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Posted on Jul 3, 2013

Top Family Board and Card Games In 2013

Top Family Board and Card Games In 2013

Turn the TV off, track down the dice, and choose your favourite coloured counter.

Here’s Toy Tattle’s pick of the best family games for 2013.

Rory’s Story Cubes, 8 years and up

Rory Story Cubes

Available as Original, Actions or Voyages.

Each pack contains nine dice, covered in little images.

The game is played by throwing the dice and using the images displayed as inspiration for a story.

We have the original set and use it as the base for a made-up-bedtime-story (the greatest bedtime treat of all time for Son#2).

They’re also good fun if you take turns telling the story – with the first person incorpration on die’s image, then the next person adding an image to the story and so on.

For grown-up fun, firstly remove children to safe distance, then add alcohol, and begin tale.

Bananagrams, 7 years and up

Essentially Scrabble but without the stress.

The little cotton banana shape bag contains letter tiles, which are shared out between the players.

The aim of the game is use your tiles up as quickly as possible by creating connecting words, crossword-style.

Much faster than Scrabble, no faffing about with points, easily portable, and simple to adapt to include children.

LEGO Creationary, 7 years and up

LEGO Creationary

Each player takes turns building something shown on a card, while the other players guess what it is.

Older children can enjoy this with friends, while younger children will get more from it if they team up with an adult player.

As with all LEGO toys, this game is great for developing fine motor skills.

Spot It / Dobble, 6 years and up.


In the US this game is called ‘Spot It’, and in the UK it goes by the name ‘Dobble’.

It’s simply genius, and very addictive.

The tin contains a stack of round cards, each with eight images on.

Now here’s the clever bit: If you take any two cards, they will always have one, but only one, image in common. The maths is mind-boggling.

I played this for a while at the Christmas in July event, with a representative from the UK distributor, Esdevium Games, and I was totally hooked.

What I really love about it, is how it helps develop visual discrimination and visual perception skills, which are really important for school-aged children.

Qwirkle, 6 years and up


Similar to dominoes. Each player draws six tiles.

Each tile has a single image on it.

A tile can be played you can touch it to another tile which shares either the same colour, or shape.

First player to play all of their tiles wins.

Simple enough for little children to join in, but strategic enough to keep older children and adults amused.

Once you’ve mastered this, check out the dice version.

Perudo, 8 years and up


Also known a ‘Liar Dice’.

Every player shakes the dice in their cup and turns it upside down.

You then go round the table bidding on how many of a particular number you think will be showing.

Best suited to older children and adults.

Excellent preparation for a career playing professional poker.

Can be played for 10 minutes or 10 hours, depending on how addicted you get to it.

Labyrinth, 8 years and up

Labyrinth Game

The aim of this game is to change the layout of the board so you can reach your target destination.

Each player has a card which shows where their counter is aiming for.

The board is made up of loose tiles, with one spare tile. Players take it in turns to slide the spare tiles into a row or column, changing the layout of the board, and knocking a new spare tile out, while trying to create a pathway for their counter to reach their target.

Great for developing strategic thinking. Children may benefit from watching adults play a couple of rounds before trying it themselves.

What to look out for when choosing a family board or card game

Quick to set up, and pack away. Anything requiring too much effort is destined to gather dust on the bookshelf.
Can be easily adapted to include everyone in the family – make up your own family rules so the game is accessible to everyone.

Appropriate to your child’s development. Don’t rely too much on the recommended age. I’ll let you in on a little industry secret: If the game is to be included in the ‘family’ category, it must have a recommended age of no higher than 8 years old. You may find some games rated as 8 years and up, are a little too advanced for most 8 year olds. Be guided by your child’s ablities and likes, rather than age, and don’t be afraid to change some of the rules to make the game easier and more enjoyable.

Enjoyed by the adults too.
You’re much more likely to spend quality time with the kids, playing a game, if the game is one you enjoy. If a game doesn’t appeal to you, don’t buy it.

Family Games Reviewed By Toy Tattle:* Shelby’s Snack Shack – really cute game for kids aged around 4, 5 and 6 years. Good for maths and fine motor skills.* Answer Buzzers – great for turning a regular board game into a panel quiz show.* Hot Dots – a pen and card set (similar to LeapReader) for solo question and answer gaming.* Spin Mania – Circus skills and patience required to move the spinning discs.* Fly Trap – Flick bugs into possessed plastic fly traps mouth – first game that ever held Son#2’s fleeting attention.* History Heroes – stack of cards about Britain’s monarchs with fun facts – similar to BrainBox.

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