not encourage them to get creative and come up with new games based on dice, playing cards, and markers.  That way, your kids will have the fun experience of working together to come up with new rules for a game, and you'll get the fun of playing it later. Who knows, it could be their first step into a design career!

This article was written by James Harper for The Original Factory Shop, who offer low-cost toys for children and other discounted goods.

James is a dedicated family man that feels turning back the clock and playing a board game is among the best ways to enjoy time with his family.