Playing tabletop games with children is a beautiful experience. They’re as enthusiastic as the most zealous adult and are not afraid to get vocal and animated.
One of the best parts of this collection of games is that the creativity and ingenuity can be appreciated by adults as well as children. These titles capture the mind of the six year old kneeling on the hard dining room chair as well as the 35 year old adult who works all day to suppress that bustling kid at the back of their mind.
When it’s time to put little Jimmy to bed, these are the four games you’ll sneak back to the table to keep playing.
This insanely cute game has up to four players taking turns flinging little rubber coconuts into cups with a plastic monkey catapult. It’s like chimp beer pong for the entire family.
You can try all you want to ignore the fact that the diminutive coconuts actually look like little balls of poo, but it ain’t happening. You’ll giggle and nearly fall out of your chair but you won’t stop lobbing the little suckers.
What’s particularly addictive about this design, beyond the aesthetics, is that its innocence belies a solid amount of strategy. You can target red cups to get a second turn and also steal ones that your opponent’s have claimed. The ultimate goal is to build a pyramid on your player mat so shortening an opponent’s budding stack instantly pops an evil grin on your dirty mug. You will fling poo and you will love it.
Yeah, it has two kids on the front. Yeah, that won’t stop you and two adult friends from wearing out the paddles by beating Chewie around until the wee hours of the night.
In this re-implementation of the classic Loopin’ Louie, a plastic Chewbacca-piloted Millenium Falcon flies around in a circle attached to a pendulum. The motor driving the whole thing is more akin to a Pinto than a Lambo, but it’s just fast enough to propel chaos and mirth.
You need to set morality aside for a second as you’re tasked with defending your little plastic Stormtrooper discs from Chewie’s furor. The last person remaining in the fight is dubbed champion, although no one will quite remember who that was because after about 20 plays and 20 beers it all begins to blend into a foggy whole that’s about as sharp as the prequels.
This is reverse Jenga with a Rhino wearing a cape. Think about that pitch for a second and tell me it’s not the best one you’ve heard all week.
Players take turns placing these adorably illustrated wall cards that bend at 90 degrees on top of the structure at the middle of the table. You follow that up by playing a roof card from your hand on top, which typically triggers an UNO-like effect on your opponent. It can reverse direction, make them draw more cards, or even make them place that renegade superhero Rhino.
As soon as a player is able to ditch all of their rooftop cards, the game ends–although this never happens. More likely, someone gets a little itchy and sends the entire skyscraper toppling down, awarding the contest to the player with the least amount of cards remaining. Sometimes you’ll be playing a heated match and a random chapter of the Anarchist’s Cookbook will pop into your brain and you can’t help but resist the urge to throw the table into tumult.
Sorry! in name alone, this game is a mashup of Shuffleboard and Crokinole as participants take turns sliding Sorry! shaped pawns down a track. It ties back to its curmudgeon grandparent by requiring you to use the points you score to move little pieces down a scoring track and land in the “Home” space.
The magic here is that the board and tracks are wildly configurable. There are two different double-sided center boards and you can even attach all of the player ramps together to make one long track to throw down. It’s all about skill and not who can most obnoxiously yell “SORRY!”
What are some children’s games you enjoy with adult company? Do you prefer them with kids or with adults? Please let us know in the comments below!
Cover image courtesy of Coconuts Kickstarter/Mayday Games