We try to sit down and enjoy some friendly family competition regularly. Not only is it quality time together, but it also helps prepare kids for the ups and downs of life. Playing games with family is a great way to learn that you win some and you lose some – and how to do them both with grace and good sportsmanship.
Over the years, we’ve acquired quite a collection of games. By that, I mean that they’ve taken over their own storage cabinet! With many game options available, we get plenty of variety. But there are a few that are family favorites.
The order varies by person, but these are the top 10 favorite games for our family with players ages 8 and older.
1. UNO. This game is high on everyone’s list. We enjoy the original UNO Card Game as well as several of the variations – including UNO Attack, UNO Spin, and UNO Tippo. They’re all fun, but the simple deck of UNO cards is the most convenient and handy. It’s a classic, and great to take along on vacations, as well.
2. Scrabble. When our kids were younger, we started them out with Scrabble Junior, which is for ages 5 and up. Now that they’re all older, we play the original Scrabble Crossword Game. My husband and I sometimes help our kids come up with words and find the best places to place them, but they can do well on their own, too.
3. Scattergories. This is a fun game that says it’s geared for ages 13+, but all of our kids love it. There’s nothing offensive about Scattergories for younger players, it just requires a good vocabulary to come up with creative answers to score points. Our 8-year-old is young for it, but she regularly suggests this game because she likes that we let her roll the letter and control the timer – that makes up for her difficulty thinking of answers. Creativity helps, so that’s where the kids excel with this game. Working as teams makes this fun for kids.
4. Apples to Apples. This game leads to a lot of silliness. We enjoy playing Apples to Apples for the fun of the comparisons. It’s another game that is geared for kids 12+, but our 8-year-old has no trouble with it, other than needed an occasional explanation of what her card means due to her more limited vocabulary. The kids all love their turn as judge to pick the winner of the hand.
5. Risk. OK, the guys all insisted that Risk goes on this list of favorite games. It’s in the top two games for all three of them. My daughter and I don’t like this one as well, so I put it at number five. It’s a game of world domination, so that sounds like a game made for males, right?
6. Guesstures. We find charades more fun when it’s fast paced like Guesstures. The kids enjoy acting out the cards and winning points. What’s not to love about that?
7. Othello. This is an older game that I don’t see as often anymore, but my kids love it. We have Othello playoffs, since it’s a two-person game. The drawback with the older boards was that you would bump the pieces on the board when flipping the chips. Newer boards give each square a raised border to make it easier to keep the pieces in place.
8. Trivial Pursuit Family Edition. It’s always fun to realize how much information you don’t know, right? Well, not so much. Where the original Trivial Pursuit is rather difficult, we find that this Trivial Pursuit Family Edition is more fun. It’s great for ages 8+, with separate question cards for kids and adults. The kids like to see how much they do know – and multiple choices for some of the answers help them guess right sometimes, too!
9. Connect 4. This is a simple, fun game to play, but it has the benefit of teaching basic game strategy for younger players. When they started playing Connect 4, my kids just dumped in the checkers anywhere. I could use the game to teach them about thinking strategically about the best move and how to plan ahead to set up another move. It’s nice to see them progress to more advanced thinking as they learn the game.
10. Chess. My husband is in the process of teaching our two oldest kids how to play chess. This is another game that they like more than I do, but I love watching them learn the strategy involved and master the moves. When it’s my turn to play, I prefer using the board for checkers.
Honorable mentions: We had a hard time narrowing down this list of favorite games. My daughter, in particular, had some favorites that didn’t make the list. Since she’s the youngest, she still enjoys some of the early childhood games, like Candy Land, Clue Junior, and The Ladybug Game. My boys also like a good game of Stratego.
What are your favorite games for family game night?
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