The Best Family Board Games for Some Friendly Competition

From charades to Uno, these family board games are fun and educational

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Verywell Family / Lecia Landis

Board games are a terrific way to spend time together as a family. They can be fun, challenging, and educational, and will encourage you to share an activity that doesn't require watching a screen. Finding a game for the whole family can sometimes be a challenge, but once you do, get ready for hours (or at least multiple minutes) of fun.

Reviewed & Approved

The PlayMonster Yeti in My Spaghetti is a game with a wacky and fun set-up where you don't want the yeti to fall into the spaghetti. For older children, we recommend the Briarpatch Kids on Stage Charades Game.

Before purchasing a board game, consider looking for games that appeal to your children's ages, interests, and learning level. We carefully considered any age recommendations, rules, number of players, challenge level, and entertainment value when reviewing products.

Here are the best family board games to keep everyone entertained and having fun together.

PlayMonster Yeti in My Spaghetti

Yeti in My Spaghetti

Courtesy of Target

The PlayMonster Yeti in My Spaghetti ranks high on our list because this game is unique and fun for even the smallest members of your family. In this wacky set-up, the noodles are piled across the bowl with the yeti figure placed on top of the noodles. Each person takes a turn removing a noodle, hoping the yeti won’t fall into the bowl. If you make the yeti fall, you lose. Most rounds don’t last more than five minutes and the game can be played by kids as young as 2 years old.

Price at time of publication: $15

Players: 2 or more players | Age Recommendation: Ages 4 and up | Skills Required: Hand-eye coordination

Briarpatch Kids on Stage Charades Game

Kids on Stage Charades

 Courtesy of Khol's

Get ready to laugh with this easy version of classic charades featuring animals, objects, or actions. Acting out the clue while getting the other players to guess will encourage confidence and develop communication skills. The simple picture recognition makes this possible for kids ages 3 years old and up to easily play. There’s really no limit to how many people can play the game.

Price at time of publication: $20

Players: 2 to 6 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 3 and up | Skills Required: Word and image recognition

Mattel UNO Game

Uno

 Courtesy of Walmart

Easy to play and quite portable, Uno is a classic card game for good reason. Players take turns matching the cards in their hand with the card showing at the top of the deck. Kids just need to know their colors and numbers to play. The game is best for kids ages 7 years old and up and can be played with two to 10 players.

Price at time of publication: $6

Players: 2 to 10 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Basic number and color recognition

Rummikub Game

Rummikub

 Courtesy of Target

A mix of strategy and luck guide this easy-to-learn and fast-moving game. Two or more players take turns placing their numbered tiles in runs of either consecutive numbers of the same color or groups of the same number in different colors. Kids 7 years old and up will benefit from the inherent lessons of sequencing, pattern recognition, and planning skills.

Price at time of publication: $40

Players: 2 to 4 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Sequencing and pattern recognition

Hasbro Pie Face

Pie Face

 Courtesy of Khol's

Requiring absolutely zero skill, it may be a stretch to even call this a board game, but it’s sure to bring lots of laughs to your family. Load the arm with whipped cream (not included) or a wet sponge and take turns cranking the arm until someone gets whacked in the face with a dollop of whipped cream. Recommended for ages 5 years old and up, but if your youngster is okay with some whipped cream in the face, go for it.

Price at time of publication: $30

Players: 2 or more players | Age Recommendation: Ages 5 and up | Skills Required: Basic number recognition and counting

Think Fun Zingo!

Think Fun Zingo! Game

Courtesy of Walmart

Like bingo but better, this fast-paced family game builds matching and word recognition abilities. Great for 4-year olds and up, even little kids will be able to keep up and go head-to-head with parents, siblings, or anyone else. You’ll need at least two people for this game and can play with as many as six people.

Price at time of publication: $22

Players: 2 to 6 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 4 and up | Skills Required: Basic language and matching

Winning Moves Games No Stress Chess

An easy family-style chess game called No Stress Chess.

Whether you are perplexed by chess or a master, No Stress Chess will introduce the age-old partner game to kids ages 7 years old and up. The innovative set includes a standard chess board along with cards. Each card illustrates exactly how to move the piece.

