The holidays are sneaking up on us, and my kids are making lists of all the things we’re going to do that don’t involve eating dinners out of Tupperware in the back of the minivan or needing to get out of our pajamas. They crave the change in routine as much as I do. We are searching for family-friendly movies (and have a few we plan to see in the theatre, too) and we’re stockpiling games and puzzles to take over the dining room table after Christmas dinner is cleared.
Each year, we put a new set of board games (see last year’s post for my top five suggestions) under the tree, and this year we’ll be adding some really great ones. Here are some that we’ve discovered this year and a couple new ones that we look forward to diving into during our holiday hygge.
Just like one of our family favourites, Bounce Off, this game requires minimal explanation or time spent working out the rules. It’s perfect for a wide variety of ages, and easy to pull out on playdates. It’s a hands-on Tetris like game and appeals to anyone who likes geometry and strategy.
Got a kid who could use some extra practice with math? This is the perfect sneaky way to make that happen, while still having fun. My parents love playing this game and my sister generously gifted our house and theirs with our own sets.
I used to love playing games like Risk and Survival when I was a kid, so it delights me to see my son and his friends gathered around a card table playing this very popular and strategic game. It’s great for communication and provides a good pace for hoovering back lots of snacks, too. There are also several add-on packs that can be purchased.
I haven’t had a chance to play this game yet, but all the reviews I’ve heard from family and friends have been positive. Like, Settlers of Catan, it’s a game of strategy. It’s also a game that straddles several age groups and perfect for parents to play with their kids.
There is a lot of Potter paraphernalia going under our tree this year. We’ve had the travel-sized Harry Potter Trivia Pursuit set of cards since two Christmases ago, but this year we’re going big with the full-scale version. I’m no longer able to compete with my kids when it comes to any Potter trivia. But it warms my heart to watch them tossing out facts about these beloved characters. All four of them are heavily invested in the series, and I know this is going to be a hit for our family.
If you have any MUST-HAVE games to add to this list, please send them my way. We have big every intention of going into full hibernation this holiday season. Having older kids, who don’t need to be around as much as they did when they were young, has its advantages, and we plan to take full advantage.