Family Games Nights Create Special Memories


Yesterday my 40 year old friend saved the lives of millions of people by helping to eradicate at least 5 deadly diseases and keep them from spreading all over the world. He set up a farm, built barns and filled them with cows and pigs. Then he assisted in rebuilding settlements and roads on an island known as Catan. Finally, he used the remainder of his time to work on claiming routes and rail cars on railways across Europe.

He did all this just for fun and he did it at home with his family. This was Family Game Night.

My friend is one of hundreds (maybe thousands) who loves to play board games. “They are incredibly entertaining and they are also educational.” So many families can no longer afford to take a night and go to the movies. By the time you pay for your tickets; buy popcorn, drinks and snacks; you have spent upwards of $30. In today’s economic environment this is an expense most young families cannot afford for “fun”. There has been a resurgence of playing board games in recent months. It is an affordable way for families to have fun. Teachers are using board games as educational tools. Listed below are the top five games at my friend’s game center.

1. Ticket To Ride – Europe
2. Jambo!
3. Colosseum
4. Tigris and Euphrates
5. Agricola

Board games are pretty straight forward and easy to learn. Even an active four year old I know to play board games. We have purchased games that are rated for his age group and he likes them but he prefers the challenge of games that his daddy plays (like Agricola) where, even though he is too young to understand the rules, he can play with the pieces and learn what they are meant to do. Many of the adult games have junior versions. My little four year old friend recently got Carcassonne Jr. as a gift. He and his five year old cousin sit down and play the game.

Most people think it is silly to expect children to be able to play adult games. It isn’t. I don’t know if you have noticed but children are a lot smarter at a younger age. They comprehend things that pass over the head of some adults. Even if they don’t understand completely they can learn good sportsman ship and can get used to the fact that you don’t always win. Ticket to Ride is a good example of a game that adults can play with the youngest child. The routes are matched to the tickets by color so the youngest child can help a mommy or daddy with his/her route. This particular game was voted the Best Family Game in 2004. There are two versions: European and American.

There are many different types of board games. We are all familiar with Monopoly and its many incarnations (city names, college names, movie names). It is still one of the most popular board games in existence. Strategy games are very popular and they aren’t as complicated as they look.

My family recommends Family Game Night. No matter what age your children are (or even if you have none) you will have a lot of fun and spend some much needed together time sitting around the kitchen table.

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