Festive family games
MyTutor for Parents

6 festive family games to play that boost learning

Family time at Christmas is extra special. It has its highs – with games and food and catching up. But, it can also have its lows – when the cabin fever sets in after a few days at home.

A good way to keep spirits high during the holidays and to channel that restless energy is by playing family games. They’re a great excuse to switch off screens and reconnect with the ones you love.

We’ve picked our top 6 festive family games to play that will keep everyone engaged but also support learning for teens (and adults!):

  1. Charades
  2. Catan
  3. Dixit
  4. Taboo
  5. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
  6. Linkee

1. Charades

A classic favourite that’s sure to get your family off the sofa is charades. Whether you’re acting the part of ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ or grappling with an extra tricky clue, your creative thinking skills are put to the test. 

A huge bonus with charades is that you can adapt the game to suit your family’s interests. You can even help your teen revise for exams by including categories like historical figures or characters from GCSE books. The sky’s the limit!

2. Catan

More of a traditional sit-down board game, Catan still packs a punch. Building roads, houses and settlements on a fictitious island requires strategic planning and goal setting.  

Catan is also a great way to brush up on your negotiation skills. Your teen might be desperate to get their hands on your sheep, but they’ll have to convince you to make the trade.

3. Dixit

Dixit is the perfect game for letting your imagination run wild. The beautiful dream-like images on the playing cards inspire some brilliant storytelling. Best of all, every family member can join in – even the youngest (so long as they can speak!).

4. Taboo

For fast-paced excitement – Taboo delivers. With a minute on the clock, you have to be quick to give your team clues about the word on your playing card. But, it’s not so simple when some words are ‘taboo’. How do you describe a sandwich, for instance, without saying: “bread, ham, filler, food, Subway, eat?” It can be tricky.

It’s a game that will help your teen stretch their vocabulary – and it’s a brilliant way to help them practice clear and succinct communication. 

5. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

A murder has been committed in Victorian London and it’s up to you and the rest of the family to solve it. It’s no easy business bringing down Victorian baddies – in fact, this might be the toughest game on our list.

It tests memory, powers of deduction, concentration, reading skills and even Maths to break tricky codes – all in a bid to find Moriarty and his gang of criminals. It’s one to keep the family entertained for hours.

6. Linkee

If you’re looking for a shout-it-out style trivia game, this is it. Every Linkee card contains 4 trivia clues which are connected. It’s up to each player to work out how the answers fit together and to shout out once they’ve cracked it. 

The whole family can learn fun facts from the trivia questions, which range from sports to animals, popular culture and science. Plus, working out the link between clues is a good way to practice those inductive reasoning skills. 

All of these games are great for helping your teen learn new skills – all while spending quality time together.

Whichever festive family games you play during the holidays, we hope that have an amazing break and enjoy your time together!

And when your teen heads back to school in the New Year, it’s a great time to find them a tutor. Discover the right one for them here

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