We’ve updated our Family Friendly Board Games post for the 2014 holiday season! These games are guaranteed to bring everyone together for a fun family game night. Each game has a learning element and range from preschool level to high school, but you’re never too old to learn a little something while having fun!
Early Learners and Preschoolers
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Uno heads to the farm. Get all the animals back in the barn by matching an animal or color to the piece on the barn. Kids will practice their matching skills as they try and get rid of all their pieces to win. Don’t forget to shout ‘UNO!’ when you have one piece left.
A popular Disney character, Doc McStuffins is a doctor who fixes toys. In this game kids will utilize their perception skills as they ask their opponent ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions about their character. Using the process of elimination players must guess which character their opponent has. If your child is a fan of Doc McStuffins there are plenty more games and toys to choose from.
I grew up watching The Busy World of Richard Scarry as a kid, and got nostalgic when I saw this game. This game combines perception with counting and recognition as it tasks young learners with finding and counting various objects. What’s even better is that the mat can also be used on it’s own during playtime.
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Kids will reinforce good habits while having fun in this game. This game tasks players with getting the monkeys ready for bed, by brushing their teeth and putting on pajamas while hoping the monkeys don’t jump off the bed before the game is over.
Kids will work on their color recognition and motor skills as they try to fill up their log with an acorn of every color. Using squirrel shaped tongs kids will place a colored acorn onto their log. Kids can earn, lose, or steal acorns to win the game.
Games for Elementary School Kids
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In our previous article we mentioned the popular game Apples to Apples, a card game where players make comparisons between things, often with hilarious results. This game is similar but instead of words representing each card, there are pictures. One player describes a picture and each player must try and put down a card that best matches their description.
A fun strategy game for the whole family, each player acts as a train conductor tasked with creating a route connecting cities. You must think strategically as not being able to reach a city will cost you and you will receive extra points if you are able to connect your trains together to create the longest train.
Think fast! This game will challenge your quick thinking skills as you are tasked to name three of a kind in a given category within just five seconds. Ready set … Name three kinds of cheese! Could you do it in five seconds? This is a fun game for families of all ages.
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Ellen Degeneres’ hugely popular mobile game is a fun twist on charades. Select a category and have the people around you give you clues as you try to guess the word on the screen. Players must be creative to give the best clues. The basic game is free but you can purchase individual decks or packs to keep the fun going!
If mobile games aren’t your scene, Headbanz is your game! Instead of using mobile devices the game is played with physical head bands and cards that are placed into them. Each player asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions and tries to guess the card on their head before time runs out. Think critically as you ask each question to try and narrow down what is on your card.
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Put your artistic skills to the test in this fun twist on the game Telephone. Instead of starting with a word and whispering it around a circle, players are tasked with getting a word and drawing the picture which is then passed around.
It’s parents vs. kids in this game. There are two sets of questions geared towards two generations: one deck for parents that has questions parents are more likely to know and one deck for kids that have questions they are more likely recognize. Move across the board by answering questions correctly.
A super fun trivia question where everyone estimates an answer to a question. Once everyone puts in their guess put a wager chip on whichever you think is the best answer. The more outrageous the answer the higher the point value.
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A constantly changing game board ensures that the game is unique each time. Tiles are shuffled and placed on the board, and each player is tasked with saving their people before the volcano erupts. Players will need to be able to adjust to the board as other players use hazards to their advantage and the board continues to shrink.
Middle School and High School
A more complex game for the more advanced player. Players are tasked with building and maintaining a civilization while defending it against attackers. Strategy is key here so choose each card carefully. The game has also been praised for the artwork used on the cards and boards.
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This game uses the power of search engines to create a fun board game. We’ve all seen the suggested search terms when you begin a search, and many can be very comical. This game tasks players to spot the actual search people used.
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The popular trivia game has stepped up to the 21st century. Many of these games combine a TV or computer as a host and have users use mobile devices as their game pads. Everyone is tasked with thinking creatively whether it be coming up with a false answer or creating art.
Did your family’s favorite game make the list? Be sure to check our list from last year as well and remember if you are looking for other ways to have fun while learning, you can always learn with LEGOs and find out how Minecraft can be educational. Be sure to visit our Activity Center as well for educational games printables and activities for all ages.