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Every family has their own routines and traditions. It is important to us that our kids get quality time with us. One on one as well as together. A favorite way for Zach and I to spend quality time with our kids is by playing board games. We started incorporating board games into our nightly routine when Britt, our second child, was born. Babies get a LOT of attention and require sacrifices of older siblings. Every night we’d put Britt to bed then spend 15-30 min playing a game with Kye. It would be special time that just the three of us could share. Once Britt was old enough, and about the same time we added Tess to our family, she stayed up for game time as well.
Not only is it fabulous time together but there are many lessons learned through game time as well. Taking turns, following directions, compromising, and how to be a good sport. We all enjoy family game time and it’s a super simple way to create memories that our children will always cherish. If I had to guess on ONE family thing our children will want to pass down to their children it’d be nightly game time!
I thought it’d be a fun Friday Favorites post topic…here are our favorite family board games! Each title of the game is a link to view the actual game on Amazon 😉
Preschool Age Games
We started family game time when Kye was only 2 1/2 years old. Which limited us on the games we could play together at his age level. These are games that we now keep down low in a cabinet where our kids can access them. They are great for older kids to play without needing parental directions and great beginner games for younger ones!
Don’t Break the Ice: This is my personal favorite for this age category! It can be a pain to set up the whole thing again but I think it’s great for a new sibling to help learn how to be “gentle” 😉
Cootie: This is one of my least favorites. It’s SO BORING. Usually I end up speeding things along and typically in this age just building the creature and letting them play with it counts as a “game” haha
Hungry Hippo This one takes me back to childhood. We’ve played it so much we had to buy a replacement because the hippos started to fall apart. Even Tess at age 2 enjoys it!
Red Rover I guess this game is so old it’s not really available anymore but it is GREAT for kids learning colors and shapes and it’s a good one to pull out when you need some Mommy Solo Time because kids can play it alone too!
Don’t Spill the Beans I keep this one at the wayyy wayyy back of the cabinet. These beans are a tad annoying to clean up 😉 It’s a good game to learn patience and concentration though!
Ants in the Pants I know this is meant for preschoolers but yall this game is HARD haha I struggle so much with MY patience because I get so aggravated trying to get the dang ants to hop into the pants!
Elefun This is an awesome one for siblings to play together when Mommy is cooking dinner. It’s not really the best family game because it’s just catching things in a net but it’s really fun for the kids to see the “butterflies” flying into the air!
Two Player Games
Sometimes you want quality alone time with a child individually. Games are a great “date night” item for kids!
Checkers This has been a favorite game for Kye for many years. He loves that feeling of accompaniment when he actually beats Daddy!
Chess I actually have no clue how to play chess but Kye just got it for Christmas and has enjoyed playing it with Daddy (I will stick with checkers ha!)
Foosball We have this exact one and it’s held up super well over the years. It’s really the first sports oriented game that Kye played and it’s a great one on one time game!
Connect Four A great one for older siblings to enjoy together as well as a quicker game that can easily be played multiple times in a short time span!
Battleship Another classic game that brings back all those childhood memories!
Big Kid Favorites
Once kids are a little older and are able to follow along with general rules of games these are some great ones. A transition from “babyish” games but still not quite what I’d consider super fun for adults 😉
Candy Land A straight up game of luck. A tough one for really competitive kids because you don’t earn the win and it can be frustrating to get so close to the end then get that dreaded gingerbread man!
Chutes and Ladders This is my absolute least favorite game of all time. It drives me insane. Also game of luck but an annoying one because you have to keep track of which way the board is going (it zig zags back and forth). This is only chosen in our home when Daddy wants to annoy Mommy 😉
Operation Another good one in teaching patience and slowing down/taking your time. It’s just so easy for adults to beat that it’s rather boring for a family game situation. But a good one you can set up for your child to play solo!
Surprise Slides This is a luck game like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders but it’s MUCH more fun because the game is always changing. You have to mix up the cards and switch things out so it keeps it much more interesting!
Giggle Wiggle Game Our version is “Scatterpillar Scramble” but same game. It’s a fun one and a quick one too when you’re in a hurry for bedtime 😉 It’s another patience teaching game where you have to slowly put the marbles on a moving creature. It’s challenging and a simple concept for younger kids. You also earn your win which is more exciting than a game of chance!
