I like to play a board game every now and then. These days, pulling out a thin cardboard box filled with a folded board, loose cards, and player pieces happens less frequently, and often takes some convincing on my part for my prospective opponents. However, it wasn’t always that way, and while kids today have a plethora of entertainment options to choose from, the classic board game still has a fan base. The features and effects—not to mention appearance—of games may have evolved, but a good old-fashioned friendly competition around the table is still a great way for families to connect.


Sorry!, from Hasbro

This is one of my favorites. Up to four players start with four pawns in their start space. Players must draw a 1 or 2 to leave the start space (for each pawn). Players then make their way around the board, moving their pawns according to the cards they draw, and head for their own safety zone. The first player with all four pawns home wins.


Othello Refresh, from Mattel

This is a simple strategy game that’s quick to play and lots of fun. Each of the 64 discs is black on one side and white on the other. Players must flank their opponent’s discs—from one disc to several in a straight or diagonal line—and then may flip the dics to their own color. Once the board is full, or there are no more moves to make, the player with the most discs face-up wins.

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Buzz!, from Peaceable Kingdom

New from Peaceable Kingdom, Buzz! is a cooperative game, meaning players work together as a team to try and beat the game—or in this case, to collect nectar drops and beat the bear to the hive. Players roll the dice and collect drops in their colored baskets as they move the allotted number of spaces. If someone rolls a bear paw, the bear moves forward one space. If all players fill their nectar baskets and reach the hive before the bear, the whole team wins.

Check back regularly for more commentary from Christine. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!