The Best Family Games to Play at Home
Like most parents, I have a love-hate relationship with our family games. Some I cherish because they put a radiant smile on our faces, and bring us together in a unique way.
Others, I want to donate when my kids aren’t looking…
Oh, you know what I’m talking about!
Because if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that family games are not created equal. Not only do different games fit different families, but some games are just better.
With the holidays approaching, I want to provide a guide to picking the family game night ideas that are best for you. We give our kids a new game on Christmas Eve every year, and we’ve been surprised at how those have become our family favorites.
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What Do You Do When Your Kids Are Different Ages?
First, I’ve thought about this question a lot, so perhaps it comes up with other parents as well.
Do you buy for the oldest or the youngest when you have multiple kids?
The answer is, it depends. If you don’t mind helping a child be able to play a particular game, then buy for the older child. Clue is one of those games that’s worth it for us to team up with a child. BUT, if you are looking for a more laid back game experience, then buy for the youngest kid and everyone can enjoy the game without much fuss (ex. Uno, Old Maid, etc.)
Now, here are the best family game night ideas by age – picked based off of experience, recommendations, and/or overall customer reviews. Enjoy!
Best Family Games for 3-4 year-olds
First, if you have toddlers and are completely new to games, begin with cards. Card games are easy for kids to understand, perfect for travel, and wonderful for taking up less storage. A super affordable set can be found HERE that has 6 different entertaining games for the little ones.
Charades for Kids (4+)
Next, Charades for Kids includes lots of pictures with words so that small kids feel they’re as included as the adults. It’s also a perfect game for using up energy. If you have kids that love to move, this easy charade game is for you!
Candy Land (3+)
Candy Land was our reigning champion for the most played game when our kids were smaller. Perhaps it’s the allure of sweets? This game is quick, colorful, and doesn’t require any reading from the little ones. We even brought it to restaurants for a fun family dinner activity.
Sequence for Kids (3+)
Sequence for Kids has been a favorite of kids and adults alike for years. Players race to get four markers in a row on the board. It does not require reading and the creative animals make it really fun to play with. When they get a bit older the regular Sequence (7+) is also a crowd-pleaser for the family!
Want more for youngsters? Click HERE for 15 easy games for 3 year olds!
Best Family Game Night Ideas for 5-6 Year Olds
Guess Who (6+)
Guess Who is a bit confusing for young ones, but my kids really picked this game up between five and six. Players ask simple yes or no questions to find out who the other player has. It teaches critical reasoning skills and is a simple childhood favorite of the grownups around here too.
If you’re looking for something more physical, then Jenga is for you. It’s a game that keeps you on the edge of your seat, regardless of your age. Players must take a piece out of the tower without knocking it down!
Monopoly Jr (5+)
Monopoly Jr is an excellent and fun way for kids to begin learning about money. Plus, it’s MUCH quicker than the bigger version of the game, which means everyone is always highly engaged.
Now, if your kids are older or love games, then try the regular Monopoly (8+) with more strategy and they choose their properties. Just know that the original game can take a long time to play.
Good, old fashioned, Uno. It surprised me to find this age 7 and up, as my kids always started playing it around five. But it’s truly a game that’s a bargain, will last you forever, and grow with any child.
Need a more exciting twist? Try Uno Flip which includes a way to flip the deck and has a few new exciting actions.
Best Family Games for Children 7-9 Year Olds
This is where the world of family games opens up a bit, and you really get to have some adventures and strategy.
Clue was our favorite family game of 2020. For months it was an obsession. It seems no one can resist a good murder mystery! Can you be the first to figure out who did it, where, and in what room?!
This award-winning word game turns into a fun crossword race. Not only does it help kids (and adults) with spelling, but it’s the best game for travel or when you don’t have much storage space.
Who doesn’t love the classic game of Pictionary?! Draw as quickly as you can as your team races to guess your word first! No artistry required!
Hedbanz is the best family guessing game. Not only is it exciting, but it helps kids develop questioning and reasoning skills. In this game, players race to ask yes or no questions to figure out the card that’s placed on their head.
Sleeping Queens is a unique card game that combines storytelling and strategic thinking! The characters of the game have fallen under a sleeping spell and it’s the players’ job to use strategy to wake them up.
Finally, checkers and chess are classic games that kids and adults have loved for centuries. It’s also one of the best ways to teach kids to think through tactic and forward planning.
Best Family Game Night Ideas for 10 and Up
The following games are all wonderful options for tween and teenagers. That’s not to say that they won’t continue to love games like Jenga, Chess, and Pictionary. It’s just that these game night ideas open a new world of critical thinking and fun as well.
Throw Throw Burrito (7+)
This unique game actually lets you throw things. Steal points from your opponents by hitting them with these squishy burritos. What teenager (or human being) wouldn’t love that?
This survival game is an adventure for players of all ages. Players partake in a bold quest to capture treasures on a perilous island. Will you achieve victory and capture the treasure without perishing?
Ticket to Ride
In Ticket to ride, players compete to connect cities with routes across the country. This award-winning game is great for the whole family and only takes 30-60 minutes.
I mean, ironic right?! This game is different than many others in that it’s a collaboration between players. Players treat diseases around the world and gather resources to find cures.
The 5 Second Rule (10+)
The 5 Second Rule is a fast-paced word game in which players have only five seconds to name three things about a topic. Silly answers and hysterical laughter ensue. This one lightens up the room!
Honorable Mentions for Teens
Other great games to buy for teens include the classic Catch Phrase in which one player describes a word while the others guess, and Exploding Kittens, an award-winning card game full of strategy with a sprinkle of Russian Roulette.
How to Create a Fun Family Game Night
The most important thing with family game night is to be present. It’s easy to get distracted with phones and to-do lists, but all kids really want is your attention. So, dig into a few fresh games and watch the smiles, laughter, and heartwarming bonding of your family grow.
And, of course, food helps too! Check out some healthy snacks HERE!
What are your favorite family game night ideas? Do you have a special game your family loves?
Other Awesome Family Posts:
- Easy Ways to be a More Playful Parent
- The Ultimate Fall Bucket List for Families
- Try a Free Weekly Chore Chart for Kids
- A Stress-Free Morning Routine for School