Family Game Night

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As a busy Oilfield family, our lives get so crazy that we don’t always have the time to sit down as a family and just be together as much as we should.  Our schedules can get pretty hectic, but we try to make the most of our time together, especially when dad is home for his two week hitch.  I try to find activities that we all enjoy, and of course everyone likes games. Games are fun for all ages and a good way to spend family time. I also enjoy playing games with my kids when dad is gone. Since I have less free time when he’s away (because I’m pulling double parent duties), I need to make the most of the time I do have – and sitting down to play a game is a good way to have some quality time together when time is limited.

My kids are  6 and 9 years old, and they love playing games. What started out  years ago with only Candyland and War has grown into quite the repertoire of games that we enjoy.  Games can be educational while still being fun.  We used War as a way to work on number recognition and learn number values back when the kids were just 3.  (Playing a game is WAY more fun than flash cards!) Now, I have them add their own Yahtzee score cards which also sharpens their math skills.  Plus they are learning to take turns, learning how be a gracious winner, and learning to be good sport when they lose –  they are learning important life lessons all while having fun and “playing”.  There’s also the benefit of quality family time, and making memories that will last forever.  Some of my favorite childhood memories are of playing games with my parents and sisters.
What’s not to like about games?!

Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

Beginner games great for young kids:
– Candyland (great for the youngest kids – no reading or counting required)
– Go Fish
– War
– Memory
– Hi Ho Cherry -O (this one is fantastic for kids just learning to count)
– Chutes and Ladders (warning, this game can last FOREVER!)

Classics that never get old:
– Yahtzee
– Bingo (we have a cute picture version)
– Uno
– Monopoly (we also have a kid friendlier version using dogs called “Pup-opoly”)
– Crazy 8s
– Sorry
– Battleship
– Dumb Dice
– Checkers
– Mancala
Along with basic reasoning, strategizing, and math skills, these games also promote good  sportsmanship.

Newer Favorites: (or at least new to us)
– Fishsticks
– Hiss (this one is also great for very young children you can’t read yet)
– Tenzi
– Blokus
– Blink
– Sherlock
– Dog Dice (a fun spin on Bingo)

Games on the go:
I keep Mad Libs in my purse for when we are waiting somewhere. They are so funny, and a good way to learn parts of speech. I also have a pad of paper which can be used for tic-tac-toe and hangman (hangman is especially good for my 6 year old to practice his spelling). These are good ways to kill time the old-fashioned way,  without being glued to a “device”.

“Team” games: (a little too difficult for my kids on their own, so we play as teams)
– Scrabble
– Clue (my 9 year can play just fine by herself, but my 6 year old needs to be on a “team”)
– Pictionary

Games that the kids appreciate more than we grown-ups do….
– Twister
– Charades
– Hungry Hippos
– Whack-a-mole
– Slapjack
– Charades
– Cooties

This is the tip of the iceberg. There are endless choices for games these days. We have learned the simpler the better in most instances.  But the very most important thing is just to spend time together, nothing fancy required! Grab a deck of cards or some dice and just have fun!

Please comment to add your favorites to the list, or hit me up on Facebook  with more game suggestions!
About jenna

Jenna has been an oilfield wife for over 12 years. Her Hot Oil Man husband started working in the oilfield a few months before they were married. The oilfield has lead them all the way from Northern CO to Alaska, where they've lived in the Matanuska Valley for 4 years. The family consists of their two children; a strong-willed daughter age 10, and a goofy son age 7. And of course what family would be complete without a couple of dogs and rabbits thrown in the mix. Jenna is a stay at home mom who doesn't “stay at home” much, and enjoys gardening, baking, reading, watching movies, four wheeling, hiking, fishing, and LOVES shopping. Since moving to the last frontier they have also started home schooling, which is another adventure all it’s own.

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