The Best Family Board Games For Every Age – Updated for 2023

I am a huge fan of family board games, and during the next few weeks I know we are going to be playing a lot of them! If you’re looking for great games to add to your library, please let me share some of my most favourites.

Board Games For Kids of All Ages

Candyland is a childhood classic game for a reason. It’s fun and colourful and the game board is covered in candy! Kids don’t need to be able to ready to read or count to play, so this is perfect for your younger kids. We still own it because everyone can play when little friends come to visit.

Suspend is new to us and we already love it. You need to balance wire rods on a perch without them falling over. No reading is needed, just a steady hand. Lots of fun for young kids.

Connect 4 Shots is a cross between the original Connect 4 and basketball! We bought it for my youngest because she is high energy and loves basketball. It’s a great game to play head-to-head but she also plays on her own to test her shooting skills.

Peaceable Kingdom makes a ton of cooperative board games, where players work together on a common goal. We loved Gnomes At Night and The Sneaky, Snacky  Squirrel Game.

Boggle and Boggle Jr. are great ways to sneak in some literacy learning. You mission is to make words from the lettered dice. The longer the words, the more points it’s worth. This is a fun introductory to spelling and can continue offering a challenge as your kids grow.

Left Center Right (AKA PassPlay) is the one game we always pack! It’s a high-stakes game of dice, where you pass tokens, poker-like chips or anything according to the directions on the dice. You don’t want to be the one who runs out! Party trick: swap out the chips for small candy!

Blokus is a strategy game that will remind you of head-to-head Tetris. It’s all about spacial awareness and squeezing your pieces onto the game board as efficiently as possible. No reading or math required, so our little friends have enjoyed it too. It’s a top-rated family board game for a reason!

Sushi Go! was bought just because of the cool name but it is another one of our must-bring games when we travel. You can have up to 5 players and each game runs about 15 minutes. You mission is to build a high-value hand full of sushi, based on what others are discarding and keeping.

Again, we purchased Exploding Kittens because it looked and sounded hilarious. It is! Kids love the silliness of the cards and I love the excitement of every explosion! There are a few varieties of this game out there as well.

Don’t forget to check out dozens of other ways to stay entertained while at home. We are sharing our top ideas for indoor things to do, or write to an international pen pals, and be sure to read the list of easy at-home science experiments.

Family Board Games Everyone Will Love (Kids Ages 8+)

My favourite family board game is Qwirkle because anyone can play. You don’t need to be able to read, count past 6 or get deep into strategy if you don’t want to. The premise is connecting shapres and colours, and you can choose to keep score or just play for fun, which we did when we had a 6 year old at the table. The more you play, the more strategic it can become, so there is definitely room to grow with this game.

Flash was a Christmas gift for the family one year and it’s so much fun. It’s a dice game that that is very much like speed Yahtzee! Lots of laughs every time we play, and it travels perfectly so it comes on many a vacation and camping trip with us. Plus, a round can be finished in about 15 minutes which is a selling feature for many.

Ticket to Ride took us a while to buy because it’s a little pricey, but it’s truly one of those “forever games” that you will play for years and years. Its a boardgame my husband likes, and he doesn’t like many, so that’s a definite endorsement. Plus, they have a UK version, a kids version, and other novelty varieties to fit your taste.

Mexican Train Dominoes is new to us this year and we love it. I cannot get enough. I love a game that is part strategy, part competition and moves at a fast pace. Mexican Train does all of that and it’s another top-rated party game by the adults I know because you can play with up to 8 people so that’s a big bonus for big families.

One game that is in my cart is Herd Mentality. It’s a game that challenges how well you know your family and friends. Try to figure out everyone else’s answer to the questions. If your answer is in the majority you win cows. Mooo!

Best Board Games for Adults and Teens

Codenames is one of our favorite board games. It comes in a few varieties (standard version, Harry Potter, Disney for Kids) and it’s a great way to test your secret language skills!

Pandemic is an awesome game, and it’s cooperative, so everyone works together to save the world. The skill level and excitement are increased, and tweens and teens will love a family game night once again.

Apples To Apples is always a great way to cook up some hilarity, and to watch my kids faces at some of the cards! I thought this one was a kid’s game, but some of the cards are a little risqué so read them before you start to make sure it matches your audience.

You can’t be Uno, and while it’s not technically a family board game, it’s a classic card game for a reason. Or teach the teens to play Cribbage or Euchre. Not learning these essential university games has always haunted me!

Try Before You Buy

If you are unsure about the investment for some of these pricier board games, I suggest trying them out first at a Board Game Cafe. We have all of the area cafes, their pricing, and some good-to-know details in one spot to make your planning easier.

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