Stuff We Like: Family Board Games
As the winter storm called “Nemo” swept through the NYC area this past weekend, many of us were stuck inside with our little ones as the feet of snow piled up outside. It seems we’re becoming more and more familiar with this scenario as all sorts of whacky weather comes our way, from hurricanes to blizzards to “superstorms.” And the way things are going, it’s best to be prepared for similar scenarios down the road. I’m not talking about checking the batteries in your flashlights or investing in a sturdy snow shovel (though those things are certainly important!). I’m talking about preparing to fend off that dreaded disease that seems to permeate households where kids are cooped up too long–cabin fever!
What’s a parent to do? Well, if you’re not already subscribed to our free newsletter, which brings you the top family events happening in your area each weekend, now’s the time to sign up! When you do, you’ll receive our FREE guide to the 50 Best Ideas for Indoor Fun, which includes dozens of boredom busters, DIY projects, ways to bring the outdoors inside, and more. Register and get the guide at nymetroparents.com/signup.
Once that’s done, consider your game cabinet. If it could use an upgrade (no disrespect to the classics, but you can only play Monopoly so many times in a row), re-stock your shelves with these new family options (all of which are a good option should the power go out!):
It may sound farfetched that a board game can help get your kids active, but Flip2BFit is a new game with a focus on physical fitness. Created by Manhattan resident Heather Parisi and her father, Flip2BFit players must complete stretching, strength, cardio and/or yoga moves to win. The game is also eco-friendly as it’s made with soy inks, recycled paper, and rubber plant extracts. (Recommended for ages 6 and older. $34.95; 25 percent of profits benefit the charity Fitness for Africa.)
While baking with your little ones can be a fun way to spend a day indoors (and it offers lots of teachable moments!), it can also leave you with a total mess in the kitchen. If you’re not up for the clean-up, reach instead for Cupcake Race, a board game that has players construct their own (plastic) cupcakes as they move along the board. You must mix the batter, bake the cupcakes, frost them, and top them with treats by visiting the four corners of the board, collecting sprinkles along the way. The first player to reach the “party” with a completed cupcake and a sprinkle of each color wins the cherry to put on top. (Recommended for ages 4 and older; $19.99)
Our kids love their video games and handheld games, but sometimes you actually want them to interact with the rest of the family, too. xPirate Game offers the best of both worlds, with a traditional game board that offers the option for integrated game play through the use of an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or iPad Mini. Players travel across dangerous waters searching for four hidden treasures before sailing back home to victory. For more information on the game, including an instructional video, visit xpirategame.com. (Recommended for ages 8 and older; $49.99)
You’ve likely played charades before, but what about Reverse Charades? In this twist on the classic game, instead of one person acting out a word or phrase, the team has 60 seconds to act out as many words as one member can guess. The result is sure to be interesting — imagine trying to decipher three different versions of words like “grenade,” “Rogaine,” or “cow tipping.” The Original version contains 720 words, so you’re sure to get many hours of fun without a repeat. It’s recommended for all ages, but there’s also a Junior version geared specifically for kids ages 6 and older. ($23.99 each)
Many people love trivia games, but unless you’re an avid reader of encyclopedias (do they still have those?), it can be a frustrating contest. Kwizniac is a twist on the traditional trivia model — unlike most trivia games that give you a single question about a subject, each Kwizniac clue card has a set of 10 clues in decreasing order of difficulty. The more clues it takes to answer the question, the less points you receive — but you’re bound to get the answer, eventually. (Recommended for ages 12 and older; $19.99)