According to Merriam Webster, trivia is supposed to involve obscure facts. Yet in many trivia games, questions rely on pop culture references and basic history teachings. These unique games cover topics from astronomy to geography, and use visual cues and even songs to inspire learning and storytelling that goes well beyond the cards in the box. Instead of simply reciting facts, have fun using your eyes, ears, and voice to increase your knowledge of the universe.
A competition about the cosmos. Amazon
Friends aged four and up can enjoy this set of 90 double-sided playing cards, which can be used for multiple games. Younger kids can match pictures of celestial objects, and older kids and adults can learn facts about space, like the escape velocity of the earth. The cards fit into a small tin that’s about 3.5 inches square and 2 inches deep, perfect for a quick science lesson on the go.
Explore a park without leaving your house. Amazon
If you’re planning a park visit for a future vacation, this stylish game for ages 10 and up is a great way to teach the history of our national park system and build anticipation for the trip. Unlike many trivia games, players aren’t required to know the answer in order to win points in gameplay. Instead, each player has a tiny whiteboard to write their best guess, and since all answers are numerical, the closest guess wins the point. Bring out your family photo albums when you play, and tell kids about that time Grandma saw a herd of bison at Yellowstone.
You can see that I’m right this time. Amazon
Digital media has conditioned us to expect colorful images with everything we read. This game for ages 12 and up is a Mensa Select national competition winner and features photos on one side of each trivia card, accompanied by questions on the other. If you know the image is of a Saint Bernard dog but don’t know a thing more about these large furry creatures, you can auction the right to answer questions about the topic to someone else. With 400 cards and 1200 questions on topics from popular culture to historic landmarks, you’ll have hours of family entertainment.
Better than karaoke. Amazon
If you secretly wanted to organize a family sing-a-long but are afraid the kids will be mortified, this game might help you achieve your goal. Players advance on a game board by singing (or yelling) at least five words of a song lyric that include a trigger word. The genius of this game is that it’s relevant for all generations. A prompt of the word “truth” might spark a performance of Lizzo or Johnny Cash, and inspire people to broaden their musical tastes.