Games We Have "just for the kids" - Which ones to lose?
Brian Schlichting
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I was at the FFG Event Center in Roseville a couple of weeks ago, and there was this guy there with his two 4 year old kids. They sat and played a few kids games. They sat and talked to their dad, and some friends that stopped by their table. They sat and played some more games. Then they calmly went home with their dad. It was such a surreal experience... so outside of my general comprehension.

I do get my four year old Henry to calmly play a game on occasion. And we learn together and have fun together. But these people were there for almost two hours! Henry would have destroyed that place. There is no way. And there were two of them!

My mom gave us the Sandwich Stacking Games for Christmas. I worked very hard to get this game going with them. We got to the point of setting out all the ingredients, and I taught them how to go find the right ingredients and put the sandwich together. I should have taken a video. It so shows how, even though they can play and comprehend a complete game from start to finish, they cannot do this with calm and control. It was total lunacy. We had broken ornaments, cushions coming off the couch, sandwich pieces hanging off of bread gloves. We were barely in control. And this felt normal. It could even be called proud moments, as both the two year old and four year old could identify all the ingredients on the cards, and correctly make a sandwich by the time we were done - and they both had a complete riot of a time playing. I am guessing it will take no effort to get them to play again.

Two four year olds sitting and calmly playing games for two hours. How did he do it? Maybe I don't care... just not realistic for me. I was telling my brother in law about it, and he said "Dude, some kids are calm, just not ours. Look at Jake." Jake is a calm kid...

So this evening, I looked at my list of games and decided that I have way too many games that I am keeping with the excuse "I really want to play this with the kids someday!" My kids are 2 and 4 years old, and we do play a lot of games - but this is a little ridiculous.

There are new great kids games for all ages every year, and some games won't be playable with them for another decade. Yet I have dozens of them that I hold onto just for them - and what are the odds they will even like them?!?

These are all games that I know for certain I won't be playing with anyone else but my kids. It's not like occasionally my family or gaming friends will just pull these out, when compared to the dozens of other games I have to choose from.

Feel free to add games to this list as suggestions, especially ones that may cause me to get rid of other games on the list.
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1. Board Game: Apples to Apples Kids [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:4958]
Brian Schlichting
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I have the regular Apples to Apples game plus the expansions. I picked this up in the hopes that this would make it a more playable family game sooner rather than later.
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2. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1086]
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It's a really simple and fun racing game that I enjoyed. However, nobody else in my crew of gamers is going to ask for this a second time. I still have it because it could be a great family game one day.
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3. Board Game: Barbarossa [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2230]
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A game where you get to play with clay, and you don't have to be all that good at sculpting! I like this one a lot, and most likely only my kids will play it with me ... someday.
 
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4. Board Game: Bazaar [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1822]
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It's just the kind of geeky mathy game I enjoy - but the only chance I'll have to play it is if I can foist it on my kids. What are the chances they will even like it?
 
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5. Board Game: Bears! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5506]
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This game is just too crazy to do anything but throw dice around with kids that won't care about the rules at all!
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6. Board Game: Black Sheep [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:3965]
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I keep pulling this one off the shelf, playing it with my wife and nephew - thinking "This game is pretty good, I should keep it for the kids." It never disappoints, other people like it more than me, but it's not a favorite of mine.
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7. Board Game: Bling Bling Gemstone [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:2935]
Brian Schlichting
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I played way too much Jenga back in the 80s, so that's out. I saw some people playing Toc Toc Woodman, then I saw this kickstarter. And now I'm just waiting for the kids to be old enough to enjoy/destroy it.
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8. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:524]
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I like this game, but I don't dig abstract games as much. My wife likes it, and the kids are in love with the pieces. I think this has all the makings of a keeper, even if I've gotten all I can out of it myself.
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9. Board Game: Boggle [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:1961]
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Frankly, Sarah and I both find this game annoying - but it's such a gaming staple... Can the geekiest gamer dad avoid teaching the kids Boggle? Scrabble? Monopoly? Life? They're the only games everyone else will know...
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10. Board Game: Spooky Stairs [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2171]
 
Brian Schlichting
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The kids are getting this one for Christmas. I am really hoping we get some miles out of this one!
 
