My love of games started early! During family get togethers we’d bring out the board games and have lots of fun.
If games were allowed during free time at school, I always tried to join in. They’re just fun!
So as my little kids get older and start understanding strategy better, it’s been a blast introducing them to some of my childhood favorites. Here are five that I still love! And yes, the links are affiliate links! You’ve been notified! 😀
I’ll always remember playing this game at my aunt and uncle’s after eating Thanksgiving dinner, or Easter dinner, or a just because dinner. It was our go-to game.
Though game time with my extended family have slowed, I’ll always treasure those memories. Of course, many of the best games involved cheating or catching cheaters. So many good times!
The goal of Pictionary is simple. Draw a picture of the word you draw and have your partner guess what you drew before the time runs out.
To keep it simple, I let my early readers pick any word on the card that they can read. If they can’t read any, they can switch cards.
Soon we’ll be able to play by all the rules, but until then it’s a fun way to introduce it!
Stratego was one of the most popular games during my middle school years. I spent many hours with friends during lunch trying to capture the flag.
My oldest and I have been playing this one for years. But we recently introduced it to two of the younger kids. It’s fun to have tournaments–one person plays the winner from the first game, and then the final person plays the winner of the second.
The toddlers sit on the table and play with the pieces that have been captured.
To win the game, you have to use your pieces strategically to avoid mines, and find where your opponent hid their flag piece. I’m not very good–I usually end up with no moveable pieces left.
But, I still enjoy playing. You don’t have to win to have fun playing games!
Another middle school classic, I added this game to our collection this Christmas. I hadn’t played in years, but it all came back to me!
I found the “classic” version of Mastermind at Target, and it even looked just like I remembered.
This game is pure logic. One player sets up a secret code of four colored pegs on one end of the board. The other player tries to match the code.
The guesser sets up a code and the CodeMaster uses black and white pegs to show success. A black peg means there is a peg that’s the right color, in the right position. A white peg means there’s a peg that’s the right color but in the wrong spot.
You aren’t told which colors are which, so you have to use some of your turns to gather that information.
Well, when I explain it like that, this game sounds boring, but it’s not! Here’s my eight year old getting set up for his turn as CodeMaster.
This game is perhaps my ultimate favorite from childhood. I wasn’t able to play too often because my family didn’t love it as much as I did, but that just made it even more special when I did get to play!
Trying to keep track of who, where, and what provided great critical thinking practice. Of course, I didn’t think of that back then, I just enjoyed solving a mystery. Just like I enjoyed reading Encyclopedia Brown books!
I don’t like Clue Jr. very much, so I’m excited my kids can now play Clue with me!
Another one we used to play with the extended family, this is one of the few board games my mom actually liked playing.
The reader of each round draws a word. These words aren’t your normal board game words. I think the creators just randomly opened dictionary pages and selected the most obscure words they could think of!
Crazy words are in Balderdash!
Once the word is read, everyone else has to write a definition of what the word could mean. While they’re working on that, the reader writes the real definition.
After everyone has submitted their definition, the reader reads everything aloud. Players take turns guessing what the real definition is. You get points for other people guessing your definition.
This is a good game to introduce once some basic dictionary skills are understood. That way dictionary definitions are a little more natural.
What were your favorite games from childhood?
I’d love you to share in the comments.
Photo credit: Maarten van den Heuvel via Unsplash