One thing I love about Christmas is getting together and playing games. Whether that’s with the family on Christmas day or with friends for a few drinks thought out December. So I’ve put together some of our favourite games to give you some ideas for this festive season.
Some of these games are classics that we’ve owned for ages, some are recent additions and some have been gifted to me for inclusion in this guide – I’ll mark these with a *
Games for kids
Rory’s Story cubes *
A really simple game that you can take anywhere. The small pocket-sized box hold nine picture cubes, each with a different image on its faces. Roll the cubes to give you a range of images and then come up with a story that incorporates what you see. This is a fantastic game to take with you if you’re travelling this Christmas and brilliant for school-aged children to help encourage their love of storytelling, improving their literacy skills and building their imagination
OjO Shape Factory *
The OjO Shape factory is aimed at 4+ but I think Paisley (aged 3) would also really enjoy this. The idea is to try and make the item show on the card out of the shapes included in the box – for example, to make a tree you might simply use a rectangle with a circle above it, or a house might be a square and a triangle together. A great game to practice early problem solving and shape recognition. Perfect for early-years STEM. You can find the stockist for OjO educational games here.
OjO Movie Director *
Another game that’s good for problem-solving is the OjO Movie Director. This game uses movie scenes and props to solve maths puzzles. The OjO games are currently part of a Kickstarter campaign that’s running. You can find out more details about how to support the campaign here.
Pieface is one of those games that doesn’t have a lot to it and there is no real skill involved but is guaranteed to have you in hysterics. It’s messy which means it doesn’t come out very often but when it does, that house is filled with giggles. I’d recommend buying just to keep for rainy days if nothing else
Okido Which Way Game *
Which Way is a coding board game for early-years. The idea is to help Messy (from CBeebies TV show, Messy Goes to OKIDO) move around the board and visit all of his friends by setting a course for the little self-driving car to follow. The game teaches 4 main coding principles; Define the problem, Plan the solution, Build the program, and test it!
Games for Families
Exploding Kittens *
If you’ve not heard of Exploding Kittens before, where have you been? It was the most back kickstart product EVER!
A simple game of placing cards that takes a couple of minutes to learn, you soon start to develop your own tactics. But take heed, this game is both frustratingly tense and wonderfully addictive -And you don’t have to have a kitten to play.
This one is actually one of mine and Liam’s favourite games but we rarely have enough people to play it. The idea is to describe something so that your team can guess the word on your card without using ‘sounds like’ or ‘rhymes with’.You need to get as many as you can in the time limit before moving around the board. This game is great to play with competitive couples as the better you know each other, the better you are at understanding what your partner is trying to get across. Suitable from 4 to 20+ players aged 12+
Cortex is a game for 2-6 players aged 8+ that tests your thinking, memory and speed skills! Compete with other players in 8 different challenges which will make you use all your brain power: touch tests, duplicates, logical series, mazes, colour puzzles, and more.
In Concept, your goal is to guess words through the association of icons. A team of two players choose a word or phrase that the other players need to guess. Acting together, this team places pieces judiciously on the available icons on the game board.
Cards Against Humanity
Once the kids have gone to bed, the adults can get out Cards against Humanity. I certainly would NOT recommend playing this around children – but most definitely WOULD recommend playing with some snacks, a few drinks and your best friends. Completely inappropriate and wickedly funny – Great for playing at get-togethers.