Board games are a great way to engage and entertain a group of people, whether adults at a party, kids during a play date, or the entire family on a weekly game night. Let’s take a look at fun board games for all three.
Great Board Games for Parties
Telestrations — Based on the “telephone game,” each player in Telestrations gets a dry-erase sketchbook and marker, as well as a word card. A roll of the die determines each player’s unique secret word, which he or she has 60 seconds to draw before everyone passes their sketchbook to the player on their left. Each player must then guess the word passed to them, then flip the page and start again with a new word. This continues until the sketchbooks return to their original owners. You can keep score, but the real fun comes not from winning, but from seeing the crazy drawings of each player. Appropriate for ages 12 and older, with each round of the game taking about 15 minutes.
Morphology — In this game, players divide into teams to guess a word. During their turn, the team’s morphologist — the person designated to give clues for the turn — uses small objects, including a wooden barrel, wooden sticks, wooden people, glass beads and colored cubes, to get his or her point across. The game becomes more difficult as it advances, with the morphologist becoming handicapped with challenges, such as keeping his or her eyes closed or picking the objects before seeing the word. Appropriate for ages 13 and older, with each round of the game taking about 45 minutes.
Great Board Games for Kids
Enchanted Forest — This game tasks players with finding an item from a fairy tale, the item being randomly chosen at the beginning of the game. Players maneuver their pawns around the board in search of the item, and once they find it they race to the castle to tell the kind its location. The roll of a die complicates the journey, though, with players being sent back to the starting point. This game helps children develop memory muscles, as well as strategy skills. Appropriate for ages 6 and older, with each round of the game taking as long as it takes.
Clue Jr. — This junior version of the classic Clue has kids figuring out which pet has hidden which toy in the doghouse to win. It can help build deductive-reasoning skills, as well as memory retention. Appropriate for ages 5 to 7, with each round of the game taking as long as it takes.
Great Board Games for Family Game Night
Wits & Wagers — In this game, players answer numeric questions, such as “How many feet wide is an NFL football field?” Players then bet on the correctness of their own answer or, if they just guessed, the answer of someone they think may have guess correctly. Winning bets get paid according to the odds. Appropriate for ages 10 and up, with each round of the game taking as long as it takes.
Railways of the World — Players build their own railroad empires in this game, which includes several expansion sets representing areas outside of the U.S. Family members use strategy against each other to become the reigning railroad baron. Appropriate for ages 10 and up, with each round of the game taking as long as it takes and then some.
All of these games make for a great gathering, whether two kids or a house full of extended family. Be sure to have plenty of snacks on hand to fuel both the fun and the brains at play. And award prizes to winners, such as small party favors or getting out of a week’s worth of cleaning chores.
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