My Catan Obsession: The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had Playing a Game!

Do you enjoy playing board games? I’ve never been that interested in them, especially if they drag out for a long time. Also, with so many board games, it often feels like the same old game every time you play it. Well, my thoughts about board games completely changed on my last visit to see family in Ohio! My son introduced me to the game, Catan, and I am officially hooked!

During my visit, my son told me that he first learned about Catan when he was in high school. His best friend had the game and whenever he visited, they would play it with friends. Recently, he decided to order it since his sons are almost old enough to play. Technically it’s for ages 10 and up but my just-turned-8-years-old grandson understands it quite well and my 5-year-old grandson understands a lot of it–enough to join in. They aren’t quite old enough yet to really strategize, but they have the basics down and love the game! Have you ever played Catan? (It’s available here: Catan.)


The basic premise behind the game is players represent settlers who are trying to settle this newly discovered island called, Catan. During the game, players acquire “resources” they can use or trade with other players in their quest to build settlements and cities,  acquiring points along the way. The first person to reach 10 points is the winner.  It’s so much more fun than that mini-description makes it sound! Catan has a huge following worldwide, there’s even a United States National Tournament and a World Championship Tournament that takes place every year.

This is how the board looks during a game. Up to 4 players can play at a time, although the game is so popular, an extension has been created (in addition to other versions) that allows for up to 6 players. Oh my gosh, this game is sooo much fun and it’s a completely different game every time you play. I love that! I enjoyed playing this game so much, I could not have cared less if I won–I just wanted to play!


Catan, Awesome Game for all Ages


As soon as I returned home, I ordered the game so I’d have it here whenever family visits.

Catan, Great Board Game for all Ages


I had so much fun learning and playing the game while I was in Ohio,  during my visit (and after I returned home) I searched online for Catan accessories and fan gear. When I find something I really like, I have a tendency to go all out! lol During my online search, I came across this awesome “Trading Post” that can be used with the game. I ordered it and we all loved using it.

Trading Post, Catan


It is the coolest thing! The lid becomes a box for tossing the dice. That was really handy since my grandsons (and sometimes the adults) had dice flying all over the place. Plus, there wasn’t that much room left on the table for tossing the dice once the game was set up and underway.

Catan Dice Box


Here’s how the Trading Post looks once it’s set up with the “resource” cards. These are used throughout the game and having a nice place to sort/organize them is so helpful! So much better than having them stacked in piles on the table that keep falling over throughout the game. My oldest grandson is a whiz at detecting what resource cards need to be given out to each player as the game progresses. He loves being the “resource banker” and doling them out. (Trading Post is available here: Trading Post for Resource Cards.)

Catan Trading Post, Holds Resource Cards


My daughter-in-law messaged me this photo yesterday of her playing the game with my youngest (5 years old) grandson. She let him be in charge of the Trading Post since it was just the two of them playing and he was loving it!

Playing Catan


In my online search for anything Catan-related, I came across these hand-crafted, walnut game piece holders. Instead of having the playing pieces sprawled out on the table, each player can have their playing pieces neatly organized so they can see exactly what they have at a glance. The man who makes these personalizes them however you wish and there are some hilarious ways you can have them personalized depending on each family member’s game style or personality.

Catan Walnut Game Piece Holder, Personalized, Engraved


I ordered them while in Ohio and paid a small amount extra to get them delivered quickly. The seller was amazing and literally made and shipped them the same day I ordered them, so they arrived two days later. Oh my gosh, they were a huge hit! My son, daughter-in-love, and grandsons were amazed when they saw them, especially when they saw how they were personalized. I got a lot of hugs and the delight on their faces was wonderful! If you know someone who has the Catan game, these make wonderful gifts.  They are beautifully made, I was so impressed with how perfect they were! They are available for purchase here: Game Piece Holders.

