46 Comments
Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

For road trips or dinner conversations with humans of any age, it's hard to beat "would you rather ..." There are several free apps available but we also keep a running list of questions in a family Google Doc. My kids are still talking about this one: "Would you rather have fingernails that are always at least 5 inches long, or have a snorkel on your face permanently?" The 12 yo already doesn't clip his nails and the 15 yo has adolescent acne rn so it was easy for them but I am struggling LOL

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I created a profile just so I could comment on this thread because I LOVE Qwirkle. but definitely agree that it could be a challenge with younger kids. I'm bookmarking this so I can revisit everyone's recs once my 15-month-old is a little older because now that I think about it, none of my favorite tabletop games are particularly child-friendly. to that end: I haven't played it myself, but I've heard good things about One Night Werewolf for kids.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

We’ve played Quirkle with my 5-year-old, but I guess we play a simpler version where we don’t do points. I didn’t realize that was part of the game because my husband was the one who read and interpreted the rules because I, too, lack patience for that. We just play until someone runs out of tiles.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

"We were still in the trenches of our younger son having a burn-it-down tantrum any time he lost an Uno game" I'm glad I have company!!

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I'm a terrible person to ask this because I hate learning new games and I doubly hate having to explain new games to other people. I also cannot remember the rules for any game I learned after junior high. That's why we stick to Skip-Bo and Monopoly. And Shut the Box (which is, in fact, a fantastic all-ages game now that I think of it)

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

When I saw the scorekeeping part of Quirkle I said "screw that" but the kids still wanted to play so we don't score, but made up the rule that whenever you get a Quirkle you get a high five and that seems to satisfy everyone's levels of competitiveness. The games I'll always play with the kids are Uno, Memory, Catan, Codenames Pictures, and Connect 4. To the person who recommended Forbidden Island, if you didn't know, that's kind of the "training game" for Pandemic. So when they're older you can play that game for more challenge.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I have older kids (who can read) our favs are: what do you meme (family edition), reverse charades, and Tenzi or Yatzee. But by far the best travel game is Left, right center. Fits in a small purse or glove compartment, no reading or skill required and is easy to play at breweries!

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

We have travel Quirkle because my mom bought it for me at some point? It lives in the emergency "so we have to evacuate to a high school gymnasium" go bag, I figure at that point we might get bored enough to learn how to play it.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

Oh my god my mom used to insist that we play Parcheesi and she was so competitive and annoying to play with, and I was peak middle-school-annoyed-at-everything age, and it scarred me for life against family board games! So I guess if it isn't going great maybe let yourself off the hook and put the game away?

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

We love Qwirkle! Kids are six and eight. The rules become second nature pretty quickly. We also love Cat Crimes and Dog Crimes as they are cooperative/collaborative and really engage critical thinking skills. Also nice to find a game that requires only one player!

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We play Qwirkle as a 3-year-old-friendly family game, but just as like...making the lines. We don't bother with scoring or winning, we just make the lines. It's fine. It's more fun than playing Hi-Ho-Cherry-O for the thirtieth time.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

A friend recommended Sleeping Queens, which is a card game that seems complicated at first glance, but has been a lot of fun. You can play with a math component or leave that out. One thing that has been a huge boon to us are card holders for little kids, so my 5 year old with some OT issues can join in!

We also have had issues with him and sportsmanship but sometimes we play one adult against two kids (his sister is 8) and that has helped a bit.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

If you ever played Rummikub with your grandparents, Quirkle is your game. I love it. My kids won’t play with me but my husband does.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I love games, but HATE learning new games with my kids. They need to know now how to play immediately and have little patience for figuring it out. I also have a kid who would rather make-believe with all the pieces than play the actual game. So I highly recommend finding a Quirkle expert and playing with them a few times. Once you get it enough to scratch out a game with the boys it will become more clear as to whether this game is one for your family treasure chest.

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Quirkle is great for adults. I would never, ever attempt to keep score with my 4yo and 7yo (we also have regular meltdowns that involve throwing game cards/pieces/boards across the room, EVEN WHEN IT'S A COOPERATIVE GAME WHERE WE ALL WIN TOGETHER 🤦🏻‍♀️). My husband keeps trying to make Quirkle happen even without scoring and every time I just sit there silently shaking my head at him like, WHY can't you just let us play this alone, and we can save this game night by picking something they will actually enjoy? (Bird Bingo is a big hit for all, fwiw.)

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Let it go! Seems like it will be a couple years until it really makes sense for you guys.

