boy playing board games

The Best Family Board Games to Play with Kids

The Best Family Board Games

Another Friday, another post about my favorite things! This time it’s the best family board games, and we have A LOT of those. My son is 11 and loves to play board games with me, it’s kind of our thing. Sometimes we can talk my husband or daughter into playing with us, but usually its just Ethan and me. So if you and your kids need some new games to try on family game night or something to do on a rainy day, read on because I know of some AWESOME ones! I’ll include a small overview of how to play so it should be easy to judge if you’d like it or not.

I’ve included amazon links for all the games for convenience. No, I don’t get anything for that, I just really like games!

Tiki Topple (by GAMEWRIGHT)
tiki topple, one of the best family board games

This game is ridiculously fun, and pretty easy to play. It’s also beautiful to look at with all the pretty colors, so that’s a nice bonus. Each player gets a card with 3 tiki pieces on it, and you’re trying to get yours to the top after the round is over. You take turns playing cards to move the tikis up or down, but your opponent doesn’t know which ones are yours. Everyone has one Tiki Topple card where you can move one piece all the way to the bottom, so you’re trying to not make it obvious which tiki is your most valuable. It involves strategy and is really dang awesome! Both my 11 and 8 year old can understand how the game works.

Battle Sheep (by blue orange)
kid playing battle sheep, a fun board game for kids

This game is all strategy! The rules are easy to understand and once you play it one time, you will have it figured out. The point is to spread your sheep tiles onto as many spaces as possible, and to block your opponents sheep from moving. Whoever takes over the most tiles is the winner. The trick is that you can’t hop over other sheep, so you can get a stack of sheep blocked in and those will be out of play the rest of the round. It’s fun to play with only 2 people, but gets even more challenging with more players.

Go Nuts for Donuts! (by GAMEWRIGHT)

My son currently thinks this is the best board game ever. Is it because he likes the game or because he’s obsessed with donuts? Who knows? Anyway, you’re trying to collect the most points by collecting donuts. Each donut card is worth a specific amount of points, and sometimes the point value depends on how many of that kind of donut you collect. Everyone bids on which card they want from the line of available donut cards, and if you don’t pick the same as someone else, you get it. So there’s some strategy involved, and some luck. This is one that we can convince everyone in the family to play with us (because donuts!).

Sushi Go! (by GAMEWRIGHT)

Sushi Go! will be an immediate family favorite! My mom and 2 of my sisters went out and bought this one after playing it with us. You’re trying to get the most points after 3 rounds, but what is really unique about this one is that you pick one card from your hand to put down in front of you, and then everyone passes their hand to the left! So you never know what you’ll get next, and a lot of the cards require more than one of their kind for it to count. For example, you must have 3 Sashimi cards to get 10 points, otherwise they’re worth nothing. This game involves strategy, luck, and tons of “dang it, why didn’t I take that card?!”

Fishing for Words (by University Games)

I got this one for my son recently and so far we are loving it. It’s kind of like a very mini version of scrabble. The first person rolls all 10 dice and makes a word (trying to earn the most points and also use the most dice as possible). Then player two has to roll the remaining dice not used and create a word using one letter from player one’s word. Then player one takes all the dice not used for player two’s word (including the dice from their first word) and rolls them, and tries to make a new word using only one letter from player two’s word. And you keep going like that until each person has spelled 5 words. Add up the points and whoever has the most is the winner! I’ve found that when a Q or Z shows up, we are constantly trying to make words using those because they give the most points. It’s great spelling practice for kids! Can be played with 4 players if you work in teams.

Qwingo (by GAMEWRIGHT)
boy playing qwingo, a fun family game

If you haven’t noticed by now, we are kind of obsessed with Gamewright games. They are seriously so good! This one is a really fun dice game with simple rules but ends up being really fun!! You’re taking turns calling out numbers, then rolling the die to see which column to put the number in. The first person to fill a column wins. You can try to call out numbers that will benefit you but not your opponents, because you can see everyone’s score cards. OR you can play where no one can see, it’s up to you. (If you like dice games, another awesome one is Qwixx. Get that one, too!)

UNOcorns (by Mattel Games)

UNO is probably on all the best family board games lists, but this one comes with unicorns and an added card! There is a special Narwhal card that makes everyone draw a card from the deck and hold it on their forehead without looking at it. On your turn, you have to correctly guess the color, or else your turn is skipped until you finally guess it. Kind of hilarious and the kids love it. Obviously my unicorn-loving 8 year old enjoys playing this one.

Dragonwood (by GAMEWRIGHT)

This one is a little bit more complicated than the others, but once you get the rules figured out, it makes perfect sense and is easy to play. It just takes some time to read the rules. You are playing cards from your hand to earn dice in order to roll them and capture creatures (worth points) or magical items that can help you. Whoever gets the most points at the end wins. I love that it’s a card game AND a dice game. It’s a little more complicated but that just adds to the fun! And once you play it a couple times, it’s not complicated at all. My daughter actually played this with me and picked up on it pretty quickly, and then totally won.

Labyrinth (by Ravensburger)

This is one of the most unique board games, which I found at the Goodwill for $4 (one of the best finds ever!) a few years back, and it’s still a family favorite. You have a stack of cards with pictures on it that correspond with the items on the maze. You’re trying to get to one item at a time from your deck by inserting a game piece into the maze, therefore moving the maze each turn. You take turns doing this, trying to get to the place you want to be, but your opponent might mess up your path!

Cardventures (by GAMEWRIGHT)
cardventures by gamewright | stowaway 52 and jump ship!

Do your kids love Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books? These cards are like those books, but in game form! We have 2 sets: Stowaway 52, and Jump Ship! Both are really fun for my son, and it gets him reading. Plus, he can play it by himself so it’s a great rainy day activity when I’m buys editing photos or something 😉 At the end of each game, you get to add up your score and that determines what level you got. The next time you play, try to beat your score! My kids play these together and take turns picking what they should do, it’s great sibling bonding time.

Hopefully you’ve found this post about the best family board games useful! If you own any of these, if you get any because of this post, or if you want to add your own favorites to this list, let me know in the comments!

Check out my other Friday Favorites Post below:
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  1. Ooh, I’ve never heard of any of these games! Looks like a great collection, and I’ll have to check them some of them out next time I do game night.

  2. I had no idea any of these existed but they sound REALLY fun. My kids aren’t old enough to enjoy them yet, but you better believe I’m saving some of these ideas for later.

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