As I mentioned in my last Friday Finds post, we are approaching holiday gatherings. Which means a mix of people and family members… all descending on homes around the world. Of course this is no surprise at all to you. You do not need me to remind you of the date on the calendar. Or that holiday time can be stressful. Obviously!
For some, it’s a challenging time, awkward time, or apprehensive time. For others, it’s counting the days until… babies come home, family is gathered, food binging begins, or even comfort comes from being surrounded by loved ones. Maybe a little of both. All the same, we may need some fresh ideas on how to spend ALL this family time together. So, I’m here for you!
Although I’m all about the holiday family time plug right now, this collection of Friday Finds goes well beyond that. This episode is really meant for bringing meaning, memories, and entertaining mayhem to our family’s days and weeks and months and years. With all my heart, I hope it does!
For context and in my effort to gain your trust and secure your faith in me, I will go on record with these facts:
We are a family of seven with a newly added perfect son-in-law which makes eight.
The queen of birthing babies, my baby sister, and her husband represent a small village, bringing twelve to the table.
My husband’s remarkable sister and her man bring seven to the mix with their family.
Toss in an additional brother with two kids, on both mine and my husband’s side, and that makes more.
Then when you add in friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, family friends, it’s a mass of people, fun, and chaos.
We play games. Eat too many carbs. Compete. Debate. Consume obnoxious amounts of sugar. Dominate. Smack talk. Stay up too late. And make memories that become bigger and more exaggerated over time. It’s awesome!
So here is where you can rest assured. The forthcoming recommendations come to you tried, tested, approved, vetted, and highly recommended… from the trenches of my crazy crowded game night table.
Our Family’s Top Three
Our Top Ten Game Night Favorites
- Pounce (aka Nertz): exciting fast paced card game similar to solitaire with 4 or more people competing to get rid of their pounce deck and rack up the most points. My husband and I have been playing this game since we were started adults and now it’s deeply engrained into our family tradition. Endless rounds of this addicting game have been responsible for lack of sleep, hefty doses of obnoxious competition, and endless searching for a sufficient number of card decks in all crevices of our house!
- Monikers: players take turns attempting to get their teammates to guess names by describing or imitating the name on the card. Each of the three rounds gets crazier as you go. We laugh more than ever with this one!
- Apples to Apples: try to win the approval of the judge by making the best most hilarious comparison. Great for varying ages and there is a junior version as well. :
- Catch Phrase: Try and get your teammates to guess the word or phrase by describing it anyway you like… really fast! All with a grab it, guess it, pass it intensity. You’ll need batteries.
- Game of Things: Pick a topic, all members write a response, read them aloud, then guess who said what. It can prove how well you know one another… or not. Hilarious!
- Jackbox games: a whole slew of party games where you turn your phone, tablet or computer into a controller. This is a good lazy game night option. Quiplash is one of our faves! Available on a variety of digital platforms. Make sure you screen the games before including younger family members.
- Anomia: This game plays off the fact that our minds are brimming with all sorts of random information. But when under pressure, can’t seem to spit it out. This is high energy, hilarious, chaotic fun! Everyone needs a shot of espresso to begin. JK. Or not.
- Clue: The classic game of who done it.
- Codenames: Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table. Their teammates try to guess words of their color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. This is a great couples night game!
- Family Table Topics: These are questions specially designed to engage kids in the art of conversation. They range from silly to thought provoking to encouraging. This is one of my favorite things!!! They were recently gifted to me by a close friend who knows first hand how valuable family conversation is in our home.
- Bonus Game: Taboo: because I couldn’t find our game of Clue so I subbed this one in for the picture. More is better right???
Update! Two more game additions for you… fresh from our Covid lockdown Spring of 2020.
Catan: which involves controlling your own civilization by building, harvesting, and trading resources. All in an effort to come away victorious. This has been a game that has remained a favorite in our family… from ages 8 to present. Plenty of extensions available too!
Ticket to Ride: Connect iconic North American cities and build your train routes to earn points. This also spans the ages and stages. Great family game that requires both strategy and a little luck. Because it accommodates up to 5 players, we have played with teams and also used two game boards for a little tournament.