Things to Do - Family Boardgames


I love boardgames. Dan wooed me with Scrabble. He won my father over by winning at Trivial Pursuit. Basically, I grew up in a boardgame family.

Finally after way too much Candyland, the kids are all ready for bigger and better forms of sedentary competition (no more gumdrop mountains for me). Our favorite family boardgames are best broken into two categories (1) those that T can play with us (kindergartner; can't read yet); and (2) those for which second grade is a requirement.

GAMES FOR 5 (4?) and UP:

* Uno - Okay, not exactly rocket science. Also it doesn't include a board. But still so so much better than Candyland.

* Jenga - All that's required is some (small?) degree of fine motor skills.

* ThinkFun Zingo
- Bingo with words and pictures. This can be rather boring. Well until your whole family fights like crazy over the winning tile. And by "fights" I mean someone becomes physically injured.

* HedBanz - Dan hates attaching an unknown word to his forehead. He's also shockingly good at figuring out what that word is. I like games that make us all look silly and this one wins. But of all the games listed, we rarely play this one. (Also, Hedbanz seems a little redundant since we often play the Heads Up app at restaurants)

* Sorry! - This can be painfully boring unless you buy the version with Fire and Ice power ups (highly recommended). Then it's sort of fun. Sort of.

* Monopoly - T still can't quite figure out the money situation, but with a little adult/sibling "help" he can play along.

* Qwirkle - Now we're actually getting somewhere. This is like Scrabble except with colors and symbols instead of words (so reading isn't a requirement). It involves some luck and some strategy and can actually be really fun.

* Catan: Junior- If you want a gamer kid this is a good place to start. Catan Jr. gameplay is similar to its adult counterpart, Settlers of Catan (now made famous by the Greenbay Packers and Ben from Parks and Recreation), but the the rules and strategy are more basic. Junior is also relatively enjoyable for adults (well, until you play the adult version, then it is hard to go back).


* Apples to Apples Junior
- This is F's favorite game. It requires at least three people and we play it a lot. But if you've ever played Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples becomes crazy boring by comparison.

* Telestrations - F also loves this game. Unfortunately, there is no "winner", but everyone laughs. The lack of a winner somewhat confuses me.

* Mastermind- Two person code-breaking game that I played obsessively as a child. I'm not sure why my children aren't more obsessed with this one, though they play it often enough. Their apathy confuses me.

* Cubu - Cubu involves recognizing patterns. There's also a speed version we haven't played yet. Each round moves rather quickly. But after awhile it hurts your eyes.

* Ticket To Ride - This is where things start getting good. Unlike previously mentioned games, Ticket to Ride necessitates a decent amount of strategy (it also takes about an hour to play). Plus kids learn geography.

* The Settlers of Catan
- SO SO FUN!! Though games can be somewhat long and if F isn't winning, she complains continually of boredom (though when winning she starts asking if we can play all the time). Still so. much. awesomeness.

* Forbidden Island- Game play for this one is cooperative, so the family either wins or loses together. I found the set up a little tricky at first, but once we got the hang of it everyone really liked working together. We almost always beat the island, thus causing Dan to complain that the game isn't hard enough (but who cares? I like being a winner).

What about everyone else? Any board game suggestions?


  1. we are addicted to card games (as well as board games). Racko, Phase 10, Rummikub (not exactly cards, but card-like), and 5 Crowns are current favs. We do love Ticket to Ride. The kids love clue.

  2. We just got a game called Munchkin, which has great reviews, but we have not tried yet.

  3. If you like Ticket to Ride, Settlers and Forbidden Island you can easily handle games like:

    Castle Panic (another coop), Carcassonne, King of Toyko and Dominion

    There's a whole sub-world of board gaming: http://boardgamegeek.com/
    Check out "Dice Tower" on Youtube for reviews of virtually every game to see if you think it would work well for you family.


  4. We are obsessed with Colorku -- basically sudoku but with colors instead of numbers (which is somehow more palatable for my brain). Both kids (10 and 7) can do the easy ones alone, and we play the harder ones together. And it's so pretty.

  5. All this info is awesome! Thanks everyone! I'll start diving in and buying some new ones!

  6. LABYRINTH!!!!!!!!!!! you must get. you will love. and you will want to kill things in frustration, if you are spatially challenged like me. But i still love it!

    we got Forbidden Island over the holiday, we love it! Oh that that crazy sinking island! And we also have Catan Junior - ok those GOATS? Love me those crazy goats. It just strikes me as so funny.

    Just ordered classic Clue for Julia's birthday (she's turning 9) because a neighbor brought over the new version, which we all shrieked in dismay when we saw it - the new version has turned everyone into hipsters! you should see the pictures! just awful! where's Colonel Mustard and his monocle??? So I got the classic Clue, which looks fabulous.

  7. I have a 4 and 6 year old and we like: Sequence for Kids, Memory, Uno Moo, Go Fish, and The Cupcake Game.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...