Authored by Neal F. Litherland in Toys and Games
Published on 12-21-2009
While many people think that board games in general (much less those that you play with your family) have gone out of style, this simply isn’t the case. Particularly this Christmas season as board game sales rise for the holidays, it’s obvious that someone is buying these products. As with any type of product there will be some that are more popular than others. Below is a sample of a few, very popular games for the family.
“Apples to Apples,” is a fairly simple game that, depending on the age and maturity of the players, can be anything from silly to downright awful. The game is played according to fairly simple rules. There are two stacks of cards; one stack of adjective cards, and one stack of noun cards. The noun cards are all dealt out to the players, and each player takes the turn being a judge. The judge turns over the adjective card, and all of the players submit a noun card to the judge that fits that adjective. The judge picks the card that he or she feels best fits the adjective, the player who submitted that card gets a point. Play continues with a new player becoming the judge. This game is easy enough that kids can play, and it provides enough of a cognitive challenge that older players won’t be bored by the game.
“Life” is another popular choice, and it’s been an old standby for a long time. The game is a basic, draw cards and roll dice sort of board game, but instead of moving along colored squares you move through an imaginary life. You start out in school, and make decisions from there that either move you to retirement or hold you back from it. This game is fun in and of itself, but the general lessons that it teaches younger players, and the stories that older players can tell about real life events, make it a lot of fun to play with the entire family. It does take a while to get through though, so make sure you have the time.
Though many people hate dealing with grammar and spelling, “Scrabble” is still a very popular choice for family games. The game is fairly simple; there are a number of tiles with letters on them, and a point value for each letter. Players must interlock letters to form words, much like playing dominoes. When the word is complete they will receive a number of points according to the number of letters in the word (or sometimes words) that they created. “Scrabble” can bring out the clever side of most people, and nothing is funnier than someone earning 50 points for putting the word “of” in a strategic place and winning the game. Additionally, “Scrabble” is a good learning tool for younger children, since the friendly competition can lead them to apply themselves when it comes to proper spelling, and even math. That is, if you trust the young ones enough to keep score.