By Andy Merrett
Feb 1, 2012
80 Games Every Family Should Play
Frisbees are a lot of fun for families to play with, but a few years ago Aerobie burst (flew) onto the scene. It’s a supercharged frisbee that will have you doing more incredible mid-air stunts and manoeuvres than you thought possible.
Its super aerodynamic design means it flies fast and far, yet is relatively easy to catch (if you’re in its flight path) without the pain associated with a solid plastic disc if you catch it wrong.
Ideal for use in large open spaces such as parks and beaches.
2. Air Hockey
Many parents will think of air hockey with a happy nostalgic sigh, while kids will love the simple, addictive concept. It’s now possible to buy mini air hockey sets and recreate the excitement of slamming that disc into your opponent’s goal.
Great family fun as you have to describe a myriad of words to your team without using particular words printed on the cards, “rhymes with” or “sounds like”.
Some of the words and phrases might not work with younger children, but you could always adapt the game to allow a parent to help youngsters or allow them to pass words they don’t know.
Backgammon is one of those games that everyone knows about but not everyone knows how to play. Maybe it’s a bit like Marmite — you either love it or hate it — but it’s definitely worth learning how to play. It’s quite simple to understand but has a good mix of strategy and luck.
Whether you play with paper and pencils or decide to buy one of the modern versions, Battleships is a classic game that’s definitely worth introducing to your kids.
6. Beat The Black Ball
Sadly this game doesn’t seem to be manufactured any more. Picture a plastic cross with a huge funnel sticking out from the centre. One player sets a large black ball spinning in the funnel, then four players attempt to be the last person to release their marble before the black ball drops through the funnel’s spout and into the chute below.
It’s a very simple game but strangely addictive.
A great strategy game that’s easy to learn but hard to master. Players take turns placing pieces on their board, each starting from their corner. Each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners. The goal is to get rid of all your pieces. The game ends when all players are blocked from laying down any more of their pieces, then the player with least number of squares wins.
8. Blow Football
Popular in the UK, blow football tends to be an impromptu game using drinking straws, ping pong balls and something to represent goals, but various boxed versions are also available. It can be played with two people — one on each side — or by multiple people.
Boggle is a classic wordsearch style game. It consists of 16 cubes with various letters printed on them, which are then shaken up and allowed to fall in a random formation on a 4×4 grid. Players then seek to find the most words in a given time. It’s a great educational game and remains a challenge for the whole family.
10. Bop It
Bop It, and its successors, are popular, noisy handheld toys which encourage hand-eye coordination and are a lot of fun to play. They can be played solo or in various ‘pass it’ modes allowing two or more people to join in. The concept — to correctly follow spoken or sound effect instructions by pulling, twisting or otherwise manipulating the “Bop It” — sounds simple but can be surprisingly fiendish.