Kerplunk This is a personal favorite from my own childhood and I have vivid memories of my brother and I setting up to play in our playroom. I don’t think it’s one that all adults enjoy though as Zach cannot stand it. It’s a LONG set up for a much shorter actual game. But it’s fun!
Hi Ho Cherry-O A great game for early counters! Very simple and basic and not hard to keep up with. Also more of a game of chance but has a nice variety to it.
Who Shook Hook This is a spin off Don’t Wake Daddy which I never played as a kid? It’s a REALLY fun game when kids are first growing out of the little kid games. It’s interesting enough to keep older kids engaged and easy enough for littler ones to catch onto the concept quickly.
Let’s Go Fishin’ Another classic that is still challenging and fun even as an adult. It’s great for eye hand coordination and is a quick one that can also be played multiple times (when teaching how to be a good sport I like to be able to play a few times so we have a chance for kids to be both “the winner” and “the loser”)
Older Kid Games – Parent Approved
Not all “big kid” games are fun for the whole family. Quite a few get eye rolls from Zach or I when they are chosen as the game for the evening! Here are ones we keep on regular rotation in our home and our the ones Zach and I tend to pick when we have a say!
Sorry This was Zach’s favorite growing up and continues to be his favorite now (and it’s also Kye’s favorite too). There are so many elements that make it fun and it’s nice that you can go from being ahead to being behind as it’s a GREAT one for teaching good sportsmanship as well as never giving up!
Trouble Our issue with Trouble is that little ones aren’t strong enough to push down the popper. It could be that our game is older but the pushing down issues can be annoying while playing. Otherwise it’s a fun one!
Uno A great card game for kids and adults alike. A great one to take on trips as it travels well and is a game you can play over and over without getting bored!
Blink This was a game I played when I used to babysit in college and it was our FAVORITE. I have such great memories of playing on their front porch after school. I love playing this with my kids. Even though it’s meant for two players we will have Kye vs me and Britt 😉
Memory SUCH a great game for kids. It has so many benefits, especially with (duh) memorizing and paying attention. Zach and I are always impressed at how well our kids remember!
Hedbanz Another fun for the whole family game that is also different every time you play. We’ve made it a little tradition when my dad and step-mom come to visit. It’s a great one for multiple generations to enjoy together 🙂
Eye Found It If I had to pick ONE family game as my favorite then this would be it. It is a longer game so you want to put the baby to bed a little early for this one 😉 It’s the only game we own where everyone works together. It’s a race against the clock and it’s SO FUN. Of course being Disney themed only makes it better! There is also a smaller version (you can see it here) that is perfect to take to Disney to play in line! We play the smaller one when we are more pressed for time or even just too lazy to set up the full game 😉
Princess Pop Up Yes it’s princess, but even the boys enjoy it. You can buy add-ons that can be added to the game as well which makes it really fun. We bought a Frozen add on which does provide some more masculine character options 😉 It’s a VERY fast game which is great and it’s a fun one too. We love it!
Guess Who Another childhood classic which you may assume should belong in the 2 player category since it is a 2 player game. But we have found it’s a great kids game and we divide into teams (boys vs girls). It’s helpful for the adults to guide some of the question asking and it’s always a fun one to play together.
Monopoly Jr This is the start of an older kid era of games for our family and we’re still learning the ropes to having games suitable for ages 8 and up. Kye LOVES it. But Britt struggles with getting bored after a bit.
Clue Jr Y’all. This is SO FUN. Kye just got it for his birthday so it’s new to us but we are LOVING it. Britt (at age 5) is still on the younger side for it so she and I team up and she keeps track of our card (making the X marks on things is fun at this age) while I manage the rest of the game. It’s fun for the entire family and we love that it’s different every time we play!
Pie Face As a family we’ve only played this once. Zach HATES getting food on his face. So this just isn’t his kinda game. It’s also one that I’ve very rarely in the mood for. Typically now I reserve it for nights the big kids get to have a sleep over with each other. They love to play it before bed!
Spot It This is a personal favorite of mine and whenever Zach is traveling it’s the game I pick most often (probably b/c when we play with Zach he ALWAYS wins ha!). They have a ton of different versions and themes for it and it’s really a fun, quick game. It’s also so small that it makes it great to take on the go!
We are always on the lookout for new games to add to our collection. It’s one of my favorite gifts to give the kids because it’s something we can all enjoy as a family! What are some of your family favorites?