Beat Lockdown Boredom with a Family Board Game
As we are in the midst of our 98th lockdown (…or perhaps that’s just what it feels like) we thought we’d share our favourite, more unfamiliar, family board games that are helping us to pass the time. As a bonus, all of the games we’ve chosen have an element of education – spelling, mathematics, memory, probability – so you can definitely count playing towards your home-schooling efforts!
Lesson - Spelling
How to play – Players take 21 letter tiles and try to use them all by creating words in an interlocking grid. There are a number of options for game play depending on how long you have and how complex you want to make the game.
Review – This is more fast paced than other word games as you don’t need to wait while other players think. You can amend the rules for children so they focus on creating 3+ letter words, which don’t need to be interlocking, whilst adults play the normal rules. As their skill improves make it more difficult for them by tasking them to find 2 x 3+ letter words and 2 x 4+ letter words – the winner is the person who finishes first.
Bonus: If you’re bored of quizzes, this is a good one for adults to play via Zoom (or any other video messaging software).
Pass the Pandas
Lesson - Chance / Strategy
How to play - Players start with a number of dice that they must try and get rid of – water vanishes out of the game, pandas are passed to another player, bamboo starts a challenge, and you keep your blanks.
Review - Don’t let the simplicity put you off, this panda themed game is fast paced and great fun.
Bonus - We can’t say for certain but we *think* this will make a fun drinking game – adults only, of course!
Lesson - Chance / Probability / Mathematics / Strategy
How to play – Players have 13 rounds, with 3 rolls of 5 dice per round, to achieve a variety of combinations – such as 3-of-a-kind, full house, a straight, and Yahtzee (5 dice of the same number). At the end of each round players choose which category the combination of numbers on their dice best suits, bearing in mind the points available and future chances of a better score.
Review – There’s lots of adding up so this will certainly count as maths homework. Young children may struggle with the strategy, as a decent understanding of probability is required, but they’ll enjoy rolling the dice and there’s a degree of chance in hitting the high scores. Being able to shout Yahtzee feels so good!
Bonus - Again, this is a great game to play with family and friends via video messaging as all players need is 5 dice and someone with the rules and a scorecard.
Brain Box – abc
Lesson - Memory / Observation
How to play – Players take it in turns to study a card, which has a number of pictures on. When the timer is up, players roll a die and answer a question that tests their observation and memory skills.
Review – This is a good fun game, which is simple to learn how to play. A challenge for adults and children alike!
Bonus – All the items on each card either have the same initial letter, word ending, vowel sound or diagraphs to align with the phonics curriculum taught in schools – win, win!
Ludo (Pirate themed)
Lesson - Strategy
How to play –The aim of the game is to move all of your pieces around the board until they are 'safe'! Watch-out though, if someone else lands on your piece you’ll have to go back to the start.
Review – It’s unbelievably frustrating getting sent back to the beginning when someone lands on you but this strategic game is great if you want to play a slightly longer family game.
Bonus - The Orchard Toys version is pirate themed for a fun twist and the board is double-sided so you’ll also be able to play Snakes and Ladders.
Have you played any of these games? What are your family favourites? Let us know in the comments.