Lists/D.I.Y

7 Family Game Night Ideas

My family has had game night for the longest time whether that be my whole family or just our household. We play everything from card games to board games, my eldest sons favorite has to be board games but he often changes his mind. Right now we are teaching him a card game that has been in my family for ages called I-Buy. I don’t know how long its been in our family for sure but I know almost everyone in my family on my grandmothers side plays it, so it might be a regional thing like from the mid west! Another game we have started playing is Name That Song or Artist and Try Not to Sing, since we are a big music based family.

I would like to share with y’all a little of what we play and what we feel are excellent game night ideas. Not only for the whole family but for the kids to play by themselves. I want to address that there are many benefits to game night with the family. First of which you come together as a family and have fun making memories, this is so crucial for early development to be involved in a child’s life with activities. It can also improve life skills like relationship with peers both job and school vise, and a more positive parent-child relationship. Second it helps fine tune motor skills and dexterity, being able to grab a pieces of the game!

Third depending on the game it can help boost vocabulary and math skills they will need later on. I can’t tell you enough how much monopoly and playing I-buy with my family helped somewhat with my math skills growing up. I still suck at math I am not always fluent in math but it helped buffer some of the edges down.

A good thing to do when playing with younger kids is to ask questions in the games like whats larger 4 or 5 even try and identify colors. I am slowly working on including my two youngest in games, the other night we played a family game and my daughter was actually doing pretty darn good for only having to explain it once. I know she couldn’t read hear cards due to only being 4 but she got the idea of the game.

Top 7 Family Fun Games

Apples To Apples/ Apples to Apples Jr.

Apples to Apples is a card game for children and adults ages 12+ while it’s little brother Apples Jr. is for ages 9+. We bought the Apples to Apples jr. when my youngest son with 6, it actually helped him fine-tune his reading and sounding things out. It is a fun game to take on but it is more fun when you have more than 3 people. My husband usually plays the judge and picks the cards he likes most. If you haven’t played this game before the basics of it is you get 7 red card and the judge picks the green card, then you have to pick one red card that goes well with the green card. Green cards are people, place, things or events and the Red cards are names of a person, place or thing. Depending on how many players depend on how many green cards you need to win. I am not going to tell you all the rules but it is overall a fun game and not a long of pieces which comes in handy when playing with a younger child.

Scrabble/Scrabble Jr.

I like Scrabble better than Scrabble Jr. however that is just me being old fashion. Scrabble is a wonderful game to play with those learning vocabulary! Traditional Scrabble is ages 8+ and Jr. Scrabble is 5+ so there isn’t a huge gap but the jr scrabble makes it a little more fun for younger kids to play. I play it often with my oldest to better his spelling and my daughter to get her use to spelling, we both use a dictionary sometimes. He is getting better at spelling things correctly. I am sure everyone knows the basics of the rules for scrabble, there are a lot of little tile pieces and for the Jr one there are little characters.

Speak Out

Speak out has got to be one of the funniest games out there, you don’t even have to play this with family just you and your husband or wife, friend or family! I guarantee that you would not be able to go at least 3 round without laughing at how ridiculous you sound trying to read the cards or how ridiculous you look with a mouth guard in. This particular Speak Out is kids verses parents and there are two different card decks; one for the kids and one for the parents. The plastic mouth pieces are included and there are four of each; large and small. Parents and kids. Mom and Dad verse Brother and Siblings, however in our case it is Mom and Dad verses Brother which is an advantage but we still have fun! Not a lot of pieces other than the 8 mouth things, and cards. Rules to this are simple. Bring the family together with laughing at this ridiculous game. I would suggest washing the mouth pieces after use!

Monopoly

Ah the age only family game, were family becomes rivals and what feels like it takes forever to finish. Monopoly is probably one of the funnest games that a family can play even if it is 1 on 1. Depending one what kind of board you have depends on the look of it and the names of the places you buy, overall they are almost the same prices and located in the same spots. This game is for ages 8+ but can be played with 5+ with adult supervision. Everyone knows the rules to this so I wont even touch that part, at our house we have the classic and the Pokemon board. Which we got my eldest for Christmas one year. This game influences math and counting, so get ready to add and subtract. I know Monopoly can bring families together but I also know it can jokingly tear them apart as well. There are many pieces to this game from the cards to the mover piece; the houses, hotels, and money!

Yahtzee

Even though this game is for 8+ years we have played it with my daughter and she is 4. She loves matching the dice, which is great matchmaking skills and counting. She recognizes the number and will for the most part say them! Yahtzee is a fun to play at family night because you get to have the luck of the dice (sorry got a little Vegas-y there). But really it is a wonderful game for the family. There are some pieces to this game but overall easy to clean up. My daughter also has been put in charge of shaking the cup for the dice, she may not understand the game but we always try and include her.

UNO

UNO! How much fun it can be, I have played this fast card game since I was a kid. Once again even though it is for ages 7+ we try and include my daughter. We tell her to match the colors or the numbers, which gets her to recognize colors, shapes, numbers and letters. Other than the cards there is no pieces you need to clean up, and the rules are simple and fun to follow. Although my husband isn’t a big game player he always ends up with the wild cards that are draw 4 and the skips or reverses! I claim he cheats but I have yet to prove that! Rules in plainest of terms are you have a certain amount of cards in your hand and one flipped over in the middle of everyone, then you go around and match the color or the number up. If it’s both then great but you don’t get points for that kind of thing. Wild cards are placed to change colors and Wild+4 cards is for changing color and having your opponent pick up four extra cards.

