Sequence board game - Best Games for Families to Play Together - Adventures in NanaLand

10 of the Best Games for Families to Play Together

10 of the Best Games for Families
to Play Together

Boy playing Mancala - Best Games for Families to Play Together - Adventures in NanaLand

When it comes to being together, nothing beats playing games. We are a game-playing family. If your family is anything like ours, you’re always on the lookout for something to beat out Candyland (zzzzz) and Don’t Break the Ice (snoozer). For the past few years, we have been collecting games that are out of the ordinary and different. Let me tell you what. . .we have found some of the best games for families to play together. . .yes, even the little ones.

For us, we run the gamut on ages and abilities to play games. Most of us love anything from trivia to strategy games. However, we also like to involve the littlest Littles if possible. They really love to play too! So, I listed the games with ages in mind. There is always a gap in the ages listed on the box and the age at which these smarty pants can actually play. With that said, you can try any of these games with any age. I’m just offering suggestions.

I created a list of our top 10 best games for families to play together. My criteria is based on ability to play, the fun factor, time to play, and portability. . .we like to take our games on the go. We have been known to take games with us whenever we go places. We play in hotels, camping, airports, just about anywhere. I’ve separated the games by the age at which the kids can start playing the games.

So, here is the list of my top 10 best games for families to play together. Since you may not have heard of some of them, I found them all and have linked to each one so you can easily find them online.

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Best Games for Families to Play Together – Toddlers

The first two on our list are ones that are really fun to play with toddlers about 3 years (maybe even 2) and up. They are:

Eye Found It

Overview: This game is a smaller, travel version of the full-sized board game. It is great for waiting around a doctor’s office or while waiting to pick up an older sibling from practice. There is only a deck of cards to work with. The object of the game is to find the items on the “scene” side of the card. All the scenes have all your favorite Disney characters in them. No reading involved; so it’s great for preschoolers.

My Opinion:  This one is great for all your Disney fans! Love, Love, Love the graphics! This travel card version of the game is super easy for kids as young as 2 years old to play. Our little Littles LOVE this game! We all play it together. Admittedly, sometimes it’s even a challenge for me – mostly because my eyes are old and the things to find are small. I need my reading glasses to be even a little bit competitive. Ha ha! This one is at the top of our list because of it’s ease, fun factor and it’s. . .Disney!

Wig Out!

Overview: This game is easy peasy! Again, you are only dealing with cards on this one. It’s simply a matching game. The different heads and hairstyles you have to match are cute and funny! Great for toddlers and preschoolers. They love the funny faces! Again, no reading necessary.

My Opinion:  Like I said:  Easy peasy! The kids will play this one over and over. My little 3-year-old granddaughter’s only gripe is that she doesn’t win every time. She will pull a boo-boo face to try to get you to throw the game and let her win. Ha ha! The hardest part of this game is holding the cards in your hand. You have to keep drawing until you can make a match. For that reason, you may want to invest in a few of these card holders for little hands:

Little Hands Card Holder

This little card holder is great for little hands trying to hold a lot of cards. You can get this as a single holder, a set of 2, or a set of 4.

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Best Games for Families to Play Together – Preschoolers

Slamwich

Overview: It’s fast-paced with just a little bit of skill involved. You can easily take this game anywhere and play. You lay down cards from this “loaf” of bread trying to build sandwiches and collect cards. But, you have to watch out for the thieves and munchers that will foil your plans. Again, just a deck of cards and no reading involved.

My Opinion:  This game has been in our family for a couple of decades. It gets a thumbs up and a “hands down” (hence the “Slam” part of the name) from me, my kids and their kids. So that’s three generations of our family who have enjoyed this game. This simple game used to be the most requested game on Sunday game night. And. . .this particular edition of the game comes in a great little lunchbox-style tin! Super cute and great for going places with you! (You can get the regular box, but this great tin is only $2 more. Totally worth the little bit extra!)

Sleeping Queens

Overview: Another card game with cute graphics! The object of this game is to wake the sleeping queens and get the most points. There is a little bit of strategy involved and at times may involve just a small bit of single-digit addition or subtraction. You need to do some quick thinking and hope for the best. The pancake queen, the cookie queen, the ladybug queen and others are waiting to be awaken from the sleeping spell they are under.

