Quality time with the family around the table can be rare with our busy schedules. Board games have come a long way from the days of settling in for a 3 hour session of Monopoly or RISK.
In this post, we want to suggest three easy to learn games that will grab your family’s attention and can be played in around 15 minutes. We feel that all three of these games can be grasped by kids that are 7 years old and up.
I came across Spot it! several years ago while attending a conference. I saw a group of adults sitting around a table, shouting out random words and slapping down card after card as fast as they could. These adults were having a fantastic time, and I couldn’t wait to see what they were playing!
The fast paced game of Spot it! consists of 55 circular cards, each one of them containing 8 symbols of different sizes and shapes. Each card has at least one symbol that matches the symbol on another card, and the first player to Spot it! has to call the symbol out loud and be the first to grab the card. Asmodee has published a ton of variations of Spot It! including sports, holidays and some of your favorite cartoons.
Why parents like it: Spot it! is an insanely quick game, and once you play the first round, you will find that it’s incredibly addictive. Adults, as well as kids, can’t seem to put it down. There are varying ways to play, which increases replay-ability, and keeps the game from becoming boring. Spot it! is a fantastic way to increase your focus and observation skills, all while playing in a fast paced and highly energetic environment.
Why kids like it: Spot it! is a very simple game to learn, and doesn’t take much explanation. In other words, what you see it what you get. Up to 8 players can play each round, and the quick paced play time adds to its appeal, as kids don’t have to wait around to take a turn. Spot it! is recommended for ages 7 to adult, although I believe a 5 year old could hold their own.
Purchase via Amazon.com or your local Wal-Mart, Target or game shop.
I’m a sucker for press your luck dice games. Yes, winning or losing can come down to a simple roll of the dice, but there’s something exciting about taking that risk of rolling just one more time to get the win.
Zombie Dice from Steve Jackson Games gives you 13 dice with three different icons on each. The goal is to collect a total of 13 brain icons before your opponents. On your turn you roll 3 six sided die. The brains score you points, the footprints can be re-rolled and three shotgun blast icons will end your turn. Each roll has to consist of 3 dice at a time.
As long as you don’t have 3 shotgun blast icons, you can continuing rolling. You can stop at any time and take the score for each brain you have on the table. We usually have a scrap sheet of paper to write scores on after each turn.
Our family enjoys zombie themed games and this one doesn’t seem to mature for our youngest daughter of 8 years old.
Why parents like it: This game is quick, fun and can be taken anywhere. There are no little pieces to lose and we’ve played this game at least a dozen times by the community pool during the Summer.
Why kids like it: Our kids love being able to teach others how to play games. The mechanics are really easy to understand. In the words of my son, “Some games can be frustrating to learn. I like Zombie Dice because I don’t get frustrated with it.” Plus, there are ZOMBIES!
Purchase via Amazon.com, Target or your local game shop.
Love Letter is a fast paced card game that challenges players to pay attention to what cards are being played. In the deck, there are 8 different types of cards that have various abilities.
For instance, a “guard” card allows the player to choose another player, name a card type and if the player has it, they are out of the round.
Love Letter comes in a variety of “flavors” that might click with your family. AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) currently makes versions based around The Hobbit, Batman, Adventure Time, Christmas and the original that started it all in 2012. According to the creators, additional themed decks are coming soon.
Why parents like it: The game pushes our kids to pay attention. When a player is watching what cards have been played, they have a far better chance of winning since there are only 16 cards in the deck. It helps them deduce what cards are still in play. There is enough strategy to make it fun along with some luck thrown in that will keep you on your toes. The game moves fast and even when someone is out of a round, you are only 2 or 3 minutes from the next round.
Why kids like it: Our kids are fans of Adventure Time so it’s great to see them enjoy the card art while playing this game. It’s fast and the kids don’t get bored of it easily. “I like that you can play the game and it doesn’t take an hour to finish” said our twelve year old daughter.
Purchase from Amazon.com or your local game shop.
We know that we haven’t even scratched the surface of all the amazing games that can be played in 15 minutes. Now we want to know your favorites! Post yours in the comments below.