Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Favorite Games

Updated with a few additions for 2013:

After reading my Favorite Toys post a week ago, Jeff informed me that I "forgot" to include all of the games the kids love.  I put "forgot" in quotations because I think I might have done that accidentally on purpose subconsciously.  I am not a game person-I can play a few: Scrabble, Candy Land,  Zingo.  Pretty much that's it.  I just don't have the patience, or the attention span, or maybe it's the lack of competitive spirit.  I am terrible at logic and deduction and all that fancy stuff.

So here's a guest post written by my husband, game nerd extraordinaire, who never ever takes a pass.  Most of these games are for the five, six, or seven year old and up crowd, and quite a few are one-player for when Jeff's not around.

Here's Jeff:
I grew up playing games, cards and puzzles.  Sarah grew up reading books.

 Life of George was a game recommended by a college student toy store worker that we bought for Andrew's birthday.  The game comes with two free Apps for your smartphone.  Your phone will provide you a Lego puzzle to solve and time you on how fast you build it.  The entire family has really enjoyed this game.  The only draw back is your kids are constantly stealing your phone.

This is a great two player game where you try and trap your opponent before they trap you.  What is nice about this game is my 9 year old gives me a strong challenge every time we play.  It is very easy to learn, but once you play a few times you start to understand different strategies to win.  This is great when you are tired of chess or checkers.  Each game takes only about 5 minutes to complete.

Rubik's Cube- Our kids have viewed tutorials on YouTube to help solve the cube.  Isaac can solve it in under a minute and Andrew under three minutes.  I tried to solve it 25 years ago without any technological assistance, but never did, until YouTube!
Boggle-Our kids got onto a big scrabble kick this past year.  Andrew liked Boggle better.  You make up as many words as you can in three minutes.  We play together at night before bed and help each other try to set a new record for words found.  We sometimes re-shake it if the letter that come up are too tough.  
LONPOS Rectangular and Pyramid Puzzle-This is really two puzzle/pattern games in one.  Each puzzle is gradually more difficult.  The pyramids are fun to build.  

Rush Hour-We have Rush Hour and Rush Hour Two.  You just have to drive the red car out of the game by moving the other cars out of its way.  I think I have played this game more than the kids.

Solitaire Chess This is also a puzzle game where you use chess pieces and moves to capture and remove all the pieces until there is just one piece left.  You do not have to know how to play chess to play it, but you do have to know how the different chess pieces move.  Like Rush Hour, the easy cards help you learn how to play and get you hooked. 

Monopoly Deal-A fast way to play a game of Monopoly using playing cards.  I think this was the "in" game sweeping the country last year-our kids learned it from friends out in Colorado, and as soon as we left their house, they all begged us to stop and get a deck.  It has been worth every penny.

Qwirkle Cubes- This is a great game where both adults and kids can have fun together.  We have both Qwirkle and Qwirkle Cubes, unless Qwirkle found its way into one of Sarah's 40 black bags.  

Speed Stacks -Our kids still play this game four years later.  It is hard to not get addicted to attempting to beat your time again and again.

Guess Who Mix and Mash-Andrew is Mr. Game.  He is Jeff Junior.  This is one of his favorites.

Chess, Checker and Backgammon Set - It folds up and latches, and all the pieces fit inside which is why Sarah bought it. 

37 comments:

  1. I am SO not a game person either...hate the strategy, deduction etc. I am terrible even at Memory!

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  2. Thank you, thank you, tahnk you!!! The ideas from this post and the previous post have given me so many GOOD ideas! I'm like you, I don't want to waste money on junk and trendy toys. I have another post idea. Your favorite things. I'm having a difficult time for my sisters, friends, and even coming up with ideas for myself when people ask. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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  3. Sarah- Jeff needs to do a guest post once a month- he's funny!! Love all the ideas. I'm like Jeff- LOVE games. I grew up reading books non-stop, but if mom or dad wanted to play a game, that's about the only thing that could get me to put down a book. My hubby is anti-games, so I'm trying to recruit my kids into supporting my card/board game habit.

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  4. oh man.. i am dying.. i love when husbands take over blogs. :) so funny. :) thanks for the suggestions!

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  5. WE LOVE MONOPOLY DEAL! every time all my siblings come home we dabble in a game or two. it is THE BEST! we also love tripoly.

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  6. If your family likes Scrabble, you must MUST MUST get Bananagrams. It's like speed Scrabble, so much fun. I don't like Scrabble much because I hate waiting for everyone else to go, but I love Bananagrams. And you can change up the rules to make it easier for younger kids. Seriously, go buy it now. Plus it's compact and comes in a cute banana-shaped bag.

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  7. We love games in our house! Great suggestions for some new ones.

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  8. Loved this post. My favorite line: "unless Qwirkle found its way into one of Sarah's 40 black bags". Totally something my husband would say!
    I am not much of a game person either. I totally married into the wrong family. I am positive they are the biggest game family in America. All of my children have taken after hubby and his fam. I try my hardest to play since it is what they love.
    We have a few of these games: Boggle, Monopoly Deal, and Guess Who? (not the mix'mash one though) and Chess. Great idea's, thanks!

