LISTS:-Websites: -Board Games: -Things to do: -Movies:
Each site contains a list of fun and educational places for you go visit as a family!
Have a Family Game Night!
- Chess – The standard-bearer for board games, chess is an international phenomenon that continues to challenge players world-wide. More people on a global scale play and know the game of chess than any other game. Its complexity, the strategy required to perform well, and the ease of play (requiring not even a board and characters, but just a pencil and paper) ensure that this game is the greatest and most popular of all time.
- Checkers – Considered “the poor man’s chess”, checkers is almost as complex and popular as chess, and the variations for play have filled books and websites for years. Just like chess and other popular games, there are national and international tournaments in checkers, and popular culture has fully embraced this game of “capture”.
- Monopoly – Many would argue Monopoly should sit at the top of this list – and it is probably the most popular commercial board game, having existed and thrived in many forms for almost 100 years. Everyone’s played the various novelty incarnations (Simpsons-opoly, University of Texas-opoly, etc.) but the basic introductory version, the old-school Monopoly you played with your parents featuring the infamous paper money – this is the version that reigns supreme over all other commercial games.
- Scrabble – The best-known and most popular word game, Scrabble has a fanatic following of wordsmiths – you know, those people quick to correct your usage and grammar on the bus. The game is for two to four players who take turn forming words on a crossword puzzle-type board. More obscure letters and words lead to higher point totals.
- Clue – Known as “Cluedo” in its original format (a United Kingdom version published in 1949) this guessing game is a favorite of children and adults alike for the social interaction it encourages. Everyone knows the story – whodunit in what room with what weapon – and the guessing aspect only heightens the tension and raises the stakes for players. Many variations exist now, including versions for kids and many foreign language versions.
- Risk – A war strategy game invented by a French film director in 1957. This is a turn-based game for two to six players based on the world at the time of Napoleon (see the French influence?) The goal is to dominate the world with your army by capturing countries through military might. Risk is another game known for eating up entire weekends and creating rivalries among friends. Many expansions exist, both official and unofficial, including a futuristic version called Risk:2210 AD.
- Life – One of the older American board games still played, The Game of Life was first invented in 1861 and released that year by Milton Bradley. Players move through their life by spinning a wheel and following various tracks, making important decisions along the way. Children enjoy pretending they are growing up, adding children and jobs and money along the way, while adults seem to enjoy wondering what “could have been”. Updated versions include new rules and new careers to pursue. – 8. Sorry – A slide and pursuit game, based loosely on the classic Parchisi game from India. The game also includes aspects of card games and capture games – the rules are simple to follow and players of all ages can participate.
- Chutes and Ladders – A children’s game known outside America as “snakes and ladders”, this classic game features very simple rules and a repetitive game play beloved by younger players. The board has changed very little over the years, still featuring original cartoons drawn at the time of the game’s design during Victorian England.
- Othello – The game that takes “a moment to learn, a lifetime to master” is going strong, rounding out our top 10. Similar in many ways to the classic game of Go, the game of Othello is also known as Reversi. A classic strategy game involving battle between Light and Dark forces, Othello plays out on a simple grid much like Go and strategies abound. Interesting note: no human Othello player has ever been able to beat the computers programmed to play perfect games. Unlike chess, Othello seems to have a learning curve that is unbeatable for humans.
- Axis & Allies – One of the most popular war games ever, Axis and Allies has a cult following that rivals many game’s commercial followings. This in-depth World War II simulation and strategy game is infamous for stretching over hours, days, or even weeks. Spinoffs have started to appear, cementing this game’s popularity for years to come.
- Trivial Pursuit – The classic trivia game is still a cocktail party standard. Though most players these days have abandoned the monotonous board setup in favor of a more simple trivia session, using the cards and not the game pieces, new versions of the game appear all the time, including anniversary and topic-specific editions.
