Those with primary school kids will know that getting a great gift for a class birthday party is a tricky prospect. You want to give something that is good and not going to end up in the recycling or be regifted, but on the flip side you don’t want to spend too much money on a child that is unlikely to be your child’s bff. Never fear, Board Game Review are here with some awesome games that will stand the test of time and be remembered as a great gift!
Catch a Roo
In my recent review, I admitted that Catch a Roo is my board-gaming guilty pleasure and that I enjoy playing it more than I know I should. Subsequently, I have bought it as a gift for many other people. At under £7 this is a great family game which in my opinion is fine for anyone over the age of 5 (including grown ups after the kids are in bed). It is bright, colourful, simple and lots of fun.
The game play is simple with everyone on their turn playing a card, catching or snatching a Kangaroo and drawing another card. Adopt an Australian accent for even more fun!
Orchard Toys do some brilliant games for kids in their early years and you probably wouldn’t go far wrong with most of them. However, I have plumped for my favourite the Rocket Game. With an RRP of £8.30 it’s in budget and plays between 2-6 players equally well. The aim of the game is to get your rocket to perform the most loop-the-loops as it blasts of into space. The box says from 4-7 but I think after age 6 they are only likely to play if they have a younger sibling.
With an RRP of £10 this is a great option. Dino Dump is a card game that most kids can grasp, the box says aged 6 plus and I’m not going to argue with that. It is from Big Potato Games who are known for creating fun, easy to play games with cool artwork. The theme of dinosaurs pooping on the cards will amuse your children. Be warned though the stickers of shame that the loser has to wear properly stink and you might be better off not opening the packet!
In terms of gameplay it is similar to Uno and is based on the pub game with a more grown-up name along the lines of poo head. It’s not identical as it has been scaled back and simplified but the setup and most of the card rules will be familiar. Grown ups will get lots of enjoyment from this too!
This has been a family favourite since it was created in 1971. Gaining more popularity when it was released with Mattel in 1992. I am baffled how the first time I had ever played it was after it arrived in a Christmas stocking two years ago. The game is simple, quick, engaging and efficient. What’s more it is a little vindictive – but not enough to create an Eastenders-style cliff-hanger!
At around £9 for the original version it is a snip for the hours of gaming this will provide. There is currently Toy Story 4, Harry Potter, Minecraft and Super Mario versions and a rather exciting Uno-Corns version. I must confess I have not played any of these, but the box of the latter suggests there is rainbow unicorn cards! Enough said. Most of these variants are still under £15.
UNO carries a recommended age of 6+ and this is quite realistic in my opinion, although the Board Game Geek community rate it as suitable for 5+. So what do you do if you think they already have UNO and love it? Have you considered the follow up game Uno Dos. It might be worth investigating too.
Rory’s Story Cubes
Rory’s Story Cubes may not be a game as such, but these dice really encourage imaginative play. Generally they get very little attention, but they do actually deserve more. So what are Rory’s Story Cubes?
Rory’s Story Cubes are dice, but instead of having the standard six numbers, each side of these has a little picture on it. The idea being that you roll your set of dice and the roller has to make up a story based around the symbols that appear. These can be as long or as short as the roller chooses. Ultimately they get the brain cogs working and promotes using imagination – even for a grown up! Although you are unlikely to get these out on a grown-up game night – that would be a bit weird but possibly entertaining!
Rory’s Story Cubes come in a variety of themes, the original set has a real mixture of symbols from a tortoise to a padlock to a castellated tower. Other sets are now available too which can be combined or played as their own set. Some sets are more themed and include Voyages, Mystery and Astro. All have an RRP around £10
Giving a board game or card game as a present is a really great thing to do. There are so many great ones to choose from but finding them on a budget can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re looking for. That’s why I have carefully chosen good games for £10 or less and although I have used the RRP for the purpose of this feature, many can be found cheaper online. Check out our affiliate links below to see them for sale at great prices.