5 Best Board Games for Tweens

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These games are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

At Radical Parenting we believe that board games are a great way for families to bond and connect. We highly encourage our readers and teen interns to buy board games as gifts, bring board games on family vacations and always keep a board game on hand during free time.

We have chosen 5 of our favorite board games for tweens.

5 Best Board Games for Tweens: (Ages 10-13)

1. Clue

Clue is a fun game that gets tweens interacting and thinking. Guessing plots, characters and having to read people makes Clue the perfect game for teaching social skills and strategy. Perfect game for a tween game night.

Description of Clue: For generations, Mr Boddy has met his end at the hand of one of six legendary suspects in the classic detective game, CLUE. Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard are all here in Boddy Mansion. One of them has done away with Mr Boddy, but in which of the nine rooms (perhaps the Library, or Lounge, or Conservatory)? And which of the six weapons was used to commit this dastardly dead(the wrench, the rope, or maybe the trusty ol’ lead pipe)? Collect the right clues, make the right deductions, to determne who? where? which weapon? and you will solve the mystery and win the game.

2. Sorry!

We all wish our tweens said Sorry! a little bit more, well at least the game Sorry! will get kids and tweens playing this game of luck. Can get a little tense with families but is a good way to teach how to be a good winner and a good loser.

Description of Sorry! This classic game of luck, strategy, and determination is easy to grasp for children as young as 6 years old, yet it’s fun for adults and older siblings too. By drawing cards, players move their game pieces around the board, hoping to eventually accumulate all their pieces at the final destination–home sweet home. Sorry is known as the game of “sweet revenge,” since players can send each other’s pawns back to the starting line, thus forcing one another to lose ground and begin all over again. This kind of frustration may be hard for children under age 8 to handle. In fact, young ones typically crumble into tears of outrage when their pawns are cavalierly sent back. The only recourse is to teach children how to plot their own revenge, which makes them feel as powerful as superheroes.

3. Game of Life

This is a great game to inspire conversations with tweens about life choices, life stages and goals. Kids get to try out different life scenarios and then talk about where they want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years. Be sure to pause and chat while playing the game to talk through some of the choices and how it plays out in the real world.

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Description of the Game of Life: Practice makes perfect in the game of Life. Try marriage, kids, and more. Will you go to college and take out student loans? Or join the working force and collect on payday? Will you go bankrupt, or earn millions in stock and real estate? Anything’s possible with a spin of the Life wheel! A classic family game that can be a reality check–or just a fun time. –Margaret Quinn

4. Chess

Get kids starting to play Chess young! Even if you do not know how to play it is worth learning. Chess is a great game for the brain and can teach kids critical thinking skills and strategy like no other game. Have a running chess game going in your house and encourage your kids to play it while waiting for dinner or before bed as a way to quiet the mind.

Description of Chess: Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world’s most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. Pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent’s pieces, with the objective to ‘checkmate’ the opponent’s king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by the voluntary resignation of the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame, and endgame.

5. 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! This is the perfect game for siblings to learn how to communicate and work together.

Description of Backseat Drawing: The Hysterical Game of Sketchy Directions! Two teams race to identify drawings done by their own team members. But the artists don’t know what they are drawing-they can only follow the instructions given by another team member. Laughter erupts as players attempt to follow direction and to guess what is being drawn. With Backseat Drawing, there’s no time to stop and ask directions- the fun never stops! The Challenge Cards feature four languages: English, Spanish, French, and German. Play in the language of your choice! 4-10 players. 5 minutes to learn. 20-30 minutes per game.

Board games are an awesome way to learn strategy and bond with family and friends. Try having a game night in your house or hosting a game night for your child and their friends.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

5 Best Gifts for Toddlers

At Radical Parenting we always want special occasions to be celebrated right. But sometimes it is so hard to find the right gift for the right age group. So, we have combed the web and stores and asked our teen interns to review the best gifts for the special person in your life.

We have chosen the 5 best gift ideas for todlers:

Best Gifts for Toddlers

1. Classic Balance Bike

If you want to teach your child to ride a bike, then this balance bike is a perfect way to get them to learn naturally. It’s designed for children from two years old and up and allows children to learn the balance and motor skills necessary for biking, safely and naturally, without relying on training wheels. The two-wheel, pedal-free bike allows kids to run the bike along and eventually learn to coast with their feet up.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 8.26.57 AM2. Tobbles

Children can stack, spin, balance these 6 multicolored layers. This is fun for toddlers and great for building skills and hand eye coordination. Not a bad conversation piece for your living room either!

