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With the onset of fall, and the temperatures starting to drop, it’s that time of year where summer is officially on its way out. But as the long summer days fade, I like to turn the focus back onto what I can do to enjoy as much time as I can with this little family of mine. It is easy when your kids are little to think you have loads of time to play with them and that they will always be around. Sometimes it feels as if they may never leave, and you are doomed to be stuck in the endless chaos of motherhood. I know I have been there, and I am still very much in it. But my oldest turns 18 this next year, and I can see how quickly the moments of having all three of my babies home are slipping through my fingers.
So, I have decided in all my motherly wisdom of 17 years and counting to initiate and commandeer one night a week as family games night! We bust out our favorite games, and the entire family is required to be in attendance. At first, my idea was met with groans from my “teenagers” and exuberant excitement from my youngest. But over the past couple of weeks since its inception, this little family of mine has come to fully adopt this new fangled idea of mine and our family game night is now one filled with hours of fun and lots of laughs as we connect as a family.
The greatest gift we can give our kids is our time. Even if your teens mumble and complain at first, they crave quality time with you, a lot more than you think! And a night of fun family games provides an easy no-pressure environment to connect and play together and enjoy each other’s company!
We have come to love our time spent playing games. But I have realized that finding games that the whole family can enjoy together can be tricky unless you like playing Uno or Candy Land all the time. Umm, thanks but no thanks…
After much trial and error, the games that made our list were hashed out in lengthy convos within our tribe. My kids are 17, 14, and 10. Having older kids does help with gameplay, but most of these games will work with young children as well. Most of these games are approved for players of all ages. Yep, that means you too, friend! We all need more play in our lives.
Here Is Our Humble List Of The Best Family Games:
- Cover Your Assets
- Parent Not Approved
- Incan Gold
- Ticket to Ride
- Sleeping Queens
- Just Dance
- Settlers of Catan
- Sushi Go
- Catch Phrase
- Throw Throw Burrito
- Exploding Kitten
- Yeti In My Spaghetti
- Guess Who?
1. Cover your assets: This game is a best seller and instantly became a family favorite. It was easy for my kids to learn and helped teach them exactly what an asset is a fun bonus. We even like to play this game with our adult friends on game night. It is an excellent game to play with a small group of people.
The goal of Cover Your Assets® is quite simple. The first player to reach $1,000,000 wins. This usually happens in three to five rounds. If time is short, you can also play one hand for some quick fun. Each player builds their stack of assets by placing matching sets of cards crisscross (perpendicular), one on top of another. While making your own sets of assets is ok, it’s way more fun to snatch them from your neighbors. Identical asset cards and wild cards will help you do just that. You may be feeling pretty smug thinking about swiping everyone else’s valuable asset cards, but remember—they can try to steal from you too!
The stealing part is the most fun and can get kind of crazy when wild cards are involved. Some stacks have reached as high as $500k in value! So it brings fun to start to count your money and then work like crazy to cover them up before someone steals them from you.
The game is best played with 4-6 players, so it is perfect for our family of 5.
The game costs about $15 on Amazon
2. Parent Not Approved: This is very similar if you have ever played Apples to Apples. One player reads a card with a fill-in-the-blank statement, and then all other players submit one of their cards to finish this sentence. These can get pee-in-your-pants funny! My kids were laughing so hard they could barely read the cards. So keeping a straight face is close to impossible. The player reading the statement card then picks their favorite as the winner, and the winner of that round collects the card and keeps it. – The first player to collect 10 statement cards wins the game. The game time can be a bit longer on this one, but it was a riot. This is also an excellent game for large groups since there is no max player amount. We have played it with as many as ten players before!
The game costs about $25 on Amazon – and I have seen it at Target, but for a bit more.
3. Incan Gold Incan Gold is a quick, fun game of bluff and daring in which explorers push their luck while exploring an old Incan temple searching for gold and treasure. You decide when to delve deeper into the temple, adding to your riches, or retreat to camp! My kids like one. It was easy for them to learn and understand how to play. It helps teach strategy, problem-solving and assessing risk. I always like games that teach a little something as well. Incan Gold is one of those confusing to explain but super easy to pick up on as you play. The winner is the player who has the most riches at the end of the round.
Incan Gold costs about $33 on Amazon.
4. Ticket To Ride: When our kids were little, Kelly and I would play this with our couples friends when they would come over. It has always been one of my favorites and, as the kids have gotten older, it has been so fun to teach them to play as well.
To play, each person will get different train routes to build across America and plastic trains to help them accomplish building their routes. You will need to collect colored cards to help complete your route. And fingers crossed that the next player doesn’t make it where you planned, so you need to reroute! This game can get competitive. This game can take a long time, but it is a great way to talk to your kids as you play.
Ticket to Ride costs about $45 on Amazon.
5. Sleeping Queens: This is an excellent game for all ages, and it works well with younger kids. It says 8+, but Tatum was able to beat me easily at age 6. This is another classic card game favorite at our house. Everyone can enjoy the Sleeping Queens Card Game. The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen, and 10 of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell. The players’ job is to wake them up using strategy, quick thinking, and a little luck. The player who wakes the most queens wins.
It also can be played with only two players, so it is a great game to play when you want to spend 1-1 time with your children.
Sleeping Queens costs about $10 on Amazon.
