Let’s face it, our kids are growing up in a completely different world than we did. With so many more things for kids to do — technology, activities, outings — it can be hard to carve out quality time to spend as a family. Family game night is a great way to do just that. Game night can provide awesome opportunities to bond with your kids, and with the right games, it’s feasible for families with kids of all ages.
You might not have considered family game night for your family. Maybe your kids are super young and it seems like most games for little kids are super boring. Or, you think your tweens may not be interested in board games. But, just like technology has changed since we were kids, so have board games. Sure, the classics (like Monopoly and Jenga) are still amazing, but there are incredible games out now that are interesting and challenging and aim to provide fun for families of all ages.
Family movie nights are a lot of fun, but game nights provide entirely different ways to communicate with and teach your kids. To get your family board game stash started, here’s a list of great games to keep on hand for every age group.
Games For Families With Children Under 5
This game is a perfect introduction to games for families with toddlers and young kids. The rules are simple and the game is active, which means it will hold the attention of even your most fidgety kid.
Orchard is a great cooperative game for families. The game pits all players against the game's raven character, which promotes cooperation over competition (and makes losing easier on stubborn preschoolers).
Spot It! comes in a whole selection of variations, and this alphabet version is great for kids working on their letters. It's super compact, which makes it perfect to pack for a trip.
This domino set is super-sized to help young kids learn hand-eye coordination. The wood box makes it easy to travel with or just take outside for a nice summer night.
This game is perfect for the under 5 crowd, as it doesn't require any reading, but still works on matching, turn-taking, and strategy. It has been featured at the top of nearly every best toy/game list and is sure to become a family favorite.
Busytown encourages teamwork and promotes attention to detail, making it a great game with young kids. It works on memory and speed, making it fun for the whole family.
This toddler fishing game can be played independently or with others. It teaches hand-eye coordination and counting through fun and interactive fishing.
Games For Families With Children Under 10
This game is a classic and great for families with older children. The rules are simple enough that younger kids can play easily on a team with a parent, and since it combines luck and strategy, it's fun for the whole family.
Suspend is a fresh take on classic patience/balance games (like Jenga). Younger players can hone their fine motor coordination, while older kids will still enjoy the challenge and strategy involved in keeping the structure standing.
Sleeping Queens requires strategy and quick thinking and is great for families with kids of varied ages. And, since it's just a set of cards, you can take it on the go.
Zingo is a fun take on Bingo that is great for the whole family. And, there are ways to adjust difficulty, so you can keep playing as your kids grow.
Battleship is a classic game of strategy, and it's easy for older kids to get the hang of quickly. Its longer playing time makes it great for rainy days spent inside.
Perfect for the whole family, this wood Shuffleboard game is great for helping your kids develop concentration skills.
Games For Families With Tweens and Teens
Ticket To Ride is one of the most popular family games of the last 20 years. It requires players to collect and play train cards in order to claim railroad routes across North America. It takes about an hour to play a full game, which is perfect for tweens who want to hang out with their parents, but not for too long.
Sequence is perfect for mixed-age families -- it's simple enough for kids to understand but challenging enough for adults to enjoy.
Rummikub is the perfect game for a family night. It's an easy to learn game that's quick and encourages strategic thinking.
Wits and Wagers is perfect for families because, though it's a trivia game, you don't actually need to know any answers. You score points by guessing whose answer is closest to the real one. This version comes with family-friendly questions that kids will be able to relate to.
No game list is complete without this classic. Scrabble has withstood the test of time for the way it pushes creativity, strategy, and logic.
Pandemic is a great cooperative game for families with teenagers. It requires the whole family working together by playing to each character's strengths and weaknesses. With twists and turns and a lot of suspense, don't be surprised if a whole day goes by before you've stopped playing this game.
What’s your go-to family game?