3. Rock and Roll Alphabet

If your child is beginning to learn their letters, Rock and Roll Alphabet is a fun gift idea. Cool music and fun games build excitement about learning to read. It covers the most common sound that each letter makes.

4. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Kids will giggle while playing this game. Kids collect acorns and have to practice being strategic to make sure their squirrel gets the most. Great for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

5. Alex Twist and Drill

Little guys love this drill. Designed especially for little hands, these pint-size tools allow toddlers to practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills with variety of multicolored bolts, wheels, and practice holes. The tool set features a power drill with three interchangeable bits that can also be attached to a screwdriver handle.

Be sure to help your child write thank you notes so they are appreciative of all of the wonderful gifts they have received. If you want to check out more gift ideas check out our Best Gifts Post.

5 Best Board Games for Families

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These games are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

At Radical Parenting we believe that board games are a great way for families to bond and connect. We highly encourage our readers and teen interns to buy board games as gifts, bring board games on family vacations and always keep a board game on hand during free time.

We have chosen 5 of our favorite board games for families:

5 Best Board Games for Families: (All Age Play)

These are our absolute favorite board games for families. They are the best out of all the categories.

1. Cranium

Cranium is one of my family’s all time favorite games. This is played in teams and is wonderful because it is a combination of all the best games–drawing, humming, trivia and even sculpting!

Description of Cranium: The outrageous multi-activity game Cranium Classic now features 600 exciting new playing cards, flexible play length, and a 60-card bonus Family Pack. Add to that 14 wacky activities including hilarious sculpting, acting, and sketching, and you’re in for a fun night of play. So whether you’re an artist, a singer, an actor, or a professional speller–there’s something for everyone in this endearingly oddball board game.

Bonus Game: Believe it or not, bingo is an extremely powerful (and fun) educational tool. You can create your own educational bingo cards on any subject you’d like your kids to learn more about, and even make a fun bingo night out of it.

2. Scene It

This is a game for movie buffs. This game incorporates technology right into playing. You can watch the DVD while moving around the board game and guess movie and celebrity trivia.

Description of Scene It: Let the movie magic begin by simply popping the Scene It’ game disc into your DVD player. Enjoy timeless stars, unforgettable moments, classic lines and laughs in real movie clips from your favorite films, as you answer trivia questions and race around the game board. Scene It’ turns a flat board game into a 3-D multimedia match of memory, logic and pop movie culture. Includes: DVD game, game board, four metal movers, 160 trivia cards in a box, 30 Buzz cards, four reference cards, one 6-sided die, one 8-sided die and instructions. Requires DVD player and TV. For 2 to 4 players players.

Bonus Game: Believe it or not, bingo is an extremely powerful (and fun) educational tool. You can create your own educational bingo cards on any subject you’d like your kids to learn more about, and even make a fun bingo night out of it.

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One of my favorite games of all time!

3. Cashflow Game! 

This is one of the most amazing board games I have ever played. It might seem a little expensive but it is amazing–not just for your kids, but for you as well. It is played in schools across the country and is the most fun way I have found to teach (and learn) about finances.

Description of the Cashflow Game:  The Board Game USA Today Calls “Monopoly on Steroids”. It’s Time to Get Out of the Rat Race. What’s your dream? Freedom of time? Unlimited resources to travel the world? Whatever it may be, CASHFLOW 101 teaches you how to get out of the Rat Race and onto the Fast Track, how to make your money work for you Ð not the other way around. CASHFLOW 101 is an educational board game that simulates real life financial strategies and situations. As a simulation, you learn valuable lessons and gain priceless insights into personal finance and investing without having to put your actual money at risk. Developed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the #1 personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad, CASHFLOW 101 is the ultimate realization of Robert’s vision of an interactive tool for financial education, and the fulfillment of his belief that we learn best by doing. With CASHFLOW 101 you: Practice real world investing with play moneyLearn the differences between an asset and a liabilityDiscover the power of understanding your personal financial statementPlan your strategy with Opportunity Cards that include Big and Small DealsChoose your dream, learn the secrets of the rich, and get on the financial fast track. CASHFLOW 101 is an educational board game that teaches accounting, finance, and investing at the same time – and makes learning fun! 

4. Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is a great game for families of kids with all ages because it is a great way of starting conversations and getting to know each other. In fact, according to the University of Michigan, Time Use Study children spend only 45 minutes per week in conversation with any family member! This game will help get families talking and laughing together.

