First off, I am not a board game expert by any means. I love a good board game, but there are tons of other websites that specialize in board games that are wonderfully written. See them here and here. I, however, have read a ton of reviews (so you don’t have to), talked to friends (so you don’t have to), and have purchased more board games than any one family should. Then, I happily played them all, and rated them based on their playabilility and effectiveness in reducing screen time for kids. Which means these board games are not necessarily the most complex or most beautifully designed, but they are uniquely great at reducing screen time.
I have found for a board game to be compelling, against the ipad, tablet, or tv, it needs to be great in all these areas:
- Easy to teach (10 minutes or less explaining)
- Quick to play (15 minutes for one game)
- Repeatable (you want to play a couple games in a row)
- Fun for your kids! Fun for you!
- Small and Easy to set up (the bigger the game, the more intricate the parts, the less you want to bust it out)
Do not underestimate how important the game having to be fun for you. If the game isn’t fun, then you won’t want to play. That said, here are a couple of games I like, along with the age groups I think they are good for as well.
All these games are easy, quick, repeatable, fun, and I would happily play a couple of rounds in the middle of the day. All these games are small as well, and won’t take up that much of your coffee table, you can even play then on the corner of your dining room table if you want as well.
Popular Board Games I tried, but didn’t really work out:
- Monopoly (very fun, but the board is big, and the game is long)
- Sorry (the board is big, and the game is long)
- Life (the board is big, a ton of parts, and the game is long)
These are all great games, but don’t really work when you are trying to get a couple of games in during the workday (if you are working from home), during a rainy day, or after dinner.
So next time you want to get your kid away from the tablet for 30 minutes, try one of these games.
Reduced Screen Time Estimate: 30 – 45 minutes