Gateway Games: Family GamesNovember 29, 2018
Gateway Games is a series of articles aimed at helping you find the games that are right for you. Today, I’m going to recommend some good games for the littlest of gamers!
With the upcoming holidays, now is the best time to buy the children and families in your life board games that are fun for all ages! Everyone knows the classic starter games, like Candy Land, Hi Ho! Cheery-O, and Chutes & Ladders. These games are great for teaching important gameplaying skills like waiting for your turn and following rules. Nowadays, parents and role models can expand the playing field because there are so many more games that can actually help prepare little ones for strategy games versus games of pure luck.
There are a lot of games aimed at children out in the market, but I’m going to cover a few of my favorite.
HABA has an incredible selection of games for children of all ages with a variety of strategies and educational concepts. Orchard is one of the most popular HABA games. Orchard is a cooperative game where players roll dice to harvest and sort fruit into the proper baskets before the raven reaches the fruit trees. My personal favorite game to play with my 2-year-old is First Orchard, the version of this game aimed at toddlers with less, larger pieces and simpler ways to play. What is really great is that this game has helped him to learn colors and how to sort items of the same type. As he gets older, we can go further and further into the rules as he is ready for more, experiencing the different ways to play the game.
2. Spot it!
When Spot it! released, I was working in retail and recommended it to every customer that walked through the door. It rarely sat on the shelf for more than a half day after we got our weekly restocks. My eldest niece is a huge fan of this game and has enjoyed playing it since she was 5-years-old. There are a few different ways to play, but in all of the versions, players use a pile of circular cards. Each card has a selection of art and every two cards have only one matching piece of art. The goal is to find the matching art faster than your opponent(s). This is very fun with children and helps them learn to use their brain fast because you have to say the matching art before you can move to the next card. This is still one of my favorite games to play with family and is great in any party setting.
3. Get Bit!
In this cute card game, Get Bit!, players are competing to swim the fastest in order to not get bit by a shark. Players have a hand of cards and must simultaneously play cards face-down, aiming to be at the front of the line with the highest number. However, if you place the same number down as another player, you don’t get to swim ahead. Whichever player is in the back of the line after each card placement loses a limb. This continues until one swimmer is left with limbs! The pieces are colorful and fun to play with while the gameplay is fast-paced with interesting player interactions.
I hope this article was helpful as a guide for finding gifts to give and games to play with all ages and family.