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Board games bring people together, not only by the shared activity but through the laughing and talking that goes on during gameplay. Organizing a family game night is a great way to enjoy some quality time together.
The best board games for your family game night may be completely different than those for the family next door. Your favorites will also change as your family grows and your children become able to play more grown-up games. Fortunately, toy stores and online sites like Amazon.com or Fun.com are stocked with a wide variety of board games and new ones are being created all the time.
When it comes to games, everyone has different strengths. Planning your game night with board games that appeal to different types of skills (logic, math, reading, trivia knowledge, etc.) gives each family member a chance to shine.
Board Games for Families with Young Children
There are many board games specifically created for the youngest players and several classic board games come in “Junior” editions. Some kid-geared classics, like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, are great fun for kids, but put their older opponents to sleep. Fortunately, there are several board games that are both simple enough for young kids and entertaining for older players.
Scrabble Junior Edition – A two-side board lets players match their tiles to printed words or play their own words with simple scoring rules.
Sorry! – The classic board game where players try to be the first to get all of their pawns home while sending opponents back to start.
Twister – Game night doesn’t have to mean sitting around a table. Get up and moving with this classic game of entanglement.
Clue Junior – Players are on a mission to discover which toy is broken, who broke it, and when they did it. As you find clues you’ll eliminate choices and eventually narrow down what happened.
It’s In The Bag! Junior – Combines the best parts of picture charades and other popular word games to make a one-of-a-kind family board game that is enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
5 Second Rule Junior – It seems like it would be easy to name 3 flavors of ice cream, but how about doing it under the pressure of just 5 seconds while everyone is watching you?
Hi Ho Cherry-O – Helps young children practice counting and number recognition. The first player to pick all of the fruit from their tree is the winner.
Hisss – In this simple yet fun card game, players match colors and make snakes from head to tail. Finish a snake and add it to your snake pit. The one with the most snakes at the end of the game wins!
Board Games for Families with Older Children
Kids who have outgrown “Junior” board games are ready for more of a challenge. Many board games merge education with fun. They also encourage taking turns and learning to be both a humble winner and a gracious loser.
Blokus – A strategy board game where players attempt to place all of their tiles onto the gameboard according to the game rules. (Trickier than it sounds!)
Monopoly – The classic real estate game where buying and selling properties can make players rich or send them into bankruptcy. Available in a variety of styles, including an electronic banking version.
Upwords – Scrabble with a twist. This game lets you place words and change existing words by stacking tiles.
Guesstures – A fast-paced charades game where players race to act out the clues before they disappear.
Sequence – This exciting game of strategy is fun for the whole family to play. Easy enough for kids and challenging enough for adults.
Board Games for Families with Teens
Teenagers are always on the run, but board games are a great way to bring them home for some quality family fun. Letting them invite a friend or two to your family game night can be a great way to get to know their close friends.
Cranium – The game with something for everyone. Gameplay includes drawing, acting out clues, humming tunes, unscrambling words, and more.
Scene It! – The DVD game that adds video clips to trivia questions. Available in versions for fans of movies, TV, or specific shows.
Electronic Catch Phrase – Pass the device by getting your team to guess the given word or phrase. When the buzzer sounds, the team not holding it earns a point.
Taboo – Get your team to guess the word on each card, but without saying a few forbidden words that would commonly describe it.
Chameleon – In this game, everyone knows the secret word except the player with the chameleon card. Use hidden codes and carefully chosen words to track down the guilty player before they blend in and escape!
Codenames – Spymasters give their team one-word clues that can relate to multiple words on the board. Teammates try to guess the words while avoiding the ones belonging to the other team. And everyone wants to avoid the deadly assassin!
Whatever the ages of the kids in your family, you can find great board games that everyone will enjoy. And don’t let game nights end when the kids move out. Invite your kids, and grandkids, over for a monthly family game night and keep the tradition alive!
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