We are a game family – always have been and once we started having kids we decided we were going to be a technology free family, at least as far as phone/tablet games and other gaming systems go.

Fast forward 10 years and we have four busy boys. With no screen time to keep them busy, we find other things to do and our favorite thing is games!

We play games a lot. The boys play with each other, by themselves, we play as a family, every which way you can play games, we play them. And now that our kids are getting a little older, we’re starting to get to play some really fun ones. We’ve tried out a bunch of new games recently and we have 10 new favorites to share.

Presenting, in no particular order, our TOP 10 GAMES EVERY FAMILY SHOULD OWN AND PLAY OFTEN!

1. Sleeping Queens (Gamewright Games)

sleeping queens

Card games are always great – they’re usually simple and very portable, no small pieces to swallow or lose, colorful, durable, and this one is all of these things PLUS super fun.

Sleeping Queens was created by a 6 year old girl so my kids totally get it and it has some really fun quirky rules like: If you get the Rose Queen, you get to pick a second queen. And you can’t have both the Cat Queen and the Dog Queen (cause they would fight too much, of course).IMG_3857

Basically there are king, queen, power, and number cards. The goal is to collects as many queens as possible or get to 40 points first (each queen is worth a different number of points). There are cards to steal or put queens to sleep and other cards to wake the queens up or save them from being stolen.


And every turn you discard number cards – if you have number cards that create a number sentence, you can discard all of them! Like if I had a 2 and 3 and 5, I could discard all 3 and draw 3 new cards. It’s great for math practice!


My boys wake up early and come down and play this game in the mornings before school, they love it. And it’s totally fun for my husband and I to play with them. There’s usually at least a little bit of “friendly competition” behavior, so it’s always exciting!

This one costs $9.96 on Amazon (like almost all of the Gamewright card games – so inexpensive for such a great game!)

Stay tuned for game #2!

{We received this game free of charge to facilitate this review.}


We are kind of old-fashioned in our family, or at least we try to be. We don’t have an iPad, gaming systems, or cable television so we fill our time with other things we can do together like reading, playing board and card games, exploring nature, and doing jigsaw puzzles.

Fullscreen capture 9272014 103444 AM.bmp

I’m always looking for interesting puzzles and we recently found some new favorites. They’re White Mountain puzzles and we LOVE them.

This one above is called Old Book Store – it’s 1000 pieces and perfectly challenging with all the books and wood. We love books, so I think all of our favorite part was doing that table of classics in the foreground – the colors are brighter so they were easier to find and a good place to start. Our kids loved finding and assembling the well-known titles, some of which we’ve read together!

The colors are so bright, this photo is a very accurate representation of the real puzzle. Vibrant and beautiful!

1000 piece puzzles

Once we get started it’s hard for us to stop. We couldn’t tear ourselves away to put the kids to bed until about 11:00pm. And then it took all of our will power! “Just one more piece,” we kept saying. Ah!

old fashioned family fun puzzle

The kids loved doing puzzles with us, even difficult ones like this. We help them find a section of similar colors and they go to work on it. Even our 3 year old helps turn the pieces over and find edge pieces. Puzzles are something we all love doing together and since it takes a couple of hours, we have lots of time to talk and laugh with each other.

christmas gift idea

Here are some close ups from the finished puzzle. I love looking closely at a puzzle – like any work of art, the longer and closer you look, the more you see and notice.

My husband is the real puzzler in our family – a few years ago he got a 5,000 piece puzzle for Christmas and he put it together all by himself. I couldn’t wrap my head around so many pieces back then. He loves the really hard ones with all the sky and water and mountains – those are definitely not my favorite.

Fullscreen capture 9272014 103456 AM.bmp

White Mountain puzzles is famous for its collage puzzles like this one, and these are my personal favorite and the reason I love White Mountain so much.

collage puzzle

I LOVE the collage puzzles because they go so quickly. We did this 1000 piece Movie Posters puzzle in much less time than the bookstore one – each little poster is almost like its own puzzle so finding the right pieces is much easier and I think more fun!

