Best family board games

Best Family Board Games

I grew up playing a lot of board games with my parents.  
My mom quit her job as an elementary school teacher and supplemented her income for a few years by selling Discovery toys.  Because of that, we got some pretty cool Ravensburg board games.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is to play board games.  As the weather starts to turn, the day fades faster, and the boardem starts, I thought I would share with you a few of our favorite family board games.

One of my favorite board games as a kid (that I still have and play with my kids) is Bazaar originally by Gryphon.  Bazaar is a trading game with gemstones that you use to buy "wares" or cards.
I like to trade and barter, so maybe that's why I have always liked this game!

The original game like I have, can be found here.
We play a lot of card games.
Card games are easy to pack away for long waits or short trips.
One of our family favorites is Monopoly Deal.
Even though it says 8+ my youngest son learned how to play when he was only 6.
Unlike, the original Monopoly board game, Monopoly Deal only takes about 20 minutes to play.
Monopoly Deal requires players to collect 3 property sets to win, but beware of debt collector and deal breaker cards!

Another family favorite is Guillotine.
It's a good game for kids 10+ (there is a fair amount of reading), and is a lot of fun for adults to play with the kids as well.  Guillotine is a humorous strategy game based on characters set in the French Revolution.  You score points based on the nobles heads you collect over three rounds.
Some old stand by card games that we like to play as a family are gin rummy, UNO, and cribbage.
As part of my son's first grade curriculum his class made their own Mancala boards.
Mancala is a great game of counting and strategy that is easy enough for young kids to play and for adults to still enjoy.  The goal is for the player to collect the most glass beads in his or her mancala (large cup at end of the board game) by distributing the individual cups beads one at a time around the board.
Wood Folding Mancala in Sleeve
Cranium has the market on some of the best new board games available.
Our family loves this Zooreka board game (and shhh, don't tell, even my teenager likes to play this game!).
In Zooreka you get to collect food, animals and shelter to build your own habitat in your park.
Cranium Zooreeka
One of our new favorites is an oldie but a goodie that I picked up at a garage sale.
The Farming Game is an economic board game depicting the business risks and gambles of farming.
Since my husband thinks that since I grew up in Indiana I must have grown up on a farm, this is the perfect way for me to pretend and get back to my roots.
The Farming Game
Blokus is a game of logic and spatial perception where players take turns placing pieces on their board, each starting from their corner. Each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners.  I lack spatial awareness, so those kids of mine, who are good at Lego's, usually have the upper hand on me in this game.
Blokus Classic Edition (Mattel-R1983)
Slamwich is a game perfect for the younger kids, that reminds me of the card game speed.
Slamwich Collector's Edition Tin
Some other classics that our family loves are
Scrabble (you have to get the Deluxe edition-it's way better)
Deluxe SCRABBLE with Rotating Board, Protective Covering
Mexican Train dominos is an easy family favorite that every age and skill level can enjoy
Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Mexican Train Dominoes in Tin
and my husbands all time favorite, Connect Four.
 He's quick to remind us all of the summer he got the connect four trophy.
If you ever want to waste 10 minutes of your life, just ask him about it.
Connect Four
I started playing games with my kids when they were quite little.  I've had to sit through countless hours of candy land (we use real candy as the pawns to make it more enjoyable for everyone), chutes and ladders and go fish games.  Games are a great way to squeeze learning in while still having fun and thankfully, as the kids get older, the games get more enjoyable! 
One of the best things I did when the kids were younger was to not let them cheat.  It's sometimes tempting when the kids are little to let them cheat just to get the game over with, but as we play with them as they get older, having them understand how to really play the game and to be a good sportsman is one of the best things we could have taught them that actually translates to real life.  It makes playing games with them more fun.
Now that you know a few of our favorite games, 

what are some of your family favorites?


NaDell said...

We just played Blokus at my brother's house for the first time. We are picking it up soon!
We enjoy games (a lot!) We love The Farming Game which has place near us and really like The Construction Game which is the follow-up. You make more money in The Construction Game, so it's more fun.
Our 9 and 7 year old daughters can play Ticket to Ride with us and Risk. Rummikub is always a hit.
We recently pulled Probe out which is a game where you write down a word up to 12 letters and everyone has to guess each others' letters, eventually figuring out the word.
I agree that the deluxe Scrabble is worth it. They have awesome grooves that hold the letters where they belong. Super Scrabble is EXTRA awesome.
We have Monopoly Deal (and Scrabble Slam!) Both are excellent games.
Have you tried Power Grid or Acquire or Carcassone or Settlers of Catan?
Sorry for the giant comment. We really like games at our house...

Craftcherry said...

I had COMPLETELY forgotten my mancala set that I have...LOVE that game. My four year old is just trying to figure out games. He loves connect 4...although I'm not sure what rules he plays by. Makes each game interesting!

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon Designs said...

So fun! I love having family game nights! Have a great week!

Take care,


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