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Is your kid smarter than that contestant?

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.

Game shows to watch

Way back in “the olden days” before cell phones and email, game shows weren’t exactly prime time entertainment. Sure, you could watch thirty minutes of Wheel of Fortune and feel fantastically smart – followed by half an hour of Jeopardy that put you back in your place.

These days, prime time game shows are on every night of the week. And you can find a game show that plays to just about any strength. My brother once described a show where contestants stay awake for 24 hours, then lie down in a comfortable bed and listen to boring stories read aloud in a soothing voice while they try to stay awake. After some time, contestants are quizzed on the material read to them. I was sure my brother was kidding when he told me about the show – but he wasn't.

So yeah, there are some crazy game shows out there. But, perhaps surprisingly, there are quite a few game shows you can watch – and enjoy – with your kids. Here are a few to try.

Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?


This clever quiz show pits grown-ups against ordinary elementary school textbooks. Remember all those times you didn't pay attention in school? They'll come back to haunt you now as you grapple for answers. This show gives kids a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and prove what they already know – that they know way more than we do.

Figure it Out


You've never seen a game show like this one. A panel of "celebrities" (your kids might know them, but you won't) asks yes or no questions to try to guess the secret talent of the competing child. The questions are often laugh-out-loud funny, and it's a nice opportunity for you and your kids to talk about your own unique talents. You can also try to guess the talent before the judges do. Wholesome fun that's really funny.

Cash Cab


Unsuspecting regular people hail cabs in New York City and slide in, only to find they've just become contestants on Cash Cab. On the way to their destination, they answer questions for cash. The questions get progressively harder, which makes them worth more money. The catch? Three strikes – that is, three wrong answers – and you're out of the cab. No matter where you are. If your kids like trivia, this show is different enough to keep things exciting.

Game shows offer a chance to talk about sometimes esoteric topics that come up in random questions. And, of course, you can always have a frank talk with your kids about what they would and wouldn't do for prizes – and how their answers change according to what's on the line.

More on games for your kid's:

Finding safe online games for kids

3 Indoor games to get kids moving

7 Ways to keep your kids active this summer

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