Board games have gotten my family through all this staying home we have endured in the last year. We have used them not only to pass the time, but to connect. We have been able to extend this to our family and friends in other states, as well. I hope that even when we can travel again safely, we still enjoy a game of Uno with out of state aunts and uncles occasionally.
I enjoy grabbing games as gifts because I see them as a gift of time together. There’s a good chance that we get a new game for Valentine’s Day. Whenever possible, I buy the travel version of a game. This allows us to easily bring a game or two along on vacations, as well as taking up less space in our home. Most of the time, the travel version is cheaper and plays the exact same way!
Games for Playing Over Zoom
When we first started trying to figure out how to stay connected to family and friends during the pandemic, we struggled with Zoom meetings where everyone talked over each other. The idea of playing a game together gives the meeting some structure and keeps the conversation flowing.
Uno– This is relatively easy but we learned the hard way to make sure everyone has the same version. Some of the fun Uno decks out there have different color schemes that can make it confusing.
What Do You Meme? Family Edition– I bought this for my kids as a gift because I knew they would enjoy it. It is hilarious to see their sense of humor come out. Playing with someone on Zoom is a little tricky, but we have our long-distance player serve as the perpetual judge, which is just as hilarious, and they don’t even need a copy of the game!
Tenzi– This game is so quick and easy to play and if players on both side have the game (or ten dice!) then everyone can have a good time! Word of warning, this one gets a little loud if you have a few people playing on each end.
Battleship– This is a two-player game so it has been great for one on one time with a grandparent. Each person will need a game board set but the game plays pretty much the same in person as it does over Zoom.
Yahtzee– This is another one that is easily translated for Zoom play! Each person just uses their own cup of dice and Yahtzee pad. You can take turns with your rolls and help each other keep score as needed. We have done multi day tournaments that were fun and something to look forward to.
Games to Play as a Family
These are games that don’t translate into Zoom games very easily, but check them out if you haven’t heard of them before. They have been winners for my family. When we have a lazy afternoon with bored and bickering kids and I’m tempted to put on a movie, sometimes I make a tray of snacks and let the kids each pick a game to play. My favorites move quickly and have simple, easy to follow rules.
Gotrio– This travel game is tic tac toe with a twist. It adds a touch of strategy and can be played with 3 people. Definitely worth a look!
Sushi Go– This is one my kids come back to. There is some strategy, math and score keeping involved, but it is fast paced and everyone enjoys it.
Quirkle– This is my go to game to bring on trips. It is easy to play but gets immensely more fun when you use some strategy. When we first got the game, we would play in teams to help the kids learn the strategy piece, but now they easily can play and win on their own.
Sloth in a Hurry– This is a charades-based game but adds a couple of twists that make for more laughs. It’s a great game for family night.
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel– This is a no reading required game that everyone in the family enjoys playing. It includes an adorable squirrel shaped tweezers to play with. Also, playing this game taught my kids sportsmanship in a fun way. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!
Does your family enjoy board games? What are some of your favorites?