It’s interesting how the dynamics of our family have changed over the years. Admittedly, it can be a challenge to keep everyone close with the age spread of our kiddos. (The boys are 20, 18 and 14. The girls are almost 12, 9, 7, and 3 ½)

One great way our family keeps the camaraderie is by playing card and board games. Here are some of our favorites we recommend:

  • Telestrations is awesome. I am not going to give you a dry read of how to play and such, but I can guarantee that it will include lots of laughs and create inside jokes that only fellow players will get for years to come. (We have the 12 player party pack, so all 9 of us can play.)
  • Imaginiff… is a great way to get out some emotional baggage. (In a fun, lighthearted way, of course!) We have two versions of this game, and we like the original by Buffalo Games better than the newer Mattel one.
  • Uno is a simple but fun card game. We have had several versions over the years, from Disney Princess to Pixar’s Cars. We played the Cars version a couple evenings ago, and after being highly amused by some of the utterances of the kids playing, I wrote down some of the humorous sayings. Here are some highlights:
    “Um… orange” ~ Alex declaring what color he wanted when he played a wild card (Orange is not an option, folks!)
    “Oh yeah! I suck!” ~ Rosa
    “Go Twinkie” ~ Alex to his almost sleeping Dad, letting him know it’s his turn
    “Hash-tag Sassy-pants!” ~ random utterance from Nora
  • Walk the Dogs is a great strategy and risk game for the younger because no reading or writing is needed.
  • Would You Rather… is a really fun game to play with youngsters. I love their reasoning of why they chose one scenario over another.
  • Bananagrams is a fast paced word game that the kids love challenging me to when I am too tired to think. Which brings me to…
  • Scrabble. Whenever my Grandma Iva would visit me we would play this. She was so ridiculously good I felt privileged that she would even want to play with me. Now my own kids beat me!
  • Mad Libs is awesome because it even counts as teaching language arts. The kids love to really widened out their vocabulary and creativity while playing, making for some side-splitting funny versions of Shrek and Star Wars.
  • Snorta is a fast paced game with many barn animal noises being uttered. This is another game the kids love to play when I am so beyond tired. Random animal noises amuse them.


  • Conga is one of those games that uses props like clay and an obnoxious timer, so our kids love it. I enjoy the draw-it and charades aspects. Something for everyone!


  • The Big Taboo is similar to Conga but with Bob. He totally makes this game.
  • Rat-a-Tat-Cat seemed natural for a family with cat and rat lovers in it. It is a really fun strategy and memory game. I can practically see the gears in the younger one’s heads turning as they try to figure out the best way to get rid of their high cards and get lower ones.
  • I’ve already written a whole blog post on Apples to Apples. We have many versions of the game, but play our own home-made version the most.
  • Bubble Talk is the next game we want to make our own addition of. The premise is simple: have a bunch of random photos and another bunch of random quotes. Here’s a hint: the quote that doesn’t fit the picture is usually the one that is funniest and therefore wins the round.

    Bubble Talk

  • In10sity is a trivia game with a twist: every answer is a number between zero and ten. Makes for a easy way to fill one’s head with pointless trivia.
  • Oodles is a pun-filled game. A bit over the younger ones heads, but hey, it’s never too early to teach the fine art of witty banter.


  • The Cheese Touch game is another charades and draw-it game with a cheesy twist.
  • Quelf is downright scary to play. My teens enjoy having a camera on hand to film the antics that occur, from their dad hollering pirate slogans to one of their sisters doing the chicken dance. My advice: make sure you play with lots of ambitious people so you can fade into the background (hopefully…)

Many of these games are no longer made, but are easy enough to find at thrift stores and the like. Do you know of a game we’d enjoy? E-mail us a reply!

click here to go to Waveofjoy's Homepage

click here to go to the updates page

click here to go to the photo galleries

click here see our latest happenings

click here to go to our blog

click here to go to our links page