In today’s fast-paced, technologically-focused world, it can be difficult to step away from the screens. Parents may criticize our kids for burying their faces in a tablet, but many of us are also guilty of indulging in some mindless games on our phones. Candy Crush and Flappy Bird didn’t become record-breaking apps just because of children, after all.
Perhaps the answer is to find some electronic-free games that can bring the whole family together.
These ten electronic-free games are sure to bring forward teamwork, giggles, and a healthy competitive streak.
Dating back thousands of years, chess is an enduring classic for a reason. This game is often the standard we hold up for intellectual pursuits. It is even a way that we test the skills of artificial intelligence!
Playing well requires strategic thinking, confidence, and strong memory skills. Building these abilities as a family will help everyone think a little clearer and plan a little better so that they can be the one to yell “Checkmate!”
This speedy game is packed with action and perfect for the highly competitive. As the nearly-weightless puck flies over the smooth surface and the cool air blows across your hands, there’s nothing quite like the satisfying plink of sinking a puck in the goal to send a jolt of joy through your arms.
While a game between two masters could take a while, it’s so fast-paced that it can usually be played quickly, so it’s great for a large group where the winner can continue to play challengers until finding themselves dethroned. Make it an ongoing tournament for long-lasting bragging rights and a sense of camaraderie that can’t be beat. If you’ve got an air hockey table in your house, it tends to become the center of the party for all ages.
With just a simple dartboard and a little empty space, your home can be transformed into a battleground for fun. The game has been around for decades and has a huge following, including a professional version.
There are so many varieties of the game that it can be adapted and ensure you never grow bored and that your skills are continuously challenged. Darts requires precision, focus, and even some math skills to play well. It’s a true bullseye in the game world.
Stacking little blocks never felt so intense! Jenga has an element of competition added to a collaborative spirit. You want to win, but you also want to see just how high you can push your tower before it topples, so it really brings the group together.
This game takes patience and control, and the inevitable crash is guaranteed to give an adrenaline rush.
Playing pool well is a skill that’s honed through hours of practice. It’s not just about the physical act, but also about the mental calculations. You’d never know you were practicing geometry because you’re so caught up in winning.
This is another game that has multiple varieties, so it can be adapted for different skill levels and to keep things fresh and interesting. You can even learn some trick shots to impress your friends!
Little plastic men on sticks! What could be more entertaining? Foosball is a classic game that’s fast-paced and action-packed. It is sometimes known as table soccer of table football, and it has a wide variety of rulesets depending on where you live. Some people take it quite seriously and even play in leagues. You can also play it quite casually with a combo table.
Doing well at this game requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and maneuvering. It can even be played on teams, and once you’ve mastered the tabletop version, you can see if your city has a live action game available to really up the stakes!
Playing basketball in the house might be a little challenging . . . unless you shrink it. A mini hoop can hang over the back of a door and soft basketballs help keep the damage from an errant throw to a minimum.
While it might not have quite the range of a full hoop, there are still plenty of fun variations of the game with different throws and challenges to make it fun for the whole family.
You don’t have to travel to an alley and slip on a pair of well-used shoes to enjoy the fun of bowling. An in-home version can provide some of the same fun in the comfort of your living room or basement.
Precision, control, and focus all come into play, and kids love to play the part of the pinsetter to reset after each throw.
There’s no game guaranteed to bring on the laughter quite as fast as this classic. Twister will have you tangled up in knots and slipping across the floor.
It tests flexibility and strength, but it also has a reputation for bringing families (literally) closer together.
If you aren’t quite in the mood for the taxing intellectual challenge of chess, checkers can be a great relaxing alternative or an early introduction to strategy for younger members of the family.
It teaches some of the same principles of planning and logic, and it is also a fun game casual enough to play while having some great conversations.
Many of these games have been passed down for generations, and it’s easy to see their appeal. Bringing groups together and giving them the chance to share in a common goal with a little competition sprinkled in to keep it engaging is just the ticket for a great family bond. These electronic-free ways to spend our time can help us better connect to our values and enjoy each other’s company.