With winter upon us, what better way to spend the dark, cold days than with a beloved board game?!
I grew up playing cards and board games. Starting at age 6, I played gin rummy every night with my father, and now I’ve brought the love of game-playing into my own family. This form of entertainment beats watching Netflix any day because 1) games are more likely to be educational, 2) you actually interact with other family members, and 3) there is nothing like some good old-fashioned competition.
Now that most of our friends are also having children, playing adult board games has become more difficult, but we relish the times we do get to play.
Our favorite adult board games are:
- Settlers of Catan – We learned this while living in China. It is the most interactive board game of the three because you are constantly trading cards with other players. This is also the least complicated of the three, in my opinion, but still a game of strategy.
- Carcassonne – This game is unique in that there isn’t a board to set up—you build the whole board as you play the game. The board will look different every time you play. There are plenty of expansions to keep things interesting.
- Agricola – This is the most involved and time consuming game, and yet it is our newest obsession. It is about farming—so it’s perfect for our current interests and family life! We have actually had to watch YouTube videos to refresh our memories on how to play.
When it comes to games for children, I’ve found a few that I love. We usually play one of the games below with our 5 year old before he goes to bed. He loves it, and it is a great way to bond and have fun together.
Our kids are 3 and 5, and our favorite kid board games are:
- Orchard (2-6 yrs) – This is a perfect first board game. We started playing it with the our older boy when he was about 2 and a half. It is great for learning colors and numbers, and everyone is trying to beat the Raven!
- Memory (2-6 yrs) – An oldie but a goodie! We have Spongebob memory and—my personal favorite—bird memory. Our boys can recognize and name the birds on our bird feeder because of this game!
- Uno (5+ yrs) – We just taught this to our 5 year old, and now he requests to play this every evening. The nice part about Uno is that you can change the rules based on the age of the child. It is good for teaching numbers and colors as well.
- Wildcraft (4+ ys) – This one I’d give a 4 out of 5 stars. I like it, but it’s a little more complicated and takes longer to set up, so we don’t play it as often. However, I think that will change as the boys get older. You get to learn about natural herbs and what they might be used for with this game!
- Bug Bingo (3+ yrs) – We just got this for Christmas, and both of our boys love it! I like it too—so many interesting bugs are out there. It comes with a beautiful, colorful board, and the rules are simple. My husband and I were both impressed with the quality of the materials.
I hope this inspires some of you to dust off the old game chest or check out some of the links for some newer games. Happy playing!
What board games do you and your family love to play? We’d love for you to share!
Alana Rasbach is a documentary photographer of families, newborns, and births in Nashville, TN. She and her husband recently bought some land and are learning about the beauty and the hard work of agrarian life. Their two boys and cavapoo puppy are along for the ride. You can see her work at www.alanarasbach.com.