Fishbowl Charades Game

I recently was introduced to this game by a church buddy of mine, as you see in the name it is a charades game of sorts. It is better to play with a group of people like 10-20 but I am sure there is a way to play with 4 people. When I played I ended up laughing and enjoying myself.

How you play is first you hand out 3 slips of paper to each person who is playing, they have to write on each one a person, a place, and a thing. For example mine could be Tyler Perry, Air Port, and Candle. Fold the slips of paper. Then you get a large enough bowl (or a fishbowl if you have one that is not occupied with a little fishy) and have everyone place their answers in the bowl and mix it up good! Divide the party of people into two groups, for example men and women, parents and kids. Each team will select one person to go first for the team. Each person has a minute to read as many slips of paper that their team guesses right, you can only pass once if you cant seem to get your team to guess what the slip says. When you don’t get the guess either correctly or after the timer runs out the ones that were passed on get put back in the bowl. Tip REMEMBER the slips being called out the hints being used to guess correctly because after round one your reading the same slips just with different actions and words. How you win is each time a teammate guesses correctly that is a point. There are three rounds:

  • First round: Player can use phrases or words to describe what is written on the paper, but not actually say the words on the paper.
  • Second round: No words just actions! Act is out the best you can
  • Third round: You can only use one word to describe what is the slip of paper. There is a debate on if you can use compound words or a name to describe the slip, like if the word you were to guess is Disneyland and your word hint is Micky Mouse that is using two words.

So Example Game there is a group of 10, 5 guys and 5 girls. They would be split up into two teams, guys verses girls. Each of them would write the three things mentioned above (person,place,thing). That is 30 slips to read! Their slips would be put into the bowl. Each team would pick one person to read first. Decide out of the two first readers to go first. Once selected, lets name her Sally, Sally has one minute to read as many slips and her teammates can guess correctly. Girls can only guess while Sally is reader. Sally can only pass/skip on a slip one time. Once her minute is up then the next person to read is the guys. Guys can only guess on guy readers, It goes back and forth till the round end, which is when all the slips have been read. Tally up the points and move on to the next round.

If there is time remaining while a reader has ran out of slips then pause the clock and put the slips back in the bowl, mix well, and begin the second round with the same reader that round one was left off with. At the end of the rounds add up the points and see which team is the winner.

Example Slip and Rounds; Say the slip says Cell Phone

  1. Round one you can say that you use this daily, always on it, you put in on a charger, caller id. Anything to due with cell phone you can say it just don’t say cell phones, cellular device, phone, or cell.
  2. Round two you can out it like you can hold up your hand like a phone, act like your on your phone, plugging it in
  3. Round three you can say any one word that describes it like; android, ringer, incoming, call, message, text, etc..

Bonus; Perfection

I love this game and with adult supervision this can be for ages 3+ even thought it is 5+. My youngest son loves trying to match up the shapes with my help, my daughter is learning shapes, dexterity, memory, and time by playing this game. With help from my husband and I it is a real family kicker to play all together and watch our kids have fun. It does have small pieces so I would advise if you are going to let the little play with it always do it with them! I don’t want a choking hazard on anyone. My kids are really good at keeping things out of their mouth. Otherwise Perfection is a time based game you start the clock and match the shapes into the spots that it fits it, when the timer goes of the board pops and the piece/shapes come out!

*I am not endorsing these products nor am I getting paid to advertise these products I am just sharing what we play as a family*

What are some games your family plays?

24 thoughts on “7 Family Game Night Ideas”

  1. I am way behind the 8ball on blogs!! I love family game night, but unfortunately, with the kids so grown, we don’t get to play as often. When we have the whole fam together (cousins and all) we always play Apples to Apples! Uno and yahtzee are favorites too. xoxo Sandy

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  2. I look forward to my little ones being able to play board games. I tried Candyland with 3 not too long ago and it did not go well. He didn’t want to follow the path or go to the colors on the cards. I’ll try again in a few months I guess.

    I grew up playing card games and board games with my family. Fond memories around the kitchen table.

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  3. I love this post! I’m a big game lover, but Monopoly never ends well with my family haha.
    My favourite was always Frustration and I hated losing!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Fran x

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  4. I admire families that have a regular board game habit. We played them occasionally when my kids were younger and ditto when I was a kid myself. We were more of a household of readers, travelers, and movie watchers. It’s all good. I still love monopoly! 🙂

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  5. My husband and I play tons of games. Though lately more video than board games. We play lots of cards with his family and it’s a great way to spend time together.

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  6. Never really thought about the benefits even though we have all these games and just do them for fun. Always good to know that there are benefits to some of these things we do.

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  7. I miss family game nights! Though it’s been many years since my children have lived at home, I’ve always cherished the opportunity to play a few rounds of Apples to Apples or Taboo together. Hopefully one day soon!

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  8. We love family game night here! But we don’t play the classic games much, we like to play some of the less-known games. My husband designs games, so we often have new games. We have a full bookshelf. My boys are too young to read yet, so it limits some games, but we also modify a bunch of games to make them playable for the kids.

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  9. Yay, I love game nights! On New Year’s Eve my husband, brother, and I played games and it was so much fun! My hubby just taught me how to play Dominoes and that one is an easy but fun game as well.

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