My family loves family games, we love them!! We usually play a game every free evening we have, we play games in between church on Sunday, and the kids and I usually play a game while we eat breakfast and lunch. Because I have researched and tried out many, many games I thought it would be fun to share my favorite ones with you. I hope you enjoy our list of really fun family games! This post contains my affiliate links.
My kids are currently ages 6 & 8 years old but many of these games are great for adults alone. These are games meant to be enjoyed by the whole family, not just endured by the adults. There are many examples of those types of games that I could list but I’m sure you can think of those on your own. On the other hand, these games here will keep your mind thinking, have the kids problem solving, and doing math without realizing it. There are so many benefits to family games but we can save that for another post. Now, onto the list!
(These aren’t listed in any particular order)
- – Half Truth – This game just came in the mail this week and already it is a favorite of adults and kids alike. It’s a trivia game created by Ken Jennings (yes, that one) and Richard Garfield (legendary game designer). It’s touted as “The party game that makes you feel smart!” I can’t say that happened for me, who’s awful at trivia, but it was very fun! With the way it’s set up you can still win without knowing aaaalll. the. things. Even I won once! It’s very fun and promotes good conversation. Here’s the link to the Half Truth Kickstarter program where you can find more information.
- – Lattice Hawaii – This is a game of strategy that is easy to learn and exciting to play. Our children picked up on it very quickly and my son (we play as a team) often notices things that I’ve missed. The beautiful acrylic stone pieces were a big hit with my kids. This game is for 2-4 players (or teams if you want to play teams) but if you want to include even more people you can just buy a second board and lay them beside each other. You can play on both boards! How fun would that be? This game is boasts that it takes “3 minutes to learn, 20 minutes to play, a lifetime to master.” It received the 2019 Game of the Year Award. I bet you’ll like it if you give it a try. You can buy this game on Amazon here.
- – Sorry! – Yes, this is an old game. A classic game. It’s okay as it is but hear me out, there is an alternate team version in the directions and it is a game changer! Two colors play against two other colors. When it’s your turn you can either move your own color or your teammates color depending on which move is more advantageous. It adds strategy to the game and makes it so much better. Sorry is a great game for little ones to work on their counting skills. There are so many new versions of Sorry! and I haven’t loved them near as much as this classic team version. I’m sure you have this game at home so give it a try. If not, it’s available here on Amazon.
- – Pay Day – This is also an oldie but goodie! While it does teach that debt is good (sorry, Dave Ramsey!) it does make kids add and subtract large numbers. Plus, you can also use it to teach kids how to count money back to someone. It’s a game our whole family loves. It’s mostly the luck of the dice along with some decisions that could sway the game. It’s a keeper! I have the version my parents owned but I recently gifted a newer version and it’s very very similar. I’m thankful that they didn’t update it like some other games have done. If you don’t already own it you can check out both versions on Amazon. Here’s the retro version and the newer version.
- – Enchanted Forest – This is an enchanting (ha!) little game. It’s a game of memory with a little strategy thrown in for good measure. It’s recommended for ages 4-10 but I tell you it is challenging for adults to remember what the kids easily can. It’s a family favorite of ours. You can check out more details here on Amazon.
- – No Stress Chess – This game not only teaches kids chess in a no stress way but it makes it fun for experienced players to play with beginner players without having to let the learner win. It begins as a card based game, everyone draws a card on their turn and finds a piece to make that move. This keeps experienced players handicapped and teaches beginners how to move. After that you can play with a hand of cards while the experienced player keeps drawing cards. Eventually you can progress to moving any piece you want while the experienced player still draws or has a hand of cards. It’s one of our favorites! You can find it here on Amazon for under $15 right now. (Prices always change so double check before checking out.)
- – Ticket to Ride First Journey – This is based on the award winning game, Ticket to Ride. 2-4 players use cards to help make their way across America. My kids have learned about different destinations and have enjoyed forming different strategies to win. You’re supposed to hold your cards up to keep others from seeing but when we started this a year ago we played for many months with them down while helping each other make their best path possible. (Forgive the bad pictures. We often play games in our basement and it’s dark and decorated in 70’s decor. 🙂 Also, I’m realizing while taking these pictures that I play most games upside down. How did that happen? lol) You can also find this game on Amazon too.
- – Quixx – This is the game my family plays probably ten times a day. To put it mildly, it is a really fun family game! We’ve been on a Quixx kick for about a month and it’s still going strong. We ran through the cards that came with the box and started laminating them and using wet erase markers to keep score. This is so fun! It’s a dice game that has two white dice and four colored dice. It’s simple to play but has just the right balance of strategy and luck to make it a game you can play over and over again. I started playing on a team with my 5 year old, who is now 6 and after a few months he can play on his own. This game has helped both of my kids’ addition skills…and my son’s handwriting as he writes his name at the top of the board every game we play. Oh and this is the game that we play during meals because we don’t have to worry about food damaging the game and we can go at a slower pace. You can find this game on Amazon here. Quixx also has a dry erase version on Amazon here.
