Games You Can Play – At Home!
It’s the new normal—at least for a little while—finding ways to stay busy and happy at home. So, for a little while, our Events Listings blog will focus on events you can make happen in your own home. What could be a better diversion from everything that’s going on than games? They’re a great way to bring family members together, as well as to help individuals take a break from the news.
DIG OUT THE BOARD GAMES
Whether you are a family who regularly plays games or not so much, board games are a great way to come together and interact. If you don’t have any board games at home, buy some online—they are relatively inexpensive—and have them delivered.
For the youngest members of the family, these tried-and-true classics will be sure to delight! Candyland is the colorful game with memorable characters you may remember from your own childhood. Using simple color-coded cards to advance the tokens, this game is perfect for even the youngest members of the family. Operation is another game you may have played as a child, where steady hands are your greatest asset!
Games that involve deductive reasoning, excellent spelling skills, or knowledge of geography will garner the interest of older kids. Clue is the ultimate whodunit game where you solve a crime by process of elimination, and Scrabble, of course, is the quintessential game of words. There’s even a Speed Scrabble version you can play with the letters, only. Ticket to Ride combines strategy and a knowledge of geography with a board made of a vintage map!
Games that the entire family will love include that brilliant game of poker with dice–Yahtzee! Or set up a competitive game of Trivial Pursuit (Family Edition) with kids versus parents. The special Family Edition separates questions into adult versus child to level the playing field. Finally, there’s Risk, the perfect all-consuming, multi-day game for the most competitive members of your family. World domination is the goal—what more can be said?
If you’re looking for something “new” to play, try something old! These games may have been more popular in your parents’ childhood than yours, but they offer a more active means of play than regular board games.
Jacks is a game of dexterity that challenges your coordination and is highly addictive! And you can buy a set online for only 99 cents! Marbles is a great competitive game where kids can often beat adults. Party Palooza has marble sets starting at 75 cents, as well as many other vintage games. Outdoors, you can draw a hopscotch board with chalk on the driveway and relive the sensation of hopping on one foot inside the lines as you teach your kids how to play.
While technically not considered games, puzzles are perhaps the best way to occupy your mind in a focused manner. They’re one of those activities that require all your focus, which can be the optimal diversion. USA Today reports that puzzles help improve memory, strengthen problem-solving skills, and even can increase IQ! Just think—when we emerge from this coronavirus crisis, we all might be a bit smarter!
Jigsaw puzzles have seen a resurgence in popularity in the past few years, and they’re certainly a great way to spend time when you’re stuck at home. The CharmView News Journal says that putting together a jigsaw puzzle improves your mental health because it requires the engagement of both the left and right sides of the brain. Your left brain is logical and works in a linear fashion, while your right brain is creative and intuitive, according to Sanesco Health, an industry leader in neurotransmitter testing.
DON’T FORGET THE HOOPS
Just because you or the kids can’t participate in team sports right now doesn’t mean your basketball needs to sit idly in a corner of the garage. Grab the ball and bring the family out to the basketball hoop in the driveway for a friendly game of Pig.
According to SportsRec.com, the game of Pig requires creativity and accurate shooting, where players to match each other’s shots. Pig is a shorter version of Horse, which helps make the game go faster, especially when four or more people are playing.
The rules of the game are simple. First, establish the order of the players, which will remain consistent throughout the game. The first person takes a shot from anywhere on the court; if the shot is missed, the next player takes a shot. Once a player has successfully made a shot, this is the shot that has to be matched.
Each player needs to make the same shot from the same position on the court. Any player that misses this shot is given a letter “P” (or if they have already received a letter from an earlier round, they get the next letter, “I”). This continues until a player receives all three letters (P-I-G), which eliminates them from the game. The last player remaining wins!
This game can be played indoors or in the backyard and adapted to various age levels. Everyone loves finding hidden treasures, and you can up the ante by hiding valuable objects or even money, where the finder really is the keeper!
A simple version of this game, perfect for younger children, is the old-fashioned Easter Egg hunt. Yes, Easter is fast approaching, but this game can be played anytime! Get some plastic Easter eggs online and fill them with candy, small toys, or dollar bills. Some like these from Ufunga, come with pens for decorating (before or after!). Then hide them around the house or in the yard and watch the kids come alive for the hunt!
A more challenging approach for older kids is to make a series of clues they need to figure out and follow in order to reach the treasure. 18 Fun Games to Play at Home suggests writing clues on small pieces of paper which lead to the next clue. If you want to make it really challenging, you can even put the clues in code, then provide the key to the kids to help them figure it out! You can get a free Hieroglyphics Code Breaker at TES.com.
PAPER AND PENCIL GAMES
Don’t overlook the obvious! Those fun games you played in the backseat of the car with your siblings in the days before hand-held screen devices are just as fun as ever! Better yet, they’re a novelty to your kids, and that makes them all the more interesting.
Playworks reminds us of the beautiful simplicity of a bunch of dots! The game of Dots and Boxes starts by putting rows of evenly spaced dots on a page in a square shape. Players take turns connecting two dots with a line, trying to create a square. The player who places the last line, forming the square, gets to put their initial in that box and play again. the player with the most initialed boxes at the end of the game wins!
For more sophisticated and challenging ways to ward off boredom, The Art of Manliness suggests constructing a paper version of the classic Battleship game. They also have detailed drawings and instructions for a game called “Obstruction,” created by Hungarian mathematician László Kozma!
Have Fun at Home in Crystal Valley
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. The family-friendly community of Crystal Valley offers a great place to live and play. You can check out their new homes online from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton. When you need to get outside, the natural surroundings will inspire you! Check out the wide variety of floor plans in ranch and two-story designs, priced from the $300s.