Plus it’s so fun to see all those old movie posters and figure out how many we’ve seen and which ones we really should watch!

favorite jigsaw puzzles

White Mountain puzzle pieces are the best too – they’re extra thick and good sized. Perfect for hands and eyes of all ages.

Fullscreen capture 9272014 103450 AM.bmp

This one is another favorite collage – it’s only 500 pieces so we all finished it in about an hour. Because it’s a little smaller, our 3, 5 , and 7 year olds all helped the entire time. Their favorite thing to do when we’re finished is to take apart individual sections and put them back together again – it works perfectly with the collage puzzles and they do it for days!

I love all these beautiful doors – such a beautiful puzzle and one of my very favorites.

white mountain jigsaw puzzles

I hate putting the puzzles back in the box! Grabbing that first handful of pieces is excruciating sometimes. But once I get going I’m already looking forward to putting the puzzle together the next time. Endless fun!

There are at least a dozen other White Mountain puzzles on my wish list for Christmas this year – which ones are your favorites???

{I received these puzzles free of charge to facilitate this review.}


*FREEBIE* Dynamics Printable Game


I was in charge of teaching a little dynamics lesson last week at our Family Choir class so we played a little game. It’s very easy and the kids had a great time. It works for all ages too! To play you’ll need dynamics printable 6 sheets of colored construction paper glue stick an arrow […]

Read the full article →

Library List #1

Book Talk
Thumbnail image for Library List #1

We go to the library every other week at least and most of the time I have a few picture books I know I want but the rest I pick randomly and sometimes I get some really bad/boring/dumb books. The kids never mind but I do. If I’m going to read picture books for an […]

Read the full article →

Zaycon Fabulous


For the first many years of my married life I didn’t cook meat because I couldn’t stand buying it from the grocery store. I did buy chicken but NO beef and very little pork. We ate hardly any meat until my sister told me about Zaycon Foods. My husband still looks back on that day as one […]

Read the full article →

*REVIEW* Back-to-School with BELL

Thumbnail image for *REVIEW* Back-to-School with BELL

We’ve been biking tons this summer and now that school has started we’re biking to school together too. Biking is definitely one of our favorite family activities and we make sure we’re protected when we ride. We trust Bell Helmets to protect our brains and got to try out two new styles for back-to-school. Carson’s […]

Read the full article →

*REVIEW* Scientific Explorer: My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

Thumbnail image for *REVIEW* Scientific Explorer: My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

Science has turned out to be our favorite subject to study at home together. My kids love science and no wonder! It’s all experimental and hands on. As far as I’m aware, the new nation wide Common Core standards have taken science and history almost entirely out of early elementary school classrooms. It’s such a […]

Read the full article →

*TUTORIAL* 1 Hour Burlap Wreath

For the Home
Thumbnail image for *TUTORIAL* 1 Hour Burlap Wreath

I have been all crafted out lately and haven’t really made anything or done any projects since my baby was born 6 months ago. I’m getting the itch again… This wreath was the perfect low-stress project for me right now. It took about an hour and it was completely finished. That’s my kind of project! […]

Read the full article →

Book of the Week: Dinosaur Farm

Book Talk
Thumbnail image for Book of the Week: Dinosaur Farm

It’s hard work being a farmer and even harder running a dinosaur farm – but that’s just what the farmer does every day in this new book by Frann Preston-Gannon! The farmer wakes up very early to take care of all his animals and you find out pretty quick that all the animals on his […]

Read the full article →

*FREEBIE* Binder Spine Labels

Thumbnail image for *FREEBIE* Binder Spine Labels

I’m getting organized! And I’m determined to keep an organized record of my kids’ schoolwork. We’re starting out following The Well-Trained Mind schedule/model and she recommends this kind of record keeping system, so we’re going for it. It’s working out great so far – I keep all the papers we complete on a clipboard in […]

Read the full article →