The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Every day throughout April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting a range of ideas and tips for keeping your family entertained at home. It will include arts and crafts, games, learning ideas and imaginative activities for all ages. I thought it would be particularly useful while we’re all self-isolating or socially distancing, though it can be used for any time of year.
Letter “G” is for Games. There are loads of different games you can play from the comfort of your own home, including computer games, board games and conversational games. Here are some ideas to try.
- The PC is my favourite games platform and I use Steam to play modern incarnations of classic ’90s games like Spyro the Dragon, Age of Empires III, Planet Coaster (Rollercoaster Tycoon) and Two Point Hospital (theme hospital). I also love The Sims.
- If you have a games console you can hold family tournaments. Wii Sports and Super Mario Party are particularly fun.
- Don’t own a console? Try free online games like those on Cool Maths Games or games.com or search for free game apps on your phone. 1v1 is a popular in-brower game right now.
Board, Card and Dice Games
- You could hold a regular family games night where you try out whatever board games you have in the house and compete to win sweets. I recommend Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Pictionary, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit, Snakes and Ladders and Sequence. But there’s a wide variety out there to choose from.
- If you can’t get hold of any board games then why not make your own?
- Consider hosting a “Casino night” where everyone in the house dresses up and plays card and dice games. Serve some canapes and play James Bond music in the background for added fun.
- When I was young I used to love dice games like Click (also known as Yahtzee) and Beetle. They’re great fun and all you need are 5 dice and a pen and paper for home-made scorecards.
- Have a chess or drafts tournament for a bit of intellectual stimulation.
- My favourite family card games are Sevens, Go Fish and Rummy. Solitaire is great if you’re on your own too.
If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, try some of these classic party games:
- Charades (act out a book, TV show or film and have others guess what it is).
- Musical statues (freeze when the music stops).
- Musical chairs (when the music stops everyone tries to grab a chair but there’s always one less than the number of players).
- Pass the parcel (when the music stops someone gets to unwrap a layer and it keeps going until someone wins a prize).
- Pin the tail on the donkey (blindfolded participants try to stick the donkey’s tail in the right place).
- Scavenger Hunt (write a series of clues that eventually lead to “treasure”)
- Simon Says (follow every instruction preceded by the words “Simon Says” but if you follow one where Simon isn’t mentioned you are out.
- Try these fun balloon popping games.
- Twister! If you don’t have your own you can make it with an old sheet and some colourful paints.
For these games, you need nothing except someone to play with and a bit of imagination!
- I Spy-The first player starts with “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…” and the others try to guess.
- Yes or No-ask a series of questions to the other player to which they must avoid saying “Yes” or “No”. They can answer with things like “possibly” and “sometimes” but can’t use the same answer more than once.
- The Alphabet Game-this memory game begins with the first player saying “My Granny went shopping and she bought an [object beginning with A]”. The next person has to repeat what the first says but adds an item beginning with B. How long can you carry on for before someone runs out of ideas or forgets what came before? Another variation is “I went to the zoo and I saw…”
- Who am I? -This family favourite involves picking a character or famous person for each other to be and sticking a post-it with the name on to their head so they can’t see it. Then each player takes turns to ask a yes/no question such as “am I female?” or “do I appear on TV?”. First to guess who they are is the winner.
- Would you rather? Take it in turns to pose difficult questions that have two options. There is no winner to this, it’s just a fun thing to do. There are some interesting questions here.
Over to you!
What are your favourite games to play? Let me know in the comments.
Tabletop role-playing is my go-to game; my family was never into it, but I play with friends regularly 🙂 We even play over Discord nowadays. There are role-playing games designed for children, e.g. Pilgrims of the Flying Temple 🙂
The Multicolored Diary
I never got into tabletop role-playing but we have a local group and I know a lot of people enjoy it. That’s great that it can be done over Discord.
Ohh I love the sims! I’ve been mainly playing on my switch lately, with animal crossing & Stardew Valley. I have also downloaded one of thoses “free games” that I grew up with onto my phone (which also is on steam now! but not on macs..) Insaniquarium!! I’ve also grewed up playing diner dash & cake dash, which I think probably still exist on the app store too.
As for board game, Monopoly & Yatzee has always been my favorite.
I haven’t got a nintendo switch but I’m sure if I did I would love animal crossing. It looks like my sort of games. I don’t know of Insaniquarium but I’ll have to look into it. I enjoy Monopoly too but it’s hard to persuade people to play because it always takes so long.
I’ve found that I play a lot of games on my phone these days, but I still prefer Soduko on paper.
An A-Z of Faerie: Gancanagh
Me too. I love using a pen and paper for most things, not sure why.