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Settlers of Catan – Family Game Night

settlers of catan board game

The girls and I have a new game that we are in love with – Settlers of Catan. It’s been one that was recommended to us for ages, has been sitting in my Amazon cart, and two weeks I found it at a scratch-and-dent sale of sorts for an amazing price. To help you understand how much we are enjoying it, the game sits out and has been played nearly every single day since it came through the door of the house.

How to Play Settlers of Catan

The game board is built in a hexagonal shape and there are two sides to choose from to give players a variety when replaying. Each small hexagon on the board represents a different resources: forest, sheep, rock, grain, and brick. There are four different colors that can be used (up to four players) to build ‘settlements’ on the game board.

During the game, players collect resources based on where their first settlements are built, expand their territory by building roads and cities, and try to strategically ‘take over’ the island. The first person to reach 10 points earned by building road, settlements, and collecting special cards wins the game.

There is a great overview on the Catan website and even a game assistant app you can download to help learn the rules (love this!).

Once you really start getting into the game, there are additional extension packs that build on the main board so you can grow and expand on the base game: seafarers, cities & knights, traders & barbarians, explorers & pirates – and so much more!

Skills Catan Works On

There are a few things that Catan has been great in working on with the kids (and me too!)

  • Thinking strategically – while you want to get settlements and roads on the board, you definitely have to plan and think ahead on where you place your pieces so you are able to collect resources. You earn resources based on the number that is rolled (there are numbers in the center of each hexagon). If you have a settlement on that number, you earn that resource. Resources are then traded in to build roads, cities, and armies.

  • Probability – you never know how the die is going to roll. While each number on the board shows the likelihood of that number being rolled, you may have a game full of different numbers.

  • Negotiation – It’s frustrating to not have the resources you need to build something and players are allowed to trade/barter with each other. You can be stingy or kind (and I think we all can use a little kindness, right). Players need to think strategically in terms of trading, but it’s been neat to watch how relationships play into the game and are being built.

  • Decision-making – during the game players have to make various strategic decisions on how they will build their settlements and take over, based on their resources. Is it wiser to build a larger army or put up more settlements?

  • Value/Risk – As we play the game more and we begin to get used to how the game is played, there are more things I am noticing. Based on how you are doing, you can choose to sabotage another players settlements to prevent them from winning (by using the robber or stealing resources), block them from growing their territory – you need to weigh what is most important to you and if it will help you out in the long run.

      Recommended Ages

    Settlers of Catan is recommended for ages 10 and up. So far we have only played it with our 12 and older crew because the younger two discovered Battleship and have been playing that constantly. The game is built for four players, but you can add a 5 and 6 player extension, as well as multiple variants of the base board to make the game last longer. There is also a junior Catan version targeted toward younger children.

    The game typically takes us between 30 minutes to an hour and a half to play, depending on how strategically pieces are placed, how ruthless players are with each other, and often just by chance! Overall we have LOVED it.

    That’s what we’ve been busy playing lately.

    What games have you been playing and would you recommend – should we ever peel ourselves away from Catan?

A Few Other Games We Love

  • Farkle – a simple game of dice
  • Blokus – strategy game full of colors and shapes

 

Chocolate Fix ~ Logic Game for Children

Chocolate Fix Game

Before you think I have our kids dripping with chocolate or rolling all over the back yard in it, I’m talking about a game by the name of Chocolate Fix by Think Fun. Sadly, just looking at it makes me crave a truffle, but there are no calories {or mess} to be had playing this game.

The Game of Chocolate Fix

Chocolate Fix Game-1

A friend introduced us to this game a few months ago and it has become a favorite with our girls {and maybe a certain mother who loves logic games}. Chocolate Fix comes with nine colorful chocolate pieces – 3 colors that are in the shape of a circle, triangle and square.

Chocolate Fix Game-5

There are 40 logic and deduction puzzles to solve that increase in difficulty. Each level has various clues and hints to help place a few of the chocolate pieces, but you need to use your brain to figure out the rest of the placement of the other pieces.

And it is rather addicting {in a non-caloric way, thank goodness}.

Chocolate Fix Game-4

Our girls have had so much fun playing it, that there have been moments they have both wanted to play at the same time. We’ve competed against each other to see who can complete a challenge first. Even I’m enjoying the game and stretching my brain a bit from time to time!

iPhone Screenshot 2

We loved it enough that we also purchased the Chocolate Fix app {iPad or iPhone} as well. It also includes hints and the chocolate is a yummy strawberry pink.

The Chocolate Fix game is one that can be played again and again. We purchased our game from Amazon and would definitely recommend it to you all.  We’re having a lot of fun playing some new logic games this year and hope to share more with you soon!

What are some of your favorite games that are fun to play – but also include a heap of learning?

 

Fun with Farkle ~ Family Game Idea

Some of you may think that I just made a rude sound. The kids are certainly getting a few giggles out of it. My question is, how have we not heard of the game Farkle before?

Farkle Dice Cup

Have you heard of it??

When camping this past weekend, another family pulled out their Farkle game and our kids magically disappeared. Occasionally we would hear groans and shouts of “Farkle!” coming from their direction, but they had so.much.fun.

The next day we had to run to the store and do you know what the first thing was we put into our shopping cart? Two containers of Farkle. One for the house and one to add to our camping stash.

Six simple dice. One cup to shake them all up and spill them out. Hours of fun adding points, figuring out game strategy, and one momma who isn’t going to point out the fact that they are all getting in a little math practice in between the shouts of “Farkle!”

Don’t tell them, ok?

What are your family’s favorite games that are simple and fun to take along with you? Any fun ones to share with us?