In a Pickle, from our friends the Shepherd family
Speed Scrabble, courtesy of The Common Room. Ditch the Scrabble board for this one, and feel free to combine more than one set of Scrabble letters. Everyone starts with 7 or 10 letters. No need to keep them hidden. The rest of the letters are turned face down in the center of the table. Everyone works at the same time using their own letters to build their own miniature crossword on the table in front of them. Each time somebody – anybody – has used all of her letters she calls out “GO!” and each player takes a new letter and continues to build and rearrange her own letters, trying to use them all. The game ends when all the letters are gone and somebody has used up all of hers. In theory you could each add up your score at the end and declare a winner, but we think the fun is in the play.
Dutch Blitz, discovered in the Vision Forum break room. One of the interns brought a deck to work during the crazy the 4th quarter and life hasn’t been the same since. Yesterday our new set arrived here at the house.
Pen, another discovery from The Common Room. This one is fast and furious fun! It requires a single die, one pen, plus a sheet of paper for each player. Take turns rolling the die. If you roll a 1 or 6, grab the pen and start writing numbers from 99 down to 1. Other players keep taking turns rolling as you write. As soon as another player rolls a 1 or 6 she grabs the pen from you and starts writing her own countdown. Players don’t start their countdown over each time, but continue their countdown on subsequent turns. Play continues until somebody reaches zero.
Younger players may be given an advantage by starting their countdown at 50 or 20, or even by counting up rather than down, making this truly a family game. I laughed when the Headmistress mentioned in her instructions for Pen that girls should tie back their hair. Then we learned the hard way when somebody nearly lost a handful of hair in the excitement. Incidentally, if my instructions don’t make sense then read the Headmistress’s.
Greed, an old standby. This one takes 5 or 6 dice and a sheet of paper. The instructions on Wikipedia are so similar to the way we play that I won’t bother to type my own instructions.
Set is not new in our house, but it’s another great favorite. This is one of the few challenging games in which a fairly young child stands a chance against an adult.
What games does your family play? Extra points if they don’t require special equipment.