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Time to Play!!!

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Seriously! Busy women (that's you!) need to PLAY & HAVE FUN & LAUGH … if these words are not part of your normal routines, I have some suggestions on how to correct that.

A quick glance into the world of early childhood education would remind us that PLAY = WORK for littles. Play is how they learn about their world. Play is how they explore and create and stretch and grow.

For busy women, I believe play has multiple benefits with multiple groups. We should engage in play/fun activity with all the people in our lives: our families (including kids and adults), our friends, our small groups, our leadership teams, our volunteers and anyone else that we are in regular contact with.

Consider these benefits:

  • Playing can cause you to relax in ways that will spark new creativity.

  • Playing will strengthen your relationships.

  • Playing will create history and stories with your people.

  • Playing will help you laugh … and, we don’t do that nearly enough!

One of my favorite forms of play is with games. Here are 10 of my favorite, in no particular order, but saving my most favorite until the end …

Tenzi. This is fairly new to the list. It’s a simple game but one that produces some crazy fun due to the speed of each round. The name if formed from the words “Ten” & “Frenzy” … basically each player, with 10 dice, tries to be the first at rolling the designated number. There are variations and plenty of rules can be found online. Or, you can make them up! As long as everyone is playing with the same pre-determined understanding. Randy & I have fun with this one. We've played it with large groups of people. I've also used it as a quick brain break in the middle of team meetings. And, at retreats.

Skip-Bo. An oldie but goodie card game. We have almost worn out a set and it is currently stored in a baggie so we don’t spill the cards from shelf to table and back. Whoever is first to the bottom of their stack is the winner. This game takes a little longer and would be perfect for a family game night or a retreat setting. Currently teaching the oldest grand the Skip-Bo junior version and having a blast.

Killer Bunnies. Just the name gives a clue that this game is wacky. It’s unlike anything we have ever played, It has dice, dollas (not a typo – haha), carrot cards, bunny cards and lots of other special cards so you need to have someone who is willing to sit with the rules for a bit to understand and then explain to everyone else – for us, that is our oldest son. And he does a fabulous job! We have played numerous times and every single game has had different dynamics. It’s crazy & fun & challenging & weird & awesome all wrapped into one. And, there are expansion packs available. The game has to be planned for because it may (or may not) take awhile. Due to the complexity, I would suggest mainly for older teens and adults. It is not for folks who don’t like to strategize or who lose focus easily.

Spot It. This one has round cards (yes, difficult to shuffle) with 5 quick games within the larger game. Any 2 cards have a match and the goal is to be the first one to spot it, say it out loud, and grab the cards before other players. Matching skills seem easy enough, right? When combined with the need to be fast, it gets a little crazy. The version we have is great for older kids through adults and 2+ players, though a solitaire version can give a brain break on those longer days. (yes, I’ve done that). The junior version is also one that I enjoy with the grands.

Aggravation. This tends to be my husband’s go-to game and we have tons of fun with it. The name describes the feelings that can accompany it so it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The concept is simply to get from point A to point B with your marbles first. Average length of time and great fun for game nights.

Spoons. I used to play this game as a little girl at my grandma’s house! Sometimes after Sunday lunch, her regular spoons and a plain old deck of cards would come out and the laughter would begin. The set we have (linked) are giant colorful plastic spoons … which are much safer!! Fun for all ages, sizes of groups and many different settings.

Dr. Eureka! This is a speed and logic game that appears to be much simpler and easier than it really is. It seems to be quick to average timing for a game for up to 4 players. This one also can provide a fun solitaire brain break when needed!

Dominoes/Mexican Train. I can’t even count how many summers we played this with my extended family at the beach! This game is attached to so many special memories not only of those trips but also with friend groups. When we were introduced to the dominoes with numbers (rather than dots), we became quick fans. Either type works for a great game of Mexican Train. We play with double 12s and a full game (twelve rounds) can take awhile … in fact, we sometimes leave it set up and come back to continue it later. Kids of all ages will enjoy this one as long as they can sit still long enough and match like ends of the dominoes! You can get all fancy with various accessories and if you have a game lover on your gift-giving list, this would be a great idea … but, to get started, a basic set of dominoes will work just fine …

Abalone. An octagonal shaped board and extra big marbles. Knock off 6 of your opponent's marbles before that happens to yours. and you win. So much strategy and tons of fun. We've had this on the shelf for awhile and just recently "discovered" it again. Thanks, sis, for the recommendation!!

Phase 10. I’ve saved the best for last. This is definitely my #1 all time favorite! So much so that we have gone through several sets and I watch for them at yard sales to have an extra on hand. (yes, I will buy your $.50 card game that you have never opened, thank you very much). I also keep a set in my luggage – you never know when a layover in an airport or extra time on a trip will call for a game of Phase 10!! If we are ever travelling together, you have been warned!

Ready to play a game?? Go grab some of your people, find a game and let the laughter and fun commence.

And, if game-playing cannot happen now, consider adding a quick game into your next long team meeting or add one to the plan for an upcoming vacation or retreat. You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome!!


Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through the links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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