We are always looking for different ways to stay busy with different activities.  While there are many options with the traditional board games and card games, sometimes you want something different.  This is where puzzles and dominos are great.  They are activities that will keep you and/or your child(ren) busy for a while.

Maybe you are looking to try something different for you next family video call or gathering.  Play Bingo (where one house is assigned as the Caller for the numbers).  This is a great game for all ages. You can print the cards or play online if you do not have the game at home.

Or play a game of Tenzi. If you have never played Tenzi, you have to try it. This game comes with 4 sets of dice, each a different colour and ANY age can play.  It is a simple game to follow and play, but can be fast paced.  The original set comes with a few game card ideas and there is a 77pc card set with different game ideas you can buy.  To prepare for this game, ensure that all the households have a set of Tenzi dice.

Looking to buy any of these games?  Or want to build on to your collection of games? You can purchase these and many others online:



Toys R Us

Mastermind Toys

Boardgame Bliss

One of my fondest memories of summer vacation is the card games my family would play at night.  As we got older, the competitiveness of the card games would increase.  Now when we get together for family vacations, the next generation is joining us with the nightly card games, bringing in new competitive partnerships.

Card games are a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, help with number recognition and counting or as a way to learn how to do an activity by yourself (with all the variations of solitaire)

Here are a few of the classic card games that my family loves to play:

  1. Uno and all the new variations – Uno Spin is definitely a new favourite for my family.
  2. Skipbo
  3. Ratuki
  4. Rummy
  5. Go Fish
  6. Crazy Eights
  7. Old Maid
  8. War
  9. Concentration / Memory games
  10. SlapJack
  11. Snap
  12. Solitaire and all the different variations
  13. Cheat
  14. Spit

If you are looking for a refresher on some of the card game rules, here are a few links to help:

Bicycle Cards

10 Kid Friendly Card Games/


Or if you are looking for online playing options where you can play against “the computer” or other online players check out:

Cardz Mania

Card Games

World of Card Games

Escape from the Dark is a simple, yet elegant dungeon crawl game that will remind you of a “Choose you own adventure” or “Fighting Fantasy” book from your childhood.

Each player takes the role of someone wrongfully imprisoned in the dreaded Dark Castle, whose catacombs and dungeons are filled with death dealing traps and monsters.  Setup is quick, completed in 5 minutes and the game should take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Here is what the setup looks like for a solo play-through I attempted this afternoon:

The game revolves around the Chapter deck, made up of 15 cards, each card represents a room in which an event or monster is triggered to thwart your attempted escape.  At the bottom of the deck, if you make it that far, is a deadly boss who will do its best to make sure you do not leave the Dark Castle.

The game is played co-operatively, where the party decides who will flip each card/walk into a new room first.  That person may bear the brunt of whatever is behind the “door”. This creates the opportunity for strategic group planning such as: which character has the least damage, who is the best equipped with items (which are found throughout your adventure).

Gorgeous artwork and rich prose drive the narrative forward, creating a fantastical and pleasantly satisfying adventure powered by a very simple yet dynamic combat system.


This game can be enjoyed by young and old alike.  Escape The Dark Castles has an easy charm that makes the game a winner and a great way to spend time with family or go for a solo adventure

Check out our gaming group at Tabletop, Miniature and Role Playing Games Sarnia on Facebook.


Many of us will remember them from when we were kids – the classic board games – these would get pulled out for a family game night, on rainy afternoons or family gatherings. Some have “reinvented” themselves by offering a Junior version – usually a little easier to play and understand for younger children.  Some have updated their versions, adding in new characters, creating board themes around popular movies or adding newer technology.  These are still popular today and should be a staple in your game collection.

Classic Board Games

  1. Monopoly / Monopoly Jr.
  2. Scrabble / Scrabble Jr.
  3. Game of Life / Game of Life Jr.
  4. Twister
  5. Sorry!
  6. Trouble
  7. Checkers
  8. Chinese Checkers
  9. Chess
  10. Connect 4
  11. Battleship
  12. Clue
  13. Snakes & Ladders / Chutes & Ladders
  14. Risk


The word trivia refers to unimportant things…trivial in nature. But for many people the game of Trivia if far from trivial.  It got a huge revival through the board game trivial pursuit and today, games of trivia are played at parties, in bars and pretty much anywhere a group of people can be gathered.

In today’s new normal social distancing there are many ways that people can socialize and play trivia games. One is to join in with established games. A quick search will likely find one or two that are online and recruiting players. You can form teams separated physically but all playing on the same side.   If you want to skip the local search, here are some alternatives.

HQ Trivia

HQ Trivia launched in August 2017 and it grew quickly in popularity by persuading mobile users to log in at specific times twice a day for a chance to win cash prizes. At one point, HQ Trivia was drawing millions of players daily, with each episode offering 15 minutes of multiple-choice questions covering a range of topics. After shutting down in Feb 2020, it has been relaunched and it is an easy way to start playing trivia with others.

Create your own

There are many web sites that provide individuals with opportunities to join existing communities of trivia players and others with formats / instructions on how to create custom made trivia questions and information about how to create their own online experiences with family and friends.  Here are a few quiz programs ready to join or build your own.

QuizUp is a free, award-winning multiplayer trivia game. Challenge friends and meet new people who share your interests.



Triviaplaza offers quizzes on Pop Music, Movies, Geography, Science, Computers, Literature, Classical Music and more.



Build your own.

You will find plenty of sites that will help you make your own quizzes and use established online platforms to play with family and friends. Here are a few.

Trivia Maker: One of the most popular sites is Trivia Maker that helps you create and host your own trivia games.


Sporacle offers help on making online quizzes, invite others to take your quiz and how they do.



Bingo meets Trivia

Answer random questions and compete against other people in real time in this trivia-filled fresh take on the classic game of Bingo.