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A Few of Our Favorite Things…Games!

I love games. All sorts, really. Board games are a particular favorite, and the twins have inherited my love of them. During those cold winter days, sometimes you just don’t want to go outside, so we play games.

We have a few criteria for deciding whether to keep or donate a game, and they are:

  1. It must have a strong focus on fun, and friendly competition.
  2. Clear, easy to understand rules.
  3. Potential for surprise turns.
  4. Leaves much of the decision-making in the hands of the players, i.e., not too rigidly controlled

Some games are educational, some are just for fun. Regardless, games are part of our homeschool experience. When we start taking ourselves too seriously, it’s time for a game!

Honestly though, I think you can make the case for ANY game being educational. Does it require critical thinking to play well? Educational. Does it allow players to compete in a healthy manner? Bam! Educational. Need to read the instructions or a guided story line to succeed? Educational too!

Here are our favorites, in no particular order.

  1. Monopoly. This classic has enough variations to keep even the most dinosaur-hungry player happy. We have the Classic Edition and Monopoly Empire, but have our eyes on Dino-opoly.
  2. We the People Fight Tyranny. This one is great for teens who enjoy some sarcasm with American history and politics.
  3. Constitution Quest. For teaching constitutional principles and history, this is among the best. It is available in our Marketplace, and also sold at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA.
  4. Wildcraft. This herb-learning game is relaxing, non-competitive and lots of fun.
  5. Chess! Strategy, critical thinking and more. This Wizard Chess set looks like fun; and…now that we’re settled in our new home, we’ll be setting up the 3D printer, and printing our OWN pieces to go on the board we painted into the coffee table…
  6. Dungeons & Dragons. This table top role-playing game is, hands-down, our favorite. We love the fact that there are dozens of different story lines, or you can make up your own; not to mention the joy of creating and developing our own characters. The Starter Set has a great, approachable story line with pre-made characters to get you started.
  7. Dominoes. With dozens of different games you can play with dominoes, there is no reason to not keep a set around!

What are your favorite sick- or rainy-day games?

Tell us in the comments!