The Fun of Traditional Games Like Dominoes

Games such as dominoes are classics, enduring for centuries, and providing hours of entertainment for the family. A game of dominoes is ideal for multiple generations to enjoy the same activity. Dominoes can be used in multiple ways such as enhancing math skills, as building blocks, and the multitude of games that can be played. Dominoes make a great addition to any family game night.

Basic games can be adopted to suit the ages and abilities of the family members. Adapting the rules is one of the beauties of dominoes, as there are no official rules for playing. Most rules are simply guidelines to direct the order of play for a particular game. Dominoes are simple to play, and yet there are subtleties to the game that may challenge advanced players. The foundation of any game is dictated by what happens when a player cannot make a match to the tiles. A block game means that if a player cannot make a play they are blocked, and must wait until the next turn to see if a play is possible. The draw game is played in such a manner that if a play is not possible the player must draw from the pile to find a tile that is playable. All games stem from these two with multiple variations for each one.

The double six set of dominoes is great for four or fewer players, and with the larger sets necessary to accommodate more players. Games do not take up much time meaning a game can be squeezed into busy lifestyles. A simple game is to set up a score sheet with names at the top with numbers zero through six on the side. Play begins with the double six, and when that hand is over scores are written down and the six is crossed out. The next hand starts with the double five, continuing until all the numbers have started a hand. This is a great game for four people as it can be enjoyed with partners. The time required for a complete game is twenty to thirty minutes.

During game play there are numerous side benefits that are not so evident, but which add value to the game. The constant clacking sound that each tile makes as it laid down is distinctive to dominoes. Math and logic skills are enhanced while players attempt to match numbers and add scores. The biggest advantage however, is the nature of the games which are generally low key, allowing for casual interaction between players. A set of dominoes has a variety of benefits for the family, most notably time well spent with each other, while having fun.

Family Fun Time

If there is one constant in the world it is that people are busy. Unfortunately, family time often falls to the wayside because of work, running errands, school functions and whatever just happens to come up. Even when families do manage to get together the question becomes what games can they play that everyone will enjoy. The answer is there are quite a few games out there. These are family activities that help bring families closer together, encourage teamwork, improve self-esteem and, more importantly, are great fun.


Spring is on the way and summer isn’t far behind so why not spend family time outside? Geocaching, a new twist on an old game, is a fun way to get the whole family together and out of the house. All that is needed is a Smartphone with GPS tracking, someone to hide the treasure, and a desire to go on a real life treasure hunt. Families can either play in their backyard or search online for nearby Geocache locations. The best thing about Geocaching is this is a game everyone can enjoy whether they are four or forty-years-old.

Card Games

Weather is unpredictable but card games are a tried and true source of family fun. Kwizniac, the trivia countdown game, is a great way to spend family time and stimulate the brain. Play one-on-one or in teams, give clues to people and laugh all the way to the winner’s circle. If trivia doesn’t seem appealing, there is Whatchamadrawit. Play inside or out in the backyard, the goal to sketch a scene the prompt describes before time runs out. Either card game is a great way to bring the family together without piling around the television.

Creative Games

One of the best things about creative games is not only do families have a blast playing, but they have just as much fun making the game. Puzzles are always a great family activity, especially when they made the puzzle together. All that is needed is a piece of cardboard, glue, card stock paper or a picture and a marker. Glue the picture or card stock to the cardboard, draw a square and connecting lines and cut the pieces out. Just like that the family has a new puzzle, one they worked together to create.

The Olympics

One of the hardest things about family time is pulling everyone away from the television and computer. Hosting family Olympics encourages everyone to get up, go outside and get active. Families can create fun competitions such as relay races, obstacle courses and even horseshoes. The best part is the prizes – anything from candy to awards memorializing the day.

Family Games

When it comes to playing games with children, the only limits to what you can do is your own imagination. There are great toys that can stimulate that kind of creativity like tinker toys, but the simple fact of the matter is that you can find a game to play with kids of any age with a deck of playing cards, some dice, or even nothing at all.

Some great card games for the entire family are ones that are simple enough for the younger members of the family to grasp the rules easily, while still providing a challenge that keeps the adults interested and engaged. You can start with classics like crazy eights or go fish, then move to some of the more difficult games like gin, poker, and rummy.

As far as dice are concerned, farkle and yhatzee are both easy to learn and fun games that just require a handful of dice and either your memory of the rules, or you can have fun by making up new rules for these classic games.

When it comes to board games, there are so many to choose from that it’s important to know what sort of games your family likes to play. Trivia games may not be a good choice for kids who simply aren’t old enough to know the answers to many of the questions, while there are other more kid friendly board games that just won’t appeal to adults. The good thing is there are lots of other games that have good middle ground to work from and will leave both sides feeling like they had fun during the game.

But if you don’t want to go out and get a new board game, have lost all your dice, and can’t seem to find the two of diamonds in your playing cards deck, there are still great ways to have a family game night with no equipment at all. Hide and seek, tag, and many other games are always just sitting there waiting for someone to play.

When it comes time to play, getting the whole family involved in the game is a pleasant and enriching opportunity for siblings and parents to come together and have a shared experience that can create memories to last a lifetime.