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Favorite board games with large age gaps?


AimeeM
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I'm looking for board games that would appeal to at least two of the three children :)

DD is 15, then we have middle DS who is 7, and the youngest DS who is 4. 

I don't mind if it's a game DS4 can't really play - we have a handful of games that are his "favorites" and we play those with him often (Yeti In My Spaghetti being the biggest winner with him)...

But we'd like a few that we can play with DD15 and DS7 (who cannot read independently yet). I might be hoping for too much :P 

 

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Really little kids can kick butt with Set.  Like, some four year olds can actually win if they have a certain kind of visual acuity.  And nearly all four year olds can at least play.

 

Yahtzee and Shake-up (which is basically a more-tactile version of Yahtzee) also work, and have the added advantage of cuing your kids up nicely to play poker, if that happens to be a family aspiration, lol.

 

Similarly Uno leads directly into Crazy Eights (they're essentially the same game) which then acts as a gateway to real card games, in general.

 

My grandfather played cribbage and dominoes with us as soon as we could count.  My late-to-reading son was a wizard at both mancala Othello from a really early age (both of those are only 2-person games, though; sounds like you're going for a bigger crowd).

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Oh, yeah, Blokus.  My son loved Blokus too.

 

 

The thing to avoid at ALL COSTS, are the endless variations of games amounting to "a random generator propelling little pieces around a board, where the sole strategic decision is which fellow player you'll select to send back to the starting line."  Parcheesi, Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, there are infinite variations of this basic template and they are ALL excruciatingly dull to older players and exercises in random-walk frustration to little ones.  Just Say No, do not let these games into your home.

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Not for a four year old, but a seven year old can definitely play Ticket to Ride with older children/parents.

 

I was also going to mention Ticket to Ride. My 7yo LOVES it. My 4yo plays on a "team" with DH or me--she gets to put the trains on the board where we tell her to.

 

My 7yo also enjoys Agricola, and my 4yo plays with some of the pieces while the rest of us play the game.

 

Both of those have a little bit of reading involved, but I think it's little enough that the non-reader can get by with the visuals and occasionally asking someone else to read the text.

 

Cooperative games like Forbidden Island and Castle Panic are also good.

 

Edit: I forgot Carcassonne. My 7yo really likes that one.

Edited by purpleowl
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Memory - many companies make Memory games, and they're definitely accessible to everybody.

 

(On that same token, Sherlock.)

 

Hey, That's My Fish!

 

Sleeping Queens

 

Carcassonne, if somebody is willing to help the 7 year old a little

 

Carcasonne South Seas

 

Parcheesi (okay, old school, but I still like it!)

Duck, Duck, Bruce

 

Pick, Picnic (note: I still think the turkeys are a little racist)

 

Hanabi

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There's a lot of reading in King of Tokyo, for the purpose of buying and using those special cards.

That is true. It is my not really reading 6yr olds favorite game so I recommended it, but I am glad you pointed out it does require some reading. We just read the cards to him and now we have played enough he recognizes them.

 

My 4yr olds favorite game is Spot it. He is crazy good at it.

 

Others my kids like:

Ubongo

Apples to apples big picture (a little bit of reading but we just read it to them)

Sushi Go

Lost cities (this one is a stretch for my 6yr old)

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That is true. It is my not really reading 6yr olds favorite game so I recommended it, but I am glad you pointed out it does require some reading. We just read the cards to him and now we have played enough he recognizes them.

 

There's so many cards, you must play a lot!

 

Yeah, reading the cards will work fine for most kids - when our girls were little we managed many games of Guillotine, of all things, by reading the cards to them! - but it does depend on how much everybody wants to handle that, is all :)

 

We also really like card games like Uno, Old Maid and Go Fish.

 

I like Uno, I like it a lot, but somehow every time I buy a deck of Uno cards it ends up scattered to the four winds. Our normal card decks don't have that problem, but although the girls profess to like Uno as well they refuse to play Crazy Eights. Well, at least everybody likes Rummy 500.

