The Best Board Games

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Looking back on my childhood I try to think of something that stands out the most, something I have fond memories of, something I really enjoyed and would love to do with my family, with my own kids. It is quite easy—I loved winter time when my parents were not too busy on the weekend, tending our huge garden, and we would sit around the dining table and play cards or other games. There was not such a wide selection and variety of games in the former Czechoslovakia then as there is now here but we still had fun.

When my kids were little I couldn’t wait for them to grow up a little to be able to play a board game with us. It was quite challenging to find games that would be suitable for both my kids when they were younger—a game we could all enjoy. My kids are 22 months apart and at that age it makes a huge difference. We struggled to find a game that my son could play with us but would not be beaten by his older sister all the time. Yes, you can play Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, etc. but I’ve always wanted to include games that would be different, fun but would exercise your mind too. Besides, I’d get really bored with the usual lot that is available at Toys’r’us.

My kids are now 6 and 8 and it is a lot more fun to play board games as a family now than two years ago. We are getting there! I have been collecting board games appropriate for my kids’ ages for two years. We have so many now that it is even hard to manage to play all of them during winter (we spend most of the time outdoors when the weather allows it so winter is the best season for board games for us).

Last winter, when my daughter was in 2nd grade, I decided to host a game club every Saturday afternoon. My daughter asked three of her friends to join and it was a huge success! They loved it. We are going to repeat this every winter from now on till they are no longer interested.

When we are in Prague, I usually visit a specialized store that carries award winners from Germany. I was able to find an ingenious game that my friends here (in New Jersey) were not aware of but you can easily order it from Amazon. You just need to know that it exists. I think it was the most popular game for the girls last winter and I have purchased several as gifts. (Magic Labyrinth)

I know I am probably a bit extreme but you don’t have to get all of them. Just take a look and maybe my list will give you an idea for a nice Christmas gift. Wouldn’t you love it if your kids wanted to play a game with you instead of vegging out on the sofa in front of TV?

There is a separate list of games to play with younger kids here but if it is a game equally suitable for both older and younger kids, I will list it in both sections.

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