Description of Apples to Apples:  Apples to Apples is an award-winning party game that will have everyone laughing. We had a blast playing this game and think it is a perfect game for a “board game night” with friends and family. It is quick to set up, easy to learn, challenging, and a whole lot of fun. Unexpected and funny comparisons make the game fun to come back to again and again. Apples to Apples has won numerous awards including “Party Game of the Year” by Games magazine and “Mensa Select” by Mensa International. And for good reason: it involves quick thinking, humor, and strategy. For teens, the game teaches them to think about how different things can be compared to one another and how analogies are formed. One of our criticisms is that although the game states that it is designed for ages 12 and older, many of the subjects are clearly for older teens.

5. Monopoly

Monopoly is a great way for teens to learn about money and real estate. Here at Radical Parenting we talk a lot about financial literacy and playing Monopoly is an easy way to talk to kids about saving, spending and getting good at math skills. Play it as a family to encourage discussion and friendly competition. Let your children be the banker to get used to handling the money.

Description of Monopoly: In 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, an unemployed heating engineer from Pennsylvania created the game of Monopoly. Realizing that his get-rich theme might appeal to other Americans, he had the game printed and distributed in a Philadelphia department store. When he couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming requests for more sets, he arranged for Parker Brothers to take over the game. And the rest, as they say, is history. But Monopoly is far from a quaint historical relic. To this day, it remains a riveting game of luck, chance, and savvy wheeling and dealing–all of which can make some lucky dog rich, rich, rich! Based on the purchase of Atlantic City real estate (a city currently renowned for its get-rich gambling opportunities), Monopoly is now printed in 26 languages with more than 200 million sets sold worldwide. Players still scoot the same beloved board pieces: the old shoe, the terrier, and the hot rod. This set also includes rules for a shortened version of the game and a new token, winner of Monopoly’s recent “design a token” contest. This is capitalism at its most fun and ruthless, a must-have edition in the family game closet.

Board games are an awesome way to learn strategy and bond with family and friends. Try having a game night in your house or hosting a game night for your child and their friends.

 

Have you seen our other top picks? 

5 Best Books for Parents of Tweens and Kids

What are the 5 parenting books that every parent of tweens should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for parents of tweens:

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 1.13.26 PMSmart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential by Eileen Kennedy Moore, PhD Mark S Lowenthal, PsyD

I love how this book approaches talking to kids about achievement in success–without pushing perfection. A great read, inspiring stories, and helpful advice.

What Kids REALLY Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations‹A Guidebook for Parents and Children Ages 10-­14 by Rhonda A. Richardson, PhD and A. Margaret Pevec, MA

“What Kids REALLY Want to Ask provides an ingenious, fun, and effective way for parents and young people to connect. And it takes exactly this connection for adult wisdom to flow to kids–and for kids to offer their insights to parents.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

I love that this book is about simplifying the lives of parents and kids. If you want to strip down to basics and leave a calmer life, this approach to parenting is for you.

Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

This author is a former teacher and knows exactly how to engage kids to learn and be excited about learning. Her ideas really resonate with both parents and kids.

No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids by Harley Robart, M.D.

If you are not a big reader, this short and sweet book is for you. With some easy lessons and inspiring moments this book can kickstart your bonding with your kids.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our list of favorite books for parents.

5 Best Books for Parents of Teens

What are the 5 parenting books that every parent of teens should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for parents of teens:

Get Out of My Life…. but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D

A parent’s Guide to today’s teenager. Dr. Wolf does a great job telling stories and relating advice for parents.

Best books for parents of teensDo I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten

A shameless plug, of course our teens were happy to review this parenting book, written by a teen for teens and their parents.  Traditional, and dare we say radical tips from the founder of Radical Parenting.

Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s: Hanging In, Holding On and Letting Go of Your Teen by Carleton Kendrick

This book is a reassuring antidote to today’s epidemic of negative teen stereotypes, a collection of real-life, inspiring and amusing stories from the true experts – POAs, parents of adolescents. Nosering helps you stay lovingly connected with your teens while remaining aware of their goodness, confusion and desperate search for identity.

“Yes Your Teen is Crazy!” by Dr. Mike Bradley

This is an extremely comprehensive book that informs parents about what teens are experiencing both physiologically and psychologically during puberty. Additionally, it teaches parents how to handle all the various challenging situations with which their teens may well present them. It emphasizes parenting with consistency, compassion, concrete acknowledgment of teens’ growing capacity for responsibility and the importance of maintaining a dispassionate demeanor during whatever emotional outbursts or rages parents are confronted.

