Heading home for Mother’s Day? The day won’t end in sitting around the kitchen table in an awkward silence when you bring tabletop games along. Here are a few suggestions for popular titles that are both easy to find (so you can pick up a copy for her later if she enjoys it) and easy to teach to everyone in the family.
Bring these games along whether it’s just you and mom on Sunday, or the entire family celebrating everything your hardworking mother does for her kids.
Love Letter will get you playing cards with Mom in a whole new way when you break it out at your next family gathering. This micro card game is a story of intrigue and deduction as players vie to deliver a love letter to the princess. Play your cards right to reveal the cards in other players’ hands and be the last one with cards in your hand. It will take strategy and a little luck to risk it all without being unmasked as the suitor.
This card game is quick to play and simple to learn. For a crash course, take a look at this episode of TableTop to get the basics.
2-4 Players, Ages 10+
If your mother is a fan of Scrabble or Words With Friends, she’ll feel right at home with Paperback. This word-building, deck-building card game has players competing to form words that score the most Fame points.
Form words with the letter cards and wild cards in your hand. Add up the score on each word you play, and use that total to “buy” new letters or Fame cards. The game ends when two of the Fame card piles are empty.
If Mom is hooked after you teach her the how-to, she can also download the digital version to play anytime.
2-5 Players, Ages 8+
It won’t take long for your family to get the basics of this colorful dice game. Place three cards on the table, face up. Then roll your dice, match them to a card, and win that card by matching all the numbers in one turn or over the course of several turns. That’s it! Add up the score as cards are claimed, and the player to get to 40 points first wins.
Roll For It! is an ideal game for the family, simple enough for kids to play but also with a strategic twist to keep things interesting for older players. Watch Wil Wheaton and friends play it on TableTop for a rules rundown and an example of how much you can gleefully mess with your fellow players.
2-8 Players, Ages 8+
While most of the games on this list are small, portable, and quick to play, Ticket to Ride is the big box you want to bring if you’re looking for something to do in the afternoon as your brunch settles. (You did take Mom to brunch, right?)
Each player takes on the role of a railroad baron as they work to connect destinations by completing train routes. Draw a card for a piece of a train; collect enough pieces, and you can connect the matching routes. Bonus points can be earned by completing the route shown on a ticket from one specific city to another. Complete routes and score the most points to be declared the winner.
Watch the Ticket to Ride TableTop episode for a quick primer on the rules of this destined-to-be-classic board game.
2-5 Players, Ages 8+
What games do you and your mom play together? Tell us in the comments, and then give her a call.
Featured Image: Kelly Knox
Other Images: AEG Games, Tim Fowers, Calliope Games, Days of Wonder