From pure escapism to puzzle and problem solving, family games can provide quality time together when you go away. They get you and the kids away from your screens and around a table; chatting, laughing and having fun.
Of course, they’re the perfect port of call if you get some less-than-ideal weather on your trip. But don’t just save your games for a rainy day. They make for a great evening in together, and many can even be enjoyed on the sand.
So following on from our recent post about the top games to take on holiday and to help you find some family games that’ll ramp up the fun on your next getaway, we got in touch with a collection of travel and gaming experts, who gave us their recommendations. See what they said below.
Frugal Family suggests…
Our all-time favourite game to play when we’re on holiday would have to be Uno; to the point that a set of Uno cards lives in one of the suitcases all year round! The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards the quickest, but there are plenty of twists and turns along the way, with wildcards hiding in the pack to make things all the more fun. It’s great for families in that it’s simple enough for kids of almost any age to understand, but is engaging enough to keep the grown-ups interested too.
The Diary of a Frugal Family is run by mum, Cass, and documents her family’s adventures. Over on her blog you’ll find plenty of family fun; served up alongside interesting recipes and, as the name suggests, some superb money saving tips.
Larger Family Life suggests…
We know that, especially when it comes to travelling with children of a wide age-range, it’s important to find something that appeals to them all. Our travels tend to involve loading up the minibus and taking off for a month or two at a time, and since there are 12 of us, portability and space-saving are paramount.
Taking that into account, we have three favourites. You can’t beat a pack of Top Trumps cards, which are great for playing on long drives. We also like Travel Othello, which is perfect for winding down with in the evening or when the weather isn’t great, while our trusty Swingball Set promises some active competition when the sun does shine.
Larger Family Life is a family travel blog managed by mum-of-13, Tania Sullivan. She believes the best way to learn about the world is to get out there and see it, so spends much of the year country-hopping with 10 of her kids in tow. You can follow their adventures through their blog, on Twitter at @largerfamily, or on Facebook and Instagram at @largerfamilylife.
Gunpowder Studios suggest…
Kastles Medieval Mayhem is an incredibly fun, easy to understand and quick-to-play card game that’s perfect for your travels. In fact, we invented it while on holiday ourselves! For those moments that you find yourself without data or Wi-Fi, it’s a great way to get some family time in.
The basic idea is to defend your castle and destroy your enemies, adding a fantasy twist to the typical travel card game. It usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to play, so there’s no chance of the kids getting bored; it’s fun for the young to the middle-ages!
Kastles Medieval Mayhem is one of Gunpowder Studios exciting new family travel card games, the idea for which came about on a family holiday back in 2014. Soon enough, the cards were sketched out and the rules drawn up, and by the following year kids were lining up to play it. Packs are available from their website.
Surrey Mummy suggests…
One of our favourite go-to games is Dobble. It’s super simple yet brings hours of fun. If you haven’t got too much time to spare, then Dobble is an excellent choice as a game is quick to play and there’s practically no set-up. It’s easy to understand because it’s so visual; you’ll never need to pour over the instructions.
It comprises of circular cards that contain over 50 symbols, but there’s only one identical symbol between each card, and the aim of the game is to be the first to spot this. We’ve played this as a family since our children were three years old; and even though they’re teenagers now, we still enjoy a game.
Surrey Mummy is an informative blog dedicated to all things parenting and all things Surrey. Mums and dads in the area can keep up-to-date with all the latest goings on, events, clubs and services through the site. There’s even chit-chat forums to help connect parents in the region, and their half-term and holiday features are a real highlight, making sure no one ever gets bored.
Zatu Games suggest…
You’ll be lucky if every day of your holiday can be spent running around outside; some holidays aren’t even meant for it!
Among our top sellers are Pandemic Legacy, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Mansions of Madness. These games won’t squeeze into your hand luggage, but they’re well worth saving some suitcase space for. They’re a little more complex than some alternatives, so might confuse your tots, but should keep any kids aged 8+ entertained for hours on end. They make for the perfect rainy-day antidote.
Zatu Games is a leading online board games retailer. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a casual family gamer, they’ll have something for you. With over 7,000 games available, their dedicated blog is a great place to get clued up; with previews, reviews, features and more.