Board Game Parade: Games You Might Not Know

by Amy Kraft on May 17, 2010

Friend of the blog, game and media expert, and creator of things that do not exist, Russell Ginns is backfor a guest post. Nobody knows board games like Russell does, and if you have the chance, pick up Russell’s own wonderful board game, Word Spot.

Perhaps you have had this experience: Kids invite you to play a board game, such as Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. Half an hour later, the game is still going, seemingly as far from its conclusion as when you started. Nothing new has happened for dozens of turns. Soon, you catch yourself gazing out the window, scanning for an Icelandic mountain that could possibly erupt and distract everyone…

While some of the most popular kids games are good introductions to the concepts of rolling dice, taking turns and drawing cards, there is a UNIVERSE of wonderful fun family games out there.

The next several posts round up some of the great board games you can enjoy with your kids that excel in fun, interaction between players, and reasonable conclusions. Today’s set is good for kids age 5 or 6, and that you can probably track down most of these games at Target, B&N or other mainstream stores.

Snorta! is a tricky, silly memory game where players have to think fast and make the animal noises that match up with other players. The catch, you have to look at pictures of other animals while you try to remember the sound you’re supposed to make. This game is great of up 8 players, and the more the merrier. Quack!

Sherlock is another great memory game. Players take turns moving the detective piece around a circle of cards. Score points by remembering the images on all of the cards. This is one of the games in our house where the kids can usually defeat the grown ups… handily.

Blokus is an abstract strategy game… with very cool colored plastic pieces. Players take turns competing for ever-dwindling space on the board, and the only rule is that your own pieces may only touch each other by their corners.

A to Z Jr. is a competitive category game. Race against the timer to come up with words that match categories such as “sports” or “ice cream flavors”. The grown up version, A to Z (no Jr.) is a hit with my grown up friends, too. Like the rest of the games on this list, the Jr. version great for kids age 5 or 6 and older. Youngest kids may need some help with the reading of the cards—or play with kid/parent teams!

Game aficionado’s note: If you can’t find them there, however, I am a big fan of online game stores such as Funagain Games or Thought Hammer.

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