This week is a Top 5 chosen by Tori for a change – TORI’S TOP 5 BOARD/CARD GAMES! (So a Top 5 of Board/Card Games For 8 Year Olds in other words.)
5. Battle Sheep
A game to be the flock of sheep covering the most ‘pasture’ is about as ridiculous as you can get, but is actually really good fun and we’ve played this a lot since we got it.
We all love this because everybody can play it. Technically strategic, the basic rules are simple enough that Arthur could join in back when he was four and had no idea what tactics were. In fact, he often won through sheer luck because we were all so intent on figuring out what everyone else was going to do and ignoring Arthur ‘because he’s just playing aimlessly to join in’ that he’d accidently block all our moves and reign triumphant!
It is also very easy to set up and has a quick play time (5-15 minutes on average) so nobody gets bored and you can play a few rounds rather just one enormous game.
With mini pony figurines as playing pieces, this was always destined to be a winner. I suspect when we upgrade Tori to ‘grown up’ Monopoly, we may have to bring the playing pieces from this one with us!
Junior Monopoly is great (in all its guises – we have the ‘normal’ version too) because it only has £1 notes and all the prices are below £5 so the maths is easy enough for anyone to be Banker (it doesn’t always have to be the grown up) and because it has a play time of about 15 minutes maximum so there’s no boredom induced table-flipping! It’s also much simpler with no auctions or mortgages or hotel-building or any of that. Enough to get the premis of Monopoly without any of the complexity. Tori and Arthur often get this one out to play together by themselves.
We got this as a family gift for Christmas and after introducing her to normal Cluedo first, quickly advanced to this one. Tori loves it because of the Harry Potter element and because of all the interaction and moving around of suspects and object pieces on the board. There’s always something to be doing, even if it’s not your go.
The extra elements of the Harry Potter version are good fun and don’t complicate it so much that it stops being fun. Moving board sections are always entertaining and being able to deflect Dark Arts magic by waving George and Fred Weasly at it is just funny.
Normal Cluedo keeps her almost equally entertained though, so all the extra stuff isn’t strictly necessary. (Though the first time we got Cluedo out I did find myself having to explain what a ‘lead pipe’ is and how it would be possioble to murder somebody with a candlestick or a wrench…!!!)
Ah, Uno. As you can tell from how battered the box is, we play this A LOT. As soon as The Smalls could read numbers and recognise their colours, we started them playing this. It has been on camping holidays, played sprawled on hotel beds, to friend’s houses, the pub – pretty much anywhere the kids (or us!) needed entertaining.
This is my third set – I destroyed one lot at college with my friends in the common room, lost a second set somewhere during university and then bought this to replace those about five years ago. It really is an any time, anywhere, anyone kind of game. It’s good for maths practice too, if you put your 8 year old in charge of adding up the scores!
Ludo/Frustration, whatever you choose to call it. This has been Tori’s favourite ever since she discovered it on Caius’s iPad when she was about 3.
Simple, fun, competetive and quick – it’s a brilliant game to have kicking around. She got the Frozen version for Christmas so that is the current preference but the more tradtional set in a tin that we picked up in Lidl years ago is great for bunging in my handbag when we go out.
Though the iPad version is brilliant for when she wants to play and nobody else does – because it has an AI option for her to play against!