I published this blog post over a year ago to tell you about all of the games we play as a family.
As a family of 6 with kids ages ranging from 4 to 13, we have to choose our games wisely if we want to involve everyone. You have the hard task of trying to keep the young ones entertained and choosing a game they understand is 90% of the battle. With the older kids, you need to do games that aren’t too baby. My girls, of course, will play with their brothers with most any game. But they appreciate it when we do something that keeps them hooked as well!
PREPARING FOR NEW YEARS!
As New Year’s Eve is tomorrow night and a perfect time to pull out the games and puzzles for family time, I wanted to update this list and tell you about a few more games we discovered this year that should definitely be added to your list! And if games aren’t your thing, we also mix it up with puzzles! Here are our favorites:
As you probably spotted, we do have a few adult-themed games scattered throughout and those are usually one shelf up! (See? This is real life – I didn’t organize this closet before I snapped pics). But usually, this closet holds all age-appropriate games on the lowest shelf, older kid’s games on the middle, and adult/parent games on the top shelf. It’s a great way to organize and ensure that your littles only grab what they can reach!
So take a look at the list below and then pick these up at a local store! Or pick them up for a future game night! And tell me in the comments below which games are your family’s favorites!
OUR FAVORITE FAMILY GAMES
Tenzi is perfect for beginners and aficionados alike. It's actually one of our family's favorite games because everyone can play and you can add as many players as you'd like. We actually own 2 sets for just those occasions! Every player gets 10 dice. The object of the game is to roll the dice as fast as possible, the player who gets all dice on the same number and yells "Tenzi!" is the winner. And if you get bored with this old standby, this set comes with 77 different ways to play to mix it up!
This is a game we love to play because we can have multiple players and you need to work with your team to win! The 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. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. Pick that tile and your team gets killed. It can be fast-paced and is super fun!
This is one of the most fun games we play and is great for all ages! It seems so simple at first but once you get going, it becomes a game of sneaky side glances, not-so-subtle throat clearing, and catching your fellow players trying their best shifty eyes on each other! There are 4 drop points and each player is a certain spy. Each player draws a card that has a spy on it and one with a location. It's your job to alert the spy you drew that you have a package to drop off to them without alerting any of the other players. In turn, that spy tells you which location to drop the package. If you do it successfully, you win! If someone catches you, they win - and everyone is trying to be sneaky all at the same time!
Zingo is one of my kid's favorite games, and is the winner of an Oppenheim Gold Award and Parents’ Choice Gold Award. It's Bingo with reading! The pictures ensure that Jett or Dash can still independently play, while it encourages them to read aloud the object. This game requires no adult help, so my kids will literally spend hours playing this game together. It is a super sturdy game with thick, sturdy, double-sided cardboard bingo cards and the text and pictures on the yellow “chips” have no scratching or fading from frequent overuse. This game is now my go-to gift for any birthday party we are invited to and my boys ask to play it all the time!
Get a handy way to play the classic property-trading game! Be the first collect 3 full property sets of different colors, and you’ll win the Monopoly Deal Card Game. You’ll pick up cards when it's your turn and play Action cards to charge players rent, steal their cards or demand money for your birthday. Build up property sets, gather piles of money and keep wheeling and dealing until you're the Monopoly Deal winner!
This is the one game my boys BEG to play and it's so much fun as a family. Fair warning, if you've got kids that are competitive, this game can get lively! But it's super easy to learn, fun for large numbers (just buy multiple decks), and can keep the troops entertained for hours! The idea is to get two matching cards to create an "asset" and to protect that asset by collecting more and piling them on top of each other. Only the top "asset" is in danger of being stolen by another player. This is hand's down one of the best games ever made!
This is a game that is usually in my purse or in my kid's backpack. You can take it out at restaurants, games, roadtrips, and it makes the time pass that much quicker. Plus, I'm a BIG fan of games that make it so my kids spend time with one another. This fun "I Spy" esque matching game is fun and fast-paced!
Play a card from your hand, and place your chip on the corresponding character on the board - the first with four chips in a row wins! Your kids aren't required to read for this game to be fun and will encourage them to develop a strategy and to be observant! You can also get the adult version if you want something a bit more grown-up but this can easily be played by 3-4 yrs and up!
When your family is a blend of kiddos of all different ages and you need a game that everyone can quickly understand and enjoy, this is the game we pull from the shelves! The directions are super easy. Spread out the magnetic discs and roll the two dice. Depending on the shape and color combination, everyone playing will race to pick up every disc that fits the bill. No need to spend hours arguing over the directions - which is the thing I love the most!