Blessings of B Minus by Wendy Mogul

This book uses Jewish Principles to teach parents how to raise resilient kids and teens. Even though the principles are from Jewish philosophy this book is really helpful for parents of all religions and backgrounds.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our list of favorite books for parents.

5 Best Books for Tweens

What are the 5 best books that every tween should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for tweens:

Fiction Books for Young Adult Readers1. The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson

This is a funny book of stories about misfits and all of their adventures. If you have a reader with a short attention span or a spunky attitude then this book by Barbara Robinson is for your young adult reader!

2. The Last Book In The Universe by Rodman Philbrick

This interesting book is set in the future and helps to get tween and young adult readers thinking about some bigger questions. What could happen in the future? How do we view reading? How do we value books? Great for both male and female readers The Last Book in the Universe is a great summer read.

3. Questions Young People Ask, Answers That Work, Volumes 1&2 by Dr Andrea Frayser

This book provides honest workable answers to questions that kids and parents often wrestle with like: Why Don’t I Like Myself? How Do I Know if It’s Real Love? What If My Parents Are Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? How Can I Protect Myself at School? Can I Be Happy In A Single Parent Family? and More. This is a great how to book that parents and tweens can read together.

4. Holes by Louis Sachar

This is a classic book that tweens will love. One of our teens said: “I loved this book because not only was the story great, but it was thrilling and funny at the same time. Every tween has to read this book!” –Maggie, 15

5. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer 

Hope Was Here is a story of a young girl in a small town. The touching tale will bring out the sappy in any reader. Another Newbery Honor book, tweens will feel inspired and take home lessons from Joan Bauer’s story of a young girl from Wisconsin.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our full list of 15 Best Books for Tweens.

5 Best Parenting Books

What are the 5 parenting books that every parent should read? It is a mission at Radical Parenting to increase reading and literacy. We also love supporting authors.

Here we have selected our top five favorite books for parents:

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All of our content is Teen Approved by our teen interns!

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This is an amazing book for parents that uses scientific studies to bust parenting myths and help give tools that actually work.

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says might feel a little harsh, but can be a real wake up call to be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

We hope you will consider bringing more books into your own home. Feel free to leave us your favorite books in the comments.

If you liked this post, you might also like our list of favorite books for parents at Radical Parenting.

5 Best Family Gifts

At Radical Parenting we always want special occasions to be celebrated right. What about when you want a gift the whole family can enjoy? This is hard to find especially when you have different age groups. Our interns have come up with some great gifts for families of all ages:

Best Family Gifts

1. Wii

Family video gaming is one of the most popular of modern digital technologies, cutting across age, demographic and gender divides. Wii is designed to encourage integration into existing home entertainment systems so it is easy to implement. Wii can get a family playing together and off the couch to be more active.

2. Fit Deck Junior

FitDeck is a unique deck of Exercise Playing Cards that makes exercise more simple, convenient, and fun. If the family wants to get in shape and make it fun you can use the FitDeck junior deck which has exercises for kids that the family can do together. It never gets boring and it is always challenging. Also easy to bring in the car to the park or toss into a drawer. Not many exercise systems can be used like that!

3. Cranium

Cranium is one of my family’s all time favorite games. This is played in teams and is wonderful because it is a combination of all the best games–drawing, humming, trivia and even sculpting! It has flexible play length, so whether you’re an artist, a singer, an actor, or a professional speller–there’s something for everyone in this classic board game.

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This is so cool and a surprise for everyone! The box is filled with an assortment of boredom-busting games and snacks. You can order this before a family vacation as a birthday treat, or care package.

5. Melissa and Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions

Need to get everyone talking at dinner time? The Melissa and Doug family dinner box of questions is a great thing to have around to get kids (and especially teens and tweens) talking, bonding and connecting.

Be sure to help your child write thank you notes so they are appreciative of all of the wonderful gifts they have received.

If you want to check out more gift ideas check out our Best Gifts Post.

5 Best Board Games to Bring to Summer Camp

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These games are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

At Radical Parenting we believe that board games are a great way for kids to connect and learn strategy, cooperation and patience. If your child is heading off to summer camp, they might consider bringing a few games with them. Or if you child is a camp counselor here are a few games they can play with campers!

