We LOVE Family Game Nights at our house. In fact, we enjoy them so much that the boys decided to share their favorite games so others can try them too. (=
Here is their/my list of favorites (in no particular order):
(All ages, for anyone who can play Chess.)
This game is CRAZY! Crazy, I tell ya! (=
If you like Chess, you (might) like this game. But, beware, it is no longer the head-to-head strategy game you are used to. You are pitting yourself against 3 other opponents, and sometimes you need to team up with them for a bit to take down someone else. However, whoever makes the final move to checkmate another player inherits all of that player’s remaining pieces on the board to use as their own. So, you don’t want to help others TOO much. This is a crazy fun game that will surely have you laughing and groaning when you COMPLETELY MISS SEEING moves that are obvious to others looking at the board from a different vantage point. Our whole family recommends this game! (=
(Rated 8 and up, but littler kids can easily play as long as they understand the money, or have someone to help them with the money.)
Let me start by saying, I HATE Monopoly. Yes, I know it may make me unpopular to say, but I really, really, REALLY hate Monopoly… The games just drag on waaay tooo long – which, I know, is why some people love Monopoly. I just can’t handle a game that can go on for days and days and days. So, when one of my kids got Monopoly Empire for a gift I was less than thrilled that I’d have to play their new game with them. But, good mom that I am, I sucked it up and joined in for a game. And, I was pleasantly surprised at how NOT HORRIBLE it was! (=
Monopoly Empire can be finished in about half an hour – so you can play multiple games before you get tired of Monopoly. The kids LOVE it, and I actually like it too (not something I thought I could ever say about a Monopoly game). We would all wholeheartedly recommend this game. (=
(Rated 8 and up, but as long as kids know basic addition/subtraction they can play.)
This game is tons of fun – and it always gets a little crazy when people are trying to steal Zeus (when they hit a multiple of 10, sneak a matching number card on pile, etc.) Not only is this a fun game for kids to play, but it also helps with basic addition/subtraction practice without them even realizing it. (=
(Rated 3 and up.)
This game is slightly addictive. You can play with 2-6 players, and the goal is to get rid of all of your cards first by discarding them in multiple discard piles in the correctly sequenced order. There’s definitely strategy involved in this game too – so it’s great for little kids to play! We were first introduced to the game by a first-grade teacher, but my kids are now 9 and 12 years old and they still enjoy the game. (=
(Party version rated 8 and up, full versions rated 10 and up. Younger kids can definitely play, you just might have to tell them what some words mean.)
Our whole family LOVES this game! In fact, we love it so much that we wrote an an entire blog post dedicated to just this game! Basic Play Rules: All players take 6 Word Cards to create their “product” from. The first player draws a Customer Card and the other players each use 2 of the cards in their hand to create a “product” to sell to that Customer. Each player gives a pitch about their product and why the Customer should choose theirs – sometimes the products are really quite clever, and sometimes they are absolutely ridiculous – but either way they’re usually funny! The person who has sold the most products at the end of the game wins.
Every time we play this game we end up laughing so hard that we literally have tears running down our face!! In fact, we laugh so hard that I think we can call it our ab workout for the day. (=
Note: The more inventive/creative the people you play with, the more you will love this game.
(Recommended 6-11 years old.)
The Amazon description of this game is so good that I am just going to paste it here. (=
“This classic game of luck, strategy, and determination is easy to grasp for children as young as 6 years old, yet it’s fun for adults and older siblings too. This Disney-themed version features such classic Disney characters as Cruella De Vil, Bambi, Dumbo, the Little Mermaid, Snow White, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, and Tarzan. By drawing cards, players move their game pieces around the board, hoping to eventually accumulate all their pieces at the final destination–home sweet home. Sorry is known as the game of “sweet revenge,” since players can send each other’s pawns back to the starting line, thus forcing one another to lose ground and begin all over again. This kind of frustration may be hard for children under age 8 to handle. In fact, young ones typically crumble into tears of outrage when their pawns are cavalierly sent back. The only recourse is to teach children how to plot their own revenge, which makes them feel as powerful as superheroes.”
We’ve had ours for awhile now and, sadly, it looks like they aren’t making the Disney edition anymore. But, the original Sorry would be almost as much fun. Everyone knows the best part of this game is sending someone back home and saying “sorry” even though you’re really not sorry… (=
(Rated ages 5 and up, but my kids started when they were around 3.)
This fun strategy game is marked for ages 5 and up, but my kids were kicking butt at it when they were younger. I think once a preschooler has the game explained to them, they will amaze you with how good they are. We don’t “throw games” in our house, so all of their wins were well-earned ones. (=
(Rated 8 and up, but can be played by toddlers/preschoolers who know their numbers.)
Much like Blokus, Uno can be played by very little kids. We started Uno with our kids when they were crazy-little — it helps them to learn their numbers and colors, and it’s a game you can easily carry in your purse so you can keep them occupied anywhere. We have SO MANY different version of the Uno game that it is crazy! We even have a Disney version that we bought while stranded in a Florida airport when my kids were little.
I recommend starting with the basic deck, and once the little kids understand the game you can move on to the larger, crazier version like the Uno Attack that is pictured. Uno Attack is one of our favorite versions because when you “draw” you never know how many cards you’ll get attacked with. (=
(Rated 8 and up, but can be played in “teams” with littler kids to teach them how to track clues, etc.)
CLUE! Need I say more? (=
I LOVED this game as a kid, so we introduced it to our kids as soon as we thought they were old enough. At around 6 years old you can do teams where you teach the kids how to track clues, techniques to use to narrow down the suspect lists, etc. Once they get the basics, they do surprisingly well on their own! I’m impressed by the tracking, misdirection, etc. that my kids have come up with on their own. They haven’t beaten me yet, but there have been some very close games! This game is fabulous for developing analytical skills.
(Rated 8 and up, but I’d say same guidelines apply here as they do to Clue.)
This game is pretty much a fabulously fun Harry Potter-fied version of Clue. If you have Harry Potter fans in your house they will love trying to figure out who cast what spell and where. There’s an added bonus of Peeves, the poltergeist, being able to block people on the board. The art on the board and cards is awesome too! Sadly, this game seems to be out of production, but you can get used versions on Amazon if you are a Harry Potter/Clue fan. (=