 

(I feel it's useful to have a couple of "normal" games so you don't have to explain the rules every time a friend comes over!)

Edited by Tanaqui
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We play Clue together - two adults, and a 11, 9, and 6 year old.  Ds6 isn't reading and does need help from time to time, but it works pretty well.

 

We also play this with a 8 and 10 year old (8 year old isn't a strong reader).  They do pretty well, and enjoy playing even though they never win. :p

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We have a large spread of ages here too. For us the top go to games regardless of ages are ...

 

Sleeping Queens (honestly never found a person of any age that didn't like it. I love it and I am not the target age for it.)

 

Quirkle  and Blokus are both shape games that are easy to play regardless of ages. Quirkle is more time consuming but it is my favorite of the two. My teen loves Blokus better.

 

Dixit...Where has this game been all my life. I bought it a while back and only recently opened it. Somehow it got lost in the shuffle of games. The night that we opened it we must have played it no less than 7 times. My hubby doesn't love any game other than Dominoes and he loved it. Definitely a must have. My 5 year old did find it a little difficult at first but slowly she got better at giving clues. 

 

Battle Sheep is a great little game for four players. It is one of the first that my kids pull out. It is definitely a strategy game but my 5 yr old can still play it and has won a couple of times.

 

Dutch Blitz is so much fun. It may be my favorite card game ever. All my kids from 5-22 love it. We always take it to visit cousins and they love it as well. Once we forgot to bring it and they were so disappointed. I do suggest for a large family to buy the second set, different color box with different color cards, but it can get crazy with that many going at once.

 

Picture Charades is a great family game. I really didn't think I would like it as the cards have simple pictures to act out rather than words. Sometimes the most simple thing can be the most difficult to act and guess. My husband will even play this one without pouting much. LOL. It has never been difficult to get my teens to play with the younger kids, 5, 8, and 10 which is sometimes difficult.

 

Dominoes has to be mentioned for the sake of my husband,. We have found that if you start early, it is a game that kids can learn as they age. I am horrible at it because I started only a couple of years ago. My husband is a genius with numbers and he credits dominoes. It isn't as much fun for an expert player to play with a novice but it still keeps them on their toes as they can't figure out what will be played next while allowing the beginner to learn. Definitely something I would include in my must have games.

 

Bad Beets is up there on our list as a card bluffing game. It is not one that we pull out as much as the previous listed but a good game. Its cheap and can work with lots of ages.

 

 

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Oh how could I forget one of my favorite games that was probably the biggest surprise for us. I bought it for my 5 yr old and the entire family loves it. Its top three on my list. Its Enchanted Forest. It is a spin on Memory board games. The only thing that keeps us from playing it more often is its length of play time which can be quite long. Funny thing is, my youngest kids are better at it than the older ones. They are ruthless too, sending people back to start and switching up the cards. Definitely a must have. My 22 yr old is the only one that doesn't like it because she can never remember what is under all the trees and never wins.

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My age range is 14-4.  My 4 yo still needs help with all of these, but she can play with significant input.

Uno

Munchkin

Quirkle

Tsuro

Sequence

 

My 10 and 14 year old play Settlers of Catan together a lot.  My 10 & 7 year old play Into the Forest often. My 7 and 4 year olds play Candy Land and Spot It and other younger kid games together.

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Dominoes has to be mentioned for the sake of my husband,. We have found that if you start early, it is a game that kids can learn as they age. I am horrible at it because I started only a couple of years ago. My husband is a genius with numbers and he credits dominoes. It isn't as much fun for an expert player to play with a novice but it still keeps them on their toes as they can't figure out what will be played next while allowing the beginner to learn. Definitely something I would include in my must have games.

 

 

Wow, we must be playing Dominoes wrong.  It's one we've always done but we think of it as a very simple game with not a lot of thought involved, LOL.

 

**off to look up the actual rules to Dominoes now...**

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Wow, we must be playing Dominoes wrong.  It's one we've always done but we think of it as a very simple game with not a lot of thought involved, LOL.