Price at time of publication: $20

Players: 2 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Basic strategy and critical thinking

Hasbro Battleship

Battleship Classic Game

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids can go up against adults in this high-stakes two-person guessing game where you aim to sink each other's ships before yours get sunk. While appropriate for ages 7 and up, if your child is younger but has a good letter and number recognition, that’s all they need to play.

Price at time of publication: $17

Players: 2 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Basic number and letter recognition

Exploding Kittens Card Game

4.9
Exploding Kittens Card Game

Amazon

This ridiculously silly, fast-paced game is easy to learn and easy to play. The goal is to avoid drawing an exploding kitten card. There’s a bit of card strategy, a lot of luck, and a bunch of goofiness. The game is best for ages 7 and up. The game takes about two minutes to learn and no more than 15 minutes to play a round.

Price at time of publication: $20

Players: 2 to 10 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Reading and basic strategy

Older kids and parents will enjoy this classic word game that requires players to put their letter tiles together to build words, add up points, and try to win the game. It may be harder for younger kids to go head to head with adults since much of the skill of Scrabble relies on a robust vocabulary and proficient spelling skills.

For a high schooler, this could be their chance to show off and take down mom or dad. Scrabble is for two to four players and is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Price at time of publication: $20

Players: 2 to 4 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 8 and up | Skills Required: Spelling and word recognition

Hasbro Gaming Trouble

Trouble

Courtesy of Target

The classic Pop-O-Matic bubble will bring parents back in time while little ones will enjoy the game. With straightforward rules, the simple goal is to move your four pieces around the board without getting into “trouble” and heading back to start. Trouble is for kids 5 years old and up.

Price at time of publication: $12

Players: 2 to 4 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 5 and up | Skills Required: Basic counting

Hasbro Jenga Mini Game

Jenga

 Courtesy of Target

Everyone’s heart will be racing as your family builds the block tower taller and taller, just waiting for it to fall. It’s perfect for ages 6 and up and can be played with as many people as you have. If no one else wants to play, no worries. Jenga is fun as a solo game too.

Price at time of publication: $5

Players: 1 or more players | Age Recommendation: Ages 6 and up | Skills Required: Motor skills and hand-eye coordination

Hasbro Mouse Trap Board Game

Hasbro Mouse Trap Board Game

Courtesy of Amazon

Little builders will enjoy the challenge and hands-on nature of this game. Players are tasked with creating a mousetrap to capture their opponents while moving around the board at the same time. The game is for two to four players and is best for ages 6 years old and up.

Price at time of publication: $25

Players: 2 to 4 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 6 and up | Skills Required: Motor skills and number recognition

Hasbro Yahtzee Classic Dice Game

Hasbro Yahtzee Classic Dice Game

Amazon

The classic dice game mixes strategy and luck with every roll of the dice. Kids will enjoy the fast-paced game and won’t even realize all the math they are doing as they play. This portable game is best for kids 8 years old and up.

Price at time of publication: $9

Players: 2 or more players | Age Recommendation: Ages 8 and up | Skills Required: Age-appropriate math skills

Hasbro Game of Life

Hasbro Game of Life

Courtesy of Amazon

Game of Life has been around for more than 50 years and continues to be a family favorite for game night. Designed for two to four players, ages 8 and up, players will choose how life goes. Get ready for adventure, action, and lots of surprises!

Price at time of publication: $24

Players: 2 to 4 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 8 and up | Skills Required: Basic counting and reading

Disney Mad Tea Party Game

Disney Mad Tea Party Game

Courtesy of Amazon

If your family are fans of Alice in Wonderland, everyone will love this Disney movie classic turned board game. Choose from a deck of cards to find out which teacup design you’re going to replicate with the more than 10 teacups provided. Made for children ages 5 and up, 2 to 10 players can play this game.

Price at time of publication: $20

Players: 2 to 10 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 5 and up | Skills Required: Basic reading

Vango The UpsideDownChallenge Game

Vango The UpsideDownChallenge Game

Courtesy of Amazon

Get ready to laugh for hours by competing with friends and family to finish challenges. The catch? You have to wear specialized goggles which literally flip your world upside down. Good luck trying to write your name, connect dots, and more!

Price at time of publication: $25

Players: 2 to 6 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 8 and up | Skills Required: Following directions

Kids Against Maturity Card Game

Kids Against Maturity Card Game

Kids Against Maturity

With 600 question and answer cards, your family is sure to stay laughing all evening long. Each player receives 10 white cards and will take turns asking questions on the blue cards. Those who are asking the question are looking for the funniest answer, and whoever has the most amusing answers wins.

