Top 11 Family Board Games for Christmas 2023 Christmas time, mistletoe and wine… and plenty…
The Best Board Games to Play on the Last Day of Term in 2023
As the school year ends, one time-honoured tradition remains in many classrooms throughout the land and that’s a relaxed final day whereby children are allowed to bring their favourite board games in to play with their friends.
Who can blame teachers for writing these last few hours off for fun? Children have had to concentrate all term and now with the holidays just around the corner, there’s little chance of a final day spent on phonics!
There’s no doubt that academic success is important but so is celebrating the end of term, before long children will be immersed in exams and big life decisions, the primary school years should be remembered as a time when learning extended beyond books.
One of the most important skill sets children develop is interacting successfully with their peers. Learning about sharing and taking turns is simple but childish frustration can, for some, be tricky to manage.
Taking a board game in at the end of the school term is a fantastic way for children to engage with their friends in some gentle competition and master the art of patience, fair play, and – importantly – losing with grace and humour. All skills that will serve them well in the long run.
Here are five tips if you’re planning on sending your child to school with board games on the last day:
- Avoid games with delicate parts as it would be a shame if something got broken in the excitement, it may also be wise not to choose something with lots of small parts in case they get lost.
- Attention spans will be short – there’s likely to be a lot going on, so pick games that can be completed relatively quickly.
- Similarly, nothing too complex; if there are a lot of rules then little minds could wander.
- With all the excitement, the classroom is likely to be noisy so avoid games that require quiet or that make too much noise (think of the poor teacher!).
- It would be best to assume there is no access to WIFI so don’t go for anything app-based.
Best Board Games for the Last Day of Term:
- Don’t Buzz the Wire
- Guess Who?
- Harry Potter Beasts Board Game
- Nintendo The Super Mario Bros. Movie Route’n Go!
- Whac a Mole
- Pokemon Trainer Trivia
- Bop It
- Skid Markz Board Game
- Pig Goes Pop
- Junior 30 Seconds
- Wooden Snakes and Ladders and Ludo Game
- Don’t Wake Dad
A steady hand is the name of the game with this classic which requires budding surgeons to painstakingly remove various items, including a bucket and a wishbone, from their patient without touching the sides and engaging the buzzer.
It might be an idea to send the pieces in a little bag, although if one gets lost, many replacements are available online.
Don’t Buzz the Wire
In a similar theme, Don’t Buzz The Wire tests who can move with the most dexterity. Really easy to carry and set up, the winner is whoever gets the wand the furthest along a wire without setting the buzzer off!
Easy to get to grips with and quick to play!
Quick, easy and everyone knows how to play it, Guess Who is easy to transport and put together. A great choice especially for younger children.
Fast-paced and good for up to four players, all children love pressing the Frustration bubble in order to spin the dice.
Each player has four different coloured pegs, the winner is the first to get all of theirs around the board and back home.
Top tip: It may be worth popping the 16 pegs into a bag to avoid potential losses.
Harry Potter Magical Beasts Board Game
This may be one for slightly older children in Key Stage Two, many of which will have become dedicated fans of the books and films, and now they can play this amazing Harry Potter Magical Beasts Board Game.
Hogwarts serves as the backdrop to this game which requires up to four “wizards” to collect clues and track down the Magical Beasts who have escaped. The winner is the first to scoop four clues and determine which beast they have captured.
Everyone plays the part of a character – Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley – and rolls a dice to determine how many places around the board to move.
This will no doubt be very well received by those who love this wonderful series about wizards!
Nintendo The Super Mario Bros. Movie Route’n Go!
Young gamers will absolutely love Nintendo The Super Mario Bos. Movie Route’n Go! A simple concept featuring Mario and Luigi, the challenge is to keep their little truck on the road by moving track tiles before the battery-powered truck heads into a pothole.
Each player picks a different-coloured tile, and whoever gets to the end first using the fewest amount of moves is the winner.
There are two speed levels and three different modes.
A fantastic puzzle game that encourages lateral thinking!
Whac a Mole
This arcade favourite brings the lights as two players battle to bop as many moles as possible before the time runs out. Whac a Mole has a battery-powered unit which reveals the winner at the end of the game.
Great fun and fast to play although teachers may raise an eye at the deliberate misspelling!
Pokemon Trainer Trivia
With so many fans of the hit cartoon out there, this Pokemon Trainer Trivia game is bound to go down a storm.
A great way to determine who has the most Pokémon knowledge. Up to four players can sit around the electronic Trainer device, each with their own buzzer. There are up to 1,000 true or false questions about this television favourite and its characters, players simply hit their illuminated buzzer when they know the answer.
The beauty of this game is that the electronic Trainer device keeps score, so that can be no disputes at the end of the game.
There are no small parts to lose and it’s incredibly easy to transport; however, Bop It needs to be played where there’s a little bit of quiet so that the instructions can be heard, that said there are three volume levels.
Players are commanded to “bop it”, “pull it”, and “twist it”. Quick, easy to understand, and lots of fun.
Skid Markz Board Game
Children are only children for such a short amount of time, so why not indulge their love of silliness with the Skid Markz Board Game.
Worth it for the giggles alone, players need to draw out a clue by pulling a dog on his lead – meanwhile, a brown felt tip, inserted into the dog, gives the impression that the dog is doing something a little bit disgusting. A slightly more crude interpretation of Pictionary about this, there is a dry wipe board and markers included.
Handy Tip: Although the game comes with 100 bone cards featuring 400 doodle words and 36 poo points cards, don’t feel obliged to send all of them – just a few will be more than enough to amuse the little Poo-cassos (sorry!)
Pig Goes Pop
Staying with a silly theme Pig Goes Pop is great fun to play and between pumping the pig and watching it “pop”, children are guaranteed to be amused.
Simply roll the dice to see how many “burgers” the piggy needs to be fed, pop a burger into its mouth and pump the chef’s hat with a corresponding number.
Who will be responsible for making Piggy go Pop?!
Junior 30 Seconds
This Irish import will be welcomed by teachers for its subtle use of literacy skills. Junior 30 Seconds invites players to describe five words against the clock all the while journeying around the board.
Wooden Snakes and Ladders and Ludo Game
Keep things simple with these classic games that come together on a double-sided board. Familiar and straightforward, this edition of Wooden Snakes and Ladders and Ludo Game guarantees some easy, old-fashioned fun.
Success in snakes and ladders depends entirely on the luck of the dice; will young players climb high or slide down?
Ludo has a touch more complexity, not too dissimilar to Frustration, this is all about being the first to get all four pieces home.
Don’t Wake Dad
The objective of Don’t Wake Dad is to be the first to get to the fridge for a slice of chocolate cake without waking a snoring dad avoiding all sorts of obstacles including a howling cat and hooting owl amongst others. If a player wakes Dad, he jumps up and that player has to return to the start.
We hope this guide provides a useful overview of board games that will be enjoyed by your child and their classmates as they compete with some gentle fun and put away lessons and learning for the final day of term.
Wishing everyone a great last day and a lovely holiday!