Making time for a game at Christmas, when the telly is off, and the washing up is done – a tradition that goes long back.
Getting every one to play along and having fun together can be a challenge, but when you find the right one…
To help you plan your Christmas this year, we’ve come up with some suggestions that we know people will want to get involved with.
Games that take moments to learn but can be played over and over again are perfect for this – and you may even get to the be the winner, occasionally! If not, you can sit back and watch them all having fun together, whilst perhaps have just one more Christmas treat!
We hope you find some good ideas for your family here…
I Saw It First – Ocean
This is a game that the children will love and will win every time. 300 beautifully drawn animals are hiding in the picture – you just have the to be the first to find them. The board is double sided and the pieces go together in a different order everytime, so every game is always varied. Play with the pictures, or the names of these amazing creatures to make the game more difficult.
Fastest eyes win!
World Flick Golf
Crazy golf that you can play anywhere. These famous monuments all need to be built – and with simple paper folding the course is ready. Each one has a tunnel, a bridge a walkway or a ramp involved, so you will to navigate your ball around all the obstacles to win.
Perfect your flicking techniques and see who goes around the world first…
A fun word game that everyone can play – all at once. There is no waiting for your turn, just make your words, exchange your letters and complete your own challenge to win the game. Everyone has a great chance of winning here, and you can make it more difficult for the older children by inventing new and frustrating rules that mean that they have to think even faster.
A game can last just a few minutes or be played over days for the glory of the championship!
You may think you know British History, but can you be sure? Timeline will really challenge you – can you remember what happened first? As each card is played, you will need to add it to your timeline, slotting in into just the right place, and as you gather more cards, the challenge becomes even more difficult.
Award points for closest guesses, add family events into the game and see just who really knows what went on in our own back yard!
Aftershock Earthquake Lab
Everyone thinks that they know the best way to build – but are they right? This is an earthquake generator – a vibrating plate where you can alter the duration, the intensity and the wave pattern. How long will your tower last? How high do you dare to build? How much weight can you carry?
All these questions will be answered as you play together. You can measure how long the tower lasts, award points for inventive building and see who would survive in the event of this disaster. Loser does the washing up!
A classic family game with a bit of a different subject matter – you will learn more about poo than you even wanted to know!
With amazing illustrations and fascinating facts, this is not atall ‘icky and squishy’, just an everyday event that children want to know about. And now the whole family can join in too!
Escape From The Starline Express
If you have ever tried an escape room, you will know the imaginative thinking and clever code breaking that is required. Now the whole family can get involved in this train based mystery. Everyone will need to work out what is going on, share information and be careful just who knows what…
This is a great one for an older family group and may require several sessions to really get to the bottom of the puzzle – the outcome is unsure!
Can you be a cat ninja? If you can spot the pieces and then carry out a ninja move and get there before anyone else, the prize is yours. But watch out – if you don’t concentrate, other ninjas will steal the winnings and win the game. This fast paced game, with really beautiful pieces, is a little like mah-jong, and only the fastest fingers will win.
A great game to play in 5 minutes, or for hours until you finally win a round!
Christmas Jumper Snap
No Christmas games list would be complete without a festive spin. This traditional game contains a world of the worst jumpers ever made, without the need to actually wear one in public.
Keep your eyes out for the best design, and perhaps next year, someone will knit you one?
Everyone loves a penguin at Christmas and here are a whole bag of them. Before they waddle off, see if you can knock them all over in one go.
A lovely wooden set of bowling skittles – perfect for after dinner. The older the player, the further back they have to start, but who will score the highest amount and win the prize of the remote control for the evening?
So, some great games that everyone can play together. We hope you like our selection. Here are our top tips for making your games night fun.
- If the game is new to your family, open it up before you wrap it and read through the rules – you can then show them how to play rather than wasting time on learning new rules together (you could even get some early practice in!)
- If you are playing with lots of different ages, invent some new rules to make the older ones have to try a little harder – no it’s not fair, but then everyone gets a chance
- Play in small doses – not everyone wants to commit to a whole evening and games that are quick and simple can always be played again
- Make room – put the presents away for a while and turn the phones off – it’s only part of the day and the game is for everyone to join in with
- Relax – not everyone will want to play, but if they see you having fun they are more likely to join in next time.
We’d love to hear your Christmas family games successes – let us know…