Catan Walnut Game Piece Holder, Personalized, Engraved


I am thinking of ordering another set of the personalized holders to keep here at home for when family visits. In the meantime, I ordered this set (below) that I found online after I returned home. They should arrive today. They are designed with a lid which I really like since it makes storing the pieces away really easy. Having the resource cards stored away in the Trading Post box (shared earlier in this post) and having these storage cases for the playing pieces greatly decreases the time required to set the game up each time it’s played. Definitely better than having to sort everything out each time! You know how I love organization and anything that saves time! This set of holders for the playing pieces is available here: Holder for Catan Playing Pieces.

Holder for Catan Pieces


While I was in Ohio, I also ordered these little stands that are designed to hold playing cards. My youngest grandson had trouble holding all his cards, he would occasionally drop them or forget and lay them down on the table where everyone could see them. To try and counteract that problem, he was using the lid of the game box, standing it up to hide his cards behind it. That created different issues because he kept knocking it over and had trouble seeing around it when it was his turn to toss the dice. Also, it made it hard for others to draw a card from his hand. The little cardholder trays solved all those issues! (The cardholder trays will hold three rows of cards and come in sets of two. They can be found here: Card Holder.)

Playing Card Holder, Great for Children or Any Age


You can see the cardholders in front of my youngest grandson in the photo my dil shared with me yesterday. The game had just started so he didn’t have any resource cards yet, but they work great for holding them. After they arrived, I liked them so much, I ended up using one myself while playing.

Playing Catan


Since I’m officially hooked on this game and am perpetually cold, especially when I’m in Ohio, I ordered this hoodie to wear when I’m visiting family in the fall/winter. I found it here: Catan Hoodie.

Hoodie, Settlers of Catan Board Game


I also came across this t-shirt. You know how much I love cats so this was a must! It will be my summertime Catan playing shirt. Ha! I found it runs a tad small, at least it does in women’s sizes, so if you order it, you may want to order one size up. It’s available here: Catan T-Shirt for Cat Lovers.

Funny Catan Shirt for Cat Lovers


I had to share this game with you because it is so much fun to play! I love how playing it takes a bit of luck and a lot of strategy. Really, every game is winnable for each person playing, and every game is so different from the one before because of how the board is laid out differently each time. I really love that about it! If you’re looking for a birthday gift or future Christmas gift for the game lover, definitely recommend it. You’ll find it available here: Catan.


Here’s a fun video describing how the game was created: How a Dentist Created the Game of Catan.

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  1. Susan, leave it to you to make something fun even more fun (and organized.) I’m glad you like the game so much and found some things that make playing Catan even better! Thanks for the review. I’ll check it out. I like all your little accessories, especially those personalized game piece holders. And the cats playing T-shirt is hilarious. Yarn for tuna, lol. Two irresistible commodities for cats. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Susan, What fun! It is so great to find a game that is different every time it is played. That is the way we are with Wingspan. If you are a bird lover, especially, it is so fun, and never the same game twice. At first, when we opened it, we were like…wow, there are a LOT Of pieces and looks complicated, but once played a few times, you get the hang of it. I believe games like these are called ‘engine building’. Lots of parts and ‘rules’, but all comes together for most quickly. Anyway, gets us thru the LONG MN winters (there is snow on the ground as I type!). Have fun! πŸ™‚

    • Oh, I will check Wingspan out because I’m definitely a bird lover. Thanks for sharing about that game, Rosie! Catan can be a little like that when you are first learning the various rules. They’ve also created several other versions which friends have told me are pretty awesome. I feel like I need to get better at the original version before I try another one…not sure I brain could take another version right now. lol
      I hope your snow melts soon! We are having some chilly weather right now but next week is looking like real spring again.

    • Rosie, I ordered Wingspan, then watched a video on YouTube regarding how to play, then chickened out and canceled the order. It looks so complicated. But it has over 7000 reviews with 90% being 5-star, so it must be awesome!

      If I can talk my son or someone into learning how to play it with me, I may order it again. It’s currently on sale on Amazon, $10 off which is a great price.

      Have you seen all the awesome goodies you can buy for it on Etsy? One of the Amazon reviews recommended checking out the Etsy merch for it and there are some really, really cute things on there to upgrade the components. You can see them all here:

      How long did it take you to learn all the rules to play?

