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The Best Board Games for Families

Come learn about the best board games for families.
Table of Contents

    Games for Families: The Ones We Play Over and Over

    Large Family Fire Safety

    Finding board games that work with large families can be tough. We have a huge variety of ages in our house which makes choosing games complicated.

    The best family board games are ones that can be played by a variety of ages and can accommodate many players. We have owned a LOT of games over the years. We only keep the ones we actually play and enjoy. Every time I attempt to “declutter” the game closet I get significant pushback from my family, and kids. Recently I asked my kids what their favorite board games were so here they are.

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    The Best Card Games for Families

    Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a fun, face-paced game, perfect for large families.

    Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

    Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is probably my favorite out of all the games on this list. This game is easy to learn and is fast-paced…Absolutely no sitting around waiting for your turn. It is deceptively simple…and tricky. We got this game when Apollo was nine and he was able to play this game on even ground with the rest of us. This game takes just minutes to learn and is perfect for large groups.

    Number of players: 3-8

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 5-10 minutes

    Sushi Go

    Sushi Go is made by Gamewright, one of my favorite game makers. In this game, you get dealt cards and then attempt to combine them to make fun sushi dishes trying to earn the most points. The twist? After each turn, you pass your cards to the next player meaning you never know what you’ll have next. This game is fun and easy to learn, and I love the cute little sushi designs. 

    Number of players: 2-5 (or you can grab the Sushi Go Party designed for 2-8 players)

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Over Under Ostrich is a face-paced family-friendly card game

    Over Under Ostrich

    This game is similar to Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. Designed for 2-8 players it can be learned in minutes. It is fast paced with no waiting on turns (everyone plays at once). Warning: this game is designed to make you look silly…but it is guaranteed to bring on laughter. 

    Number of players: 3-8

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 5-10 minutes

    Cards Against Humanity Family Edition

    ​​Cards Against Humanity Family Edition

    This game is perfect for parents who love Cards Against Humanity but also care about their eternal souls. Cards Against Humanity Family Edition is just like the original game, but with the dirty parts removed. This game is guaranteed to cause laughter and joy.

    Number of players: 2-12

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Code Names is a fun board game where you work in teams to figure out clues.

    Code names

    Code Names is another one of my personal favorites and made my several of my kids’ list for favorite games.

    From Amazon:

    “Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.

    Code Names is a fun family game

    To play Code Names you divide into two teams; blue and red. You lay out all the cards with the word side up. Each “spymaster” knows the placement of the blue and red cards which is dictated by the square card (seen in the lower right in the photo above). Each team is competing to get all of their spies first while avoiding the assassin. To find the spies the spymaster looks at the words and tries to come up with one word that will be a hint to the spies. For instance, in the photo above I might say, “outdoors, four” trying to get my partner to guess four words that go with the clue “outdoors” in this case, I am trying to get my partner to say “bridge, robin, spring, and duck”. If they accidentally choose a card that has the opponent’s spy, that is one team for the opponent. If they accidentally turn over the assassin, the other team automatically wins.

    This turns into a fun game of word play, word association, and a test of how well you know your partner.

    Would You Rather? is a hilairously silly game that works for large groups or large families. This is also the perfect ice breaker game.

    Would You Rather?

    The premise of this game? To choose between to equally horrible (or wonderful) choices. Such as:

    Would you rather always have to pick your nose when talking to someone? Or always spit on people when talking to them?

    This game is a great icebreaker and conversation starter. We ditched the board part of this game years ago and just use the cards. There are also several books, which we love to use on long car rides. This game will make you laugh, I promise!

    Number of players: 2-6

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutesBest New Games

    Family Game Night Games

    I am listing these games separately because they all work well if you are hosting a game night or have a really large onefamily. Most are designed for a larger number of players and all are easy to learn. These are games that will have you laughing hard…so make sure you bring your sense of humor and plenty of snacks.

    Game Night in a Can is my favorite game...one everyone can play together and at the same time!

    Game Night in a Can

    “Create new animal species for Noah’s Ark, competitively fly paper airplanes, make a commercial for something in the room, bump butts as many times as you can in 30 seconds, and so much more!”

    We played this fun game when Jared was here to visit before he and Tilly got married. We had so much fun. We were laughing until our sides hurt. This game is unlike any board game you’ve tried. It has nearly endless possibilities for games and no one will be bored.  The pictures above are from one of our games with Jared. This game is great for families because it covers a variety of ages and up to 20 players! If you have younger kids playing, you can play as a team. We played boys against girls when Jared was here.

    Number of players: 4 or more

    Ages: 7 & Up (will work with younger kids as long as you team up)

    Playtime: 5-60 minutes 

    Beanboozled

    Beanboozled is a hilarously fun tasting game to play with the whole family.

    My kids’ cousins gave Beanboozled to them a few years back and they still can’t stop talking about it (thankfully we can order refills off of Amazon). This simple game comes with a spinner and Jelly Belly jelly beans. The idea is, you spin the spinner and then have to eat a Jelly Belly of that color. The catch?

