Everyone has been asking me for game recommendations this year, so I have compiled a list of fun games that my family and I have loved for years.
My boys are now 16 and 20 years old, and we still have a designated family game night every week. It’s a night to slow down, reconnect, and be a little (or a lot) competitive. If you were a fly on the wall during our game nights, you would probably hear me encouraging Jon, (my husband), to show no mercy to our young-adult sons, but it’s all in good fun. When they were little, we wanted them to have fun playing with us, but as they have gotten older, and are a bit more confident and vocal about their “skills”, we show no mercy during game night!
We win some games, and almost win others, but we have a lot of fun doing it. My husband and I are probably the most competitive, so if there are teams for the games, we usually team up (parents vs. kids), because win or lose, we do it together. But if I am being honest, we really like the games so much better if we win. Is that terrible or what?! 🙂
I am not exactly sure why, but our boys have always loved Monopoly, but my husband and I just never want to play as long as the game goes, so for that reason, I have left Monopoly off of my favs list, but I am sure your kids will love that game too.
These games are in no particular order, and yes, I know you will LOVE them all. Every game, except for Connect Four, can be played with teams or at least 4 individuals.
- Rummikub – Okay, I know I said that these weren’t in any particular order, but hands down, this is my favorite game. I have played this since my grandparents taught me how to play when I was 5 years old. This game is kind of like the Gin Rummy card game, but with tiles. The goal is to play straights and runs to get rid of all of your tiles first! There is lots of strategizing in this game and it makes you think, so it’s great for everyone.
- Sequence – This game is super fun and your kids will have a blast. If you have young kids, try playing teams with you and your spouse each on your kids’ team. If you find that this version is too tough for your younger kids, try one of the other versions they make. The goal of this game is to use the cards in your hand to form a line segment made of five chips in a row. The team, or individual who completes this task first wins! It really can be the luck of the draw, but it can get very competitive once everyone starts blocking everyone else’s lines.
- Skip-Bo – If you love uno, you will love this one even more. If you have young kids, try playing teams first, and they will get it. I have played this game with my nephew since he was 5 years old.
- Phase10 – We love this game and I always have this and Skip-Bo in my purse in case we find ourselves with some extra time to spare.
- Dominion – This is the base for the game. There are lots of expansion packs that make each game interesting and new. We have a few expansion packs thanks to very generous grandparents.
- Ticket to Ride – There are several versions, this one is the European version. Basically you use a bit of strategy and a bit of luck to create the longest railroad across the board and gather the most amount of points to win.
- Settlers of Catan – There are several versions of this too, this is the basic introductory version. This is what we have. I am not 100% sure, but I think you need this set and if you want to buy others to add on to it, you can.
- Cranium – There are a few versions of this game, and so far, this version is the one we love the most. I am sure you can play this with your school age kiddos. And maybe even the younger ones too. Everyone will be entertained by the activities that you have to do for each turn. Everything from drawing with your eyes closed and trying to have your partner guess what you are drawing, to flipping frogs to try to get a tower of blocks to fall over. I know it sounds weird as I describe it, but seriously, so fun!
- Clue – Clue recently updated their game and my 15 year old nephew is totally addicted and asks him mom, (my sister), to play with him all the time. If you liked the older version of this game, give the new one a try.
- Yahtzee – This is a classic. So much fun to play with a bunch of people and good for most ages.
- Bingo – We recently played this with the students in my Physical Science class, and we were offering $.50/win, and the kids were totally into it. So maybe when you play, put some money on the line to make it more fun for the kids. *If you love Hallmark movies, then you can get a free Hallmark Movie inspired bingo sheet here. Emily at Jones Design Company always comes up with great freebies, so check out her other free printables as well. 🙂
- Connect Four – Okay, I LOVE this game. I am kind of the connect four master. I hate to say it, because I don’t want to jinks anything, but so far, no one in my family has been able to beat me at this game. I remember playing this as early as I was playing Rummikub, so yeah, it’s one of my favs. They also have a portable version for plane trips and car rides. Yes, I own both.
Some of these games cost $5, and some cost $50. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them all in time for you to buy these for Christmas.
Here are a few extra ones that we love, but don’t play as often:
- Scattergories Categories – This version is a lot like Scattergories, but has a twist with the category, so it’s a bit more challenging. My friend recently bought this game for my family, and we loved it so much that no one wanted to go to bed!
- Bounce Off – This game is fun with teams. You have to bounce a ball (that’s a lot like a ping pong ball) on the table and you and your teammate have to try to create the designated pattern with your bounce balls before the other team. I am sure I am not describing this as awesomely as I could, but what I can say is that every time we pull out this game, kids and adults from other rooms come in to see if they can play.
- Bible Challenge – We defintely love this game, and surprisingly, the last time we played our youngest son (then 15 years old) totally beat all of us. I like playing this game because you get to learn new things about the Bible, but it’s a good reminder to keep reading the Bible because there is sooo much to learn. There is also a pocket version of this – which would be tons of fun for a road trip. I have never used the pocket version, but I think I should get this for our travels. 🙂
Did I miss any of your favorites? Please share your favorite in the comments below, and if you have any questions about these games, I will do my best to help!