Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Board Game is for conversation starters

This summer your house is the venue for the annual family get together. As you roll up your sleeves to rearrange the sitting area and test-run the Kale pasta, your intellect is busy working on yet another task. The fine art of co-existing and thriving among a motley crowd of introverts, extroverts and even controverts. Who are further subdivided on the basis of age, gender and their religious beliefs. An aunt who has just recovered from cancer needs to be friends with a cousin who has lost $50k in the stocks. As they discuss the weather, clueless about each other’s situation, you can help them come closer with a family board game called- Double Ditto.

There have been similar other games like Talk Decks and Table Topics but nothing replicates the magic created by Double Ditto. It nudges your guests to open up in unexpected ways by sharing the things they have in common. A Ditto Master announces the topic for every round which could be as simple as ‘Ocean animals’ to as tricky as ‘Things you clean everyday’. All players hurry to jot down two answers that come to their mind within 15 seconds. They also try to anticipate the answers of other players. For every one answer that matches, i.e.- a ditto, 1 point is earned. For both the answers that match, i.e.- double ditto, 3 points are earned. The winner is the player with the highest score.

This best board game from Inspiration Play champions for inclusivity. It can accommodate from 2-20+ players who fall between the ages of 8-80 years. It comes with a 15 second sand timer, scoresheets, 400 topic cards and an instruction booklet which explains what is meant by a match. Easy to explain under five minutes and execute in less than one, this game is your recipe for instant fun. You may throw in some goodie bags to give it a finishing touch.

This know-your-family game was recognized by the Creative Child Magazine and awarded Game of the Year in 2016. Be warned: With hilarious responses pouring in, your ribs can start hurting. Mid-way you will realize that the answers don’t even have to be correct or pertinent. As long as your answer of ‘long snake’ to the topic- Types of snakes, finds a match, bingo! You can score a point.

After the party is over you will realize you don’t need a reason to bring this fun family game out next time. The following Sunday afternoons or shelter-in-place orders create the mood to indulge in this activity again. Parents often run out of ideas to engage with their kids. If you are one of them and wonder are board games beneficial for your kids? Then the answer is- Yes. Good family board games help your children build vocabulary and develop social skills. Some like Double Ditto even improve general knowledge. This answers your next question- What are best board games for middle school kids?

Lastly, board games are the safest way to start a conversation. One to two hours. Need some more? Buy 300 additional topic cards with the expansion pack.

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