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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Board & Card Games for Family Bonding

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When is the last time you and your kids played a board game? Given our fast-paced lives, I bet it has been a mighty long time, so why not do it this weekend? Start a new summer tradition! If your closet is full of games that the kids groan at the name of, and you want to try something new, I have two games to suggest, that both my teenagers love. The first is called "Set: The family game of visual perception" and the second is "Quiddler: For the fun of words."

Let me say first off, that this is not a paid advertisement, as I just realized they are both by the same company - SET Enterprises, Inc.. Set is a game of cards that the dealer lays on the table, 12 cards at a time, that players use to identify "sets" of three cards that differ, or are the same, by feature, including symbol, color, number, or shading. That is much harder than it sounds, but fun. The players have to wait until all 12 cards are laid down, then call out "set," before identifying the set they see, and at the end of the game, the player with the most sets wins that round. I have to admit that both teenagers are better at this than I am, so prepare to lose!

Quiddler is also a card game, with letters worth points on the cards, that players use to arrange into words. It is fast-paced and is played in 8 rounds, with an additional card given each round. A bonus is given for the most words in each round, as well as the longest word, so everyday words for younger kids can be just as valuable as larger words. Each turn players draw and discard one card until someone goes out by laying down their words. Each player gets one last chance to make words, and in our non-competitive house, everyone helps in the last round, so the youngest member of the family frequently wins.

Playing games, like sharing meals, is a wonderful way to spend time with your family, talk, engage their brains, and marvel at how smart they are! Do not be afraid to bribe them with snacks or background music you cannot stand the first time, but after that I bet it is easier to get them to be involved with family game night! Good luck and have fun!

Photo Credit: peiqianlong

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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