Here are some of our absolute favorites:
Who plays it: Everyone (5, 6, 6, 8, 12 and folks)
In essence, this is a memory sort of game, as players have to navigate their wizard through a labyrinth to earn tokens. Paloma is stellar at this game, but everyone in our family finds it challenging and fun.
How it's played: The apprentices to the Master Wizard have accidentally lost some objects in the The Magic Labyrinth. Now, they must try to collect them before the Master notices that they are missing. However, this magical maze has invisible walls that the little wizards keep bumping into, forcing them to start all over again. Become one of the wizard apprentices and make your way through the Magic Labyrinth to collect as many of the lost objects as you can. Sharpen your memory and show your skill as you navigate the maze and win the Master Wizard's favor.
Who plays it: Atticus (8), Hatfield (12), The Mister and Me
This is one of my all-time favorite games.
How it's played: You have 10 Days in the USA – travel the country by jet, car, and on foot. Plan your trip from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. The kids LOVE it. Plus, both kids now have a great sense of US state location & capitals.
Who plays: Atticus, Hatfield, The Mister and Me
This game creates some heated fun when the 4 of us play. Yet it is so fun and addicting that the Mister and I have taken it out after the kids are in bed.
How it works: Blokus encourages creative thinking and has received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity. The goal of this game is for players to fit all of their pieces onto the board. When placing a piece it may not lie adjacent to the player's other pieces, but must be placed touching at least one corner of their pieces already on the board. The player who gets rid of all of their tiles first is the winner and strategic thinking helps as you block moves from your opponent. Blokus sometimes comes to an end because there are no more possible moves.
We can--and have--played this for hours.
How it's played: With a hand of 10 cards, players try to score the most points per round by constructing the longest, grammatically correct, and sensible sentence. Any player can object to another players sentence, on either grammatical grounds, or the fact that the sentence just doesn¿t make sense. The defending player and the objecting player get to argue their points to the rest of the players, who form a jury. Half the fun is trying to defend, explain, and justify a completely ridiculous sentence to the other players.
How about your family? What are your favorite games? Do share!