6 great portable family games

by Lee Rose Emery

Spending time with the kids on hot lazy summer days can be a great family bonding experience. Or it can be incredibly trying. There’s nothing worse than hearing, “I’m bored, Mom. There’s nothing to do!” While I like to encourage my kids to be resourceful and make their own fun, I also like to steer them towards interactive games they can play together or that we can play as a family.

Here are some of the best ones I’ve found.

1. TENZIS (a ridiculously simple dice game that’s great for all ages)

2. DWEEBIES (an obsessive card game)

3. Story Cubes (dice covered with pictures inspire spontaneous story telling)


4. Apples to Apples (great game for a big group – also a vocabulary expander.)

5. NADA (a new very portable matching dice game)

6. Spot it (this game forces your kids to pay attention – we like the “hot potato version”)


Since these are small and portable, I throw a few in my suitcase on holidays in case we’re stuck in an airport lounge, or a restaurant that takes two hours to make spaghetti! I have even started to keep a deck of playing cards in my purse at all times. My family loves to play “I doubt it.”

What are your kids’ favorites?


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