Games can be sticky territory for families with kids from hard places. On the one hand, they can provide non-threatening together time. On the other hand, fragile feelings can cause cooperation to turn to competitiveness which is like falling into quicksand.
Here are some games that have worked for other families:
The Ungame-This also comes in many varieties including pocket versions and versions for all age groups.
Forbidden Island-A cooperative board game. It does have a competitive element as well.
Headbandz-Great for developing language skills.
Peaceable Kingdom Games-For preschool and early elementary age children to play with an adult. Hoot Owl Hoot and Race to the Treasure were specifically recommended.
Story Cubes-Great for developing language and creativity.
Big Picture Apples to Apples-This variation does not require reading like the original. There is a winner each round, but it’s still a short, fun game.
Totika–Like Jenga meets the pocket version of the Ungame.
Pandemic-A cooperative game for older kids.
Eye Found It–Requires a lot of floor space for the 6-foot game board!
Ooga Booga-Not recommended for kids with auditory sensitivity 🙂
Kids World-Therapy game based on the movie Inside Out.
Would You Rather?-Not threatening questions to get your kids talking.
Guess Who?-There are many variations of this classic. There is technically a winner, but the practice in language and logic (and the ability to tone down the competitive part) make this one worth the risk.
UNO-This classic seemed to be a favorite among many families.
Suspend-This does have a competitive piece but everyone seems to lose easily and it becomes hilarious. Plus it help develop spatial and physical science intelligence.
What is your family playing these days?