Our 15 Favourite Board Games

llustration by Linda Helton

It’s time to start our Lucky 15 contest! As part of our big birthday extravaganza, and because we love giving things away, each month on the 15th we will be doing a round up of 15 things we love (everything from beauty products to strollers and food) and we will be giving one item from each list to one lucky respondent.

Our first Lucky 15 is family games that will provide a good excuse to extend family dinner to two rounds of dessert. Be sure to check back each month on the 15th for more fabulous prizes to be won.

Brain Quest (University Games, $27): Who says gameplay can’t be a little educational? This brilliant flip book trivia series is perfect for in-car distractions and can be played alone or in groups. Ages 2-12 (depending on book)

Uno Moo! Preschool Game (Mattel, $30): Get the youngest gamers in your brood on board by matching colours or animals. First one to get all of their animals in the barn wins! Ages 3+

Zimbbos (Blue Orange Games, $30): Like Jenga for little ones, this stacking game will have your kids teetering on the edge of a giggle fit, and it helps out with numbers, colours and precision. Ages 3+

Night- Night Kisses (Djeco, $22): With an end goal of establishing a bedtime routine and minimizing diversions (like kitty cats and musical interludes), this sweet nighttime game ends with kisses and tickles before lights out. Ages 3-6

Candyland (Hasbro, $12): Engages the pre-counting gamer with it’s bright colours and festive themes, and offers parents a little nostalgia. Ages 3-6

Shopping List (Orchard Toys, $22): Give preschoolers a reality check with this grocery game that helps to develop basic memory skills and familiarizes them with household items. Ages 3-7

Blokus (Sekkoia, $40): Like a multiplayer Tetris: Players (kids 7 and up) must try to lay down all of their pieces while blocking your opponents attempts to do the same. Ages 5+

Appletters (Bananagrams, $16): Like scrabble without the board and less rules. It comes in a compact carrying case making it ideal for road trips and dinners at Grandma’s. Ages 6+

Professor Noggin’s card games (Outset Media, $15):  Similar to Trivial Pursuit, but kid-friendly and with more specific themed games (there are a ton to choose from, including Famous Inventions, Basbeball and Insects and Spiders) so even the most particular of gamers can find their niche, and the illustrated cards feature easy and hard questions so no one gets left out. Ages 7+

Gobblet (Blue Orange Games, $40): A strategy game, part tic-tac-toe, part chess, with the added layer of “gobbling” up your opponent. Ages 7+

Cranium Scribblish (Hasbro, $25): Great for artsy and non-artsy families alike (silliness, however, is required). Players take turns drawing or writing captions for each others work, at the end  you collectively score the game to find who is the “funniest,” or just simply play for a case of the giggles. Ages 8+

Rush Hour (Pierre Belvedere, $22): Taking modern-day commuters congestions as inspiration, this single player game (ages 8+) asks drivers to maneouver their way through a multi-car labryinth–without the comfort of their backseat DVD player. Ages 8+

Beezi (Beezi, $30): With four levels of difficulty, everyone in the family can take a turn spelling words and building their honeycomb. First one done will reign as queen (or king) bee. Ages 8+

Monopoly (Hasbro, $35): How could we not? Look for themed editions including Monopoly Canada, U-Build and Crazy Cash (with electronic banking). Ages 8+

Settlers of Catan (Outset Media, $50):  Think Risk meets Sim City. Best for families with tweens/teens looking for entertainment with a side of stimulation. (Bonus: No one gets eliminated during gameplay.) Ages 10+

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