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There’s something inherently wholesome about a family game night. No screens. Everyone together. Whether it’s a planned event, a rainy day substitution, or a ploy to keep everyone busy during your coronavirus quarantine we’ve got a list of favorite family board games and card games to start you off.
Looking for new family board games to entertain your family? We’ve got a list of family board game favorites including classic board games, new strategy games, engaging card games, and travel-related fun from your living room.
Disclosure: TravelingMom uses affiliate links.
Best Family Board Games
Monopoly has been bringing families together since 1935. Now produced by Hasbro, numerous versions of Monopoly are available so we’ll share some favorites. If you’re looking for an updated twist on the classic, check out the one with debit cards. That’s right! No more waiting for your seven-year-old banker to sort money. It’s game-changing!
Kids as young as four will enjoy this kiddie version of the game. One money denomination simplifies banking while still teaching counting. Games can finished quickly and kids love the cute animal tokens.
In my opinion, the most classic family board game is Scrabble. Scrabble is a great educational game for the whole family. If your kids know how to spell, you can play Scrabble. With limited tiles for them to work from they’ll learn problem-solving and strategy as they create and place words. With younger kids, we’ve found setting a time limit on the game and then scoring it works best. For older kids, play all the way through so you can strategically shed your Q’s and Z’s at the most opportune time.
In this version for younger kids, players match tiles to letters printed on the board. If your kiddo can identify and match letters this game is age-appropriate.
Go from “Start” to “Retirement” in this game where the wealthiest player wins at the end. Just watch out for unexpected surprises.
Jenga is a classic game kids love because who doesn’t love to knock things down? Yes, we know the object is not to knock it down but let’s be realistic. If the idea of your kids playing this game in the house sends you running for out-of-stock Ibuprofen, don’t fear. There is a giant yard version that you can have them play outside and a Kindle version they can play virtually. Don’t have a Kindle? This Fire 7 Kids Edition with child case comes with a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited with access to 20K+ apps, games and books. Little kids can check out this Jenga-Like Pidoko game with bright colors. Worst case? They just play with them like blocks.
Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick! If that brings back nostalgic memories of a time when board games involved murders then we’ve got the game for you. This game is best for kids ages eight and up. Get the whole family involved for the best experience. It’s more fun with more players!
This “pop-o-matic” classic involves rolling dice to move around the board. Up to four players can play and it’s easy to involve younger kids. We assign my three-year-old to a “team” and he pops the dice bubble on his turn.
Mixing strategy and luck, players as young as six can draw cards and move pawns around the board. The first player to get all four pawns home wins.
This game of questions is best for players six and up. Two players take turns asking each other questions to reveal their mystery character. Amazon has a cheap (under $10) version but it is flimsier. Walmart carries a retro version that costs a little more and is much sturdier.
This popular game has opponents racing to “Connect 4” by dropping tokens into a stand. Want to send the kids outside? There are huge yard versions of this game!
This classic game has a haunting, ticking timer that counts down the moments until the board “pops”. Try to put the pieces in their matching spot as fast as you can! Younger kids can play without the timer and just focus on the matching aspect.
Test Your Knowledge
Love trivia? Working your way through memorizing the states? These games are perfect for the whole family.
Perfect for the car, RV, or at home, these cards are set up just like the TV show Family Feud. Cards contain the question and top five answers. One player acts as the host and other players try to guess the answers. While it’s good for ages eight and up, younger kids may have trouble with pop culture questions.
Who doesn’t remember trying to fill up your Trivial Pursuit pie? I have fond memories of playing Trivial Pursuit with my grandparents which I’m sure kicked off my Jeopardy addiction. Make those memories with your kids while testing your ability to retain information. The original version of the game is best for teens and adults and features more than 2,400 questions in the following categories: Geography, Entertainment, History, Art and Literature, Science and Nature, and Sports and Leisure. You’ll need knowledge in all categories to win.
Playing with younger kids? The Trivial Pursuit Family Edition is the perfect choice. With two sets of cards for older and younger players it engages kids ages eight and up. Bonus: the game rules on the family edition make game play go faster for shorter attention spans.
Have you seen every episode of Friends? Do your teens watch the reruns? This Trivial Pursuit version for ages 12 and up will test your Friends knowledge from the obvious to the obscure. This edition does not come with a game board or individual pies. You can utilize the board from an existing game or do a modified play with the included die.
Family Board Games for the Under 8 Crowd
Let’s face it: we want to spend time and play games with our kids. But if we have to spend the whole time contradicting, reading rules and explaining moves it won’t be much fun for anyone. These family-friendly options for ages eight and under will keep you stress-free.
