- Scrabble. Here's our first case in point. Scrabble is a great game: a timeless classic. It does not work well as a camping game because it has a board which would soak up water if anything dropped on it, or was it laying on the table. However, on a patio, that's not an issue. Furthermore, this game's wooden tiles won't blow away in the wind. The best part about this game is that you probably have a copy laying around. Almost everyone knows how to play, or is at least somewhat familiar with its ideas. I know some people don't like Scrabble, because they don't feel their vocabulary keeps them very competitive . However, I wrote a whole article on approaching Scrabble as a strategic game, rather than a word game, and that will make anyone a winner..
- Qwirkle. Qwirkle can be thought of as Scrabble with colors and shapes. It has the opposite problem than Scrabble does though; it has no board. It is therefore susceptible to unevenness in the playing surface. Picnic tables don't work well for this game. However with chunky blocks as the playing pieces, this game isn't going anywhere. Qwirkle was the Spiel des Jahres winner a couple of years ago, and that means it's a great game. This German award is given to the best new family game each year. My full review which can be found here.
- Blokus. The last game is Blokus. Blokus has a plastic board, so it cant get wet. Since its plastic, it's also rigid, and therefore doesn't care what service its all. It might think that this would make it a good game for camping, but some of the pieces a rather small and could be easily lost in the grass. This will be a great games to play with the little ones, it's fairly easy to understand and very colorful. I wrote about the entire family of Blokus games several years ago.
Bonus. This brings me to my last point. Speaking of B&N, I can't help but mention one other game that plays really well outside: Carcassonne. This is another game without a board; you actually build the board by laying down tiles. This game plays very well with anywhere from two to five players, and I just can't say enough about how good this game is. This is one of the very few games I rate a 10/10 on BoardGameGeek, and I have played more than a few games. At one point, we actually owned three copies, so we would have one for my wife and I each at work, as well as the one we keep at home. I don't play games at work anymore, so that copy now belongs to a neighbor who loves it.
Pick a warm night under the stars with a lantern and play. Take an afternoon in the shade and have a blast. In any case, everyone in the family will be a winner.
It's Your Move,