I know Edwin and I aren’t alone in our increase of game playing lately! Staying home so much has inspired us stay entertained in new ways. I actually wrote a whole post on things to do at home with your significant other that includes some games and so much more! We are both avid game players so increasing the amount that we play games happened pretty naturally. Edwin and I both grew up in families that play a lot of games and we absolutely never travel without a deck of cards (this sometimes expands to include a travel backgammon board and travel dominos). It is also not unusual for us to play a hand or two of gin before we sit down for dinner.
So, while staying home, we’ve really enjoyed the time together playing old favorite games, learning new games, and even participating in a few Zoom game nights with friends. Playing games brings out so much laughter and is really a priceless way to spend quality time with family and friends (without phones, which is a wonderful bonus!). Edwin and I are cherishing our one-on-one game night time together lately but we also can’t wait to get things like group game nights going again! Oh the joys of regular life and how we took them for granted!
Puzzle (more New Yorker puzzles) / Bless Your Heart trivia game / Smython playing cards / Table Topics / Dominoes (old – similar) / Wine Chiller / Wine Glasses / Embroidered Monogram Cocktail Napkins (old – similar)
Best Games To Play At Home
Of all the card games, we play gin rummy the most. It has always been a favorite in my family as well as in Edwin’s family. We grab a piece of paper and play a three column version to keep score of all the hands (see paragraph two here for a how to). It is great because we can keep a running game going on for a number of days and sneak in a few hands of gin here and there. When it comes to cards, I adore the cards from Over the Moon! Also in terms of cards, you can reference the rules to tons and tons of card games here.
I love a good game of War! Neither Edwin nor I had played in so long so we actually refreshed ourselves on how to play on a recent game night at home. Essentially, you divide a deck of cards in half and each of the two players place their stack of cards face down on the table. At the same time, each player turns up a card and the player with the highest card takes both cards and places them face down at the bottom of his/her stack. If the cards turned over equal the same rank, then it’s war! More on the directions here.
Speed is a blast of a game to play with two people. It’s super fast so you can play it on the fly whenever you want. The point of speed is to be the player who gets rid of their cards first. I suggest playing it this weekend at cocktail hour with your significant other for a lively happy hour!
Bullshit is a fun game to play right now! We’re spending so much time at home with the same people, that it’s nice to be able to call them out on their bullshit from time to time. Ha, just kidding! I do love this fun loving card game of trickier though! It also always reminds me of the beloved movie, How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days.
P.S. Find a few more great card game ideas here!
Tried and true. Monopoly is just fun! Don’t you have wonderful memories throughout your life from home and trips playing monopoly with family and friends? I know I do! It’s time to bust out your monopoly board and get a game going!
If you want an undertaking of a game that you can play over the course of multiple sittings, then play the game of Risk. I think it is one of the most compelling games because it involves a lot of strategy. We grew up playing Risk every year over Thanksgiving break because we all had time at home. Quarantine is a bit like that so there’s no better time to dive into a game of Risk!
Yahtzee! So, Yahtzee is technically a dice game but I actually don’t know enough dice games to create a whole category about dice games (I need to learn some! We do love the dice game Midnight though!) so I’m including it under board games. The goal of Yahtzee is to get a 5 of a kind with your dice. It is fast paced and fun for literally all ages!
I always admire a really great Scrabble player! Scrabble is another entertaining game because it take some strategy and mental energy, opposed to games of pure luck. Two, three, or four people can play Scrabble to test their vocabulary and knowledge of words!
P.S. Find a few more great board game ideas here!
Backgammon is one of the most classic games there is. It also happens to be one of Edwin’s most favorite games so we love it in our house. It’s a fantastic game that can be played with two people. If you haven’t ever played backgammon, don’t be intimidated! It is a super easy and fun game to learn with your significant other or roommate. The most special backgammon boards are by Nine Fair Backgammon Boards but I also love this pastel backgammon board.
