The Games We Play

I'll trade you 3 sheep for some ore.

If there’s one thing the Six family can all agree that we love, besides cheez dip, it’s a good board game.  Nothing makes me happier than the four of us around the table, doing our best to reign supreme over each other.

Actually finding a good game that we all love is not easy, though.  For one, it has to be appropriate for a wide age range.  It also has to be somewhat challenging.  We are a competitive family, so none of those cooperative games for us.  And most importantly, it has to be fun.

Does a game exist that is appropriate for ages 5 to adult, challenges our competitive spirits, and is fun to play?  Yes!  It’s called The Settlers of Catan.

Now wait … I know what you’re thinking.  Oh, that’s one of those “gamer” games.  It’s hardcore.  It’s not for us.  No!  You  have to give it a chance.  Yes, it does require an initial learning period.  However we found that to be an awesome leveler for our family – for once the kids and the adults were on the same playing field as we tried to figure the game out.  Yes, it does take longer than your run-of-the-mill board game.  But it’s time where you’re having fun as a family and engaging with each other.  Yes, it is challenging, but the game is never the same twice, giving all of us equal opportunities to emerge the victor.  Or, as we like to call it, The King of Catan (wearing the awesome crown is not optional).

King of Catan

We thought Eli might be too young, but he’s surprised us with his logic and strategy.  I would explain the game in detail, but the best description comes straight from the source.

We also love Ticket To Ride, but we’ve yet to incorporate Eli into the game fully.  Reading skills are definitely a must for this game, but if you have kids that are 5 and older that can read, it’s a fun one.

If you’re looking for shorter, more spontaneous games, try Tenzi or Bananagrams.  Both games are small and easy to transport – they’ve come with us to the pool and on many a road trip.  Tenzi, a dice game with several variations, is good for ages 5 and up.  Eli has no trouble hanging with the rest of us on this game.  Bananagrams, a faster variation of word games like Scrabble, is suited for older kids who can read and have a grasp of vocabulary.

So here’s a risky idea … instead of a movie night or an evening where we all retreat to our various screens, how about a family game night?  What games does your family love to play together?




  1. Good post, Angie! We’re with you on “Ticket to Ride” (try the Europe version for a twist) and “The Settlers of Catan”. We also enjoy “Carcassonne” and “You’ve Been Sentenced.” But our current family favorite is “7 Wonders”. Don’t be put off by the suggested age (13 and up) as all 3 of our girls (ages 12, 10, and 7) can play on their own and even beat us on occasion! For younger kids, we highly recommend “Rat-a-Tat-Cat.”

    • You’ve always been our game gurus! I think we discovered “Ticket to Ride” through the Martin family! We love Rat-a-Tat-Cat, too. It was one of the few games that made the “cut” – meaning it didn’t get put in storage during our double move. We’ll definitely check out your other suggestions.

  2. I love board games! Hubby and I used to play games with our couple friends all the time before we ahd kids. We are several years away from Settlers of Catan or anything like that, but I do love that they are getting old enough to play games. We play a lot of Go Fish. I think they might be old enough to get Sequence now too. 🙂

    • Have you seen Sequence Jr.? We loved regular Sequence for a long time, might be time to give it a go again with the kids! And we’re always looking for other couples that are board game geeks like us … sounds like we need a couples’ game night!