Q of the Week : What are your favorite family games?

It’s been a gut-wrenching few days, hasn’t it?  With the news from Japan continuing to get worse, it’s hard to balance reactions to it all with daily life here.  I mused on that subject here on the weekend, and don’t have any more words to share on it yet other than love, prayers, and thoughts going out to all those affected.  It’s hard not to feel guilty for being healthy and safe here though. 

A recent Cranium duel between the boys … The question this week is a light one, and something that our boys are getting more and more interested in.  What games do you play together?  We tend towards board games, as they’re what we all enjoy.  The only game system we have is the Playstation, and it’s not something we can all play together, nor am I particularly into Lego StarWars tricks and techniques!  We’re not all frisbee or sports fans, so our outdoor play tends a lot more towards building stuff together, or the occasional random ball/stick battle in the back yard. 

As for board games, we have a pile.  Several piles in fact, and I’d show you the groaning shelf full if my camera hadn’t been broken by the kittens last month.  Just picture teetering piles that are carefully arranged by size (by me) and regularly left out on the floor (by the boys) as they can’t get them stacked up again without help.  We don’t play that many regularly though, and not as often as we’d like.  Friday night is supposed to be family game night, which happens maybe every other week.  Sometimes it means a quick game of Uno before bed.

As for the family favorites, there are a few that rise to the top again and again.  We love Settlers of Catan, a strategy game that even Fynn can get into on a basic level.  It’s about building roads, mining and growing resources, and building settlements.  Then there’s Risk (and Risk 2010) which I can not stand and takes forever and a day, so Douglas has to wait to rope friends and visitors into starting a game.  I’m not sure we’ve ever finished one to be honest?!  I have the exact same memories of it from growing up too, my brother always wanted to play and we begged to do something else.  Torture. 

Monopoly has been getting a good workout lately, another one I played a lot as a kid, but loved then and still enjoy now.  We use the quick-play option to keep it moving along, and it’s loved by all. 

Quiddler has turned into a big hit too, a Scrabble-like word game that’s card based, and much faster to play.  Another similar one is Palabra, though it’s too hard for Fynn, and a wee bit beyond Douglas though he’s close.  That one gets played late at night when the boys are in bed, and we have any family in town.  Competition runs deep in both sides of the family, it’s not always pretty :). 

For slightly more active games, Cranium is a newly-discovered favorite.  The boys are finally old enough to have drawing duels (see the pic above), and the results are often hilarious.  We also get out Uno, Tangoes, and Connect Four when we don’t have long, or the boys are playing on their own. 

What games get played around your place?  Outdoor stuff, Wii, board games, cards?  Let us know!