We have chosen 5 of our favorite board games for summer camp: 

5 Best Games Board Games to Bring to Summer Camp:

1. Kubit2Me

I discovered Kubit2Me years ago and think this is a great game for getting groups of kids who don’t know each other talking and getting to know each other. It is also very portable and easy to pack and campers can do play this on the first night or during free time to bond, laugh and talk. Easy to understand rules and not many small pieces–perfect for camp!

Description of Kubit2Me: Kubit2me Now You’re Talkin’ makes communication a little more physical and a whole lot of fun! It’s a high-energy game of self expression and social interaction, where thought-provoking questions get tossed from player to player! Kubit2me Now You’re Talkin’ is a non-competitive game that encourages open & honest communication about engaging topics, where every player’s opinion is important and valued! Game questions focus on beliefs, opinions, relationships, memories & just about every topic that affects our everyday lives. Play with friends, at family parties, or just about any group get-together. Pull cards from Kubit2me’s pockets & get ready to start tossin’ & talkin’! Comes with 99 Friendship Stickers to give & receive!

2. Charades

Charades is a classic game but can be difficult to get started when people can’t think of what to do! I like this box version of charades because it has helpful clues and can easily be done in large groups. Campers can play this in teams or with their entire cabin before bed. It gets kids moving and laughing–especially on a rainy camp day.

Description of Charades: No more time spent thinking up good charades – the fun starts as soon as the box is opened. With both easy and challenging charades for different tastes and interests, the Family Charades In-A-Box Compendium is THE perfect game for your next family game night. There are even picture only charades for the wee ones to act out and the best part – they can interpret the answers however they want! Three sand-timers and a jumbo dice add an element of surprise – you’ll never know what is coming next! So gather around the family living room, slide the coffee table out of the way, and act your heart out! You’ll be laughing, cheering, and groaning as teams battle their way to the charades hall of fame. It’s so fun you’ll want to play again and again!

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Taboo can be played with an unlimited number of players since you can have teams–it is great for camp especially boys versus girls or counselors vs campers game nights. The nice thing about taboo is everyone gets to play all the time–either you are a guesser, actor or buzzer. Gets campers thinking fast and working together.

Description of Taboo: Taboo, the laugh out loud, out-of-your-seat game of forbidden words is refreshed in 2011 with all new cards, a game changing die and a new taboo buzzer sound for those players who just can’t help but use those taboo words. Refreshed card content for an adult favorite. Game nights are a perfect way to gather friends together for a low-stress evening full of hysterical moments no one will forget. Taboo, the laugh out loud, out-of-your-seat game of forbidden words. All new cards, a game changing die and a new taboo buzzer sound. Recommended age, adult. Players 2 or more.

4. Pictionary

Pictionary is a great game for creatives and getting people’s imaginative juices flowing. You can play pictionary as individual players or campers or as teams. I love this game because it makes players think outside the box and use visual skills as well as critical thinking skills.

Description of Pictionary: One team member quickly draws clues while others on the team try to guess the secret word or phrase in this 20th anniversary edition of Pictionary, based on the classic game of charades. The timed game is designed for three or more players, and is aimed at kids ages 12 and up. 20th anniversary addition. One team member draws clues to try to get the rest of the team to guess the secret word or phrase before time runs out. For 3 or more players. Ages 12 – Adult

5. Rory’s Story Cubes

Rory’s Story Cubes in an interesting game because you can also play it solitaire. This game is great for inducing creativity and can be used as an ice-breaker at the beginning of camp or just as campers are getting to know each other. It is definitely a mental exercise coming up with creative stories and problem solving!

Description of Rory’s Story Cubes: There are infinite ways to play with Rory’s Story Cubes. You can play solitaire or with others. Here are some suggested uses: Party game or ice-breaker, Literacy development, Speaking and listening skills, Creative inspiration, Mental workout, Problem solving. Rory’s Story Cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory’s Story Cubes, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination!

Board games are an awesome way for campers to learn strategy and bond.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

Best Gifts for Families: Radical Parenting Gift Guide

At Radical Parenting we always want special occasions to be celebrated right. But sometimes it is so hard to find the right gift for the right age group. So, we have combed the web and stores and asked our teen interns to review the best gifts for the special person in your life.

We have chosen 5 gift ideas for each category.

Best Gifts for Teens

1. PlayStation Portable

This is hours of entertainment that you can hold in the palm of your hands. Teens can play games, listen to music, connect to the Internet, watch movies, and do more, all in a compact package that you can easily bring with you wherever you go. This is great for road trips or to have in the back of the car just in case there is traffic.

