Games – Unschooling Favorites

Are you looking for some new game ideas?
Maybe game-playing is kind of new for you?

Many unschooling families play a lot of games.  So we asked the members of the Unschooling Mom2Mom Radical Parenting group to share their favorites. Some people shared the ages of their children while a few gave some quick reasons why they like it.

You'll also notice that some games fall in more than one category - and some games that are typically for younger kids are still being enjoyed by older siblings!

Younger children can sometimes be included in games designed for older kids, when parents or siblings get creative and modify the games! So use the age recommendations (ours as well as the game company's) as a ballpark guide - not a hard and fast rule.  I've included all the info unschoolers shared, so it wouldn't be limited to only Facebook users having access to the information.

Under 5

Uno (4) (3 yo & 7yo)
Candy Land
Don't Step In It!
Hungry Hippo
Dominos
Lemonade stand
King Domino
Hoot Owl Hoot
Lotería
Outfoxed (recommended for toddlers, but their 10 yo still enjoys it!)
Snakes and Ladders
Chutes and Ladders
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel
Make'n'break,
Moo (5 dice game with different animals and lots of cards)
Monkey Business
Hisss (3yo)
Pengoloo (3yo)
Sorry - "ludo"?(3yo)(modifies the game for younger ones)
Rock, Paper, Scissors (5yo)
Max and the Secret Door
Cobra Paw (3yo with older sibs)
Robot Turtles (4 yo)
Hi Ho Cherry O (3.5 yo)
Penguin Pile Up
Lucky Ducks
Tenzi (5yo)
Memory (5yo)
Where is Chipmunk? (5yo)
Spot it (5yo)
Jungle Speed (very fun French game for all ages)
Sushi Go (3 yo & 7yo)

6-11 year olds

UNO (7) "Perfect for long plane rides."
Checkers (7yo)
War (7 yo)
Dominos (6 yo and up)
Jenga (3 yo & 7yo)
Mouse Trap (6yo)
Battleship (7 yo)
Catan Jr. (9 yo)(11yo)
Otrio! Tic tac toe but on steroids! It's really fun and strategical and enjoyed by all ages IMO.
Balloon Lagoon (10yo)
Spot-it (7yo)
Color Slap (7yo)
Ghost Fighting Treasure Hunters (7yo)
Sleeping Queens (3 yo & 7yo)
5-Second Rule (7 & 9) "we love it and it really makes your brain work quickly!"
Monarch (10yo) -"a strategy game where you compete to become the next queen by leveraging assets and increasing resources."
Rat-a-tat cat (9 yo & 11 yo)
Dungeons & Dragons (11yo)
Castle panic - (7 yo), (11yo)
forbidden island (11yo)
labyrinth(11yo)
no stress chess(11yo),
frog juice (11yo)
Beat the Parents (10 & 9 - but maybe 7 yo's too)
Bears vs Babies (7yo) "a wacky card game where you build various creatures to eventually battle an army of weird babies. My 7 year old thinks it’s hilarious."
Mario Monopoly (9yo) (Parent likes it because it doesn't go on for hours!)
Gravity Maze (7 yo)
Caldron Quest (7 yo) "has players making a magic potion together by casting different spells."
Wildcraft (7 yo) "an herbal adventure game" (cooperative)
Ticket to Ride Jr. - (8 yo & 12 yo)
Carcassone— 8yo & 12yo
Payday (11 yo)
Dixit
Bang!
Forbidden Desert
Dragonwood (7yo)

12 years old and Up

Settlers of Catan (14 yo)
Ticket to Ride (14 yo)
Rummikub (14 yo)
King of Tokyo (9 & 11)
Mancala
Sargada (12yo)
Azul(12yo)
Scoville (12yo)
Qbitz (12yo)
Mastermind (12yo)
Qwirkle (12yo)
Monopoly Pokémon (12yo)
Blokus (12yo)
Casino games(12yo)
Risk (12yo)
Plague (12yo)
Chess (12yo)
Blindside (12yo)
DDR mat at home (12yo)
Think Fun
Chronology
Concept
Monopoly (15) (12yo & 16 yo)
Clue (11 yo, 19 yo) (12yo & 16 yo)
Guesstures (12yo & 16 yo)
Charades (12yo & 16 yo)
Uno Dare (12yo & 16 yo)
Pictionary,(12yo & 16 yo)
Three Cheers for Master (14 yo)
Onitama (14 yo) 2 player chess-type game
Forbidden Island (cooperative) (14 yo)
Unearth (a bit too complicated for me, but my 14 yo son loves it)
Sushi Cats(14 yo) "simple but fun"
Werewolf(14 yo) "good party game because you need at least 8 people"
Snake Oil
Two Rooms and a Boom
Stupid Duel
Chronology
Herd Your Horses
Tenzi (16 yo) (14 yo)  40 dice - "like trying to get double yahtzee" "So many different game ideas in the card pack"

In Your Community

Finding game nights, game cafes & game clubs near you - sometimes family game nights at libraries & businesses - are great ways to play new games without having to buy them and find out what you *really* like before taking one home & trying to find room for it.   An additional benefit to doing this is that people are usually there that are familiar with the game and are happy to explain how the game works and/or play with you and your child. This way you can avoiding having to "slog through the rule books!")

One of the Facebook group members pointed out that there's a group called BOGA - Boardgamers Of Greater Akron. Maybe there's something like that near you!

Additional Online Info

Will Wheaton and Felicia Day created a series, "Tabletop", and it's available on YouTube. They play many different types of board games, from competitive to cooperative. He even has episodes where he plays with children. Some are role-playing games, some are luck games, most are strategic. If you love board games, I highly recommend you watch the series to find great games in any category.
Felicia Day - an actress who was unschooled -  has a YouTube channel called Geek and Sundry you might enjoy.

A few more suggestions:

Pam Sorooshian: Games Blogpost
Quick and easy games you can play with your kids – some to be done while waiting in line, or on long car rides; some that require nothing more than a pencil and piece of paper, or just a pair of dice, or nothing at all. Adapt and shift the rules for any of these games – to be cooperative, or to make things a little harder or a little easier, or just to see “what happens if…” Playing around with the rules is half the fun!

Peaceable Kingdom (now owned by Mindware)
Family games that help kids play together, inspire cooperation, cultivate kindness

Family Pastimes games
Another company moving away from competition and conflict toward cooperation and teamwork.

Compendia Traditional Games
Dice, cards, board games, darts, puzzle games - explanations and instructions are given. Great link if you're trying to remember and old game from your past, but you don't remember the rules! Or, if you want to try something simple that you might even have on hand at home!

 

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