6. Guesstures: This is an oldie but a goodie classic game. It’s charades with a fun twist (Think – Clap, Tie, Butterfly), only you’ll need to guess before the cards drop! It’s so fun to see my kid’s creativity shine on this one. And they love watching Mom and Dad being silly as they act out the word! It is available on Amazon for around $15
7. Just Dance I usually am not a fan of video games, but Anyone can play just Dance, and you can use your phone as a controller via the app. My kids love seeing Kelly and I “dance,” and we have a great time. Plus, it’s a fun “active” game for the whole family.
Prices vary depending on which gaming console you own.
8. Telestrations Remember when you were a kid, and you would play “Telephone,” and each time the phrase passed down the line, the more outrageous it would become? That’s the idea behind Telestrations, except you’re drawing, not verbally sharing a message! This one is a lot of fun and is a fantastic group game!
Telestations is about $30 on Amazon.
9. Settlers of Catan: In this classic board game, you will build roads and new settlements or upgrade existing settlements to cities. As you expand cleverly, you may be the first player to reach ten victory points and win the game! This is a fun game to play with adult friends or the kiddos. It is a thinking game for sure, and you will need to focus and have enough strategy to outwit your opponents. This game can get heated, but it is all in good fun.
The base game of Settlers of Catan is around $40, but expansion packs are also available.
10. Sushi Go: Pass the sushi! In this fast-playing card game, the goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by. Score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a complete set of sashimi. Dip your favorite nigiri in wasabi to triple its value. But be sure to leave room for dessert, or else you’ll eat into your score! Gather the most points and consider yourself the sushi master! This is a fun, fast-moving game that will have you laughing and possibly hungry! My kids love this one, and it was we can play quickly if we are short on time.
Sushi Go is about $8 on Amazon.
11. Catch Phase: The Catch Phrase game is designed so that players can toss it instead of passing it — putting the “catch” back into Catch Phrase! Players try to get teammates to guess the word or phrase that appears on the screen by describing it in just about any possible way — but they have to do it fast as the timer counts down! You do not want to be holding it when to buzzer goes off. This is a fun, more active game and is another way to get moving! (Which I fully approve of!)
Catch Phrase is about $20 on Amazon.
12. Throw Throw Burrito: I was a little hesitant about this popular game, I heard so much about it, but we have had so much fun! The bottom line on this one is to collect cards, play your hand and throw things at your kids.
Throw Throw Burrito is about $25 on Amazon
13. Exploding Kitten: My Mother In Law bought this one for our family, and at first, I was a little turned off by the verbiage of “exploding kittens” how dark is this game? I wondered?? The kids were pumped to play, so I decided to try it and reluctantly found myself laughing at the artwork and enjoying the game. It is another card game that moves pretty quickly, so if you are short. This is the perfect game to bust out.
Exploding Kittens – A Russian Roulette Card Game, Easy Family-Friendly Party Games – Card Games for Adults, Teens & Kids – 2-5 Players: Is about $25 on Amazon
14. Yeti In My Spaghetti: This was a game of year winner in 2017. The simple game has an amusing theme. Who pictured a yeti in spaghetti? It’s just too fun! Put the plastic noodles across the bowl, set Yeti on top, then start pulling noodles! Just don’t let Yeti fall into the bowl! It feels a bit like Jenga, trying to pick the sturdiest noodle. It’s a fun one for sure and great for younger kids, although my teens get a kick out of it.
Yeti In My Spaghetti is about $13 on Amazon
15. Guess Who? I remember playing this game as a kid and completely dominating. It was like I had some special skills for the game. The good news is, my skills are still intact, and it is a fantastic family game today. Since it is meant for two people to play, we will often divide into teams.
Guess Who is about $10 on Amazon
Sometimes we like to skip pulling out a board game or card game and focus on playing indoor games as a family.
More Of Our Favorite Family Party Games:
- Hide and Seek – This one is free and is a complete blast to play with your kids – They are usually a breeze to find – since you can follow the laughter!
- Freeze Dance – Another super simple and free game to play – My kids love playing this one, and even my 14 yr old will join in. – it is a great way to get some wiggles out and have fun giggling, dancing, and having a good time. If you have an Alexa – ask her to play “freeze dance,” and you’re in for a treat!
- Hot Potato – We use a stuffed animal or other funny item and pass it around, hoping not to get stuck with it.
- Stop/Start Story Time: One person is designated as the “story controller.” The first person will start the story, and when the “story controller” says stop, the next person needs to pick up where the last person left off, continuing the story. These stories we correct can get pretty random and fun, but it’s the perfect way to build imagination.
- Two Truths and a Lie: This one can get real fun! A great way to get in the know about what is going on in your kid’s lives.
- Scavenger Hunt: Go on a fun scavenger hunt around your home for random items.
- Charades: We like to do themes like “Disney Movie” or “Super Hero Movies”
I hope this list of family games inspires you to take the time to make Family Game Night a tradition in your home. Taking the time to play with your kids is so important. You’ll make so many fun memories when you do! My kids beg us to play games with them, and some of our best conversations have been around the table playing a game as a family.
I talk a lot about living your best life on my blog, and that includes building healthy, loving relationships with your children. I promise time goes by so quickly, and you’re not going to get this time back. So make time to be silly with your kids. Let your kids see you having fun and being a bit wild. You are teaching them that to be a healthy adult, PLAY is still essential and needed.
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