The One Family Board Game I Can Always Get My Teens to Play

published Oct 5, 2022
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Graphic showing Telestrations board game box next to the various game parts.

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Our family is always making the effort to play more board games, whether it’s quiet nights at home or on big trips with the extended fam. Our boys are now 11 and 14, meaning we’ve graduated from Chutes & Ladders and Sorry to Monopoly, Clue, even more sophisticated games like Settlers of Catan and Seven Wonders.

Regardless of their age, there is one game we keep coming back to, especially when we have guests or are traveling with more relatives: Telestrations.

How to Play Telestrations

Telestrations is an easy-to-learn game that combines the telephone game with Pictionary. Players each get a little spiral bound flip pad and a dry erase marker. They start each round by drawing a card from the pile, choosing the yellow (“This Side”) or blue (“That Side”), then rolling a die to see which of the six words listed they’ll draw.

Once they have their word, they flip the first page over and draw the word in the space provided. They flip the next page over and pass it to the next player. That player flips back one page to see the drawing, then guesses what it is, and flips the page again, before passing it on to the next person. As it goes around the circle, players alternate guessing the previous image or drawing the previous word.

When everyone’s pad makes it back around into their hands, players take turns one by one to flip through the book start to finish, showing how their original word and drawing have transformed via a mix of drawings and guesses into a final product.

Telestrations is ideal with a group of up to 8, although you can get the Party Pack which plays up to 12. This makes it perfect for sharing with cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, a big group of friends. Every round we’ve played has ended with peals of laughter as the group reviews funny drawings and just-missed-the-mark guesses. After the round is done, players wipe their pad clean with the provided cloths, then start over!

Telestrations comes with cards that feature more than 1700 words to draw. The game is easy to learn and explain, and one round can be finished in 10-15 minutes. There’s also no pressure to be a professional artist – sometimes the simplest drawings turn out to be the funniest. The game also packs up and travels easily. The only Achilles heel, we’ve found, is that the dry erase markers sometimes run out a little too quickly, but they’re easily replaced.

The game has become a hit with our entire extended family. It offers delightful quality time together, and the kids ask for every time we get together!

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