- – Dominoes – Dominoes always seemed like a so-so game to me but once my husband introduced me to Mexican Train I was hooked. Click here to see the set I have. It’s a double 12 set and comes with the starter and little trains. I’ve seen other folks’ dominoes since we bought ours and I have to say that I like ours best. It’s a good size, the pips are large and have bright colors, and the dominoes are smooth and have a good weight to them. If you already have a set of dominoes, this add-on train set is cheap and is fancy…like the metal pieces on monopoly games. Plus it comes with the middle piece (train station? hub?) and with a score pad. We’ve played this so much that my husband created a google sheets scoresheet complete with graphs. I love him and his nerdery! You or your kids might also enjoy a dominoes tray so you don’t keep on accidentally knocking down your train and showing your cards, so to speak. I think I’ll add a few sets of those to our Christmas wish list.
- – Otrio – This is such a fun game for kids of all ages. We’ve given these out as gifts to numerous people. It’s basically an advanced tic tac toe where you can win multiple ways. Three of a kind, three in a row in ascending or descending order. We bought this three years ago when my son was three and he’s always played with us. To begin with he would just move a piece randomly and throw off our strategy and occasionally luck into winning but now that he’s six he has grasped the strategy and can outwit some adults. This is a bit more pricier than some of the games I’ve recommended but it’s well made. The wood base is thick and the pieces are thick plastic. You can check out the set here on Amazon.
- – Sleeping Queens – This is a very cute game, well thought out by it’s child creators. My kids love it and could play it endlessly but it’s one that I’m done after a few games….but that’s not to say it isn’t worth owning. It helps the kids with their addition skills because you could play one card at a time or if you have, say a 3, a 4, and a 7 you can play them all because 3+4=7. I can’t say enough about how cute it is. The illustrations are great and even though we’ve owned the game for 6 months, we’re still noticing new things on the cards that we didn’t before. You can buy out Sleeping Queens on Amazon.
- – Catan Junior – This is a great junior version of the popular game Catan. The picture I pulled from Amazon doesn’t accurately show how lovely this game is. The die is a pearly, shimmery light blue and the colors of the boats and lairs are truly nice unique game colors (like a rich navy and an ivory). This is a game we can all enjoy as a family. There’s strategy in attaining the materials you need and you can kind of even form an alliance with another player to help further your chances of victory. You can check it out more details on Amazon.
- – Qwirkle – This is a tried and true game that many families probably already have or have heard of. On Amazon it has 5 stars and over 5,000 reviews! That’s quite impressive. Both of our kids love this game! I would say our whole family does but my husband hates losing this game to our kids. 🙂 Just kidding, he’s a good sport! This game teaches spatial recognition and problem solving. It’s easy to learn but still challenging. It’s another one of those games that you can play over and over again! You can see it here on Amazon.
- – Klask – This last game I’ll mention (well for now), isn’t a board game per se and it’s not a small game but it is so fun that you’ll find room for it in your game closet. Klask is like a simple game of hockey but it’s played with magnetic pieces that you operate under the table while trying to knock the ball into your goal. I’m pleased to tell you that while looking up this game on Amazon I’ve found that the price has significantly decreased (yay!) and they now also have a 4 person game. Nice! Now I have another item to add to my Christmas wish list! We’ve also given this game as a gift before. Which makes me realize that we give games as gifts quite a lot. 🙂 You can check out the two player game here and the four player game here.
There you have it, that’s the list of our favorite really fun family games. We have a few other dozen that we like but there are our top games that we keep coming back to. Maybe one day I’ll make a list of those other games too. If you have a game that your family enjoys I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
I can’t leave without recommending two games that are on my wish list. I’ve heard such good things about them that I can’t wait to order them to play with my family.
The first is Pandemic, and yes, given the nature of the Coronavirus circulating now, it makes me want to hold off on getting it at the moment….or maybe it should be a reason to get it. I haven’t made up my mind on that yet. You can read all about it here on Amazon.
The second game on my to-buy list is Trekking the National Parks. It’s not only has over a thousand good reviews on Amazon but is the winner of the MENSA and PARENT’S CHOICE AWARD. The makers of this game recently started a Kickstarter to fund their next game, Trekking the World. I can’t wait to try both of these games. Any game that combines geography and is fun to play is a winner in my book!