I hadn’t played dominoes in years until quarantine so its been a fun game to revisit in the past few months. Dominoes is great because you can play with two players or expand it to four players. My parents also happened to get back into dominoes during quarantine. We’ve loved being able to play together as it’s a classic game that has been around for generations so every generation loves it!
My granddaddy taught me to play chess as a kid. When we visited my grandparents on Sea Island growing up, I would build upon my chess skills year after year. I really loved the shared time with my grandpa. Games really are one of the best ways to bridge generations and make memories with grandparents! Sadly, I haven’t played chess in years and am afraid I don’t remember the rules. Anyone want to teach me!?
I grew up puzzling on Sea Island with my grandmother and have always had a soft spot in my heart for puzzles ever since. Now puzzles make for wonderful gifts as they can be so specialized and unique! We are always fans of the New Yorker puzzles. I also adore the puzzles from Jiggy Puzzles that a girlfriend of mine introduced me to. They are little works of art! Lastly, for the floral lover, this floral puzzle is a gorgeous choice. I like to set up a puzzle on a table that doesn’t always get used and come back to it overtime, stealing a few minutes here or there to puzzle and clear my mind.
Games for Kids
Charades really does stand the test of time. Have you tried playing it with your kids while at home? If they are old enough to understand how to play, then definitely give it a go! Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the classic games but they can be the most fun!
Is there anything more fun than going on a treasure hunt as a kid? I don’t think so! This game definitely requires a bit of preplanning by parents but it is sure to be a hit with your kids. It would be super easy to create a treasure map and hunt around your house and any yard space you have. This also feels like a really memorable experience to create for children when the days all seem to blend together.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is another great indoor games option for children. We play hide and seek with our nieces and nephews nonstop when we are with them because it simply never gets old. Kids never tire of it and it can be played at home effortlessly.
I love musical chairs! It makes me feel so nostalgic for the school fair at the elementary school I attended. It was one of my favorite games as a kid. And it is definitely best when played with a group. So if the parents get involved that helps and includes any cousins or other family members you’ve been seeing during quarantine. The only supplies you need are chairs and music… Play music and have players walk around the perimeter of the chair circle (there should be one less chair than the number of people). Hit pause on the music. When the music stops, every player must immediately sit in a chair. The one person left standing is out of the game. Remove another chair and continue playing until only one person is left and declared the winner!
When it comes to games for kids, hot potato is even easier than musical chairs! It is a fun fast paced game too so you can play it a bunch with your kids while staying home! Do you remember how to play from your childhood? Players situate themselves in a circle (either sitting in a circle or standing in a circle is fine) and toss around a small round object like a bean bag, tennis ball, or even a real potato. Players toss around the “hot potato” while music plays; however, when the music stops, the player who is holding the “hot potato” is out. Keep playing until one player is left and declared the winner! Both musical chairs and hot potato can be classified as party games but why not get the whole family involved and make them great family games?
Spoons is one of the most fun games to play with kids because kids get to be quick and sneaky! I loved spoons as a kid and actually still really enjoy the game (it’s one of my mom’s favorites!)! It takes no amount of time so you can play a ton throughout your time staying home.
How do you play? Have your group sit around a table with a shuffled deck of cards and a group of spoons in the middle of the table. There should be one less spoon than the number of players around the table. Each player gets dealt four cards. Put the rest of the deck of cards in a stack on the table. To start the game, a player takes a card from the deck, decides to take or keep the card, discards one card from their hand, and passed their discarded card face down to the next person in the circle. The goal is to get 4 of a kind in your hand. As soon as a player gets four of a kind, he/she can grab a spoon from the middle of the table.
The trick is to grab a spoon when the other players are distracted so you can do it secretly and sneakily. As soon as the first spoon is taken, everyone is allowed to grab a spoon whether they have four of a kind or not. The last player who doesn’t get a spoon is out. Start the game again with one less spoon this time because you have one less person. Repeat this until there is one person left, the winner!
I hope this post gave you some entertainment and game ideas for the upcoming weekend!
This summer promises lots of time spent at home too so save this post and come back to it when you need a fresh idea! Happy playing! xx