a list of games for multi-age groups

hedbandzHere we bring you another list.  This time it’s games for multi-age groups.  Think two families gathering with siblings of varied ages or a multi-generational family at Thanksgiving looking for an activity.

1.  Hedbandz.  A game that levels the playing field among players as no one knows what’s showing on their own headband.  Kids learn deductive reasoning by trying to guess their “identity” (kitchen? Hamburger? Las Vegas?) and by listening to the questions the older plays ask to figure out theirs.  This comes in two versions and both are appropriate for multi-age groups.

2.  Clue.  Another game that hones deductive reasoning and strategy skills.  Caveat – If the murderous theme and weapons here might upset younger people at the table, skip it.  Note there is also a Clue Jr. version for really young budding detectives.

3.  Mastermind. And oldie, but goodie!  This involves complex reasoning skills but is very simple so that younger players can learn the game easily.  For Mastermind lovers there is a free iPhone app called Crack the Code, something I don’t mind my kids playing to pass the time when we’re in waiting mode somewhere.

4.  Telestrations.  Drawing meets telephone in this game that is guaranteed to bring laughter to all involved.  Reading is necessary so pre-readers will need to team up to play.

5.  Scrabble. While Banagrams is the cool new kid on the block in letter tiles, a big component of the game is speed.  I played Scrabble with my 8 and 10 year olds this summer and realized how beneficial the extra time was for them as the had the chance to examine the board as the turns passed. In contrast, the speed element of Banagrams often leads younger players to quickly feel defeated.  We had the pleasure of playing on a Scrabble board that belonged to my grandparents, and it spun.  So if you are purchasing new this is a great addition to the game closet.

Whether you are stocking up on birthday party gifts, preparing early for the holidays, or just want some fresh activities for your next family and friends night, we hope some of these games will do the trick.

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