Take Time to Disconnect and Play Some Games

Let’s just say that April was a pretty miserable month….weather-wise. I think we shoveled more in April than in January. Let’s hope those days are behind us until at least December. So what do you do with your family when the weather is less than ideal? Going out all the time can get pricey, not to mention, the weather can limit things too. And there are only so many TV shows you can watch and things to view on YouTube. I vowed to not let my family become zombies to the TV or computer/tablets. I do think that our girls could watch TV or play on phones/iPads for eternity, but that isn’t a good habit to start so young. We all need a good disconnect every now and then.

What got our family through many, many snowy, rainy, cold days were games—cards and boards. To state we have some games is a severe understatement. We love games—all types and skill levels. We bring them over to friends’ homes for get-togethers and our friends love to play and share their games with us too. And we have raised the girls to love games and want to play them as well. Rarely do we get complaints when we say we are taking a break from TV and playing games.

Here are some of our favorites that we have introduced the girls and our friends too. They can be as competitive as you make them, but I guarantee it will be good family bonding time and learning at the same time.

The point of Outburst is to guess all ten items under the category in a minute. You get points for each correct response. We have a few versions of this game, but the Junior is a favorite with the girls because the categories are less complex. No need to make the girls name ten Harrison Ford movies (“who is that, they would chant in unison?) My husband purchased Ultimate Outburst in the early 2000s, and though some of the questions are dated, it adds another level to the game. The Ultimate version makes you guess the category by listing the items and you receive points based on unused clues.

I have been playing this game since I was a wee child and it’s still a favorite. Our oldest received Emoji Uno for St. Nick, and thinks it’s hilarious when she plays a wild and makes the next person make the emoji face until their next turn. Regardless which version of Uno you own, they are all a blast and involve some strategy. Matching numbers and colors and mixing in some fun rules, makes our games last a very long time and provides the winner extra joy in being the first one out.

This game was one of my and my brothers favorites growing up, but it’s less known. You are dealt 10 cards and need to put them in the holder in the order they are received. Then you take turns picking and discarding from the center pile to try to get your cards in numerical order first. There isn’t a lot of strategy to this game, except what cards you are going to keep and how you can get the most points each turn.

Phase 10
This card game involves players competing to be the first to complete ten different rounds (phases) in the game and have the least amount of points. There is some strategy in this one, but again is a little based on the luck of the draw. The game takes a while and you need to pay attention to what others are playing so you don’t discard what will make the next person phase up. I also received a dice version of this game as a gift a few years ago, but the card game is more fun.

This game is a staple for us and brought along to all get-togethers—young and old. The girls especially love the Disney version. Every player wears a headband and one person is given a card to wear in the headband facing out so the other players can see, but not the person with the band on. That player needs to guess who/what they are by asking a series of questions to slim down the answers. I am not nearly the Disney aficionado that the girls and their father are, so they know to give me a more basic character but it brings laughs to everyone that plays. The original version is an assortment of things. We played this with my husband’s mom and while she was trying to read the suggestion card she grabbed her glasses and said “I cant’ see this I’m blind as a bat.” We all started laughing a chuckling and didn’t know what to say, because her card was indeed a bat. What are the odds? It’s a great story that will be a family memory for all of us.

So even though the weather is finally acting like it should for this time of year, I urge you all to disconnect from your devices and spend some time playing games with your family and friends. These games are great for cookouts, when you are babysitting, or just want to have a different kind of night. Games are a sure way to bring some laughs and memories and the video or show you were going to watch will always be there waiting.


Sarah Appleton

Hi! I’m Sarah, 36, and have lived in Waukesha for the past 10 years. My husband and I bought a home and got married in the same month last year—it was a crazy time, but when you find your forever home, you have to jump on it. (And what a way to start our new life together). My husband has two daughters, Violet is 11 and Samantha is 8 and they live with us half the time. The newest addition to our household is our pup, Letty, who just turned 1. She keeps us on our toes, stealing socks at every chance, but also gets us outside for walks and playtime. Becoming an insta-mom has brought its challenges but also many amazing experiences and I’m loving every minute of it.  I love Waukesha and have my own blog about my experiences in the area. When I’m not out and about in the city, I’m enjoying time with my friends grilling out, drinking wine, and playing games—Uno is one of our faves. Or I’m in my kitchen trying new recipes or recreating ones I have had at local restaurants. FoodFunWaukesha Facebook // Instagram // Blog



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