    Each regular flavored jelly bean has a nasty counterpart…will you get Peach? Or Barf? Chocolate Pudding? Or Canned Dog Food? Lime? Or Lawn Clippings?

    You won’t know until you taste them.

    You can see our family playing this game in the post Beanboozled: The Family Game You Really Must Try!

    Number of players: 2 or more

    Ages: 5 & up

    Playtime: 5 minutes

    The Game of Things is a great game for large famlilies.

    The Game of Things

    We have been playing this game so often lately and it is one of my personal favorites. I love word games and this one is so much fun. In this game person picks a card that says something such as, “things you shouldn’t do at a funeral” or “things you wish your grandma would say”. Each player writes down an answer.  The answers can be serious, funny, totally inappropriate, or silly. There are no “wrong” answers. The reader then reads all the answers out loud and each player has to guess which player wrote which response. This is where it gets really fun. You not only need to write down an answer but make sure no one can guess which answer is yours. This game is guaranteed to bring some laughs.

    Number of players: 4-8

    Ages: 10 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Apples to Apples

    This is an old favorite but I am listing it here because it really is one of the best games to play with a large number of people and a variety of ages.

    Number of players: 4-8

    Ages: 8 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    In a Pickle

    From Amazon:

    “Can a giraffe fit in a phone booth? Does a sofa fit in a shopping cart? It all depends on how you size it up in this game of creative thinking and outrageous scenarios. Try to win a set of cards by fitting smaller things into bigger things“

    This game is a personal favorite of might because it involves two of my favorite things: wordplay and arguing. Does a sofa fit in a shopping cart? It does if it’s a doll sofa…Can the universe fit in the refrigerator? Yes…if you can find a way to convince your opponents anyway. This game takes just minutes to learn and is full of creative thinking and hilarity.

    Number of players: 2-6

    Ages: 10 & up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Escape Room

    Host an amazing Escape Room Game night for your teens and their friends.

    Okay, this isn’t exactly large-family friendly but I have to include it because it is my all-time favorite game. In this game, you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape.

    We hosted an Escape Room game night a couple of years ago and my teens loved it. Escape Room is an interactive game where all 3-5 team members work together to solve the puzzle and escape. Everyone has to share their clues, take careful notes and put their brains together if there is any hope of escaping. This game is for ages sixteen and up.

    Number of players: 3-5 (more players if you team up)

    Ages: 10 & up

    Playtime: 60 minutes

    The Best Family Board Games

    Cashflow

    Teach real life financial skills with CASHFLOW

    Cashflow isn’t exactly designed for younger kids but I have to mention it because it is my older kids’ favorite board game. We were introduced to this game by our good friends Greg and Merriann. My kids and Chuck love it. It’s a long game and pencils, paper, and calculators are involved, but this game is great for learning real-life skills and so fun, my kids beg to play it.

    Number of players: 2-4

    Ages: 14 & up

    Playtime: 60 minutes

    Settlers of Catan

    Homemade cardboard Catan game board

    This made the list of games my children insisted I had to include. This is a strategy game where you build, trade, and settle on the island of Catan. Each time you play you set up the game board so it is always different and challenging in new ways.

    Last Christmas my parents bought our family this amazing personalized wooden Settlers of Catan board. Our Settlers of Catan board went through many iterations, including a handmade cardboard version for a while (thanks to Enoch’s creativity and skill).

    Number of players 3-4 (5-6 if you buy the extension pack)

    Ages: 10 and up

    Playtime: 60 minutes, 15 minutes to learn

    Seven Wonders

    Seven Wonders is similar to Settlers of Catan but easier to learn and play (in my opinion). Each player is a leader of one of the seven greatest cities of the Ancient World. Players gather resources, develop commercial routes, and build their military force. Seven Wonders has multiple modes of play and expansion packs that can be purchased.

    Number of players: 3-7

    Ages: 10 and up

    Playtime: 30 minutes, 15 minutes to learn

    Fun Games to Play at Home With Younger Kids

    HIss is a fun card game that can be played with toddlers.

    Hiss

    Number of players: 2-5

    Ages: 4&up

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Postman Observation Game

    Number of players:

    Ages:

    Playtime: 

    Spot It!

    Number of players: 2-8

    Ages: 3 & up

    This game is a simple as it gets with games (you try to find matching objects on each card) but it deceptively hard. Each card has eight objects and any two given cards only have one match. You simply flip over two cards. The first person to spot the match, wins those cards. I play this game nearly every day with Percy and Monty (ages 2&4).

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Postman Observation game is fun with kids and family

    Postman Observation Game

    You can read my full review of the Postman Observation Game here.

    Please let me know your favorite family board games in the comments!

    1 Comment

    1. Erika

      Great post. My family loves board games so we’re always looking for new ones to try. The age group and playtime you included was very helpful and made it easier for us to choose the next board game to try!

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