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  9. I am SUCH a game person! I can't wait until I have kids old enough to play games with! I love Thinkfun games - I learned about them recently from my husband's cousin and her kids - love that they are one person games, they can keep the kids busy for hours. I hadn't heard of the Solitaire Chess game, I'll have to check it out (I'm a huge chess person, was even the top female chess player in my state in 9th grade!).

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  10. Lots of great suggestions - thanks. Some of these may find their way under our Christmas tree.

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  11. If you guys like Scrabble and Boggle, I highly recommend Bananagrams/speed Scrabble. My family has played Speed Scrabble (with two old sets of Scrabble tiles) for years and this year I bought Bananagrams for my husband's birthday. We have been playing it, just the two of us, nonstop ever since!

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  12. My favorite is Battleship. It now comes in a video version but I still love the one with the plastic ships and colored pegs.

    This is the time of year when my boys used to get out last years' games so we'd remember they liked games for Christmas.

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  13. I am not sure which I find cuter - the fact that your husband wrote a guest post on your blog or the fact that he READS your blog. :} I have played board games daily with my son since he was 2 - mainly monopoly. Talk about torturous. Tell Jeff to try Dicecapades with the kids - lots of silly fun combined with interesting trivia.

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  14. THANK YOU again! Love that you (both) are sharing these before Christmas. I've been wanting to simplify the gift giving around here and get long-lasting items that will still want to be played with...and these are all great ideas. :)

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  15. Our kids love Guess Who!

    Some other favourites are Scrabble Slam, Uno, Farkle and Mastermind.

    But my hubby and I are BOTH not game lovers--we just said the other day we needed to shut off the TV and get the kids playing games more. We need to be a better example.

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  16. I grew up reading, too. BUT, thanks for the post (Jeff!) because I'm always on the lookout for games for my girls. They love games and I kind of do, too, but it's hard to figure out which ones will really catch their fancy (and maybe teach them logic & reasoning). Thanks, guys!

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  17. Sarah - you and your family have to get Scattergories! We played this at Thanksgiving last year with all the cousins and had a ball. The younger kids sit with an older child and whisper their answer so they can write it down. So, so much fun especially when the inside jokes start coming out...

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  18. Oh I'm with Sarah....hate the games!!!!

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  19. I adore games, especially strategy ones. I'm teaching my 3yo to play Carcasonne and my husband and I love Settlers of Catan and Catan Rails Across America to name a few.

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  20. Thanks, Sarah and Jeff! You have helped me out with my Christmas shopping in a big way. I am also not a game player -give me a book anyday! Our extended family decided years ago that the gift exchange with the cousins was out of control and we decided to just give each family a new game each year - it has been a great plan! Your list has given me some great ideas!

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  21. Jeff is a good dad! (and husband!) Rubik's cube is so frustrating for Ia couple of engineers who can't figure it out. We used to peel the stickers off! I love the word games like Scrabble and Boggle. Great suggestions.

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  22. Jeff is a good dad! (and husband!) Rubik's cube is so frustrating for Ia couple of engineers who can't figure it out. We used to peel the stickers off! I love the word games like Scrabble and Boggle. Great suggestions.

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  23. i got qwirkle for the boy this year. we have just about every game out there and it's tough finding new ones!

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  24. Gamer married to a non-gamer. I relate, Jeff. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  25. I love to read but love games as well. Tell Jeff to try Blokus.

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  26. if you love family games that everyone can play at any age you must get 'Telestrations'. It is the best game for a family with every age.

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  27. Thanks for the ideas on this post & the other about toys! I picked a few up for my kids' Christmas. Very helpful!

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  28. Thanks Sarah for the toy ideas. Postman just dropped off our Amazon order. My kids range in age from 18 to 4. I relate to your blog so much. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to build a road and rush hour the most. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Kristy

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  29. thank you for these posts on toys and games- i'm almost done with my christmas shopping for 8 kids b/c of this. :) my boys love (battery operated- so maybe not your preference)- rc helicopters by air hogs- they're great if no one destroys them. also- sarah- i thought of you- an informative book you might like- The Seasons of America Pat by Eric Sloane- written in the 1950's- gives you a picture of life in the 1850's - how food was, toys kids played with- how important the seasons were to living/farming. happy holidays. :)

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  30. I just ordered Life of George 2 and Nowhere to Go. Thanks for the recommendations! I really value your opinion. I also would love to read about products that you like for yourself and your home!

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  32. My husband and I are the same way. I grew up reading. He didn't. I do like certain games, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Guess Who....but he loves the strategy games and hardly ever says no when one of the kids ask him to play. Thanks for the different perspective from your "gamer"!

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  33. Very helpful, with great game suggestions, thank you! As Cindi commented above, 'speed scrabble', (or what we call it: 'Take Two'), is a great game that you would probably enjoy. I could play every day :) Thanks again :)

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  34. We also love Bananagrams and Blokus. Thanks for the ideas. I LOVE your blog!

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  35. Thank you so much for sharing, these are some fantastic ideas xx

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  36. Thank you for posting this series! I used a handful of your ideas for toys and games this year to purchase gifts for nieces & nephews and to put on my 2 year old's Christmas wish list to family members. Everything I purchased/received from your list is a HIT!

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