Price at time of publication: $30

Players: 4 or more players | Age Recommendation: Ages 10 and up | Skills Required: Reading

Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Burrito Game

Throw Throw Burrito Game

Amazon

What do you get when you combine dodgeball with cards? Throw Throw Burrito! Designed for 2 to 6 players, ages 7 and up, players will try to match up cards faster than their opponent, all while throwing, ducking, and dodging squishy, flying burritos.

Price at time of publication: $25

Players: 2 to 6 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Pattern recognition

Endless Games Classic Mancala

Endless Games Classic Mancala

Courtesy of Amazon

This strategy game has been around for years and it’s easy to see why. Each player will take turns putting stones into their pockets while moving counterclockwise until they are out of stones. The player who has the most stones in their Mancala wins the game.

Price at time of publication: $12

Players: 2 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Skills Required: Counting and strategy

Jax Sequence

4.5
sequence-board-game

Walmart

The whole family can join in on this classic board game designed for up to 12 players, ages 7 and up. Once a player plays a card, they place a chip on the corresponding square on the board. Once you have five in a row, it’s a “sequence.”

Price at time of publication: $25

Players: 2 to 12 players | Age Recommendation: Ages 7 and up | Play Time: Pattern recognition

Final Verdict

For a classic game the whole family can enjoy, check out Mattel's UNO (view on Walmart). Two to 10 players take turns matching the cards in their hand with the card showing at the top of the deck. This classic card game is easy to play and portable. There’s also Hasbro's Pie Face (view on Amazon), designed for children ages 5 and up and two or more players. Load the arm with whipped cream and take turns cranking the arm until someone gets whacked in the face with a dollop of whipped cream.

What to Look for in a Family Board Game

Entertainment Value 

Family game nights should be fun for everyone involved, so you’ll want to find a game that’s entertaining no matter the age difference. Consider the ages of your children and what the game recommends. You’ll also want to think about your childrens’ interests when it comes to board games or card games. 

Some games, like Classic Scrabble (view on Walmart), are best for older children who are able to spell. A child who cannot spell yet would more than likely enjoy a different game that involves their participation more, such as Yeti in my Spaghetti (view on Walmart). This game is made for children ages 2 and up, but children of all ages will enjoy trying to keep the yeti out of the spaghetti. 

Simple Rules

It’s no secret board games are a ton of fun, but some of them are just difficult to learn. Before purchasing a board game, consider looking for games that appeal to your children's ages, interests, and learning level. This will make the game easier to learn, especially if it’s an age-appropriate game for everyone. 

Board games with straightforward rules will ensure everyone playing understands their role in the game. If you’re ever unsure about a game, be sure to look at reviews to see what other families are thinking. If you feel the game will be too difficult to learn or too advanced for a member of your family, skip it. 

Challenge Level

There are dozens of great benefits to playing board games, like teaching early learning, boosting language skills, and soothing anxiety. But if a board game is overly challenging, it can become overwhelming and unenjoyable. 

Look for games that will challenge the members of your family without being too much. For example, if you have children over the age of 6, consider Rummikub (view on Amazon). Children will practice their planning skills while learning about sequencing and pattern recognition.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are board games good for child development?

    Board games can help teach children everything from patience (”Wait your turn!”) to how to win or lose gracefully (“Nice game!”). Depending on the board game, playing might also boost cognitive development by helping your child practice strategic decision-making and boost their reading, language, and math skills.

  • How often should families play board games?

    Board games might come with rule books, but parenting doesn’t. As such, there’s not magic number of board games per week for optimal development. If your child loves playing board games, finding time to play with them can make their day. Alternatively, setting a weekly family board game night can give children of all ages something to look forward to.

  • At what age can toddlers play board games?

    As soon as your toddler can grasp the concept of taking turns and effectively follow directions, they may be ready for board games. Be sure to select simple games with pieces that are too large to swallow. If you have any doubts, check the board game box for age recommendations. If your toddler is interested in joining games played by older children, you can always plop them in your lap and encourage them to play “on your team.” 

Why Trust Verwell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. Sadly, her husband is a rare person that does not like family board games. While Maya enjoys them, she is left to play them alone with the brood, which never seems to end as well as intended. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t like them.