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Motherhood between windmills and tulips

Classic game boards for family night

I come from a family who loves to play Scrabble. We also used to play a lot of Monopoly back in the 80s with those white metal playing tokens (my favorite was the iron). Have you ever heard of Boggle too? We used to play that a lot as well! My parents believe that the best way to keep all 6 children playing together is through board games (not from playing tumbang preso or patintero out in the streets with other kids). Plus, the board games we used to play most are games that both challenge the mind and keep us on our toes.

And now, having two boys of my own, ages 6 and 9, we try to play board games at home on a regular basis, or at least on a Friday or Saturday night. And although we have a good number of games and puzzles to entertain our children’s brains, we have 5 game boards that we highly recommend to have at home (though some of you probably already have one or two of them). And I’ll tell you why I recommend it!

So, let’s start with Scrabble, shall we??



Type: Word game
Number of players: 2-4
Age: 8+ (Scrabble Jr is for kids 5-8)
Playing time: 30 mins - 3 hours (depending on the game)
Price: €25-77 (depends on brand and edition)


Why I recommend it: For our kids, a game of scrabble helps improve their spelling and vocabulary. But not only that, it helps them improve their calculating skills because we also let them do the scoring. It’s a game that all of us can play in pairs or against each other and it certainly kills time!

Trivia: Did you know that the highest-scoring legal Scrabble word is OXYPHENBUTAZONE? You can get a score of 1,782 points if you play it across the top of the board hitting 3 triple word score squares while making 7 crosswords downward. (That word is an anti-inflammatory drug, by the way.)



Type: strategy board game
Number of players: 2
Age: 8+ (but my 6 year old can play it!)
Playing time: 5 - 60 minutes
Price: €7-72 (depends on brand & quality)

Why I recommend it: This is a game of strategy and a game of focus and concentration. It helps my children develop mental skills that focus on cognition while having fun. It also helps teach them not to give up easily when things do not seem to go their way (especially when they can visually see that the opponent’s color is winning). At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun.

Trivia: Did you know that this game, also popularly known as Othello, was named as a reference to Shakespear’s play, Othello which is controversially about a black man and white woman’s love affair, similar to the colors on each side of the playing discs of the game. 



Type: word-guessing game
Number of players: 2 teams
Age: 7+
Playing time: 30 minutes
Price: € 10-42 (depends on brand & quality)

Why I recommend it: Pictionary is a game that brings laughter to our family whenever we play it. Why? It’s because of those funny sketches or weird interpretations of how to draw a certain word. It certainly brings out hidden talents. And it definitely highlights teamwork and cooperation to reach a shared goal… to win!

Trivia: Did you know that this game was invented by a bored waiter? He thought of a better idea on how to entertain guests on social parties in the 1980s and the Pictionary game was invented!  

Cluedo - Junior

CLUEDO (a.k.a CLUE) - Junior

Type: Mystery game (but junior versions are more kid-friendly!)
Number of players: 3 - 6
Age: 8+
Playing time: 10 - 60 minutes
Price: €20 - 40

Why I recommend it: Cluedo is a game of memory and focus, great things to teach our kids. Although the original version is more geared towards finding the “killer”, the kid-friendly version solves the case of the missing cake in a classic “who’s done it?” theme. This game also teaches my kids one important virtue..patience! The game can take a long time depending on how good everybody is playing, but you just have to teach your kids to play along until the end.  

Trivia: Did you know that this game was invented during World War II to keep those people stuck in shelters entertained.

Chicken Cha Cha Cha


Now wait a minute.  What is this game? You call this a classic, you ask??

Well, this specific game, no. But the type..yes! And I'm talking about…a memory game. Our kids love memory games and they’re very good at it! With all the many different types of Memory games we get from birthday give-aways to christmas gifts, this one particular game board (which we have in its original German version, Zicke Zacke Hühnerkacke) beats them all!

Type: Memory game
Number of players: 2-4
Age: 4+
Playing time: 30 minutes
Price: €40

Why I recommend it: I find this game very creative in incorporating a different kind of fun into a memory game. The object of this game is to be able to move your chicken token around a yard of flippable tiles, waiting turns until you get a matching tile, and then chase each other’s chicken around to collect all the feathers from each other’s chicken “butt”. My kids find this game so fun and exciting! And they’re good at remembering the tiles so they always wanted to play this game “to beat mama”! Oh dear me.. Hehe.

Trivia: This game is based on the Memory game, a popular card game where you start with all cards laid down and then you flip up two cards until you successfully turn over matching cards.

Do you have any of these game boards at home, too? Let me know if there are other interesting games that you recommend for us to have at home. We’d love to try them!

Also, check out this video as I teach my kids some Filipino games for the first time!


14 Shrewd “Scrabble” facts
Othello - Wikipedia
7-Illustrative Facts about Pictionary
20 mind blowing facts about Cluedo
Concentration, the card game

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