2. Subscription to The Week

If you want your teen to read about current events and stay up to date about what is going on in the world, than The Week will be a great investment. The Week is one of my favorite magazines and I look forward to getting it every Saturday. It is a magazine of all of the news from around the world that week. Teens need to be up on current events and what is happening in the world. This is a great way to stay up on news in a digestible format.

3. Desktop Basketball Game

Your teen will love this vintage style desktop basketball game which features variable basket height – 3 settings and automatic ball return. Whether your teen is heading off to college or just wants a cool (quiet) game in their room, this is a fun choice.

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4. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.This game is surprisingly engaging and fun. It is a newer game but absolutely worth trying out–your family will soon be addicted! Teens also love playing this their friends as the strategy and take-overs of rail lines are similar to risk and monopoly combined.

5. Nook

Can we all work together to get kids reading more? A Nook is a cool way for kids to read, take notes and even surf the web. Get your teen a Nook and load it up with some of our favorite books before a vacation or on weekends for reading time.

Best Gifts for Tweens

1. NHL Stanley Cup Air Hockey Game: 

This is an awesome game for tweens to play with friends, siblings or even as a family! We always wanted one of these in my house.  If your kids like having friends over this is a great gift during sleep overs and after school.

2. Nintendo 3DS

This is a very popular gaming system for tweens right now. They can use it with siblings or on road trips. Be sure to set up some electronic guidelines so they don’t get too addicted, but a nice distraction device to have on hand for traffic or rainy days.

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Monopoly is a great way for tweens to learn about money and real estate. Here at Radical Parenting we talk a lot about financial literacy and playing Monopoly is an easy way to talk to kids about saving, spending and getting good at math skills. Play it as a family to encourage discussion and friendly competition. Let your children be the banker to get used to handling the money.

4. Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle

Kids and parents alike are loving the Kinect because it gets kids and teens off the couch and doing interactive play. The bundles come with tons of games that the family can play including getting kids active and playing not just on the couch and playing.

5. Kubit2Me

I discovered Kubit2Me years ago and think this is a great game for getting groups of kids who don’t know each other talking and getting to know each other. It is also very portable and easy to pack and campers can do play this on the first night or during free time to bond, laugh and talk. Easy to understand rules and not many small pieces–perfect for camp!

Best Gifts for Kids

1. Rubik’s Twist:

It’s finally here–a newer version of the Rubik’s Cube, it is almost impossible to figure out. See how long it takes for your kid to stop obsessing over it. I bet not for days. This is a great brain stimulating game and can be in the back of a car or even played while waiting in a restaurant.

2. Chalkboard Wallies: 

If your child has been begging you for a room makeover, this can hold them off a few more months…this sticker paint can be put on walls to create chalkboards.  This can give them lots to do and make their room very cool. They can also put up to do lists and their friends can leave notes.

3. Dart Board: Soft-Tip Dart Game:

Notice the soft tips, darts can be a great thing for kids to do offline and the soft tips will not poke someone’s eye out. Do it as a family or encourage your kids to have friends over to play.

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Does your child want to try something new because their skateboard is kind of becoming boring? Well then the Ripstick G is a great gift. It combines skateboarding and snowboarding and resembles a traditional skateboard. It takes only minutes to master and moves with subtle movements.

5. Water-resistant USB Thumb Drive:

These are always useful for kids who are getting older and sharing the family computer or bringing papers to school to print out papers last minute. Kids often begin transferring files at school or in computer labs. Water resistant is important because—well, you know, kids spill everything.

Best Gifts for Toddlers

1. Classic Balance Bike

If you want to teach your child to ride a bike, then this balance bike is a perfect way to get them to learn naturally. It’s designed for children from two years old and up and allows children to learn the balance and motor skills necessary for biking, safely and naturally, without relying on training wheels. The two-wheel, pedal-free bike allows kids to run the bike along and eventually learn to coast with their feet up.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 8.26.57 AM2. Tobbles

Children can stack, spin, balance these 6 multicolored layers. This is fun for toddlers and great for building skills and hand eye coordination. Not a bad conversation piece for your living room either!

3. Rock and Roll Alphabet

If your child is beginning to learn their letters, Rock and Roll Alphabet is a fun gift idea. Cool music and fun games build excitement about learning to read. It covers the most common sound that each letter makes.

4. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Kids will giggle while playing this game. Kids collect acorns and have to practice being strategic to make sure their squirrel gets the most. Great for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

5. Alex Twist and Drill

Little guys love this drill. Designed especially for little hands, these pint-size tools allow toddlers to practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills with variety of multicolored bolts, wheels, and practice holes. The tool set features a power drill with three interchangeable bits that can also be attached to a screwdriver handle.

Best Family Gifts

1. Wii

Family video gaming is one of the most popular of modern digital technologies, cutting across age, demographic and gender divides. Wii is designed to encourage integration into existing home entertainment systems so it is easy to implement. Wii can get a family playing together and off the couch to be more active.

2. Fit Deck Junior

FitDeck is a unique deck of Exercise Playing Cards that makes exercise more simple, convenient, and fun. If the family wants to get in shape and make it fun you can use the FitDeck junior deck which has exercises for kids that the family can do together. It never gets boring and it is always challenging. Also easy to bring in the car to the park or toss into a drawer. Not many exercise systems can be used like that!

3. Cranium

Cranium is one of my family’s all time favorite games. This is played in teams and is wonderful because it is a combination of all the best games–drawing, humming, trivia and even sculpting! It has flexible play length, so whether you’re an artist, a singer, an actor, or a professional speller–there’s something for everyone in this classic board game.

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This is so cool and a surprise for everyone! The box is filled with an assortment of boredom-busting games and snacks. You can order this before a family vacation as a birthday treat, or care package.

5. Melissa and Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions

Need to get everyone talking at dinner time? The Melissa and Doug family dinner box of questions is a great thing to have around to get kids (and especially teens and tweens) talking, bonding and connecting.

Best Gifts for Moms

1. Mole skin notebook

This notebook is great to take notes in, jot down ideas, make lists or even journal. If your Mom is constantly trying to keep track of things, she will love this notebook. Start it off with a nice note to her on the first page then every time she opens it she will see something from you!

2. Thumper Massager

Mom will love this massager after a long day. It improves circulation of blood and lymph and gets energy deep into muscle tissue. If you really want to make Mom happy offer to do the dishes while she puts her feet up and massages her shoulders!

3. Bluetooth Keychain GPS w/ Live Search

Does your mom often get lost? This small wonder will go with you anywhere! This compact size bluetooth can even go on a keychain! Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery for at least 10 hours of operation and your Mom will love this new gadget so she never gets lost again.

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Mom’s are all about efficient use of time and space. The Uni-tool has five functions in one tool. With this one tool Mom has a slotted spoon, a turner, a solid spoon, a spatula and a cutting tool. It’s made from tough nylon and is heat resistant.

5. Foot Spa

There is nothing better after a long day then putting your feet in a warm bath and relaxing. This foot spa treatment massages your feet with waterfall, dual bubble action that can relax even the most tired. It also comes with 3 separate attachments including: pumice, brush and pin-point massage.

Best Gifts for Dad

Dad deserves some great gifts on his day. Try some of these gift ideas for Father’s Day:

1. Kindle

Dad will love a new Kindle to read, take notes and have for business travel or to keep in the back of the car. Kindles can hold his favorite books as well as newspapers and periodicals he likes to read all in one place!

2. Executive Travel Putter with Telescoping Shaft and Simulated Hole

Whether Dad uses this at work or at home, he will love this golf set, which includes an adjustable putter with a telescoping handle and simulated golf hole and ball. It’s even small enough to travel with and throw in a duffel!

3. Mini Indoor Helicopter

This might drive Mom a little crazy, but it sure will make Dad happy! This mini Indoor Helicopter can be flown indoors or outdoors and flies in 6 different directions and can be flown up to 10 meters away.

4. Nike Fuel Band

If your Dad is trying to get in shape or just have an idea of what kind of energy he is burning, the Nike Fuel band is an awesome gift. Nike’s all day activity tracker is completely waterproof and displays real time progress towards your daily goals so you stay motivated to burn more calories, take more steps, and keep moving to accomplish your personal NikeFuel score.

5. Madden NFL 11 (XBOX 360): 

Help Dad feel like the touchdown hero he really is with this down to the core guy game. With every noise and move, they’ll feel like they are playing in the actual team instead of moving their fingers. It’s no secret that guys love their video games, but when you mix that with sports, your athlete will have gotten a taste of heaven.

