Board, Card and Dice Games for Whole Family
There are a wide range
of rainy day games to keep children entertained. Some great ones to
play, even with younger children, are board and dice games.
easy to set up (and pack up!) and have simple rules which are easy for
young children to follow.
Different games will help children with either
the alphabet or counting, or sometimes both. Both styles of game are
good for all the family and are a great way to spend time together (away
from the tv!).
Easy Board Games
Recognised as the
world’s most popular word game, Scrabble is popular with adults as much
as it is with children. It is more suited to older children but can be
played as a learning tool for younger kids. You can play in pairs, one
adult with each child, with the adult lending a helping hand with
spelling when necessary. A perfect rainy day game as it can fill a whole
afternoon or even be put aside to finish another day.
Players– Two to four if played individually, more if played in pairs (younger children)
Duration– About an hour
Equipment– Scrabble board, letters, tile racks and pouch.
game consists of the Scrabble board, 100 tiles each marked with a
letter, four tile racks and a letter pouch. Each player randomly takes
seven tiles from the pouch and places them on the tile rack. Each player
then draws one more tile from the pouch to determine who will go first.
The player with the letter closest to the start of the alphabet begins
the game. Players each have a turn to make a word using their own tiles,
and one (or more) tiles on the board. Words can be created horizontally
or vertically and it is generally a good idea to keep a dictionary
handy as there are usually disputes over the validity of words
(especially with children playing!).
Snakes and Ladders (Chutes and Ladders)
Players– Two or more
Duration– Half an hour or less
Equipment– Board, die, four coloured counters.
board has coloured squares counting from one to one hundred with snakes
and ladders scattered around the board. Each player throws the dice and
moves the corresponding number of squares along the board. By landing
at the base of a ladder the player ascends up the ladder, but by landing
at the top of a snake (chute) a player must slide to the bottom. Play
continues until a player is able to land exactly on the number 100. If a
player throws a number that takes them beyond 100 they must count back
the extra digits, thus landing back on square 98, 97 etc.
The game is won when a player lands exactly on 100.
Aces in the Pot
A good family rainy day game that requires luck rather than too much skill.
Players-Two or more
Duration– 20-30 minutes
Equipment– Two dice, two counters for each player (can use buttons or similar)
aim of the game is to be the last person to hold a counter. Each player
can throw a single die to see who goes first. Upon starting each player
throws both dice- trying to avoid throwing aces or 6’s. If an ace is
thrown, one counter is put into the kitty in the middle of the table.
For two aces (snake eyes) both counters go to the kitty. For each 6 that
is thrown a counter is passed to player on the left. As each player
runs out of counters he/she is temporarily out of the game.
person left holding a counter must make three throws of the dice
without rolling a 6. If a 6 is thrown then the counter is passed to the
left and that person now attempts to do the same. Play continues until
someone is able to roll three times without a 6.
Help Your Neighbour
Players-Two to six
Duration– Allow an hour
Equipment– Three dice and ten counters per player.
this game players are trying to get rid of all of their counters. Each
player chooses a number appearing on a face of a die. When there are
less than six players the 6, 5 and down are taken out of play. If there
are three players they can take two number each.
Each player throws
three dice and each time her selected number(s) appear she throws a
counter into the pot. The first player to throw in all of their counters
wins the pot.
The game can be over very quickly if only being played by two or three players, so usually several rounds are played.
Players-Two or more
Duration– Allow half an hour
Equipment– One die and pencil and paper.
aim of the game is simple. Players are attempting to throw the dice
until they reach a score of one hundred. The first player throws the
die, notes the score and throws again. She can continue to throw until
she decides to stop or throws a 1 which takes her score back to zero.
The name ‘pig’ refers to a player who keeps playing until they throw a
1. The first player has an obvious advantage, so play usually continues
until all players have taken a turn once a 100 has been reached. The
player who then has the highest score of 100 or above is the winner.
Shut the Box
Also known as Round Dozen this game plays a little like bingo until all boxes are covered.
Players-Two or more
Duration– An hour
Equipment– Two dice, twelve counters for each player, pencil and paper.
player draws twelve boxes, numbered from 1 to 12. Players take it in
turn to throw both dice, and then using the total in different ways
attempt to ‘shut’ all of the boxes.
For example if a total of 7 is
thrown the boxes that can be shut are 6-1, 5-2 or 3-4. The numbers
appearing on each die are disregarded, it is the TOTAL score that the
player uses. Once the boxes from 7-12 are shut for a player, one of the
die is removed. A player’s turn ends when there are no open boxes that
can be shut.
Once each player has had a turn, the winner of the round is the player with the least open boxes.