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Encouraging pre-teens and more so teens to be involved and interested in family activities and educational learning can be a challenge. Spending time with friends, online activities, combined with increasing independence and the (albeit at times ambivalent) urge to break free can be stiff competition for spending time with boring parents, who don't know much! (all tongue in cheek!).

What games can be created within a family with and to encourage family interaction and learning.

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Interesting idea, but questions asking for lists of things are off topic here. –  Karl Bielefeldt Oct 15 '13 at 15:32
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closed as too broad by Karl Bielefeldt, Skippy, Swati, balanced mama, Rory Alsop Oct 24 '13 at 13:00

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Recently my 13 (14 in a few short months) year old son and 12 year old daughter and I have started playing a game call Family Fortune. Which we announce in a big echoing voice for theatrics.

We play it in the car and often when we return home from a trip, because they are so excited to continue playing.

Firstly I defined the rules for them clearly from the start to avoid nitpicking fights!

The game:

  • I (the parent) am the game show host and as such set all questions and determine is the answers are correct.
  • The children are the audience and the competitors. To avoid unhealthy competition, each child is really only in competition with themselves. This is achieved by the idea of having a revolving door of competitors, so it can be played with an unlimited number of people.

  • Caveat: In this case there are two contestants, but the same process can be applied for larger numbers of children.

It works like this:

  • We have rounds, each round there is a new question. I mix up topics, from grammar, spelling, math, geography, etc.
  • The child gets one 50/50 and one phone a friend.
  • One child is in, the other is the audience.
  • The child can use any member of the audience as there phone a friend friend.
  • If the phoned friend does not get the right answer, they can use their 50/50 (the idea is to encourage success, it's not punitive).
  • 50/50 is when I ask the question in a different way and they get two choices of which is correct.. I provide two examples below (X)
  • If the child gets the question wrong, I offer them any unused 50/50 or phone a friends.
  • If the other child pipes in and answers a question correctly, it serves as an advancement for the other child, so just prolongs the wait for the piper upperer's turn.
  • If the child exhausts all the options and still cannot answer the question, the question then goes to the next child.
  • If that child cannot answer the question, I give them the correct answer, and the next child still begins their new set of rounds.
  • At round 5 and 10 we have fast paced rounds, eg they have to recite times tables and in the format I require 2 x 2 equals 4.
  • I make a point of revisiting the questions they get wrong, which they know, so it helps them to remember the answers.
  • We all contribute to the theatrics of strange sounds if the answer is correct, wrong or we have the suspense of waiting. All are encouraged to provide them songs and use various imitations of using the phone and of phone calls dropping out during phone a friend.
  • So far we've had no tangible rewards outside of the game itself.. pretty sneaky hey? :)

(X) Examples of 50/50

(1) Q1. What is a common noun?
50/50 question: Which is the common noun, Washington or cat? (in my case I used our cat's name)

(2) Q1. What is an adverb? 50/50 question: Pick out the adverb in the following sentence The dog walks quickly across the hot road.

(3) Q1. What is the lowest common denominator of 1/2 and 1/3?
50/50 question: Is the lowest common denominator of 1/2 and 1/3, 5 or 6?

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