Best Gifts for Parents

1. Picnic Backpack

Encourage your family to do more outdoor activities together. The Picnic Backpack makes it so much easier to take food with you. It has an insulated cooler and is divided into two sections. The top mesh section, with it’s drawstring closure, is designed to hold clothing, towels, or other gear that needs to breathe. The bottom section features ThermoGuard insulation to keep food warm or cool for hours and a heat-sealed, water-resistant lining to guard against leaks. Perfect for day trips, hiking, the beach, sporting events, and fishing.

2. Digital Picture Frame of You!

If you want to get your parents something special, then get them this awesome digital photo frame and load it up with pictures of you and the family. Mom and Dad can put it in the house or Dad can bring it to his office.

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So, why would everyone love this tool? Dad will love this new power screwdriver with magnetic screw holder and Mom will love it because it will get things off of her honey-do list around the house. Everyone wins!

4. Coupon Book

You can make your own coupon book for your parents or you can get these ones, one for Dad and one for Mom. They will love all of the acts of love you can give them whenever they need you most.

5. Waffle Maker

Waffle Makers are fun for the whole family on Saturday or Sunday morning. This waffle maker makes 1-inch thick, 7-inch round gourmet quality waffles with extra deep pockets and 4 easy cut sections. Make chocolate chip, banana or blueberry waffles at home.

Best Graduation Gifts

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Graduates will love this travel charger because they will be on the road back and forth from college or new jobs a lot. The GreenZero technology eliminates wasteful stand-by consumption energy because it automatically shuts off with zero idle power when device is fully charged. It also has a cool design in addition to being functional. Every graduate nowadays have tons of devices, so get them something they can juice up with!

2. Netbook

A netbook is a smaller lighter laptop. Perfect for college students who want to take notes in class and haul their computer all over campus. This netbook is a great one because it is not too expensive (especially for a computer) in case it is spilled on or dropped but has all the functions a college student would need.

3. Subscription to The Week

This is what I got my sister for her High School graduation. The Week is one of my favorite magazines and I look forward to getting it every Saturday. It is a magazine of all of the news from around the world that week. Graduates need to be up on current events and what is happening in the world. This is a great way to stay up on news in a digestible format.

4. Cashflow Game! 

This is one of the most amazing games I have ever played. Graduates are going to be on their own for the first time and they need to learn about finances, budgeting and how money works in the real world. The Cashflow Game was actually designed to teach financial literacy in a more fun way. It is played at business schools around  the country. If you can give your child the gift of financial smarts, there is nothing better for them to have before starting life on their own.

5. iPad

If you are feeling really generous you can get your graduate an iPad which they can use to read, take notes on and even video chat with you from school! Students can now get their textbooks on the iPad and take notes on them right there. There also a number of academic apps students can use for vocab, library and testing–not to mention some of the fun ones like Netflix and Boggle.

Best Gifts for Kids Going Away to College / College Freshmen

1. Boggle

We get addicted to playing boggle because of the twist and shake start. This boggle is compact and quieter than older versions. In 3 minutes you have to find the most words you can. Great for cramped dorms or road trips. Very little space needed!

2. Wireless Speakers:

Wireless speakers for a phone, ipod or MP3 are great for dorm rooms. This is great to play music while hanging out, getting ready or even during studying (nothing too distracting of course).

3. Table Topics College

This is a small game that is easy to pack and has a series of get to know you and thought provoking questions that new friends can ask each other. This is also a great activity for dorm meetings or for residential advisors to encourage their dorm mates to get to know each other.

4. Solar Computer Backpack: 

Does your teen have a ton of electronics? This might help keep everything charged (I kinda want one) while they are away and walking around campus. I always used to forget to charge my phone or wouldn’t have time to charge my computer in between classes. This charging backpack would have saved me a lot of time.

5. Twister

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Perhaps this is not a parent’s favorite game for their kids to bring to college, but it sure will be their teen’s favorite game! Twister is the fun and hilariously awkward really get to know each other game. Your college student will love playing this game in cramped dorms with new friends.

 

 Gifts are a wonderful part of showing appreciation and celebrating with those you love. Remember this still means it is important to be grateful. Have kids clean out their room, closets, attic and garage and take old toys and electronics to Goodwill. This makes room for the new and teaches kids they have to give back as they receive. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen or bring gifts to a local children’s hospital over break to get kids thinking about those who are less fortunate. Most importantly, enjoy these gifts together! Celebrate and play as a family and make sure your kids write thank you notes for all the great gifts they received.

Have you seen our other top picks?