Re other games, we like the quick monopoly deck game which is a lot faster than normal monopoly and easier to play.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

This is the first time I have heard of Qwirkle. Can't help you with that game in particular, but I do feel you when it come to the expectations of game vs. reality. I was hoping my family would get into Scrabble. What do we play? Blackjack...for money.

At least they are practicing their mental math skills.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate Qwirkle. My kids do too despite our best efforts to get them to like it.

Rummikub was a big favorite in our house with a 7 and a 4. The seven year old (now 8) likes Ticket to Ride as well.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

It's quite old school but Rack-O is really fun and easy to learn.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

The only games our family of four (two adults, 13 and 9 yo boys) are generally agreeable to play are UNO/UNO Flip and this hand-me-down "Dr. Dreadful Scabs and Guts" game. I have purchased so many games and puzzles thinking "THIS will be the one!" and yet it never is. I grew up in a house where we played Trivial Pursuit almost every weekend and so the lack of interest in "game night" hurts me. My youngest wanted a complicated Ravensburger Jurassic Park game and I watched videos and read the instructions but since it's just ever him and me that want to play, we make up our own rules and it's a lot more fun.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

Quirkle never caught on with my son (now 7), but some of his favourites include Castle Panic, Catan Jr and Forbidden Island. Jurassic Park is surprisingly fun, but does require honesty for some sneaking about. When he was younger he liked Granny's House. We're heavy on the collaborative!

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

We bought Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot, a card game, when we were vacationing a few years back. The shop owner was enthusiastic about it and we are suckers about supporting small businesses. We tried to play it one rainy afternoon. It was far more involved than we were prepared for. It now sits, collecting dust, on the top of our book shelf. Trade you for Qwirkle?

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I always get inspired to buy games from Catherine Newman's round ups (https://benandbirdy.blogspot.com). I think her family may be much smarter than mine. But she has inspired us to get and love sleeping queens, rat-a-tat-cat, and sushi go. Very portable. I also bought Dutch Blitz and every time I try to learn the rules I give up.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

The Taco vs Burrito card game has been a hit across age groups this summer. It takes around 20 minutes to play and the box is a small footprint and could be smaller if you wanted to decant it. Part of the strategy is actively doing things detrimental to other players, so might not be the best for a kid that’s prone to tantrums. We solved this with the 4 and 6 yo’s by playing open handed and just choosing not to play some cards, which is allowable in the rules.

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I have never played Qwirkle, so I can't comment on that, but No Thanks is a great, quick game with simple rules and it's small, so good to pack on vacations. My 7-year-old loves it. We also have quite a few cooperative games, which are good for the tantrums, but not so good for simple rules. (If you're in the market though, Survive is one that my son really likes.)

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FWIW, I usually hate games, and I actually like Qwirkle. My MIL got it for Christmas last year, so we were playing with a 5-year-old, and 11-year-old, and whatever grownups were around, and kept score. YMMV but it worked well for us.

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Aug 16, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

I like Quirkle, but I generally like to play it with people who like & understand it more than I do. The only game I will play anytime is SkipBo. I learned to play it with regular cards (Spite & Malice) and I even have the app for my phone. We have a couple of games my husband likes to play with the kids: Deep Sea Diver, Sushi Go, Sleeping Queens and Dragonwood. And, my 10yo got the Game of Life for his birthday, and they LOVE it.

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We recently got Farkle and I found it pretty easy to dive into. The rules seemed confusing to read but after a few turns we were all on board. I mostly like that there is no big setup and you can just bust it out and start playing.

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We like quirkle and love sleeping queens. I love games and dream of being a Family That Plays Games but it takes a loooot of energy to get it going. My favorite game, which is this year's bday party gift, is spot it. You can play as many rounds as you want. My 8 yo can be kind of a jerk about it, so we split into teams and play two parallel games. Or do tournaments. Somehow my 5 year old is some kind of uno wunderkind and usually beats us all (HOW?!!).

I really thought we might be on the way to playing more games but then I got cocky and bought exploding kittens which was a) more involved than I anticipated, b) had more reading (not good for the 5yo), and c) the first time we played it my 8 yo LOST HIS SHIT bc his kitten exploded (?! really?!). So, we have only played it for about 2 minutes.

I like rat a tat cat but it's still hard for the 5 year old. I'm waiting for the day for the kids to play set with me because a LOVE it so much, but so far I'm the only person who does. We haven't ventured into board games yet bc my 8 yo is a serious mansplainer and I think would manage to suck the fun out of it as he tries to bust us all while the 5 yo gets booored. Sigh. Some day.

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