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Let’s play together! Our favorite family games for holiday bonding

family-playing-monopoly-vintageThe presents have been opened, the meal has been consumed (and the sumptuous leftovers trotted out for a second go-round), everyone’s caught up on the year’s doings, and with bellies full and hearts full of holiday cheer, everyone has… run out of things to talk about. That’s when it’s time to pull out your favorite family games!

A good family game will wake everyone up from their food coma, get all of the generations playing together, and create memories for everyone to reminisce about next year. The best games also engage a wide age range with a fairly even playing field, and will get everyone from ages 9 to 99 laughing. Here are a few of our favorites!

 

Telestrations by USAopoly, ages 12 and up
There’s a reason why you’ll hear us recommending this witty game again and again: Telestrations has the recipe for raucous fun! While it merges the fun of Pictionary and Telephone, it requires no artistic talent – in the matter of fact, the worse your drawings are, the funnier the results will be. Additional bonus for family fun: you don’t have to use the clues they provide. Come up with your own – why not have someone draw Grandpa, or Aunt Sally, or the new baby?

The suggested age range suggests you should start at age 12 with this one, but I disagree – if your child is a strong reader, they’ll have a grand time playing this game, and little kids’ crazy drawings guarantee wacky results!

Hedbanz and Disney Hedbanz by Spin Master, ages 6 and up
Another one to make everyone laugh: first of all, you’re wearing silly headbands. Second of all, each headband holds a picture and a word; you can’t see what’s in your headband, but everyone else can, and you have to ask yes-or-no questions to help you guess what person, animal, or object is in your headband.

20 Express by Blue Orange, ages 8 and up
This Bingo-style game is ideal for big families: it can be played by an unlimited number of players! Each player gets a game sheet with 20 train cars, and as numbered tiles are drawn, you assign each number to a train car, in ascending numbers. Get the most ascending numbers in a row to win!

Gamewright Card Games:
Wig Out, ages 6 and up 
Sleeping Queens, ages 8 and up 
Rat-A-Tat Cat, ages 6 and up 
Wacky graphics and simple but compelling gameplay make all of these card games family favorites!

Blue Orange Ooga Booga, ages 7 and up
The silliest family game on this list (and that’s a tall order!): in this memory game, everyone has to memorize a series of silly caveman “words” and the accompanying gestures. Picture the stodgiest person in your family getting their Ooga Booga on and you’ll understand why this is comedy gold!

Monopoly Classic Edition, ages 8 and up 
People tend to complain about how long it takes to finish a game of Monopoly, but that’s precisely why it’s perfect for a lazy afternoon with full bellies and a bunch of kids and adults! Admit it, you have fond memories of at least one of those days – I know I do!

 

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