 

**off to look up the actual rules to Dominoes now...**

 

It is a very serious game in hubby's family. They all grew up playing and can add numbers so quickly. My husband and his father are great at knowing who has what dominoes to play within a few rounds of the game if playing with serious players. It throws them if they are playing with beginners because you never know if they really know which is the best domino to play or are just picking a great color. (Uhm...that might have been me that I speak of. Hubby wasn't thrilled to play with me as his partner and father in law didn't like our bickering. He thought dh was being too hard on me. Well, he changed his mind when he had been turning out 6's the entire game so that he could block the game and win points but I chose to not play the "correct" domino. He asked why I didn't play whatever one that he knew I had which would have successfully blocked game and I told him I couldn't decide between the two so I chose the prettier colored domino. He told dh he could have his wife back. It is now a family joke. I still am not good enough to figure out what others have based on the way they are playing or whats left but I do understand to watch for blocking the board. I have even blocked it once playing against them!)

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Wow, we must be playing Dominoes wrong.  It's one we've always done but we think of it as a very simple game with not a lot of thought involved, LOL.

 

**off to look up the actual rules to Dominoes now...**

 

 

"Dominoes" isn't a game. It's like saying that you play "cards". There are many different games that can be played with dominoes, just as there are many games that can be played with cards, or many games that can be played with a mancala set or a checkers set. (All lists should be assumed to be incomplete.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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Wow, we must be playing Dominoes wrong.  It's one we've always done but we think of it as a very simple game with not a lot of thought involved, LOL.

 

**off to look up the actual rules to Dominoes now...**

 

 

I learned a lot of my basic math playing dominoes as a small child. It is not simply a matching game. 

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Just a warning: I haven't known a lot of kids under 9-10 who completely grasped Dixit. Many of them found it frustrating. 

 

 

Bohnanza

Sushi Go!

Mamma Mia

Pit 

Saboteur

For Sale

Alfredo's Food Fight 

Incan Gold

the original small set of Bang!

Diner

Metro

Escape: Curse of the Temple

 

Edited by LostSurprise
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It is a very serious game in hubby's family. They all grew up playing and can add numbers so quickly. My husband and his father are great at knowing who has what dominoes to play within a few rounds of the game if playing with serious players. It throws them if they are playing with beginners because you never know if they really know which is the best domino to play or are just picking a great color. (Uhm...that might have been me that I speak of. Hubby wasn't thrilled to play with me as his partner and father in law didn't like our bickering. He thought dh was being too hard on me. Well, he changed his mind when he had been turning out 6's the entire game so that he could block the game and win points but I chose to not play the "correct" domino. He asked why I didn't play whatever one that he knew I had which would have successfully blocked game and I told him I couldn't decide between the two so I chose the prettier colored domino. He told dh he could have his wife back. It is now a family joke. I still am not good enough to figure out what others have based on the way they are playing or whats left but I do understand to watch for blocking the board. I have even blocked it once playing against them!)

 

 

:lol:

 

My poor husband didn't really grow up playing games, and he never knew that people kept track and counted cards.  Turns out that makes a considerable difference, lol.  Our extended family card game is Hearts, and while my husband loves to play my relatives openly draw straws for who gets stuck as his partner.  

 

I can't tell you how many times my uncle is growling WHY'D YOU PLAY THAT WHEN YOU KNEW THERE WERE STILL TWO JACKS AND A KING OUT THERE?"" and my husband's all :confused1:  :confused1:  :confused1:  how on earth would I know that?? and then placidly eats another nacho chip.

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Our entire family, ages 5 (almost 6) to 45 enjoy playing this game:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001SN8GF4/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481317955&sr=8-2&pi=SX200_QL40&keywords=telestrations&dpPl=1&dpID=61EgR3yjKXL&ref=plSrch

 

Someone has to help the 5 year old know what to draw and right down her guesses for her, but otherwise she plays it on her own, and her 5 year old drawings just add to the hilarity of the game!

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