Games That Always Make My Kids Cry

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We love playing board games and card games in our house. We have and play so many games, but our top played games lately are Schmovie, Apples To Apples Jr., Ticket To RideGoblet, Chess, Pit, Bellz!, and the newly acquired Pie Face.

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My kids play a bunch of Telestrations and Dixit together or with friends. We have and play many other games if anyone is ever looking for suggestions, and we are always looking for new suggestions if anyone has favorites.

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But there are always games that make my kids cry every time we play. EVERY TIME. Here is a selection of the biggest offenders:

  1. Pickup sticks. My kids have never ever been able to play this without a fight. The innate frustration of the game, the inevitable invasion of personal space, the judgement of one sibling over another, the one black stick advantage, it’s just too much. Add in the fact that now there are dozens of sharp stabby things for poking and it’s just a mess. I’m not sure why Bellz! works for us, but magnetism aspect must throw them off. Back when I had preschoolers, I used to pull out pick up sticks as a test sometimes, laugh at the inevitable fight, and then hide them. Last week I heard two of my kids fighting and walked in on them playing pick up stick and the predictability had lost its charm.
  2. Old Maid. We’ve probably actually pulled this one off without tears, but more often, someone starts crying and leaves the table as soon as the cards are dealt, or mid game someone slams the cards down and stomps out of the room as soon as they pull the Old Maid from another hand. My 11 year old is proving feminist and sometimes also decides to be offended that holding a single older woman makes a loser. More than a couple times I have agreed and we say the person holding the card at the end of the game is a winner because perhaps the Old Maid is a great comedian, or mechanic, or surgeon, and would be nice to have around. And then everyone else at the table gets angry about a rule change, and one stomps off.
  3. Sleeping Queens. You may not know this game, but it’s a popular strategy card game, in which you can steal people’s cards. In our house it brings out crazy amounts of  bitterness, spitefulness and animosity, and again, one inevitably quitting and stomping off to slam a door. When we have played, my swaps and trades have led my kids to accuse me of such things as having a favorite or least favorite child, of helping out or punishing one kid over another because of some bizarre and unrelated event from earlier in the day and of hating them all. Not my idea of fun, yet the kids still ask to play.
  4. Spoons. Don’t even get me started.

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How do you do Games Night?

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  1. Pingback: Board Games: What we are playing now | Two Clever Moms

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