Best Family Game Night Ideas to Play at Home
Like most parents, I have a love-hate relationship with our family game night. Some games I cherish because they put a radiant smile on our faces and bring us together.
Others, I want to donate when my kids aren’t looking…
Oh, you know what I’m talking about!
So today, I want to provide a guide to picking the family game night ideas that are best for you.
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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.
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 ideas for family game night by age…
They are picked based on experience, recommendations, and/or overall customer reviews. Enjoy!
Best Family Games for 3-4 year-olds
Simple Card Games
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+)
*Hours of easy fun!
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+)
*Awesome game night idea for toddlers
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+)
*Builds critical thinking early
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!
*Award Winning Preschool Game
Bring bingo home with this crazy popular game for little ones. It’s great for pre-readers and helps them build critical thinking by matching the pictures. It’s a win-win for everyone!
*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+)
*Builds deduction skills
Guess Who is a bit confusing for little ones at first, 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.
Related post: 7 Fun Everyday Family Traditions
*Great hands-on game!
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+)
*A long-standing favorite
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.
*Great value & easy to travel with!
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.
Family Game Night Ideas for 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.
*A mystery you can’t get enough of!
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?!
(For kids under 6, try Clue Jr. first)
*Put your drawing skills to the test!
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!
*Great for critical thinking
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.
*Good for building vocabulary
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.
*A one-of-a-kind game
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.
Pro Tip: Experienced school psychologist, Dr. Jamie Donnelly, plays games in her practice to help kids open up. She says, “we play the game and talk at the same time. Kids will often open up more when they are engaged in another activity. It also helps kids with turn-taking and rule-following. “
Family Game Night Ideas to Play Without Anything
*For amazing non-board games try these…
- Kids would you rather questions online
- Never have I ever game for family
- Trivia questions and answers for kids
- Who’s More Likely to Game Questions
- Family Feud Survey Says: Kid Edition
Best Ideas for Family Game Night: 10 and Up
The following games are all wonderful options for tweens and teenagers.
Throw Throw Burrito (7+)
*An instant favorite
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? *Makes a great Easter basket idea for teens!
Exploding Kittens (7+)
*Silly fun everyone will love
Exploding Kittens is an award-winning card game full of strategy with a sprinkle of Russian Roulette. It’s both easy to carry with you and LOADS of fun!
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.
In the classic game of Taboo, players try to get their teammates to guess the word without saying any of the taboo words. It’s a fast-paced race against the timer that older kids will love.
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 lights up the room!
SHASHIBO Shape Shifting Box
*Unique, Award-Winning, & Crazy Popular
Try this rare earth magnet puzzle box with your older kids! Unlock the magic of different shapes together, or make it a competition! There are over 70 possible shapes – it’s incredible!
Catch Phrase for Family Game Night Ideas for Teens
Finally, try the classic Catch Phrase in which one player describes a word while the others guess.
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?
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