By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
It’s holiday gift giving time! We have some favorite games that we play at our social skills centers that are fun to play but they also work on friendship skills. Here are some of our favorites and why we like them.
1. SUPERFIGHT (https://amzn.to/34IDQbF)
Product Description: SUPERHEROES IN SUPER FIGHTS. Who would win: Abraham Lincoln with laser eyes or a velociraptor armed that can use the force? SUPERFIGHT is a classic party game from Skybound Games where you argue with your friends over RIDICULOUS fights between RIDICULOUS characters armed with RIDICULOUS attributes. It is up to the players to argue and plead their cases about why their ﬁghters would beat the other!
Why we like it: This game uses a lot of imagination and it creates a fun scenario where kids essentially argue their point. It’s a great game to teach respectful disagreements and when to relinquish and acknowledge when you have lost a verbal spat.
2. Charades for Kids (https://amzn.to/2Rdwucw)
Product Description: The classic game of Charades – now designed especially for kids to play and enjoy! With three levels of clues, each card has one pictured clue, so no reading is required (although the combination of the picture and its corresponding word reinforces early reading skills). Younger players can act out a toothbrush, a cat or a bumblebee. Older children can read the simple words and phrases and act out actions like eating spaghetti or playing guitar! It’s great fun for the whole family as they try to guess the charade before time runs out!
Why We Like It: Reading body language is a critical part of socialization. When playing this game we encourage the players to focus on the facial expression to elicit the right emotion for the situation. We usually omit use of the timer since it can bring on stress when we are looking to have fun and, in our opinion, a timer does not add to the game’s enjoyment.
3. Crappy Birthday (https://amzn.to/2Rdx89W)
Product Description: Crappy Birthday is the hilarious game of giving bad gifts. The goal is to choose the worst gift for each player. Just looking at the pictures will make you laugh, but it is the ensuing banter that makes this game a winner. You have gotten ugly socks for your birthday before, Crappy Birthday lets you return the favor. Giving bad gifts has never been so much fun. There is also a similar game called Happy Birthday.
Why We Like It: Games that ask players to think about what the preferences or dislikes are of others help with developing perspective taking. This game also teaches kids to not take things too seriously.
4. Cockroach Poker (https://amzn.to/2LfnMGQ)
Product Description: Can you keep a poker face and bluff your way to victory Eight types of creepy critters are depicted on the COCKROACH poker cards, your job isn’t to win, simply to make sure that you don’t lose! Players take it in turns to pass a Card, face down to one of their opponents and say out load what’s on the card. They might bluff, or they might be telling the truth… Is it a rat Or is it really a stink bug The recipient can either accept the card, saying if they think the player is telling the truth or bluffing… Or they can peek at the card and pass it on… If you’re caught bluffing, or you call bluff incorrectly, you keep the card face up in front of you. As soon as one player has four of the same critter cards in front of them, or when a player has no cards left to pass, they lose – and everyone else wins! Watch your opponents carefully for signs of shifty behaviour and concentrate as you follow the critters between players…
Why We Like It: Players read facial expressions to determine if someone is bluffing. Kids in our social groups really get into the spirit of this game. They say things like “enjoy this stinkiest of all stink bugs!”
5. Bubble Talk (https://amzn.to/37X2p6N)
Product Description: Bubble Talk is a new fast-paced family board game that asks players to match hilarious captions with funny pictures. A game that is as much fun if you are 8 or 80. The game begins when each player draws seven random caption cards. The judge for that round draws a picture card and players must quickly try to mat ch the funniest caption they have to the picture. The player who makes the judge laugh the most wins that round. Each round provides comical, clever and creative results, guaranteed to keep everyone in the group laughing. Perfect for a small group of three or as many as eight players. Each game includes 150 picture cards (4″x 6″) and 300 hilarious caption cards that allow for hours of game play. So let’s get started!
Why We Like It: The kids absolutely love this game. It always generates peals of laughter. The game has photos of rather odd scenarios with a wide variety of captions that may go with the images. Kids will practice respecting the opinion of peers as the “it” for the round chooses the caption that they think fits the image best. Some of the captions may be a bit “edgy” for younger kids so we simply remove those from the game.
Any game that brings people together, gets a few laughs and doesn’t need batteries or charging is a great gift this holiday season. Enjoy and happy holidays!
Note: Links include affiliate codes which could put a few extra pennies in our pockets.