My January 2018 Geek Dad Challenge: 20 Days of Boardgames

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Hero Realms
Playing a game of Hero Realms. Photo: Jim Kelly.

At the end of the year, I’m a bit relaxed with my two boys (ages 10 and 7) when it comes to playing electronics. While school is in session, my wife and I try our best to limit screen time, but over the holidays? For a few weeks, I’m fine with them going a little crazy. We’ve had a Minecraft party at the house (7 boys, 7 laptops!) and a few late nights watching movies and a couple Xbox binge sessions. Inevitably, the boys start getting a little bored around January 1 and start going outside again even reading a book or two.

Breaking the screen habit is still a little hard once school starts back, so I’ve got a plan to take their minds off electronics in January… and I invite you to join.

Here’s the plan: I will introduce my boys to 20 new boardgames in January. (I thought about 31, one per day, but that may prove a bit difficult — 20 sounds doable.) There’s no shortage of boxes on the shelves, either. I’ve Kickstarted a number of games over the years that were a little advanced for my boys, but I think they’re ready now. Each of them got a new boardgame for Christmas, and I picked up a couple good ones on sale during the holiday sales. It will not be hard to find 20 boardgames to play in January 2018.

I don’t plan on writing full-length game reviews each day, so instead I’ll do a few Geek Link posts per week and let you know what my boys thought of the games we played. I’ll try to incorporate some quotes as well as my own thoughts. And, of course, I welcome readers to post their comments on the games we play as well. (And also feel free to share with us any new games you’ve played that might be of interest to the GeekDad audience.)

So, what games do I have lined up? I won’t list them all here, but a few include Kingdomino, Sheriff of Nottingham, How to Rob a Bank, and Magic Maze. I’m leaving room open in the schedule for my boys to request a game or two as well as a few days to replay any game that they just absolutely love. While I’d love to play 20 new games, I recognize that there will be a few games that are fun and popular. The idea is to get them around the table with me each day… and not be concerned with exactly what we will be playing. I’m going for the social aspect… and the quality time with my boys. If they develop a deeper love for boardgames in the process, that’s just icing on the cake.

Again, I invite you to join me. Get your family around the table and spend time together. Do it in January and maybe you’ll find a certain day of the week that works for a yearly Family Game Night. And there are no rules here! If you’re tired and want to skip a day… do it. No need to double-up the next day either. You’ve got 31 days to play 20 games. Plenty of time to take a day off or skip a weekend. Don’t make it a hassle… it’s supposed to be fun. Let each family member pitch a game or two. Go old school, too! Pull out the Risk or Life or some other game from your past and see if it has held up to the years.

And if your game collection isn’t large enough to support 20 boardgames? There’s no need to spend a fortune here — I’ll bet you have a co-worker or neighbor who can loan you a game or two. (If you happen to be neighbors with Jonathan Liu, you could probably support a 365 Days of Boardgames!) I hear libraries are even offering games to check out, so look into that if you need to.

I’ll post a summary at the end of January and let you know how we did and provide a place for those of you who are participating to also share your experience.

Have fun!

Get the Official GeekDad Books!