Perfect for kiddos three and up, this Hasbro classic doesn’t involve reading. Spin the spinner, move up ladders and down chutes until someone reaches the top to win. There are 100 numbered squares on the board to practice counting.
This childhood Hasbro game is great for practicing colors and counting. Perfect for ages three and up. Up to four players can join the game. Numerous versions of Candy Land exist including Candy Land: My Little Pony, Retro 1967 Candy Land, and Candy Land Disney Princess.
If your kiddo loves Richard Scarry books, this cooperative game will be a hit. It encourages teamwork and problem-solving for ages three and up. The six-foot game board engages toddlers and allows some personal space since players won’t have to huddle over the table.
Everyone seems to love this classic. You “operate” on the game board with tweezers that buzz if you aren’t precise enough. Even my three year-old loves it. It builds fine motor skills. To adapt for younger kids you can add a timer and let them try for specific amount of time without counting the buzzing.
This game for four players is a fun one for toddlers. You take turns spinning to see which piece of jewelry you’ll be putting on. Once you have two earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, a ring and the tiara you’ll shout “I’m a pretty, pretty princess!” to win.
I’m not releasing the video for public consumption but my mother, sister and I played this with a few bottles of wine and had a blast. The video of me yelling “I’m a pretty, pretty princess” is epic. It was my Oscar moment complete with tears.
This classic is perfect for younger siblings who want to play a game together. The object is to keep the penguin on top of the ice.
Perfect for kids of all ages, we love this animal themed set. The premise is simple: flip cards over on your turn and try to make a match. To keep games quicker, play with fewer matched sets of cards. You can also find Wonder Forge Marvel Memory cards and camping themed ones.
Games of Strategy
This civilization building game is designed for players 10 and up. Games take about an hour. You need three-four players to play (or have two players play two colors each). The object of the game is to trade, build and settle. There are obstacles to overcome, including plundering. This game teaches strategy, tactical-skill and decision-making. Have younger kids who really want to play? Check out Catan Junior, designed for players as young as five.
My nine-year-old came home excited after playing this in science class at school. For ages six and up, this tile game teaches strategy, logical maneuvers and planning. Older kids will be able to create complex combinations leading to more involved games. Think of Scrabble but with shapes and colors instead of letters. Looking for a travel version? This Travel Qwirkle is perfect for road trips.
Best for 12 and up, this game challenges you to make comparisons. Players take turn judging who chose the best “matching” item. Games are funny and fast moving. If you’ve got younger kids Apples to Apples Junior is geared towards the nine-years-old and up crowd. And Apples to Apples 7 Plus? You guessed it, it’s for ages seven and up.
Educational Games for Family Game Night
Just because school isn’t in session doesn’t mean learning can’t continue. These fun and educational games keep literacy skills up to par. Be careful, your kids may beat you.
This game is fast-paced and can be played by anyone who can spell (or at least try to spell.) This game rewards both speed and complexity. Each player gets 20 letter tiles. The first player to get five words yells “Dabble!” and is the winner.
Word scores are added up so if your words are complex your points will be higher. For families with different types of learners, the speed/complexity scoring really makes the game work for everyone. Ages eight are recommended but we started playing when my daughter was five. It can easily be modified for younger kids to play each other.
This easy to play word game involves shaking a cube of letter die and setting a timer. You have 90-seconds to write down as many words as you can create from the letters. The game can be played solo or with multiple players. This is great for RV travel and road trips since the die are contained in a case.
A great STEM game in which players ages seven and up) do math problems. Your solution tells you where to put your chip on the board. The first player to make a sequence of five numbers wins.
This was my favorite game as a kid. It’s how I figured out I’m good at making things up. Balderdash requires you to make up fake answers and opponents try to guess which one is real. Think of it as two truths and a lie in game form.
Play the TV classics at home as an easy to follow card game. Designed for ages 12 and up, these games promote language skills and teach new facts.
Players nine and up make an equation out of nine cards on the table in this game. They need to announce their answer and state their proof to win points.
Great Games for Travel Enthusiasts
Do you love to show your kids the world? Now you can share your love of travel from home. These are some of our favorite family board games and card games with travel themes.
Created by a six-year-old during a long hospital stay, Continent Race puts your geography skills to the test. You’ll draw cards and identify countries on the map. To win, you need to collect cards from all continents and locate the countries. This game is a fantastic way to teach geography.
This one is a little pricey at $75 but is one of the most educational games we’ve ever seen. With seven decks of cards pertaining to the seven continents, you and your kids are bound to learn something new. Lists of suggested card games to use the cards for are included but you may not even need them. I’ve got memorization-loving kids and my seven-year-old will memorize and read off facts to us at the dinner table. Grab a pack and bring them on a long plane ride, quiz your kids in the car or play a spirited geographical game with the whole family.