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11. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:631]
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I love push your luck games, and this Sid Sackson classic has everything lined up in a nice and elegant little bundle. I'd really like to see this one get it's due in our family.
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12. Board Game: Chang Cheng [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3061]
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A very mathy little game with a variety of mechanics and lots of different pieces. It could be a fun family game, but there's a lot of competition on the table!
 
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13. Board Game: Don't Break the Ice [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15413]
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I have this very old copy of Don't Break the Ice - and the kids LOVE IT! Of course I am not just going to take it away from them. But we have a LOT of games. We are fast reaching the point where we have gotten everything this game has to offer, and I could use more space on the shelf.
 
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14. Board Game: Don't Rock the Boat [Average Rating:4.98 Overall Rank:14875]
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Oh my do I want to get rid of this one badly. There are some things that give me that feeling of nails on the chalkboard... but without the shivers. This is one of them. Unfortunately, Henry thinks this thing is great!
 
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15. Board Game: Dragon Valley [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:13039]
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This is a kickstarter I pledged in a moment of weakness. There was an early time when I first discovered kickstarter, and had not realized how much of an insidious money-suck that it could become, and I pledged for a few things that I would not pledge for now. This is one of them. Still, it does look like we could get some good family mileage out of it one day.
 
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16. Board Game: Dreadfleet [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1838]
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Which one of these is not like the others!

OK, so I simply have never been able to make the time for painting miniatures. I painted maybe a dozen of them in my 20s, and haven't had a paint brush in my hand in over 20 years. So this game looks so much fun to paint! And I have always enjoyed the Warhammer system of stats for combat. I showed it to Sarah, and she mentioned how she spent time on craft projects with her dad that were really great... and this is one of those things that could take me back a few decades seeing it through their eyes...

And so I have this massive box of amazing zombie pirate ships waiting to be painted/destroyed by me and my kids. What a pipe dream!
 
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17. Board Game: Elk Fest [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2510]
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I like this one. It reminds be of my childhood in the lunchroom flicking around a folded piece of paper and calling it football. It's a fun little game, but will never be realized except through a child's eyes.
 
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18. Board Game: Enuk [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:9755]
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This came free with the Dragon Valley kickstarter. I have never really liked flip the card memory games. This one may have just enough of a twist. But there are a ton of memory games out there, but this one is probably only a year away from being in their age range. Next Christmas maybe?
 
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19. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:760]
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OK, this one is a stretch. I so enjoy the little evolution chips, and building the little dinosaur - I would have a hard time parting with this one even if the kids didn't like it. But really, if they didn't, I should - because they are the only ones likely to play it anymore.
 
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20. Board Game: Flip Flop Faces [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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The kids are really enjoying this one, so it's a keeper for now - but yet another game that will only work for a few more months before all of the fun has been had.
 
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21. Board Game: Kitty Bitty [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:9175]
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The kids are getting this one for Christmas. I really hope they enjoy it, as it has just the right mix of memory and fun for me. Working in color matching with boolean memory just feels like a fit for me - just the kind of thing I want them to be good at!
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22. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2764]
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This one might be a total schill. We have played this game dozens and dozens of times. It will always be one of my greatest memories of this time period in my kids lives. If there is one game I will keep forever, just for the memories, this is the one. Sad to deny another family this much joy/frustration though... and I do have pictures.
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23. Board Game: The Hobbit [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3311]
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As Sarah and I both have a pact to ensure that we foist Middle Earth upon the kids, owning a cooperative Hobbit game seemed necessary.
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24. Board Game: Hula Hippos [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:4380]
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And here's another dexterity game that looks crazy fun for the right high-energy kids. I'm sure my kids can laugh their heads off, fight, and break this one!
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25. Board Game: Jungle Speed [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1067]
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I got this game a number of years ago when I went to GenCon. For some reason, it seemed fun at the con. Ultimately, I decided I really don't like it - but here it still is, sitting on my shelf. And I tell myself, "dexterity, speed, pattern recognition - great for the kids".... really? I mean the game is kind of annoying.
 
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