Today, we were playing Apples to Apples for age 9 and up. My son, late teens, came in and ask to join us in play. I should have said no. However, the younger children (ages 7 and 10) were excited that he wanted to play with them. I use this game to extend word usage and understanding. We do not play to win and we help each other decide which card to play.
The official rules are that each player has 5 red (apple cards). One person turns over the green card. He chooses which red card matches the best. The person who wins gets the set of cards and then it is the next person's turn to pull the green card. These official rules require a much higher skill level and leave out the younger, newer readers.
With my rules, one person turns over the green card and all players choose a red card to play. The cards are put into the played stack and it is the next person's turn to turn over a green card. We discuss which cards fit the best and what the words mean. We also play the opposite meaning when we cannot match the meaning. We all enjoy playing and we all win because all the cards go into the played stack. It is a slower and more enjoyable game that does not cause fussing and hurt feelings. Nor do the younger players feel left out.
It was rather funny to see the surprise on my son's face when I informed him he was playing wrong and told him our rules. We played some our way and some his way. The 10 year old was excited to have a "I can win game and the younger one felt left out. I folded my hand and helped the younger one play. They still had a good time and I will use my rules unless a really older person wants to play.