13 of the best family games that your kids will love (and won’t make you want to poke your eyes out)
I found some of the best family games I actually like to play
My kids love games, and we’ve spent years trying to find the best family games that work for our family.
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 family 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!
The best family games to play with kids
1. Sleeping Queens.
Sleeping Queens is one of the best family games for kids! 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.
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.
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!
My boys recently learned how to play Skip-Bo and it’s so fun to play with them because I played this game about 10o,000 times while I was growing up.
I also love that you can adjust the stack of cards for each person depending on how much time you have. We’ll usually do 10 cards in our stack so the game lasts no longer than about 15 minutes.
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.
I 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.
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!
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.
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.
11. The Bears and the Bees
We just recently discovered The Bears and the Bees and it’s so fun. Super easy for all ages to play, and it goes pretty quickly. We actually have enjoyed a lot of Grandpa Beck’s games, but this one is our favorite out of the ones we’ve tried.
This is my favorite game to play with Philip, and finally the boys are old enough to play!
it’s available for $6 right here.
13. Apples to Apples
This is a recent favorite my boys are loving. They now have a Junior version, but we have the original and it’s filled with lots of celebrity names that get confusing for the boys. My sister-in-law had the smart idea to go through the cards and remove them so it’s much easier to play. GENIUS.
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!
We Love those games too! Another really good one is Sushi-Go. Buy it i promise Its so fun!
Will do! Thanks for the recommendation!!
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!
Spot it and ticket to ride!
Ah, I forgot about Spot It! We love that one!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
My boys love clue, blockus, chess and all the kiNgs men. I’ll have to try the labyrinth game.
My kids love mastermind and blokus, and i aDmit That i enjoy playing thOse games with them too!
My kids love playing the card Games cover ypyr assets and too many monkeys.
[…] I shared more of my favorite games our family loves IN THIS POST! […]
[…] We always do this snack tray right after the boys get home from school. I put together the tray while they put away their shoes, backpacks, and lunchboxes. If I’m still not done, they’ll help me finish the tray. Then we gather at the table altogether and eat while we play a game. (These are some of our favorite family games!) […]
GTA V is also a really fun game you can play with friends. Its insanely well known so there are an insane number of players and though it came out a few years ago its still updated to this day. So if you haven’t yet checked it out do so. (Not the best game for kids)
You maywant to try Fartkle. It’s a dice gaMe that’ll get them quick at counting and who doesnt love to say FartKle. Plus its quick.
lol it’s farkle, right? Not fartkle? There’s no chance I’m playing a game with my boys that includes the word “fart” — the last thing we need in our home is more bathroom jokes!! 😉
I am a pediatric occupation therapist, so i try to get games that are fun and great for development too! One of our New FAVORITES is “eye found it” the card Game. We have the huge Board one too and hate it Now that we have cards.. Card game is like speed But FinDing items in your cards, really fun! (We play with all our kids but the older ones get more cards to start)
For little girls we love the Princess cupcake game.
My kids are 10, 7, & 3. We play boggle. Blokus, tenzie, qwirkle, rush hour, skyjo, And many more.
[…] –A great list of family games […]
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Great article, i am also looking for something to do with my kids, usually we are doing some activity with the help of internet, i am trying to teach him to not talking with strangers and weird people in it and not giving personal information (i learned it here https://programminginsider.com/3-ways-to-ensure-that-your-kids-arent-talking-to-strangers-online/ so i am making my kid technologicaly wise from the very childhood and i think it is necessary!
My Top 10 Snes games:
1. Super Mario World
2. Chrono Trigger
3. A Link to the Past
4. Super Metroid
6. Final Fantasy III
7. Super Castlevania IV
8. Megaman X
9. Donkey Kong Country
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i am looking for such a games..