Our family loves playing games together.
It is a great way to take a break from the business of life to just be together. I love that games do all the prep work for me and I can just sit and play with my kids!
We love finding new board games to play, but I wanted to share with you these tried and true games that are still lots of fun for families today!
Believe it or not, I actually never played The Game of Life as a child! I first played it when we picked it up on sale to play with our own kids (K + 3rd grade). This is a fun game for kids elementary age and up. My kids loved spinning the wheel! Basically the game mimics life in that you either go to college or just get a job, you make money, you pay for things, buy a home, get kids, and eventually retire. My kids ask to play this game over and over!
Clue is a classic board game families still like to play. It is the original who did it. Basically the cards are shuffled and 3 random cards will decide who committed the crime, where it was done, and with what tool. Then the remaining cards are distributed to everyone playing the game. You journey between rooms asking other players questions to find out what they have in their hand to eliminate it and solve the mystery. This game is best suited to middle elementary school and up. Doesn’t everyone like to play detective?
Jenga continues to be a fun family game that kids Preschool on up can play. Basically you each take turns pulling out one of the block and stacking it on top. The goal is to get the tower or blocks as high as it can go until someone knocks it over.
Uno is a classic card game that is easy to learn and fun to play. This game words for preschoolers on up. Basically you play cards that match color or number as you take turns playing until someone gets down to one card and says Uno. When they run out of cards they win! The game is made more challenging with skip, reverse, draw 2, and draw 4 cards!
Rummikub was one of my favorite games growing up! This simple to learn game has you playing tiles in groups either same number different color or same color with numbers sequentially in a run. The fun part is as you try to play your tiles you may break up groups of tiles and rearrange them on the table to help you play your tiles. Kids in 2nd grade on up will enjoy this classic game.
Here is another classic family board game - Sorry. Each person picks a color and must move all their game pieces around the board safely to home, but watch out because along the way you may get bumped and “sorry” you have to go back to the beginning. This can be played with kids from preschool on up, but here’s a hint. When playing with younger children who get very frustrated with being bumped back to start we play that you can only pump people if that is the only move you can make. (Our family loves the Disney Sorry version!)
Monopoly will always hold a special spot in my heart. Not only was it my favorite childhood game, but way more meaningfully – my husband proposed using the game of Monopoly (he hid the ring in the game pieces as a token I could pick to play with) But other than my sentimental reasons for loving this game, it is just a fun game that helps kids to learn about money; plus who doesn’t love buying up property and putting houses on them. The downside is the game can take a long time (like hours), but you can deal out property or use an electronic monopoly edition to speed things up if you like.
In Pictionary players try to get the members of their team to guess a word or phrase based on drawing. My hubby & I happen to be an awesome team at this game =)
One of the things I really like about Cranium is that unlike other games that are either based on artistic abilities or knowledge of trivia/songs, Cranium has a little of everything. So chances are you will have skills in at least one of the categories! Teams compete to move around the game board by winning challenges sculpting with playdough, spelling/word puzzles, answering facts (multiple choice), or humming/acting.
In this classic game of Risk you will each claim territory on the globe and then work to gain world domination. You win battles by rolling dice. This game is not only fun, but is great for helping kids compare numbers, learn world geography, and practice critical thinking skills. This game takes a little more patience to set-up and play (45-60 minute game time). but for families that like more involved games with children 2nd grade and up will like this one.
Battleship is a fun game for 2 players. You strategically place your ships and then take turns firing at one another until one of you has sunk all of your opponents ships. Fun for 1st grade on up.
I think kids everywhere love playing Trouble because instead of rolling you get to “pop” to find out how many you move. Other than that it is a simple game moving your players around the gameboard. First to get yours back wins. But this game is still fun to pop and helps kids with practicing counting.
Yatzee is not only fun to play, but east to take with you to a hotel or grandma’s house. Basically you roll the dice and fill up different categories like the most 2s, full house, straight, etc. Kids not only practice recognizing number patterns and counting, but they get a good dose of strategy too!
In Mastermind, two players will battle. This game will get you thinking as you have 20 guesses or so to come up with the pattern your opponent has hidden behind the wall. Great for kids 2nd grade and up.
And the list wouldn’t be complete without Scrabble. In this game players attempt to find just the right word to get the most points by using more difficult letters, making longer words, and by going over bonus squares. This game can be used with kids as soon as they can spell and will only get better as the complexity of their spelling and vocabulary goes up!