- Go – An ancient game which first appeared in print in the 4th century (but is much older than this), Go is best known to Westerners as its Westernized version “Othello”, already mentioned in this list. As complex strategically as chess, Go appears very simple at first. Players take turns setting different colored tiles at intersections to “capture” the other player’s tiles. Sometimes referred to as “Goe”.
- Mancala – The name Mancala refers to any number of games in the family of “count and capture” games – and many experts claim Mancala is the oldest continuously played board game in the world. Americans and Westerners in general may not be as familiar with this game, but here’s hoping this changes: the game has been around since the 6th century AD.
- Backgammon – A member of the game family known as “table games”, Backgammon is another ancient game that has changed little over time. The basic object is to remove all of your pieces from the Backgammon board before your opponent. Movement and play is based on a roll of the dice.
- Battleship – At its simplest, Battleship is a guessing game. Long before the board version came out, featuring the classic back-to-back “cheat proof” setup, players sank each other’s battleships with paper and pencil. First published in 1931, the basic theme of naval combat hasn’t lost popularity.
- Stratego – This is a classic war strategy game, where the players control a large number of pieces representing the soldiers and officers of rival armies. The game depends on misleading your opponent, a good deal of bluffing, and strategy learned over time in order to win. This game is an adaptation of an ancient Chinese chess variant, called “Animal Chess”.
- Connect Four – A game where players take alternating turns dropping colored discs into an upright board in order to form rows of four, Connect Four is aimed at and most popular among children under the age of 13. However, the strategies learned in Connect Four are easily adapted to other games – chess, checkers, even Scrabble can be played with more precision after mastering the four-in-a-row tactics of Connect Four.
- Pictionary – Another of the “social” games, Pictionary is a guessing game where players must interpret the drawings of other players. Pitting team against team, and sometimes player against player, Pictionary depends less on your artistic abilities than your team’s willingness to work together and not panic. Pictionary is a great party game, and there are many versions for the consumer to choose from, including Pictionary Jr. and an adult version available online.
- Scattergories – A quick-thinking game of categories and guessing that pits players against one another. Players score points by naming items in specific categories within a set amount of time. Invented and produced first in the late 80s by Hasbro, Scattergories is another popular party game.
- Cranium – The board part of this party board game is based on Ludo, the simplest of board games, but the gameplay itself is rather unique. Players must act, sing, craft, and guess their way to points, participating in various activities along the way designed to get people out of their shell. A typical game will find one team lip syncing one minute, and the next minute the opposing team is guessing and shouting and laughing – truly a great game for parties, Cranium is quickly moving up the list of popular games.
- Parcheesi – An ancient game from India, Parcheesi is most popular these days in Western Europe, where tournaments are attended in large numbers and play is highly competitive. This game brings together traditional die-rolling movement, capturing, and strategy to create a fairly unique game that has lasted for centuries. The name of the game is mostly responsible for its place in pop culture – the funny name of the game has undoubtedly added to its recognition. However, families of adults and children alike still play this game, and it doesn’t appear to be losing popularity.
- Boggle – Another word game, this time the challenge is every player against himself as time runs down and players attempt to form words out of random letter configurations. Similar to Scrabble in that words must be formed from letters, Boggle is at the same time completely different from all other board games in that the letters available are different every time. Like most great board games, there are Boggle tournaments throughout the world.
- Mastermind – This is a code-breaking guessing game invented in the 1960s by telecommunication students at an Israeli university. The game has caught on to such a degree that rip-offs appear all over the place: board games, computer games, paper and pencil knockoffs, etc. A perfect game for the Information age, Mastermind is never the same game twice.
- Balderdash – A great party game, Balderdash enjoyed huge popularity in the 1990s because it combined two favorite game types: guessing and bluffing. Players had to determine the true definition of a particularly difficult English word among a group of definitions made up by the other players. Shouting and laughing are two big components of this game – but some players think this game is the domain of the Nerdy, and this may have led to its falling popularity.
