My kids love screen time. And, honestly, I get it. It is so easy to get swept up whether TV or tablet or laptop or iPhone. Trying to be more intentional about our time together as a family and not get sucked into that trap, I added card and board games to our evening routine. After the kids are bathed and in pjs, we gather in the hallway space outside their rooms to choose a game to play.
At first I was taking it “easy” on both kids – especially the youngest. No more. They can both hold their own pretty well in all the games. It’s fun to see and means we truly never know who is going to win on any given night.
Favorite Family Board Games
Exploding Kittens – this was a request from our son after he played it at an after school program. Admittedly, it took me a moment to “get” the instructions, but now we’re all fans. It’s pretty quick paced, but can run a little long sometimes.
Disney Eye Found It! – obviously for the Disney fans this one is fun. It’s also simple enough that preschoolers can play. Our 4.5 year old can be super fast at spotting items on her cards.
Sorry! – a little bit of my childhood here. It’s been great for getting the youngest to practice her counting skills.
Scrabble Junior – this game is a fun way for our youngest to practice her reading skills and learn to build words. The board can be flipped over for a more traditional style to create your own words as well allowing it to grow with your family.
Ticket to Ride – my son found this game at a consignment sale and I agreed with no clue of what it was. It’s another fairly quick game, easy enough for all of us, and is teaching the kids a bit of geography! I was impressed when our youngest said “my trip is Chicago to Miami” without any help reading her ticket.
Sequence – this is another newer game for us. It was a birthday gift to my son last month from grandparents and has been a hit with the entire family.
Candy Lane – a simple classic is fun for a relaxing evening game. It’s the perfect starter game if you have younger preschoolers in your family.
Left Center Right – we received this game in our Fish Extender on our first Disney Cruise. Both kids enjoy it. It’s nice, compact, and quick making it great to pack for road trips as well.
Most of our games can be found on shelves in the playroom. That isn’t too convenient for evenings as I don’t want kids running back downstairs to retrieve one (ie, another way to stall at bedtime). Instead we started a pile in the hallway. That worked for one or two games, but once a few more joined our regular rotation, I needed a new option.
I debated a small bookcase, but really, the space we’re keeping them is fairly small and I didn’t want to add extra visual clutter or another spot to be a “catchall.” Instead I opted for a larger basket. We can drop in the games vertically, pull out the one we want to play, and return after.
The red bag next to the basket contains our latest selections from the library. The kids like to grab one to read at bedtime and having this bag near their rooms makes it easy to return them when they are done.
Are board games a big hit in your family? Which is your favorite?