Our family loves to play games at night, so today I’m sharing a list of some of the best board games for families. With so many different ages in our family (teenagers down to elementary school), it’s nice to find family board games that everyone likes.
If it’s nice outside, we’ll head outside to play some of the games that we played as kids, like four-square or jump-rope. Other nights, we’ll stay inside playing card games, board games, or a game like Memory, or Jacks.
We made a list of the best board games for kids and the best games for teenagers. We combined them and asked some readers for their input, then we made an updated list. We added affiliate links to find them directly on Amazon and put them here to make it easy to find the best board games for the whole family… for families with young kids through the teenage years.
Board Games for Families with Younger Kids
If you have younger kids in the house, it can be harder to find a game that everyone can play. When considering games for this post, I considered ages 5 and up with the assumption many 5-year-olds cannot yet read.
These games are great for their hand eye coordination and they are easy to learn. Many of these games are award-winning games for kids ages five and up.
Here are some tips for incorporating even non-readers into family game night.
- Pair Up: When playing a game for the first few times we almost always pair up with our kids to help teach the game. If we can’t pair up, we will sit in a circle (or stand in a circle) so we can help each other.
We make that round more about “teaching” than “playing.” Some games require us to always play in pairs, while other games allow us to eventually work as individuals, even the youngest players. It is always important to make the youngest players feel involved even if working in pairs.
- Card Game Holder: Consider purchasing a Kids Card Game Holder to help little hands hold a fan of cards. We use this when playing “Go Fish” or Exploding Kittens.
Board Games for families with younger children and teenagers:
There are so many great games that are a lot of fun. Some are great strategy games, while others are just hilarious and fun. Many games also help kids develop hand eye coordination.
1). Exploding Kittens– this game keeps our kids giggling throughout. There is enough silliness for them, and enough strategy for me to keep us all happy.
Tip for younger players: This is a game that we played in pairs several times before letting the kids play on their own. Even children who have not learned to read yet can play independently by memorizing these cards. The Card Game Holder makes it possible for her little hands to hold all the cards.
2). Pick your Poison Card Game – this is the family-friendly version of the not-so-family-friendly original Pick your Poison game. A new twist on the classic “Would you rather….”!
3). Sequence – this has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl spending summer days with my grandparents. There I learned how to perfectly shuffle cards.
Tip for younger players: If your kids aren’t ready for the original version of this game, there is a Sequence for Kids, but I find by 5 years old our kids have been able to play the original pretty fairly.
4). Ticket to Ride – here’s another game with a junior version but I think most kids will be able to play the original, or on a team. Our family loves this game and never tires of playing.
Tip for younger players: Fortunately, the First Journey game can be fun for adults too if you decide to start there.
5). Tenzi – this is a fast-paced dice game and while our littlest one struggles a bit to keep up we still all end up laughing and having a good time.
6). Harry Potter Clue Board Game – a fun twist on the classic board game, this is perfect for any Harry Potter fan in your life!
7). Blokus – this is a new one for us. Reminiscent of video games, this one could entice your children out of the screen and onto the board game.
8). Trekking the National Parks – after our visit to Arches National Park last year, I am determined to take my family to every National Park possible. While we aren’t able to travel right now, visiting the parks from this game fills the gap.
Tip for younger players: This game has amazing reviews and can be played with all ages. Pairing up might be best for the youngest players.
9). Unstable Unicorns – this is one of our most used birthday gifts! We love sharing this game with friends and family.
10). PicWits – this hilarious game is kind of like Apples to Apples, but with pictures instead! My kids absolutely love playing this game together. If you’re looking for teen party games, this one would be great – it’s the perfect game for large groups.
11). Spot It! – this super fast-paced game of spotting the matches is actually super fun for kids and adults!
Tip for younger players: This is an especially fun game for non-readers.
12). Cranium and Cadoo – While Cranium is great for older kids or adults, Cadoo is like a kids version of the hilarious classic “Cranium”. With a variety of hilarious activities, Cadoo gets kids (and adults too) thinking, creating, and giggling as they play.
13). Mexican Train Dominoes – This game is a lot of fun, it’s perfect for a big group, and our kids have played it every summer on our family vacations for several years. (perfect for ages 6 & up)