Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kids Games

My love of playing board and card games means I have a vested interest in getting my kids hooked on  games.  I'm hoping they'll play with me when I'm old and cranky.  Here's four games for kids that have been hits at our house.

Spot it!

A card game that can be enjoyed by adults and kids.  It says from age 7 up, but we've seen two four-year olds happily playing it together, albeit at a much slower pace.  It is very non-age specific however and adults will enjoy it too.  There are a number of variations of the game but basically you have a whole stack of cards with pictures on them. Every card has one picture in common with every other card in the pack. And so it's like a kind of crazy-paced snap where you all race each other to call out the match between your card and the stack. The more complex versions of the game have you swapping or giving away your cards to other players with the aim of getting rid of all your own cards. It's loud and fun. No pieces to lose - if one of the cards got ruined it wouldn't matter - and it's small enough to fit in your handbag so it's a good game to take on holidays. At the time I bought our set last year, it wasn't available in Australia but it's easily bought online at Amazon. We bought several sets last year to give away at Christmas time. Thanks to our friends in PNG who introduced us to this one!
Sleeping Queens

Sleeping Queens

Invented by a six-year old! But it doesn't feel juvenile and will appeal to both boys and girls. Aged 8 up but younger kids can play with some assistance in learning the rules. The illustrations on the cards are delightful and the game quite distinct from other kids' card games with enough different moves to make it exciting. Simple to learn but fun to play. I'd go anywhere between 6 - 12 years for this one. Don't know if you can get this one in Australia but again easily sourced at Amazon. Thanks to our friend from Texas for introducing us to this one!


My mum and I played a lot of Boggle when I was a kid. One thing about Boggle that I'm sure gave Mum a headache was the way you had to set the board each time by placing on a big plastic lid and giving all the letter dice a big shake. It was so loud you could have heard it in another suburb. But now they've redesigned Boggle so that it's an all-in-one contraption. The shaking is very muffled and the timer is built in. In case you aren't familiar with the classic, you have a certain time in which to make as many words as you can from the randomly produced group of letters. You can go sideways, turn corners or zigzag as long as each letter is touching the other. Great for beginning spellers right up to adult. Compact size with no pieces to lose so also good for taking on holidays. This one you can easily get at Target, Kmart or BigW or Amazon if you are not in Australia.

Kinder Bunnies

Kinder Bunnies
If you are a fan of the adult version - Killer Bunnies - you'll enjoy teaching Kinder Bunnies to your kids. The kids version is pronounced "kinder" like in "kindergarten" and is a simplified version of the hilariously random adults' version. Any child from six up, with a little bit of reading under their belt, can have a go at this one. There are three or four versions of the game which the kids can work through once they've mastered the simplest level. The versions become more like the adult version as they go along so that by the time they've mastered the last stage, it's not a very big jump to learning to play Killer Bunnies. Killer Bunnies is supposed to be for ages 13+ but my 8 year old can play quite successfully having cut her teeth on Kinder Bunnies. This is important because I need someone to play with when the poker night girls are busy. Amazon again has this one.

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