My love of games started early! During family get togethers and holiday meals, we’d bring out the board games and always have a ton of fun.
So as my little kids get older and start understanding strategy better, it’s been a blast introducing them to some of my childhood favorites. Here are five that I still love! And yes, the links are affiliate links! You’ve been notified! 😀
I’ll always remember playing this game at my Aunt and Uncle’s house after eating Thanksgiving dinner, or Easter dinner, or a just because dinner. It was our go-to game.
Though game time with my extended family have slowed, and we rarely play together anymore, I’ll always treasure those memories.
The goal of Pictionary is simple. Draw a picture of the word you draw and have your partner guess what you drew before the time runs out.
To keep it simple, I let my early readers pick any word on the card that they can read. If they can’t read any, they can switch cards.
Soon we’ll be able to play by all the rules, but until then it’s a fun way to introduce it!
Stratego was one of the most popular games during my middle school years. I spent many hours with friends during lunch trying to capture the flag in the library.
My oldest and I have been playing this one for years. But we recently introduced it to two of the younger kids. It’s fun to have tournaments. One person plays the winner from the first game, and then the final person plays the winner of the second.
The toddlers sit on the table and play with the pieces that have been captured.
To win the game, you have to use your pieces strategically to avoid mines, and find where your opponent hid their flag piece. I’m not very good, because I usually end up with no moveable pieces left.
But, I still enjoy playing. You don’t have to win to have fun playing games! Or to enjoy the memories they bring back.
Another middle school classic, I added this game to our collection last Christmas. I hadn’t played in years, but it all came back to me!
I found the “classic” version of Mastermind at Target, and it even looked just like I remembered.
This game is pure logic. One player sets up a secret code of four colored pegs on one end of the board. The other player tries to match the code.
The guesser sets up a code and the CodeMaster uses black and white pegs to show success. A black peg means there is a peg that’s the right color, in the right position. A white peg means there’s a peg that’s the right color but in the wrong spot.
You aren’t told which colors are which, so you have to use some of your turns to gather that information.
Well, when I explain it like that, this game sounds boring, but it’s not! Here’s my nine-year-old getting set up for his turn as CodeMaster.
My husband enjoys this game too, and he’s really good at it! It’s fun to watch the kids try to beat him.
This game is perhaps my ultimate favorite from childhood. I wasn’t able to play too often because my family didn’t love it as much as I did, but that just made it even more special when I did get to play!
Trying to keep track of who, where, and what provided great critical thinking practice. Of course, I didn’t think of that back then, I just enjoyed solving a mystery. Just like I enjoyed reading Encyclopedia Brown books!
I don’t like Clue Jr. very much, so I’m excited my kids can now play Clue with me!
We even had to make our own cards since we ran out a long time ago. Now we just print a bunch at once and leave them in the box.
Another board game from my childhood that I remember playing with my extended family, Balderdash was one of the few board games my mom enjoyed.
The reader of each round draws a word. These words aren’t your normal board game words. I think the creators just randomly opened dictionary pages and selected the most obscure words they could think of!
Crazy words are in Balderdash!
Once the word is read, everyone else has to write a definition of what the word could mean. While they’re working on that, the reader writes the real definition.
After everyone has submitted their definition, the reader reads everything aloud. Players take turns guessing what the real definition is. You get points for other people guessing your definition.
This is a good game to introduce once some basic dictionary skills are understood. That way dictionary definitions are a little more natural.
I’m still working with the kids on this one, since their writing isn’t quite up to this level yet. So we mainly play orally. I’m the reader for each round, and after saying the word and part of speech, the kids come over to me and tell me their definition. Then I write it down so I remember, and after everyone has had a turn, I shuffle and read them all aloud.
What were your favorite games from childhood?
I’d love you to share in the comments.