- Girl Talk – A favorite of the sleepover set, Girl Talk is a silly board game from 1988. The reason it is on a list of such popular games is that it may be the most popular female-oriented board game of all time. Most girls will find a copy of this game amongst their toys and belongings, and it is easy to understand why. Girl Talk allows girls to fantasize and communicate with each other about the future – and with categories for play like “Marriage”, “Career”, “Love” etc, it is easy to see this game as a board game version of the popular pen-and-paper game of M.A.S.H.
Mr. Santor's TOP 5:
Senet Pentago Blokus Sequence Phase 10
Things to do at home...
- Find out about your area's community center and/or park activities.
- Wash the dog. (A neighbor's dog if you don't have one!)
- Have a family slumber party.
- Build a fort.
- Get out the family photo album.
- Research your family history.
- Play stickball.
- Play hopscotch.
- Play board games.
- Clean the house together (Have a pick-up party.)
- Make up a play or skit.
- Fly kites.
- Make a collage out of pictures from old magazines.
- Set up a lemonade stand on a warm day.
- Shoot hoops together. Play H.O.R.S.E.
- Draw pictures of members of your family.
- Make a family calendar.
- Tell stories around a firepit or the barbecue.
- Organize a game of capture the flag.
- Make miniature boats and float them in some water.
- Write letters to grandparents.
- Play freeze-tag.
- Tell scary stories (With lights out.)
- Play broom ball.
- Go for a hike.
- Go for a bike ride together.
- Go get ice cream and walk around the neighborhood.
- Learn to play the guitar together.
- Listen to classical music with the lights off and take turns saying what it sounds like.
- Organize a community clean-up.
- Go rollerblading.
- Paint a picture, a mural or a room.
- Learn how to use a compass.
- Organize 72 hour kits.
- Plant a tree or some flowers.
- Learn the metric system.
- Learn sign language.
- Go swimming.
- Go bird watching.
- Walk the dog. (A neighbor's dog if you don't have one!)
- Pick berries/fruit together
- Bake cookies or bread.
- Make homemade jam.
- Take treats to neighbors or friends.
- Plant a garden.
- Join a family choir.
- Start a family journal.
- Play cards.
- Start a family exercise group.
- Sing (in the car).
- Visit a local bookstore or library.
- Make crafts together.
- Make Christmas ornaments together.
- Write a story together.
- Put a sleeping bag out in the back yard and watch the night sky through binoculars.
- Play touch football.
- Have a culture night. Make a meal and learn about another culture.
- Take photographs.
- Invite friends over.
- Do yard work together.
- Play Frisbee.
- Make your own family cards for the holidays or birthdays.
- Go camping – in the backyard.
- Go for a long walk.
- Play charades.
- Have everyone in the family say what they love best about each other.
- Climb a tree.
- Watch the sunset.
- Have a picnic. (If it's raining, have a picnic in the family room on a blanket.)
- Invite a family over for a barbecue.
- Learn how to fold the American Flag.
- Visit and elder person or someone shut in.
- Have a first-aid night. Invite other families. Call the fire department for a class.
- Learn what to do if you are lost.
- Have a budgeting class. Save for a family trip.
- Learn how to build a fire and the cook hot dogs.
- Have an etiquette night. Practice your skills over a formal dinner.
- Talk about drugs. Do role-playing.
- Have a friend come and discuss good nutrition and health practices.
- Learn home repairs for an activity.
- Prepare a family group sheet/four generation pedigree chart.
- Interview an older family member.
- Start a family collection. (coins, rocks, stories, dress-up, clothes, treasures).
- Have a bubble blowing contest.
- Do bubbles outside. Try different instruments.
- Have a baking contest.
- Adopt a grandma or grandpa.
- Watch an old movie together.
- Make a family goal chart.
- Learn to play golf together.
- Make a pizza together.
- Make a family cook book.
- Have a family treasure hunt.
- Have a family dance.
- Solve a crossword or wordsearch puzzle together.
Watch a MOVIE
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