Now that Jack is almost 5 (and Heidi is 6, Harry 9), it is a lot easier for us all to play games together as a family and we try to play together at least once per week. Over the years we have tested lots of games and thought as Christmas is coming, we would compile a list of our favourites (in no particular order):-
1 - Scrabble
Scrabble is a favourite game of Harry and Heidi (and myself and Steve are partial to a game too) - we always take it when we go camping and I love that it helps with their spelling.
2 - Guess Who
Guess Who really is a classic that can be played and enjoyed by all ages. We have been known to have full Guess Who tournaments in our house!
3 - Chess
We are huge fans of playing outdoor chess and this year have enjoyed games at both Auckland Castle and Calvert Trust. Harry and Heidi have a good understanding of the rules now and a chess set for our coffee table is on my Christmas wish list this year.
4 - Uno
I don't play this with the kids but they absolutely adore playing it with their grandparents when they visit. If I ask them what their favourite game is - Uno will always be the answer.
5 - Tumblin' Monkeys
We have played Tumblin' Monkeys since the children were little. It really helps with their hand eye co-ordination and as the suspense builds up it's lots of fun for everyone.
6 - Operation
Operation is soooooo much fun and it is game where the kids are actually sometimes better than the grown ups! Our 4 year old is fantastic! Don't get too close though as you are likely to jump if you hit the buzzer!
7 - Ludo/Frustration
We have the frozen version of these games and probably prefer frustration as the dice is contained (what is it with kids rolling the dice under the sofa or across the board knocking everyone's counters down!!). As these games are only for 4 players, I normally team up with Jack and playing has really reinforced his counting skills. Frustration is an easy game that the kids can even play by themselves if I am busy cooking dinner.
8 - Hedbandz
We first discovered Hedbandz last year and bought it after we received lots of recommendations when I asked for the best game to take with us when we were staying in a wigwam in December. We chose to purchase the Disney version and it is fantastic way to play 'What Am I?' and suitable for most ages.
9 - Top Trumps
We have a rather large Top Trumps collection now (mostly all Dr Who and Superhero). What I like about this game is that you can mix some of the packs and it encourages kids to use their thinking skills a little too. Top Trumps is a favourite to pack when we are travelling somewhere together by train or boat as it doesn't take up too much room in our hand luggage.
10 - Creepy Hand
Creepy Hand is the latest addition to our game collection and we enjoyed playing this together over our Halloween half term break in Scotland. Basically, the hand walks around the table and whoever the hand ends up pointing at has to face a (child-friendly) truth or dare. We ended up crying with laughter as I had to sing a tv advert and Heidi had to pretend to be a cat and I know we'll be playing this game throughout the winter.
Why not see which games take your fancy from House of Fraser's toy collection. At time of writing there are some huge bargains to be had including Monopoly reduced to £6.60 from £22 and Disney Frozen Pop Up Game for only £5.