Trying to pry kids away from the computer or video games can be a hard task these days. Having a game night is a great way to spend time bonding with your kids and a tricky way to help them get smarter.
Keep in mind that if your kids are really young they should start out with simple games like candy land, go fish, war, crazy eights, hungry hippo etc. It is a good idea to graduate them to higher skilled games as soon as possible.
Many games such as monopoly, life, battleship and others are very low skill. If you want to teach your kids critical thinking then it is time to get them playing higher skill games. The ultimate high skill game is chess. Most games have some element of skill vs luck. Here are some of our favorite high skill board games.
Stratego: This is a two player game where both players set up their army and flag. The catch is that your opponents pieces are kept a secret. Each piece has different values and skills sets. You must navigate through and defeat this invisible army to take your opponents flag.
Risk: This game is all about world domination. It can be played with up to six players. Each player must manage their armies and plan attacks and defense against the other players. Over extend your army and risk it’s defeat. Play it too safe and your army remains too small to defend itself.
Up Words: My favorite word game for sure. Unlike scrabble every letter has a single point. The trick is you can cover letters up. Two high is worth two points etc. You are also allowed to change letters in a way that allows the formation of multiple words in multiple directions.
Settler of Catan: Build roads, houses and settlements. Trade and barter for items that help you build your settlements. However builds the fastest wins.
Munchkins: Okay maybe this isn’t a super high skill game, but it is a super fun children’s game similar to D&D. Here is the big twist, the characters and items are super funny most of the time. This is a silly role playing game.
Farming game: This game smashes monopolies attempt at teaching kids anything about business or money. You must plan your farm picking from different crops. Each crop has pros and cons. First rich farmer wins.
Sequence: This game is a hybrid between cards and a board game for 2-4 players. This game is all about five in a row. You must block your opponents and get five in a row before they can.
Playing these games is also great to create some competitive spirit and build self esteem. I never let my kids win, nor should you. When they finally do win they feel so accomplished. It is good for them to also learn how to lose, but also have the drive to get better.
Here is short list of the best high skilled card games.
Rummi: A great card game based on points. This game has tons of strategy. You must build points while blocking opponents from getting the cards they need. Go out early and make them go minus.
Oh Hell: This is the best card game invented. Whether you are dealt good cards or bad cards doesn’t matter. This is a bidding game. You bid the amount of tricks you will take. You are rewarded for being right.
500: This game is similar to oh hell, except it is a partner game.
Dirty clubs: This card game is similar to 500, but best played with 3.
Start having a regular game night. It will help you bond with your kids and give them tools to navigate the rest of their life. Heck, it might even help some of you old fogies keep sharp too!