board games

Holiday Gift Guide: Games We Want to Give and Get

Holiday Gift Guide: Games We Want to Give and Get

Be a magical librarian, choose your own adventure, get your Shakespeare on, and more games we want to give and get and (mostly) play this holiday season.

Family Game Night Upgrades

Need a new game for family game night? Use your current favorite game to help you choose!

What’s the best way to choose your family’s new favorite board game? Take inspiration from the games you go back to again and again.

If you love: Settlers of Catan
Try: Alien Frontiers
Build a brave new world on an uncharted planet, using a combination of Earth resources and discovered alien technology. 

 

If you love: Balderdash
Try: Dixit
Put your storytelling and bluffing skills to the test in this game, which asks players to take turns making up a story based off one of the game’s picture cards. When the story’s done, all the players choose a card from their stack of images that could be about the story—then take turns trying to guess which card actually inspired the story.

 

If you love: Charades
Try: Quelf, Jr.
Silliness abounds in this game, where cards may ask you to act out a conversation between your two big toes, speak only in rhymes, or balance a set of keys on your head for the duration of the game.

 

If you love: Monopoly
Try: Bazaar
Like Monopoly, Bazaar requires an addictive mix of strategy and luck. Players try to maximize the value of the their collection of colored stones by trading and re-trading based on the randomly chosen exchange rates. 

 

If you love: Ticket to Ride
Try: Power Grid
All the scheming, plotting, and strategizing you love about Ticket to Ride gets focused on the energy industry in this intensely competitive game.

 

If you love: Yahtzee
Try: King of Tokyo
The luck of the dice may get you in the power seat, but you’ll have to keep rolling lucky to stay there. 


Stuff We Like :: 7.1.16

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

 

Hooray! Suzanne is back with this week’s edition of Stuff We Like, most of which I plan to borrow for my own homeschool life, stat.

Around the Web

What’s better than a summer reading list? A LIST of summer reading lists!

As a long-­time reader of science fiction and fantasy­ mostly written by white men ­ I’ve really been enjoying the new books by authors like .N.K.Jemisin, Karen Lord, and Zen Cho. And (speaking of lists) here’s a great list of authors past and present to help diversify your sf/fantasy reading: 

I’m also enjoying Black Nerd Problems, a website with commentary, news, and reviews about diversity in comics, television, movies, video games, and all things geeky. (For a sample, check out this recent article on cultural appropriation.)

One of each, please! (My birthday is in October, but don’t feel you have to wait ‘til then.)

 

At home | school | life

in the magazine: The summer issue is coming out any minute. That means even more summer reading lists. Time to clear out some room on your library card!

on the blog: If you can’t wait another minute to fill up your library tote, there are some great summer readaloud ideas in the July Pep Talk.

in the classroom: The fall class schedule isn’t officially out yet, so I’ll just mention that if you are looking for a U.S. History class that is pretty much based around Broadway musical numbers, you are in luck. (Hamilton and 1776, together at last!)

on instagram: A much better comeback than the classic “only boring people are bored." (Though what's so bad about being bored anyway?)

 

Reading List

Just finished Nimona, the much praised web comic collection about teen shapeshifter Nimona, sidekick to the evil Lord Blackheart, and am ready to pass it on to the 13­-year-­old, who has discovered (after reading Persepolis that she really likes graphic novels. (Did I mention that Lord Blackheart’s hero nemesis is Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin?)

In the category of “Arrgh! What do you MEAN the third book isn’t out yet?!?”, I’d like to encourage Robert Jackson Bennett to hurry up with the final book (following City of Stairs and City of Blades) of his Divine Cities trilogy. I’m in love with these books and this world, not to mention Bennett’s smart, strong, and in­-charge female protagonists.

Fortunately, Jane Smiley recently did finish her Last Hundred Years trilogy, a multi­-generational saga following one Iowa farming family from 1920 to 2020, so I was able to power through all three (wonderful) books, me Some Luck, Early Warning, nd Golden Age, in one (long) go.

And Amy tells me I’ve been sorely remiss in leaving it this long, but I finally got around to reading some Chuck Klosterman, specifically his I Wear the Black Hat, essays on the nature of villainy. I’m glad I’ve got more by him to look forward to!

 

At Home—Special Board Game Edition!

We’re heading off for our annual vacation to meet up with family and do as little as possible for a week, so it’s time to pack the boardgames! ndemic s one of my all-time-favorites, so I’m excited to try out Pandemic Legacy, hich is an “epic twist” on the game with “ever­-changing elements”! I have no idea what that means, but I’m in.

For a person who can’t read Stephen King or watch a horror movie, I’m remarkably fond of “horrific” games, so we’ll definitely play a couple of rounds of Arkham Horror and and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

These days, I mostly prefer cooperative games, but I’ll make an exception for Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game.

And of course, there’s always room to pack various Munchkin card sets and maybe a deck or two of Gloom.