Mexican Train Dominoes case with dominoes and trains in front

Mexican Train Dominoes: An Enjoyable Family Game!

So recently we had a late spring snowstorm.  It was crazy! I have to say that I am ready for spring.  However, with the late snow came a lovely family weekend. Normally our weekends consist of running between soccer games, church, and softball practices.  So the slow, stay at home time we had as a family was rather nice. To top the weekend off we played a fun game I was recently introduced to: Mexican Train Dominoes.  

Growing up I knew what dominoes were but had never played them.  So when we were given a Mexican Train Domino set for Christmas we dove in and tried it out.  What we found was a rather fun game that the whole family enjoyed.

A Game of Chance

What are my thoughts about this game?  Well, it was a mix, because, I have to admit, I’m highly competitive.  So, when things start going awry I get a little testy. I know, it’s not one of my great points, but there you have it.  That being said, I do enjoy seeing my family win and do well. So back to the dominoes game. I say it was a mix because this is a game of chance.  You never know what dominoes you are going to draw or how the game will play out. Since it’s more of a game of chance than strategy it makes it difficult to plan a way to win.  You will either draw and get lucky or draw and end up in trouble. 

Game Play

Many already know the premise of dominoes, drawing and matching the number of dots, and this works no different.  There is 12 rounds of play. Each round starts with the double of that number.

Every player draws 15 dominoes and on their turn starts their “train” going towards them.  

They can play as many in their train on the first time they lay down as possible, after that, it’s one domino a turn unless a double is played.

If a player can’t play on an existing train then they can begin the Mexican train if there isn’t one going already.

Once a person plays all his dominoes, each player counts up the number they have left unplayed and that becomes their score that round.  After all 12 rounds you total all scores and the lowest score wins.

These are very simplified instructions but should give you an idea of how the game goes.

Mexican Train Dominoes is Definitely Worth the Time to Play It

During our last game of Mexican Dominoes I got a little over competitive.  I have to admit. But that didn’t change the fact that it was a lot of fun.  This was another game that was simple enough for my 6-year-old to play but challenging enough for the whole family to enjoy.  It does take some time so our actual game lasted for a couple of months of playing a round here and playing a round there. But it was well worth the time.  It was nice to just sit down and play a round or 2, pick it up, and then play later on until we finally finished all 12 rounds.

So, would I recommend Mexican Train Dominoes as a family game?  Yes! I would definitely say it is worth it. Let me know if you try or have ever played Mexican Train Dominoes. If you would like to check it out or get yourself a set feel free to click on the link below.  I’d love to know what you thought!

(This is an affiliate link.  If you purchase through this link I will receive a small compensation.)

And if you want a couple other ides of fun family games check out my post about Splendor and King of Tokyo!



Game of Splendor set up on table

Splendor: A Great Family Game

One of my favorite things to do with my family is play games!  I talked a little bit about my love of games in my post about the King of Tokyo board game.  Today I wanted to share a little bit about the game Splendor. I absolutely love Splendor. Now I have to admit the first time I played it I liked it but didn’t have any lasting impressions of it.  That changed rather quickly though.

My daughter’s favorite game

So my tween daughter was talking about this game over the next several months.  She absolutely loved playing Splendor. Whenever she would get together with my brother’s family she would get to play it.  She would come home talking about Splendor. Fast forward a few months to November. When asking for Christmas ideas one of hers was the game Splendor.  I didn’t remember it that well by then so I was slightly skeptical and we also had to convince her dad it would be a good game to have. So…we borrowed it for a family game night.

Image of cards and chips in a players "hand" during the game of splendor

Family game night

The weekend we borrowed it in November we played it as a family.  It was a hit! It is a strategic game but there is also an element of chance involved.  And one thing I absolutely loved about it was that it is complex enough to not feel like a kiddie game but simple enough that my kindergartner could play without much help.  He caught on quickly and could make the decisions on what he wanted to do on his own. We could offer him advice as he was not as strategic as his sister or dad and I, but rarely did he take it.  So it was nice to be able to sit down and play a game that felt more mature as a family.

Game play

I don’t want the meat of this post to be about how to play Splendor but I want to give you a quick idea (with a few pictures) of what it’s about.  It is a game with cards and tokens. The tokens are gems and there are 6 different colors/gems. In the center play area there are cards turned up.  Each card has a picture of a gem at the top and the number and color combination of gems needed to buy it. There also might be a point value. When the game begins you go around selecting the gem tokens.  When you have enough to get a card you want you buy it with the gem tokens and take the card. You continue doing that until someone reaches 15 points. This is a very brief description of how it works. Suffice it to say it is really fun.

Image of cards purchased for a hand during game play.

