This year I was lucky enough to give the keynote at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and I got to meet all kinds of amazing toy inventors and game creators. Here are some of my favorite board games, digital games and toys this season:
1. Penny Stones
Penny Stones is a great game for families of kids with all ages because they are a great way of starting conversations. In fact, according to the University of Michigan, Time Use Study children spend only 45 minutes per week in conversation with any family member! Counselors found that playing with Penny Stones had a very positive (55.6%) affect on their student’s conversation skills. The best part is it gets kids and parents talking about important issues like life skills and relationships.
2. Reverse Charades
I love this game! Charades can be a little boring especially for teens. Reverse Charades is a great way to get teens, kids and parents involved over the holidays. I especially love the way this encourages non-verbal communication amongst players—a lost art in the digital age!
This game has gotten a lot of press this year and it is not just because of the funny name–fun game for all ages.
4. Say Anything
I love games that get people talking and communicating. This one is hilarious and helps players get to know each other.
5. Settlers of Catan
My sisters and Dad love this game so much they actually travel with it. Great for strategy.
6. Forbidden Island
Ok, this game isn’t very well known, but I LOVE it! I like it because players work together against the game instead of against each other. Better with smaller group 2-4, but so fun!
This is, of course, an oldie but goodie. We have to encourage kids to spell–and think, and grow their vocabulary!
8. Backseat Drawing
I love drawing games but this one also encourages communication. Players have to get their partners to guess AND draw (without them knowing what they are drawing) so creative!
Flikr Image From: Garlandcannon
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