10 Family Games That I Actually Enjoy Playing With My Kids

our favorite family board games

I’m not really a game person. I grew up with a super competitive older sister (love you, Janssen!) who would become very unhappy if she lost any game, so over time they just lost their appeal for me, I guess.

And then I had kids and they got older and suddenly they wanted to play games. And wanted to play games with me. So I had to bite the bullet and play some games with them, and it turns out that I actually don’t dislike all games…there are some that are fun and don’t take all afternoon (I’m looking at you Settlers of Catan).

So I have my personal list of approved games that I really enjoy playing with my kids that don’t make me want to die of boredom or poke my eyes out, and if you’re looking for some new games, try some of these!

nine innings is one of our favorite games to play together
our favorite family games
the ten games I'll happily play with my kids

1. Sleeping Queens.

Sleeping Queens is a fun and quick card game. The age recommendation is 8 and up, but Fos is five and has been playing this for almost a year, so younger kids can definitely pick it up. Each game takes less than ten minutes, and it has only a few simple rules. We’ve played it hundreds of times and I still like it.

Available for $10 right here.

 

2. Nine Innings (or Golf)

We learned this from our cousins, and when I looked online, I found it under the name of “Golf,” not Nine Innings. But it’s a quick and easy card game that our whole family loves to play and is easy for even pretty young kids to play.

We just play it with traditional face cards, and I found the rules we follow RIGHT HERE. The only difference from the way we play is the point system. We don’t play with the Jokers, but instead the Queen is worth +10 and the Jack is worth -3.

This is the one we’re playing in the photos above!

You can buy a pack of face cards here for $3 RIGHT HERE.

 

3. Trouble.

My mom bought this when she came to stay for a few days while Philip and I were away, and it instantly became a favorite. It’s easy for super young kids to play cause you just have to pop the dice bubble and move your pieces around the board. Also I love that you can play an entire game in about ten minutes.

You can buy it for $13 RIGHT HERE!

4. Speed

My boys recently learned how to play Speed and have loved playing it together. It’s similar to the game Skip Bo that I grew up playing with my family, although I love that it goes fast. Are we seeing a pattern here? I have a game attention span of about fifteen minutes max 😉

You can find the rules of Speed RIGHT HERE, and buy a pack of face cards for $3 RIGHT HERE.

 

5. Sequence Letters

If you’ve played the adult version of Sequence, it’s with face cards and it’s very fun (we own that one too). But this is a great version for kids that helps them learn their letters and sounds. You have to match the letter on the card with an item on the board that begins with that letter, so it provides a few learning skills in one!

Available for $15 and free shipping right here.

 

6. Guess Who.

loooooved the game of Guess Who when I was kid, and now I love playing it with my kids. We have a slightly different version from the classic version that has big sheet cards, but I totally want to get the original version with all the faces cause it’s just super fun.

Available for $10 right here.

 

7. The Game of Life Jr.

In full disclosure, I’ve never played the original Game of Life. So I don’t know how it compares, but The Game of Life Jr. is fun and pretty quick. I love the cards that make you act out little things, or have you earn a dollar because you helped someone. It’s just easy and cute.

The only downside is that I can’t play this game just with Fos because he can’t read very well yet, and you have to be able to read the cards and have the other person act it out. So this is a good game for your kids who can read!

It’s available here for $17.

8. Classic kid’s card games: UNO, Go Fish, Old Maid, Matching, etc.

These card games usually come in a set, like this one, and they’re quick and easy games that most young kids can learn pretty easily. Also I love that they don’t take too long.

This is a good set for $14.

9. Labyrinth.

My brother bought this for my boys for Christmas last year and now it’s one of our favorites to play! It’s actually probably the only game I’ll play with my boys that takes longer than fifteen minutes. Some games go quickly, but others take up to thirty minutes or so. But it’s a fun strategy game, and even Fos at five years old can play and loves it.

It’s available for $25 right here.