My Opinion:  What a fun little game! I have played this game with my Texas Littles. We have the 3-year-old play on a team with someone older. Other than that, the kids each play on their own. It takes a game or two to get the strategy down, but even the younger kids understand how to steal and protect their queens. The graphics are to die for! The queens are so cute!! Simple, easy and fast! It’s a great combination!

Best Games for Families to Play Together – 6 to 8 Year Olds

Go Nuts for Donuts

Overview: This is a voting game. Do a little bidding and then vote for a donut that is different than what everyone else is voting for. If you do, the donut is yours! There is a bit of reading involved but once you learn how each of the donuts score, you no longer need to read the cards. So, very little reading involved and small children can pick it up quickly.

My Opinion: Even though I have only played this game a few times, I loved it! I was super impressed with the fact that the kindergartners could play right along with the adults. It takes a few times playing for them to understand the bidding and voting, but then they are off and running with how to play. The strategy part was a little bit over the heads of the preschoolers, but they loved watching anyway.

 

Ubongo (Swahili for “brain”)

Overview:  This game is much like Tetris but not on a digital device. Using small cards with grids on them, players try to beat their opponents by completing their Tetris-like puzzle first. But using a countdown, the remaining players race to complete their puzzles before time is up. The Jr. version of this game is much more portable than the full version. In addition, it offers a bit more of a challenge yet is easy enough for the little ones to play.

Kids playing a board game - Best Games for Families to Play Together - Adventures in NanaLand

My Opinion: I LOVE TETRIS! So this one grabbed my attention! Non-digital Tetris?? Win! Win! This game goes fast and can last pretty much as long or as short a time as you want. My Littles wanted to play this over and over again after I showed them how to play. The beauty of this game is that there are two skill levels. So by putting the younger children on the easier level while older children and adults play on the higher skill level, it puts everyone on an equal playing ground. I’m pretty good at this game but was getting my tail beat by my little Kindergartener! Tons of fun especially if you like puzzles!

Mancala

Overview: This game is definitely not new but is a timeless classic. Even though it’s simple, it requires a bit of thinking and strategy to win. The game is nothing more than moving marbles (well, technically they are glass stones) from one cup to another. Easy, right? Sure, but can you move them in a way to collect the most before your player uses all their marbles?

My Opinion:  This is the first one on our list that is not a card game. We played this when our kids were small. From the time that they could move the stones from one place to the other, they wanted to play this game. From the Kindergarteners on up, the kids could mount a challenge even for the adults. I love the wooden folding set. It travels really well and is super durable. Our wooden folding game board has seen a lot of camping trips!

Sequence

Overview: This game actually has a board, but the travel size board is pretty small and super portable. The object of this game is to capture five card spots in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally. In the full-sized board game, you need two sequences of five so the game can last a bit longer. Since, the kids do better with shorter games, we play the travel version even when we’re home.

My Opinion: When I was first introduced to this game several years ago, I didn’t think that the kids would really like it, but I was wrong!! They really took to it. . .and they’re good at it too! It’s essentially a matching game. And, it’s just enough strategy to keep the kids really engaged in the play of the game.

Sequence board game - Best Games for Families to Play Together - Adventures in NanaLand

Best Games for Families to Play Together – 8+Year Olds to Adults

Trash Pandas

Overview: This game can involve a bit of strategy that would be difficult for smaller children. However, once the kids turn eight or so, it’s easier for them to participate in these kinds of strategy games. The goal of this game is to knock over the “trash cans” and stash the most trash. The more you roll, the more actions you can take to collect your trash. However, if you get overzealous or greedy, you’ll lose your turn.

My Opinion: I have only played this game a couple of times, and it took me until the end of the first time playing it through to understand the strategy. However, once I got it, I really enjoyed the game. It’s one of those games that even though it takes some doing to learn, the payoff of fun is great! We have a lot of fun “getting” each other. Of course, it’s all in good fun, but my Littles that are really competitive take it kind of hard when they get blocked or lose their turn. But then again, that’s part of learning and growing.

