What is going on with the weather? It’s still cold in some places, hot in others, and wet everywhere else. But whatever the climate, having fun with your family is one of the best things you can do. Here are some of our current favorites for not-boring board games.
Imagine playing soccer with a football — suffice it to say that the ball won’t always end up where you intend it to. Now, imagine playing soccer with a large, soft, kickable banana — which is even harder than a football to reliably aim. That’s about it. You provide a nice field, the game provides the banana and four wooden stakes to use as goals. For two or more players, ages 6 and older. $23 at amazon.com
This is kind of like Chinese checkers meets Battle Sheep. The goal is to get your four wooden totems from their starting positions on one side of the board to the other side. Sounds easy, but you’ll need to use a combination of offensive and defensive strategies to outwit your opponents who are trying to do the same thing you are. For 2–4 players, ages 7 and older. Takes about 30 minutes to play. $33 at amazon.com
Some people with synesthesia see colors when they hear certain letters or numbers. In this game, you’ll need to channel your inner synesthete. Each player takes a turn as the COLORologist and draws a word card, then secretly matches it with a color card that he or she thinks best matches the word. The other players then try to guess which color the COLORologist has chosen. Correct answers move game pawns forward. For 3–6 players, ages 8 and older. Takes about 30 minutes to play. $15 at amazon.com
Life in the Coral Reef
Think Where’s Waldo, but with a rotating cast of Waldos who appear in different places every time you play the game. Players draw two marine animal cards and then compete to find those animals — both at the same time — on the double-sided puzzle board. The winner of each round collects a rubber animal figure. It’s a fun, and very dry, way to get kids interested in life under the sea. For 2–4 players, ages 4 and older. $15 at amazon.com
Lay out the 18 numbered monkeys, number side down, and each player picks three. Then players take turns rolling the cube and either Switch (swap monkeys), Steal (take one of another player’s monkeys) or Flip (turn the monkey over to see the number). The goal is to get three monkeys with the highest total value. You’ll need strategy and planning skills, a good memory and a sense of humor. For 1–6 players, ages 6 and older. $24 at amazon.com
Each player has a deck of cards and they take turns flipping their cards into the center of the playing area, which is surrounded by a number of colored acorns. The images in the cards all feature a ninja squirrel holding an acorn. If the squirrel’s sash and the acorn are the same color, players try to be the first to snatch the same-colored acorn. Most acorns wins. The game lasts either until all the acorns have been collected or all the cards have been played. Great for color recognition, hand-eye coordination and just plain fun. For 1–4 players, ages 7 and older. $22 at amazon.com