10. Puzzles for little kids.

Maybe this doesn’t fall into the same category in your mind, but I had to toss in something I love doing with Sanny, who’s two. He loves puzzles right now, and there are several that we do every day that I actually enjoy doing and don’t take that long.

Floor puzzles are my favorite because they pieces are big and they’re pretty easy to make.

We have THIS SPACE ONE with all the planets, THIS UNITED STATES ONE, and this DINOSAUR ONE, and Sanny will sit there for hours and do them over and over again.

We also love these 4-in-1 wooden puzzles in a box. They have a CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE one, a PETS one, and several more.

 

Now it’s your turn…

I’d love if you’d share some of your family favorites that you like playing — we’d love to add a few more to our cupboard for summer!

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16 Comments

  1. Alanna Seely says:

    We Love those games too! Another really good one is Sushi-Go. Buy it i promise Its so fun!

  2. These are some huge favorites in our house too! We’ve been playing uno non-stop lately, and have also really been loving hungry hungry hippos!

  3. Kristin says:

    Spot it and ticket to ride!

    • Merrick says:

      Ah, I forgot about Spot It! We love that one!

      • Meghan says:

        We love Ticket To Ride: First Journey! My 7 1/2 year old is obsessed with it. And it really is fun to play. We also love Uno, Set (even my 4 1/2 year old is beginning to see sets), Battleship, and checkers.

    • Mckenna says:

      Just to add theres a kids version Of ticket to ride that is really fun For younger kids!
      Its called ticket to ride: first journey

  4. Shannon says:

    In addition to The ones you mentioned we love race to the roof, eGged on, pie face, zingo, racko(sort of). My 4 yr old can vouch for those at least. Sometimes I just let him make up rules so it doesn’t take a million years. Is that bad? I loathe games like risk or monopolY where one game can take 4 or 5 hours.

  5. Beth says:

    We got Hoot owl hoot for my 4 yr old and she loves it!! It reminds me of candyland with drawing colored cards but it’s a cooperative game where everyone is working together to beat the game and there is the tiniest bit of strategy involved to make it challenging for older kids and parents. racko is fun for slightly older kids (like 7+) and it’s still fun for me too.

  6. Lisa says:

    Check out forbidden island also! We play with my 10 year old, but it’s an adventure game where players work together using your special ability to beat the game (keep the island from sinking). It’s fun for all, the cards and treasures are really unique and every game is different from the last!

  7. Susie says:

    Love sleeping queens too!
    ThE cutest game ever to play with yoUr littlest is sneaky snacky squirel. Right now the game my 8 and 10 y.o. boys love is taco takeover. WE bought aN extra set so we can play WIth cousins and grandparents.

  8. Cecilia says:

    trouble is called “ludo matic” in Argentina and it’s a classic! we love playing lottery games, like animals or colors lottery. they are a life saver in wintery days!

  9. Brittany says:

    We are a game family for surE. Try “no thanks” mY barely 6 year old loves It and its awesome for teaching strategy but not painful. Really fun with adults too we play it a lot. And also try “Coconuts” we were gifted this game and we all love iT. Quick interactive and so fun.

  10. JamiE says:

    We have been trying to build up Our game coLlection because as of right now it’s NiL. I love your recs for games. I’m not much of a game person either, but i agree with you On a lot of these Games. Also, Adult life takes soooo long, so Definitely sTick with life jr. also, i’ve never been Into PUZZLES and As a result I’m not very good at them, but my 4 year old loves them and my almost 2 year old is getting into them As well. I feel like its a good way for me to build up my skill to put them together with them.

  11. Angie says:

    We live Yahtzee Jr and have 2 different Versions. So fun and quick! Somr other Mom friendly Faves- doodle dice, disney apples to apples, too many monkeys and if you can find it Zooreka.

  12. Kellie says:

    I know someone already mentIoned it above, but we love Zingo! Even my 2 year old can play. i feel like his attention span for games is just not there yeT, but he can sit through this one.
    ThAnks for the great post. We are always looking for more things to do in the evenIngs, to distract from our boys just wanting to watch tv or ipad.

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