Let the fun begin

So after we had our family game night and played it again the whole family fell love.  And guess what, it made our daughter’s Christmas list. Secretly her dad and I couldn’t wait for Christmas either so she could get it and we would have it to add to family game nights.  So as you may have already figured out she did receive it for Christmas. My husband was off of work the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day so we spent it as a family. This year we just hung out at home and watched movies, played games, and enjoyed our time together. Splendor got used well that week.  Almost daily you could find us at our kitchen table engaged in a battle of whose strategy would play out first.

I would highly recommend Splendor

This probably goes without saying but I would recommend Splendor for any family looking for a fun game to play together.  Even though it says ages 10+ it is simple enough for a kindergartner to play so it’s great for all ages. And even adults will enjoy it. So if you have never tried Splendor you should!  If you would like to try it I’ve included a link if you click on the picture below. 

Amazon Affiliate link for the game of splendor to purchase.

Be sure and share with me what you think of it!




* This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase through the link I will receive a little compensation.

King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo Board Game

How many of you like to play games?  I know I do.  For my “Me Time” today I spent time with my family.  We played a game called King of Tokyo.  I realize that may not sound like doing something just for me like I suggest in my post “The Challenge” but I assure you it was.  You see, by nature I am a very competitive person.  I like a good challenge.  Although sometimes I can get a bit too competitive.

Playing a good board game is as much for me as for my kids (who also like a good game).  It’s always been something I have enjoyed from the time I was little.  I remember having a weekly game night with my brother and my parents.  We played things like Pictionary and Scattergories.  I still love those games and miss those times with my brother and parents.  But now, I have the opportunity to pass those on to my kids.

On the other hand, my husband wasn’t raised playing games.  They just didn’t do it.  So it took him a bit to warm up to the idea of doing it on a regular basis.  But now, he loves a good game as much as the rest of us.  There are games that are his favorites and he would play any day over some others.  Yahtzee is his favorite: That little dice game where you get 3 rolls and score points accordingly.

Fast forward to about 6 months ago. My dad was visiting us from out of town.  My brother, who is an even bigger gamer than me, had a couple new board games.  So he brought them over and we tried them.  One was a game called Splendor which I will share about in a future post.  The other, a game called King of Tokyo.

King of Tokyo Amazon Link

King of Tokyo is what we played this time.  Imagine a game that is Yahtzee meets King of the Hill.  It may sound weird but is actually fun and I have found even our 6 year old can understand enough to play without much help other than reading the cards to him.  You can try and strategize in this game but there is also a huge element of chance.

King of Tokyo Game Play

I want to share a little bit about how King of Tokyo works so you aren’t sitting, scratching your head going “Huh? What is this game she is talking about.”  To play the game each player picks a monster.  You have a card that counts points and hearts for your monster.  Once you determine who starts the game you go around and roll the 6 black dice.

King of Tokyo Dice Roll
Dice roll during the game King of Tokyo

They contain numbers, claws, hearts, and lightning bolts.  The numbers can gain you points if you roll the right combination.  The claws will attack one or more of the other monsters (your opponents) causing them to lose hearts. And if you lose too many hearts, your out of the game.  The hearts do just what you would think.  They gain you hearts back if you have been attacked.  Finally, the lightning bolts earn you little green squares that you can use to buy power up cards.

Play continues around the table with monsters entering and exiting tokyo, attacking others, and trying to gain points without dying.  The last man standing or 1st one to 20 points is deemed the winner.

Our Families Game

My 6 year old began the game.  He hit all three of us with some hearts removed and began gaining power ups.  He loves to get the lightning bolts!  My husband went next followed by me.  On my first roll I was set up to receive several points so I took them.  You see, as I mentioned above you can win by being the 1st to 20 points.  So my strategy began.  Next was my 10 year old and play continued.  I finally was able to knock my husband out with a power up card causing him to lose all his hearts (sorry dear).  Next I caused my 10 year old to enter Tokyo with only a few hearts.  Needless to say she didn’t survive her brother’s next attack (I told you I was competitive, Lol!).  Okay so maybe I’m not the most loving, sacrificing mom when I’m in game mode.  It came down to my 6 year old and me.  Several turns back and forth and I finally beat him (yes, it took a bit and he almost had me)  but I was able to get to 20 points.

My Final Thoughts

This game filled my cup as I was able to have fun with my family.  Of course, I won’t deny that winning helps.  But I love taking that time to be with them.  To hear my son say, “I’m gonna get you mom!”  There is something sweet in those moments.  Something that when he is grown and has a family of his own I can always take with me.  Spending quality time with the people that matter most was the me time I wanted today. It was a little longer than 15 minutes but that’s okay.  So get out a good board game or give King of Tokyo a try and spend some time with your family.  If you do let me know what you played.  Or if you do something different be sure and let me know what you did for YOU today!




(Note: There are affiliate links in this post and we will be compensated if you buy anything through them)