by Cheryl Butler
If you live on the East Coast like Mighty Mommy does, this year you’ve had your share of icy, wintry days equaling a lot of indoor time with your kids. A great way to cure a few hours of cabin fever is to take out your trusted board games and have some old-fashioned family fun.
Here are a few classic and new games that will bring smiles and some thinking power to your entire family (and pull them away from the endless TV and video games):
Cariboo – Best for ages 3 to 5
Players take turns picking cards and unlocking doors in search of colorful balls. Whoever finds the last ball gets to open the treasure chest. There's no reading required, and a round takes less than 15 minutes.
Original Memory Game – Best for ages 3 to 6
All-time favorite recall game. Find the most pairs of matching picture cards to win!
Sorry! – Best for ages 4 and up: Move your pieces around the board until you get them all home. But be prepared: your opponent can bump you or make you switch places! This game teaches counting and good sportsmanship.
Connect 4, Classic Grid Game – Best for ages 6 and up
Be the first to get 4 in a row. Stay one step ahead of your opponent to block moves and knock out the competition! This game is a great thinking and strategy game.
Battleship – Best for ages 7 and up
You and your opponent hide ships of different sizes on a grid and then take turns "shooting" at each other's boats. The first to sink all the enemy's vessels wins. This game teaches math, persistence, and fair play.
Scrabble – For all ages who can read
This fun crossword puzzle game helps build vocabulary no matter how old you are. Scrabble Jr. is also available.
Trouble – Best for ages 5 to 10
Trouble is a board game with a simple concept: Be the first player to send your four game pieces all the way around the board, moving spaces determined by rolls of the dice. The "trouble" of the title comes when an opponent's piece lands on a space occupied by your piece, thus sending yours back to the beginning. This is the Butler family favorite!
Monopoly – Best for ages 8 and up
Players go around the board buying properties and collecting rent. Get a complete set of like-colored properties and you can start building houses and hotels. Chance cards along the way can either help you build your fortune or cost you money. Land on Free Parking and you win the jackpot; land on the wrong space, it's off to Jail for you!
Yahtzee – Best for ages 8 to 12
In this thrilling game of luck and strategy, players have three tries each turn to roll dice in hopes of obtaining the elusive Yahtzee – or racking up points in one of the 12 other scoring categories. For a real challenge, go for a bonus Yahtzee (two or more in one game)! This classic has captivated players, young and old, since 1956.
Apples to Apples – Best for ages 12 and up
Apples to Apples is the game of hilarious comparisons. Each round is filled with surprising and outrageous comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things and events
Scattegories – Best for ages 12 and up
A word game of categories where all your answers have to begin with the same letter. For instance, you roll the big twenty-sided die and it comes up with "R;" next, you fill in a word beginning with the letter "R" for each of the categories. Categories might include: an ice cream flavor, a president, a thing you find in the refrigerator, and so on. Fill in as many categories as you can until the buzzer sounds after 3 minutes.
Does your family have a favorite or "go-to" board game for days when the kids are stuck inside? Share your picks in the comments section below!