I know when I was growing up, Friday night used to be family board game night. I could give you a million platitudes about how kids and their parents today don't spend enough time together, everyone is on their phone, etc …but instead of doing that, why don't I just give some suggestions for the best family board games??
First of all, I just want to say that if you're strapped for cash, you don't have to spend a dime! After all, some of these cool new party games like DropMix (made by the same people who made Rock Band, can cost up to $100 depending on where you get it. Basically, you play a card that has a certain song on it. Then, the game board is able to play a part of the song, and members of your family are supposed to basically remix the song using different cards.
This is super cool, but the fact that it costs $100? Not so much.
One cheap solution if you've got a lot of musical people in your family is: online karaoke!! If you go on YouTube, or use another free karaoke site…RedKaraoke, or the Smule app, for example…you'll be singing and partying till the cows come home, totally for free!!
But let's say being musical isn't your family's thing. In that case, what about one of the best of the family board games on your cell phone: Ellen's app, Heads Up?
Of course my daughter isn't old enough to play this yet, but older kids will have a ton of fun with this. If you're not familiar with how it works, basically, someone holds their phone up to their forehead, and it has a word they have to guess, like a restaurant or an animal. You say everything you can without saying the word itself, to try and get them to guess. So it's a lot like that old game show "Password," if you've ever heard of that!
Similar board games to this would be Scattergories and Catchphrase!
But let's mix it up a little bit for family game night, and let's pick something free!! Ready?
It's called Telephone Pictionary.
All you have to do is get a notebook, and write something in it. Literally anything. Then, you hand the notebook with the phrase to the next person in your family. They read your phrase to themselves, then turn the page, and try to draw a representation.
Then, they hand that to the next member of your family, who looks at the drawing…then turns the page, and writes down what they think it is.
THEN, the next person in your family (assuming you have someone else in your family…if you don't have enough people, this is kind of hard to do. It's more fun with at least four people!) sees the phrase, and turns the page and draws what they think it is.
You've probably caught on by now: you are drawing and writing enough times that it becomes like a game of telephone, because every time, it gets further away from the original phrase! Hilarity ensues!!
So while I think that family board games are awesome and that shelling out the cash for a few good ones is totally worth it…it's also true that family board game night is more about the laughs you share. It's very possible to do that for free.
Let me know in the comments: I'm curious what games other families play. Monopoly? Dropmix? Something free like Telephone Pictionary? All of the above?
Also, for baby-aged toys, feel free to check out My Favorite Baby Things!