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Easy Family Game Ideas

June 11th, 2010 - Category: Family Time

I’ve written a lot about family time and how important it is to make quality time for your family. One of the most entertaining ways to spend quality family time is to find fun easy games that the whole family can enjoy. Growing up in a small town, I’ve had to learn a lot of games. I have played a wide variety of  games throughout my life, as I’m sure most of you have, including board games, outdoor night games, card games, and any other type of game you can think of. We had to have SOMETHING to do in order to keep us busy on those long summer nights in a small town.

Playing games with your friends is no doubt fun. What we may not realize is that those same games can be played as a family in order to grow closer together and establish tighter bonds between family members. That in mind, I wanted to list a few easy family games. These are just some ideas, I’m sure everyone has their own favorites and I invite you to share those with us as well. I always love to learn a new game and try it out with the family. It’s fun when the game is new for everyone so all members feel like they are on equal playing fields and you can have fun learning together.

(Keep in mind that you may have different names for some of these same games in your own family)

Easy Family Card Games

  • Kings Four Corners: Each player starts with 7 cards with the deck in the middle and four cards face up around the deck. Draw one card per turn. A King moves to the corner (1 for each suit… hence 4 corners) and you fill in the line with the same suit from king down to ace. First person to run out of his/her hand wins.
  • Rummy: Rules of this game can be found here.
  • Spoons: Sit in a circle. The object is to get four of a kind. Each person starts with 4 cards. The person who starts draws a card from the pile. He can choose to keep the card or pass it. He must pass one of his cards to the person next to him and it keeps going around the circle. The first person continues to draw from the deck. When someone gets four of a kind, he/she grabs one of several spoons in the middle (there is one less spoons in the middle as there are people playing). After one person takes a spoon everyone is allowed to grad a spoon. The person who is left without a spoon at the end must sit out until the next round. Play the game until there is only one person left, the winner!
  • Go Fish: Rules here
  • Crazy 8′s: Rules here
  • Apples to Apples: This is a fun game where each person get’s to find out his personality type at the end by the cards that he wins throughout the game. For rules to this game, click here.

Easy Outdoor Games for Families

  • Hide and Seek: One person is the “seeker.” Everyone else hides and the seeker counts to a pre-determined number and then tries to find those hiding.
  • Cops and Robbers:You need two teams. One team are cops and the other are robbers. You also need to choose a jail area. The cops have to stand in the jail and count to five. When they get to five, the have to run and try and chase the robbers. If they catch any, they put them in jail. When the team is caught, the games is over and the teams swap roles.
  • Big Foot Relay: Have the children bring two shoeboxes with them. Tape the lids onto the boxes, then cut a one-inch-wide and four-inch long slit in each top. Have the contestants slip their feet into the slits in the boxes and race.
  • Giant Squid: This game came as a result of our family watching a movie where a giant squid terrorized a submarine… can’t remember the movie name. Have four or five bases spread out across the yard. One or two people in the middle are the squid and the others try to avoid the squid by running from base to base (ship to ship).
  • Pick Pocket Tag: Put a strip of cloth in each player’s back pocket. Have the players try to grab each other’s strips without having their own strip taken. The player with the most cloth strips wins the game.

Easy Family Board Games

  • Monopoly: a good game to teach kids about money.
  • Life: simulates a person traveling through his/her life. They encounter real life situations from college , getting married, having kids…etc. Good family game.
  • Settlers of Catan: The players in the game represent settlers establishing colonies on the island of Catan. Players build settlements, cities, and roads to connect them as they settle the island.
  • Chess: Protect your queen while trying to get the other player in “check-mate.”
  • Checkers: played on an eight by eight squared board (with sixty-four total squares) with twelve pieces on each side. These pieces may only initially move and capture diagonally forwards. Only when a piece is “crowned” or “kinged” may it move both backwards or forwards.

These are just a few of the games I grew up with and still play today with my family. What are the games that you play? Maybe you have games you or a family member have come up with yourself that you’d like to share. Happy parenting and maybe your kids will want to use some of those points from completing their chore chart to buy some board games or family game time.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks!…

    I hope you can continue to build a passionate community here, I’ve quite loved the experience of reading your blog so far….

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