It can be difficult to find quality time with the family between work, school, and other obligations. One of the best parts about the weather turning cooler is more time indoors. To avoid everyone migrating to tablets, phones, and gaming systems I’ve come up with a list of the best family board games for you to enjoy this fall and winter. These games are 100% technology free. That might seem odd from a Nerdy Dads writer, but sometimes quality time without tech is just what you need.
It’s important to put down the devices every now and again. Spending quality time with family provides an opportunity to laugh, bond, and build memories together. Board games can entertain everyone from young to old.
Best Family Board Games
Watch Ya Mouth
First up we have Watch Ya Mouth. This game is sure to keep the family laughing for hours. The objective is to get your family to understand a silly phrase you read off a card. The catch? You have to wear a mouth guard (cheek retractor technically speaking) while you say the phrase. The game is great for large gatherings so this is one you want to take on those family holiday trips.
Recommended for ages 8+ just about anyone can join in on the fun. The game comes with 140+ phrases, all family-friendly. That shouldn’t stop you from coming up with your own silly phrases if you want to add a personal twist to the game.
Here is a game that takes me back. Jenga is a class family-night game that is easy to set up and fun to tear down. Players start with a tower made of 54 wooden blocks. The game starts easy enough with each player removing a single block. If a player causes the tower to fall over they lose. Jenga is great for players of all ages, though it is recommend for kids 6+. Jenga is a great way to include your kids in a family-friendly game. It’s up to you if you dive right in and start removing blocks or formulate a strategy first. Having played with young kids before I can attest that the tower collapsing brings more joy than strategy.
My First Orchard
It can be tough to play board games with young children, especially those under 6. The primary concern for me was always a child eating a game piece when I wasn’t looking. My Very First Orchard from HABA is a game designed for young players.
The objective is to harvest all the fruit before that pesky black bird reaches the end of a path. Designed for 1-4 players a round can be played in 10 minutes making this a great choice for those with shortened attention spans. What is also interesting is that the game is collaborative. So a single person doesn’t win or lose, rather all players are on the same team. This keeps feelings from being hurt while providing youngsters a chance to learn strategy and team work.
Fast paced action for 2 players can be found in Hasbro’s Connect Four. Each player will select a set of disks, either red or yellow. The first player to connect four disks in a row is the winner. Disks can be connected vertically, horizontally, or diagonally leaving each player a chance to select their own strategy and respond to their opponent. If your kids love tic tac toe then Connect Four will be a hit!
It’s tough to create a list of the best family board games without including Scrabble.
Scrabble is a classic word game where players attempt to form words by placing squares with a single letter on a board. Words can be created in rows or columns, similar to a crossword puzzle. Words must be included in a standard dictionary making this an excellent way to have fun with family while improving everyone’s vocabulary.
Designed for children 8+ Scrabble is for 2-4 players. Younger family members can also get involved, but you may need to assist with creating words or play as a team.
A classic guessing game makes Guess Who? an essential part of your game drawer. Players each select a character and take turns asking yes/no questions to figure out the other player’s character. Once a player thinks they know an opponent’s character they can venture a guess. If they are right, they win! If not, they lose. Parents looking for a fun way to teach their children logic and how to make educated guesses will love Guess Who?. It’s fun that even adults will enjoy!
Ah Monopoly, so many great memories with this game!
This game has been around for ever it seems and has changed with the time. From the classic board game to a Pokemon version, you can find 21 unique Monopoly board game versions.
Regardless of the version you select the mission is always the same. Pass Go to collect your $200 and go on a real estate buying spree to rule the board. Children and parents will enjoy the time spent buying and selling property and coming up with plans to create a real estate empire.
Monopoly is one of those games that is fun and can teach kids valuable life lessons. Spend too early or buy low earning property and watch your bank dwindle. Make wise purchases, however, and you will be flush with Monopoly dollars.
Dads, if your kids show a real flare for Monopoly you might have a real estate tycoon on your hands in a few years so be sure to play nice!
I’ll round out my list of best family board games with Trivia Pursuit.
With 1,400+ questions in categories ranging from science to entertainment, sports, arts, literature, and more, Trivia Pursuit will keep your family entertained for hours. Designed for players 8+ years of age you can get 2-6 people in on a game. Create teams for even larger family gatherings.
Pro tip: if you really want to up the fun mix older decks of question cards with newer decks. This will keep everyone on their toes and keep the fun going for hours.
Writing this post brought back a bunch of great memories of being a kid myself. Family board games are important for so many reasons. Chief among those reasons is that they require no technology, which means to interruptions with texts, tweets, likes, or emails. Board games present an opportunity for families to sit together and have fun.
As the weather turns cooler and we spend more time indoors I encourage parents to dust off some old games and play with your kids. They likely have fond memories of playing when they were younger. If your kids are young and have never played these games before then their is no better time than now to get them started.
Happy board gaming!