I’m not really a game person. I grew up with a super competitive older sister (love you, Janssen!) who would become very unhappy if she lost any game, so over time they just lost their appeal for me, I guess.
And then I had kids and they got older and suddenly they wanted to play games. And wanted to play games with me. So I had to bite the bullet and play some games with them, and it turns out that I actually don’t dislike all games…there are some that are fun and don’t take all afternoon (I’m looking at you Settlers of Catan).
So I have my personal list of approved games that I really enjoy playing with my kids that don’t make me want to die of boredom or poke my eyes out, and if you’re looking for some new games, try some of these!
1. Sleeping Queens.
Sleeping Queens is a fun and quick card game. The age recommendation is 8 and up, but Fos is five and has been playing this for almost a year, so younger kids can definitely pick it up. Each game takes less than ten minutes, and it has only a few simple rules. We’ve played it hundreds of times and I still like it.
2. Nine Innings (or Golf)
We learned this from our cousins, and when I looked online, I found it under the name of “Golf,” not Nine Innings. But it’s a quick and easy card game that our whole family loves to play and is easy for even pretty young kids to play.
We just play it with traditional face cards, and I found the rules we follow RIGHT HERE. The only difference from the way we play is the point system. We don’t play with the Jokers, but instead the Queen is worth +10 and the Jack is worth -3.
This is the one we’re playing in the photos above!
My mom bought this when she came to stay for a few days while Philip and I were away, and it instantly became a favorite. It’s easy for super young kids to play cause you just have to pop the dice bubble and move your pieces around the board. Also I love that you can play an entire game in about ten minutes.
My boys recently learned how to play Speed and have loved playing it together. It’s similar to the game Skip Bo that I grew up playing with my family, although I love that it goes fast. Are we seeing a pattern here? I have a game attention span of about fifteen minutes max 😉
If you’ve played the adult version of Sequence, it’s with face cards and it’s very fun (we own that one too). But this is a great version for kids that helps them learn their letters and sounds. You have to match the letter on the card with an item on the board that begins with that letter, so it provides a few learning skills in one!
I loooooved the game of Guess Who when I was kid, and now I love playing it with my kids. We have a slightly different version from the classic version that has big sheet cards, but I totally want to get the original version with all the faces cause it’s just super fun.
In full disclosure, I’ve never played the original Game of Life. So I don’t know how it compares, but The Game of Life Jr. is fun and pretty quick. I love the cards that make you act out little things, or have you earn a dollar because you helped someone. It’s just easy and cute.
The only downside is that I can’t play this game just with Fos because he can’t read very well yet, and you have to be able to read the cards and have the other person act it out. So this is a good game for your kids who can read!
8. Classic kid’s card games: UNO, Go Fish, Old Maid, Matching, etc.
These card games usually come in a set, like this one, and they’re quick and easy games that most young kids can learn pretty easily. Also I love that they don’t take too long.
My brother bought this for my boys for Christmas last year and now it’s one of our favorites to play! It’s actually probably the only game I’ll play with my boys that takes longer than fifteen minutes. Some games go quickly, but others take up to thirty minutes or so. But it’s a fun strategy game, and even Fos at five years old can play and loves it.
10. Puzzles for little kids.
Maybe this doesn’t fall into the same category in your mind, but I had to toss in something I love doing with Sanny, who’s two. He loves puzzles right now, and there are several that we do every day that I actually enjoy doing and don’t take that long.
Floor puzzles are my favorite because they pieces are big and they’re pretty easy to make.
Now it’s your turn…
I’d love if you’d share some of your family favorites that you like playing — we’d love to add a few more to our cupboard for summer!