This geography based board game has players 12 and up guessing where in the world they are. Relive past travels and learn about landmarks in this fun and educational game.
Perfect for younger kids (seven years and up) to explore the world from home. With questions related to sights around the world everyone will learn something new playing!
Family Board Games for Disney Lovers
This version of Codenames was created for Disney-philes. If you love Disney movies, this game is for you! This was created for ages eight and up but many reviewers said their six-year-olds were easily able to follow along.
If you’ve ever Disneybounded as Ursula or felt Jafar was misunderstood this might be the game for you. This game is perfect for kids 10+ , although we think you could go a little younger. This game employs serious strategy. You pick one of the six villain game pieces and get a crib sheet strategy guide for your character. Sneaky wins.
You get to set traps and use curses so if your family likes intense game nights this is your game. Looking for even more of a challenge? Add on a Perfectly Wretched, Evil Comes Prepared, or Wicked to the Core expansion pack to make it even more tricky. Be warned that game play lasts 45 minutes to an hour.
This game combines I Spy with Disney magic. You’ll need room to spread out for this game with its six-foot board. Don’t worry – it looks long and complex but games run about 15-minutes and it’s super-easy to learn. Players work together so you can involve younger kids (four and up) in the game easily.
The question is “Who Am I?” in this game where players wear a card on a headband. The catch? You can see your opponents cards but not your own. Ask questions to learn what Disney character you are. This is designed for two to four players ages seven and up but it isn’t hard to modify it to accommodate younger kids.
This Disney card game is great for all ages. Even toddlers can get in on the fun. Perfect for travel. You win if you have the best eye for detail.
Card Games for Family Game Night
Card games are always a great choice. They travel well, don’t involve complex set up, and with the wild variety that we found there will be something for kids of all ages.
Most of us grew up with Mattel’s classic card game Uno. Now the fun has expanded with Uno Flip and Dos. Uno Flip adds in light and dark colored cards that, you guessed it, flip! Dos is a team race to the score of 200 where you need to yell “Dos!” when you have two cards left. All three are perfect for two to six players and provide hours of easy-to-pack fun.
We totally get it. A game called Exploding Kittens doesn’t exactly sound family-friendly BUT kids love it. This game is the feline version of Russian Roulette by the Oatmeal (hilarious comics by Matthew Inman). You draw cards and hope you don’t get an Exploding Kitten. Just like it sounds, it’s not good. It means you lose.
Exploding Kittens is a fast game to learn and doesn’t have a lot of text so younger kids can play. It’s recommended for ages seven and up and you can play with two to five players. There are expansion packs available to add on to the game.
Hint: There is a NSFW Adult Edition. It’s hilarious for a grown-up game night but definitely isn’t for kids.
This is the pixie stick of card games. It’s candy but it’s really just sugar. Sometimes we all want something simple and mindless m’kay?
That may sound like I’m bashing Llama Drama but I’m not. Kids love it. It’s easy to learn and games go by quickly. Your kids can easily play each other without you needing to step in.
There are tons of things to love about this game. First off, tacos. It doesn’t have to be Taco Tuesday to enjoy this fun. Second, it was created by a seven-year-old, which kids love to hear. (Tip: Keep kids busy for hours by telling them to invent a game.) Third, games are a quick 10-15 minutes. Play involves strategy but not so much that a younger kid (seven and up) couldn’t get the hang of it quickly. This card game is best with two-four people so it’s great for when you need the kids to stay busy while you get something done.
Love Clue? Looking for the same whodunit thrills in a more portable and fast game? This card game is perfect for you! Best for ages eight and up, you can play a quick 15-30 minute game. This is a great game to pack up when camping or RVing.
Looking to bond as a family and learn more? These conversation cards will get your kids talking about themselves with questions like, “What’s the hardest thing about being your age?” This one is great for long road trips, too!
This fast-paced game is designed for two to four players. The object is to get all the cards while building a sandwich. You’ll need to avoid thieves while on your quest.
Games for Grown Ups
Don’t let kids have all the fun. These fresh, funny, entertaining games are perfect for a girls getaway or cocktail party.
The premise is simple. Cards Against Humanity is a game for horrible people. Why? Every turn a player flips a black card that asks a question. The other players answer it with their funniest white card. Answers are usually hilarious and fresh. This is NOT a game for kids. If your “babies” are late teens or all grown up it will be a blast to play together. Expansion packs are available including Absurd, 90’s Nostalgia Pack, Food Pack, and the Theatre Pack.
Want to be rewarded for all the bad decisions you’ve ever made AND learn new things about your friends? Gather up some friends for a game at your judgement-free table.
This game has you caption a meme from cards you’ve drawn. Be warned there are some pretty dirty cards but a lot of laughs.