      • Too funny, Susan, as I thought the same thing. I looked at the rules and thought…YIKES!! And we, too, watched the youtube video. The thing is, once we played the game a couple of times, we really understood it better. I think that maybe it took 4 games to get really sure of the rules, and then we actually modified some rules, to suit us. But we got HOOKED in those few times. I have seen the cute merch associated with the game too, in fact a friend sent me some for my b-day. I love the graphics of the game too, and most bird cards have an interesting fact printed on the bottom. The game also encourages players to help each other remember some of the card’s powers, like laying an egg. πŸ™‚ I find that the format really encourages me to play MY best game, for points, and not so much a cut throat competition. You can play the game by yourself too, although, I have not. Have fun if you decide to buy. ….. Our snow is melted…..for now! HA! Though, I love COLD, I do love Spring time too…and this is NOT it so far. πŸ™‚ I see a few patches of piled snow here and there. Have a wonderful weekend!

        • Okay, Just ordered it again. πŸ™‚ I know I’ll go crazy and order a bunch of cute accessories for it eventually. lol I’m the same way, I couldn’t care less who wins and normally don’t even bother to even keep up with points when playing games. It drives my son crazy when I don’t keep up with the points when we’re playing Cornhole in the backyard because you need to know how many points you have when it’s toward the end of the game…it changes how you throw at that point. I’ll have to learn Wingspan. I love birds so this game is right up my alley!

          • Heehee….I agree, sometimes it is just fun to play and not stress about points! I think you will love the bird cards and the super cute illustrations. Have fun, I will be so interested to see how you like it. No pressure though! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never heard of this game before, but it does look like fun. I get bored with Monopoly because it lasts forever, has anyone ever played to the end?? lol I also love all the accessories you got for the game. It’s hard for little hands to hold a lot of card, so the card stands are perfect. Thanks for sharing this game! Hugs, Brenda

    • I agree, Monopoly is just too longer for me and there’s not enough variety to keep me interested the whole game. The stands are awesome. I loved using them, too.

  4. I will certainly keep this in mind – was just playing games with my grandchildren yesterday. The youngest is a bit young for this but time will pass! He was having trouble holding cards (in Go Fish) so I’ve just ordered some of the card holders, thank you for the tip. Also, check out the card game “Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza” – a friend tells me she had a blast playing it with her grandchildren.

    • I was so surprised how nice the card holders were when they came. I was thinking they were going to be a light-weight plastic but they are actually very sturdy. Will definitiely check out that game, the name sounds hilarious! πŸ™‚

  5. We are a family of game players & Catan has been a fav for more that 15 years when my son was in grad school. We have even played with larger groups (hook 2 boards together). My 12-yr-old grandson now beats me nearly every time! All 5 of our grandkids played the junior version when they were younger. I love the boxes you found for the resource cards & the building pieces!β€”I will definitely order them for both sons’ families!
    My hubby has been making wood card holders since our sons were little with a router to make the groove for the cards. Not only do the 5 grands use them, but Nana has been known to need 1 for Uno!

    • That’s awesome, MerriJo! I wish I had known about it long ago. We had so much fun playing it, stayed up playing it to 1 in the morning the night before I drove back home.
      I’m sure both my grandsons will be beating me in no time since they will be playing a lot! lol I won’t mind though…I enjoy just playing even if I don’t win. That is so cool that your hubby can make things like that! What a treasure to use something that’s hand-crafted by a family member. Love that!

  6. OMGOSH- this looks amazing, an I am completely hooked on the idea of all the accessories! Ordering! You’re the best, Susan.

  7. Cyndi Raines says

    Wow! Love that the whole family is playing! What great memories. That was how it was for me and my family when we first learned Mexican Train, we stayed up to 3 a.m. just couldn’t get enough of it! Such great fun and memories! Your accessories make it even better and your attire is a hoot!

  8. You should check out the Catan expansion games! The Explorers and Pirates is really fun and you add it to the original Catan game.

    • Thanks for that suggestion, Angie, I would love to play those! I’m still learning the original, only got to play it with adults 4 times while in Ohio, so I def need more practice, but I’d love to play the others, eventually. Do you get to play very often?

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