We hear that a lot in our home here in the green state of Oregon. We’ve learned to grin and bear the rain on our trips to the pumpkin patch, the State fair and our morning walks. But what about those torrential spring downpours? There are only so many times one can put on a pair of rain boots and play in the puddles, especially when the puddles become running rivers.
My husband and I have decided that we don’t want our default family pastime to become video games or the television. In fact, we don’t even have cable or a game console. Instead, we began building a game library when our oldest child was ten.
While God waters the flowers outside, we play board games, card games, and file folder games we’ve made ourselves. All four of our kids have learned cognitive skills, strengthened their relationships and practiced the art of gentle competition as they’ve moved through their middle years.
Recently, we instituted a “Game Night”. I’m surprised at how much we all look forward to it!
Our youngest boys are eight (almost!) and nine now, and the oldest children are grown and gone. Never would I trade those hours we’ve spent around our dining room table, laughing and cheering each other on.
Some of our favorite games:
Settlers of Canaan - Made by Christian game company Cactus Game Design, and based on the Settlers of Catan, this is one of our favorites! If you click the link, you’ll find it by scrolling to the bottom of the page… there are some other fun Christian games to check out on your way down, though!
To Court the King - We found this (brand new!) at a rummage sale for $.50. What a great find! We love the game. There is a character on one of the cards who is a magician, so you’ll want to be aware of that. Our kids know how we feel about magicians, and every character is part of the social structure of the Middle Ages (which we just studied). We decided the since he’s not doing anything with magic, he’s just one of the characters, we are OK with that… You might feel differently. Be forewarned.
Blokus - We just have the classic. It’s fun.
Sequence - This is fun… we play in teams. Which can be maddening (or maybe you’re not as competitive as I am), but it’s a great team-building activity.
Yahtzee - Yahtzee is one of my favorites. It’s taught our kids some great math skills, as well.
Buzzword Jr. - The boys love this game. It’s another great team-builder. None of us ever get the media questions right, though!
Bohnanza - This is another fantastically fun card game from Rio Grande (like Court the King). We’ll definitely be checking Rio Grande for more fun games in the future!
What are your family’s favorite games?
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a freelance children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., Pockets, Devozine, Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.