I loved playing games with my family and friends when I was growing up. I had high hopes when I became a parent for family game nights. Like many of my expectations, I had to adjust them when reality hit. Rather than taking turns and having fun, we had meltdowns and quitting over not winning. Sigh
However, my disappointment was replaced with excitement when another parent mentioned cooperative board games in class one day at Little Wonders. I had no idea this concept even existed before that discussion. I only knew of games where there was a winner and a loser and my kids are not currently able to enjoy that. With cooperative games my mind was opened to a whole new world and it has been wonderful for our family! Basically all the players work together for a single purpose so, rather than being pitted against each other, we are all on the same team. This Wikipedia link explains cooperative games in more detail, for those that want to learn more.
The game we have tried is from a company called Peaceable Kingdom. They have several different games appropriate for 2 and 3 year olds, as well as older children. We have played Count Your Chickens and had a blast with our 3 and 6 year old. In this game everyone works together to bring baby chicks back to the coop. We have a much better time when we cheer each other on, rather than have a single winner.
There are games to suit many different interests. There’s a game called Chugga Choo for train lovers and Feed the Woozle for monster aficionados. I am seriously considering trying Bunny Bedtime. The description says it focuses on getting a bunny ready for bed. Some help with the bedtime routine? I would never say no to that! I also think that Stack Up sounds like a fun time. This game allows kids of different ages to play at their own level during a single game.
There are lots of other options for slightly older kiddos also. Mermaid Island sounds like it would be fun for the 5 and older set. Players work together to get all the mermaids returned to Mermaid Island before the witch arrives. Or Race to the Treasure where players strategize to build a path to and collect keys to unlock the treasure before the Ogre gets it. Sounds like we can have fun with cooperative games for several years to come.
We are so excited to bring back family game night with this new cooperative twist!