9 Board Games Our Family Loves to Play the Most
by Rachel Schmoyer
When my husband and I were first married, we were young and poor. We needed cheap fun. Board games and card games fit the bill and we spent many hours playing Skip-Bo, Uno, and even Monopoly (each one of us controlled two pieces so there was more competition).
When the kids came along we introduced them to the joy of playing games.
Here are some of our family’s favorite games, grouped by age.
Roll and Play from Discovery Toys
Roll and Play was the first game our kids were able to play. Your toddler rolls the soft die, picks a card that matches the color that was rolled, and performs the little activity on the card like jump up and down or give a hug. It’s super cute and active. It helps kids learn how to take turns in a game and that it’s fun to play together.
There are lots of versions of Bingo out there that require no reading. It’s great for learing same and different. Our favorite was Ocean Bingo.
This game requires spinning a spinner and counting the cherries on and off your tree, but there is no reading required. My kids also just liked to play with the cherries from Hi Ho Cherry O.
The Game of Life Adventures
All the fun of the board game Life, but in a card game. My kids love the surprise of what your life will look like as you pick out the cards. My daughter, Molly, likes to get as many children as she can. The Game of Life Adventures also has a way you can make a shorter or a longer game to fit the time you have available to play.
Two of my kids are word-lovers so they love to find as many words as they can in Boggle. Sometimes we even play cooperatively instead of competitively to collectively find as many words as possible.
Apples to Apples Disney Edition
My kids love taking turns being the judge to decide which card played best fits the adjective in play. Plus the cards in Apples to Apples Disney Edition have pictures on them making it easier to figure out what the harder words mean.
Middle Schoolers and Above
This game is like dominoes in that you place the tile you have picked up by matching the elements. But Carcassone contains meeples, too, to claim elements for points. We recommend the Carcassonne Big Box so when you are ready to move beyond the basic game, you have lots of ways to mix up game play. This is the kind of game where if you win, you can think that it’s because you have great logic, but if you lose, you can chalk it up to bad luck. It’s as much fun as other logical games, but only takes 30 minutes to play.
Settlers of Catan
Although this game has been around for a long time, it is still a favorite. Well, at least my husband and I still call it a favorite. Our kids have played Settlers of Catan so much that they are tired of it, but that took years until they decided that. Now and then we can talk one or two of them into it. You need at least 3 players so we are overjoyed when one of the kids wants to play. If you are looking for an expansion pack, Seafarers is our favorite because there are so many options for different game playing. Plus it isn’t melt-your-face-off complicated like Cities and Knights.
Use your action cards and treasure cards to purchase victory points. The one with the most victory points wins. There are so many possible combinations of action cards in Dominion that it’s never the same game twice. Plus you can finish a round of play in about 30-45 minutes and you can play with only 2 players so my husband and I don’t need to beg a kid to join us.
What are some of your favorite family games to play? Comment below and let us know!
About the Author
Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes. If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States.
You can connect with Rachel online on Twitter.