I Love {Catan}

Sister’s family gave Honey the game Catan for his birthday and we have played it at the dinner table probably five out of seven nights every week all summer.  I really can’t recommend it enough!!  (As an aside, I had to chuckle when Whit was on the phone with Sister last week saying “we got this really cool game called Catan…”  HA!)


The women and men of your expedition build the first two settlements. Fortunately, the land is rich in natural resources. You build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Barter trade dominates the scene. Some resources you have in abundance, other resources are scarce. If you found your settlements in the right places and skillfully trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favor. But beware! Someone might cut off your road or buy a monopoly. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious gains!  Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan?

The game is for 3-4 players, but an expansion pack makes it work for 5-6 players.  The modular game board gives the game tons of replay value, hence why we have been able to play it so frequently this summer.  John is the perfect age (11) for the game.  Whit (8) absolutely loves playing but we give him a “handicap” of 2 points since he’s younger.  This will make sense once you start playing :-)  It would also be very enjoyable for adults.

It is relatively easy to get started playing, after one trial run we were pretty much up and running.  We have all won the game using different strategies, which I think is also really cool.  Overall, we have found the game to be a lot of fun, while also building critical thinking and problem solving skills.

We aren’t the only family that loves Catan, as evidenced by its accolades.  Catan has been awarded with “Game of the Year,” “Hall of Fame,” and even “Game of the Century” honors in Germany, the United States, and a host of other countries worldwide.

I’ve shared some of our other favorite toys and games, with this post summarizing them:  3 Favorite Toys

I would LOVE to know some of your family’s favorites.  Especially if you have kids or grands around the ages of mine :-)  It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas and birthdays!


Catan *affiliate*


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21 thoughts on “I Love {Catan}

  1. This is another one we’ve never played, but we are always looking for new games. Thanks for sharing! xo

  2. I just ordered this (& three other games I have been meaning to buy for summer).
    We love Rummikub here (just ordered a new one, our trays were worn out). It’s a math/numbers game. My little OCD eleven year old is in heaven when we play, tiles lined up & orderly…totally his love language!

    Thanks for the suggestion, I’m packing this one for the beach!

    1. So happy to read this! Yes, we love Rummikub too. I need to dig it out of my cabinets because I don’t think we’ve ever played with the boys! We got it before kids.

  3. I love how your family plays games. I want to add either Ticket to Ride or Catan to our family game stash. What would you suggest for 2 adults, a 17 year old, and rising 7th grader?

    1. Honestly, both of these would appeal to those ages. I’d say maybe Ticket to Ride only because you can play with 2 players. Catan needs 3.

  4. Thanks for the recommendation. One of my grandsons spends a couple days with me each week in the summer and we have made a summer fun list. One of our items is to add a new game to the grandkids collection. This sounds like something right up his alley that we can also enjoy.

  5. Oh my goodness we LOVE Catan we have been playing it for 10 years. Our group is so competitive when we all get together and play. I always wondered what age would like Catan so now you answered our question. Glad you enjoy!

  6. We love Sushi Go! So much fun and got all of my nieces and nephews hooked on it at the beach last year. We are also big fans of Rack-O.

  7. My husband and his friends love playing Pandemic! It is a strategy game- much like Catan and Ticket to Ride. All players are on the same team, which makes it fun!

    Also, Rook and Phase 10 are excellent card games!

  8. We love Wizard! It’s a card game that hits the sweet spot of entertaining for kids and adults. My girls are 12 and 14 and we’ve been playing for a few years.

  9. We tried the cooperative games this year- Pandemic and Forbidden Island (so we all either win or lose together!) My twin boys who are 9 like both of them. The boys also asked for games for their birthday this year – so we’ve added King of Tokyo and one of the Munchkin games to our collection as well. Both were hits. Though King of Tokyo is a little brutal and is a primo example of why we needed the cooperative games. KOT is played a little like Survivor in our house where folks team up to knock other players out and then turn on each with the sole goal being to kill one another off so it can be a bit bloodthirsty and we’ve had a few tears… But when you ask them next time what they want to play it is always near the top (go figure?). There are several iterations of the Munchkin games – we have one that’s just cards that the boys aren’t quite ready for yet. They one they enjoy is a board game with ~6 monsters spread across the board. The cards that you use to add points to beat the monsters have great boy humor (stinky socks, snot, etc.). It’s a little bit of a easy/no brainer game, but it’s easy for friends to pick up quickly, always good for a laugh, and doesn’t take all night.

  10. One of the coolest things we did 2-3 years ago was to have everyone sit down and design their own board game using leftover 12×19 paper from school. The kids were busy for at least an hour designing their games, and then we played all night long. We still play one of them to this day and our son takes it to school regularly for game day. :)

  11. I’m trying to be patient and get the family into gin rummy. I was a nanny for a summer and the whole family did a beach yearly beach trip where they played gin non stop. They had magnetic cards even for the beach. It was pretty impressive how all the age groups were in on it. I also like the ease of traveling with cards.

  12. We have the two player version of Catan. Actually we have this one as well but our kids are too young to play so we’ve never been able to break it out! But, my husband and I love the 2 player version and look forward to playing the ‘bigger’ version when the kids are older.

  13. I love games too, and love to play with my grands. One grandson loves the games that are really for one, such as Castle logix, and others by smart games. They have 40 challenges, from easy to {I think} very difficult. Another for 2 is mastermind. Then for more people we love Qwirkle and really most games that have won the German award Spiel des Jahres. Both Ticket to Ride and Catan have won that award. It’s given to one game a year and we have many of them. A fun and quick card game is 5 Crowns. And of course Pass the pigs is fun and quick for a gang of kids.

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