Skull King

Overview: This card game is one of those where you have to guess how many tricks (or hands) you will take in each round. However, this game takes that format to a whole new level! They add little twists and turns to add to the fun and strategy.

My Opinion:  This game is a riot! We had so much fun learning to play as well as implementing the strategy once we learned how to play. This game is fast becoming one of the family favorites! I was really surprised at how well the younger kids caught on to this game and jumped right in and were competitive. I think they really love the pirate theme too!

Best Games for Families to Play Together – Bonus!

Mastermind

I just couldn’t resist putting this bonus game on my list!

Overview: This game has a small board with little colored pegs. The object of the game is to discover the hidden code behind the code maker’s little wall. The person who is the code maker will put the pegs behind their little wall and the other person (the code breaker) will try to break the code behind the wall.

My Opinion: Mastermind was a very favorite game of mine when I was a kid. This game is great for practicing those logic skills. It’s perfect for using that STEM skill of deductive reasoning. This game is rarely the same twice. So, it makes it fun and challenging! The particular version of the game that I have referenced here is great for travel and very durable.

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Which of These Best Games for Families to Play Together are Your Favorite?

Many of these games are by Gamewright.  These games are not as well known, but they are super fun! Check out some of the other ones here on Amazon! These games are generally really affordable and there are so many to choose from. Most of these games come in small boxes or tins which also helps with storing them.

The games that I have suggested here are easy to learn, easy to play, easy to take on the go, and super fun!! Family game night is the best way to build family relationships through all the generations. And Bonus. . .it can even close up that generation gap between teenagers and their grandparents! We have three generations of game players at our house, and it’s a great way for us to spend time together. We bond through having fun, laughing, talking and just being together.

Have you heard of any of these games? If so, which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.  If you’re going on vacation with the grandkids or just need to entertain them, these games will have you laughing and having fun for hours

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4 thoughts on “10 of the Best Games for Families to Play Together”

  1. Karen Wheiler

    Our family members (22 including our grandkids) are super big game players. We have over 50 games in our game closet. Our favorite of the ones you’ve listed is “Skull King” by Grandpa Beck’s Games. Actually the adults love just playing it together as well but it’s easy enough for even children around 7 or 8. We just got it at Christmas and is currently still the one we play most (even when it’s just the adults!) We love games that involve a bit of strategy. “Sequence” is also a lot of fun. A couple of other favorite games our kids and grandkids love are “SkyJo” (card game) and “Ingenious” (a little like “Dominoes”). There are also a lot of great junior version games out there. “Monopoly Junior” is great for the younger kids (4-8 yrs) and even for adults to play to with them. (Everyone has an equal chance to win because it’s pretty much the luck of the roll of the dice.) And for kids over 6 or 7 yrs, “Catan Junior” is awesome (similar to “Settlers of Catan”). It’s also great for adults and kids to play together and it’s probably one of the best junior versions of a game I’ve ever played.

    1. Hey Thanks, Karen! Skull King is one of our all time favorites too! We play either just adults or include the kids as well. I love your other suggestions. I am not familiar with either SKyJo or Ingenious. I’ll be adding those to my list to try out this summer.

      You’re right about the junior versions of some of the more familiar games. One of our favorite junior versions is Headbands. We love to play the junior version of that one with the kids because they are hilarious! Monopoly Deal is our new favorite “junior” version of Monopoly. You can play it in about 15 minutes which is perfect for those little attention spans.

      Thanks for sharing your favorites with us!

  2. These sound like such great games! I remember always wanting to play Monopoly as a child, and no one else ever wanted to! We usually resorted to Uno or Skip-Bo. I definitely want to check out this donut game!

    1. They are so much fun, Tiff! I liked Monopoly as a kid too, but had the same problem. I think that the game was just too long for most people’s attention. Ha ha! That’s the beauty of these games, they can all be played in 15-30 minutes. That’s about the extent of my grandkids’ attention spans! I hope you get a chance to try a few of these. These are just our top 10. We have several games we love to play!

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