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5 games I actually enjoy playing with the kids

    I’m so sorry; that title sounds terrible.

    I like my kids. And I like playing with them. But when it comes to playing board games together as a family, there are some that are just brutal.

    Take Monopoly, for example. Or Sorry. I played both games for hours with my sister and cousins when we were kids. But as an adult? No, thank you.

    Our kids ask every once in a while, “can we have family game night?!” and I want so much to say yes. Really I do.

    So I’m always on the lookout to find games that we all enjoy. Here are five of our family’s favorites:


    First, you wear these silly plastic headbands, so that makes everyone smile. Second, it feels like a fun way to teach kids how to be descriptive and ask pointed questions and I like a game that sneaks in learning. While probably best for younger kids, my older two will still totally jump in on a game if we’re playing.

    product description:

    Play Hedbanz, the quick question game of “What am I?” Ask “yes” or “no” questions to figure out if the cartoon on your head is an animal, food or man-made object. Be the first player to guess what you are and win!

    apples to apples

    The boys found this game at the house we stayed in for spring break and we stayed up way too late on night one laughing at our answers. I’m pretty sure we were playing with the adult set, there, but the kid set is great, too.

    product description: 

    Apples to Apples Junior brings all the fun and hilarity of Apples to Apples to the younger crowd. Players aged 9 years and older will have a blast making crazy comparisons while expanding their vocabulary and thinking skills at the same time. The 576 unique cards ensure maximum inventiveness, so each round is filled with surprising comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things, and events. Fast-moving and refreshing, Apples to Apples Junior is easy to learn, easy to play, and great for hours and hours of entertainment!


    Zingo is a well-loved game in our family, especially when the kids were younger. Audrey and Mason will still play (in fact, I heard the card clicker clicking yesterday!). It says ages 4 and up, but I think you could start earlier than four with this matching game.

    product description: 

    Zingo! brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo. Slide the Zinger to reveal picture tiles, make a match and fill your card to win. Images with printed words and two levels of play make this the perfect game to grow with.


    We bought this for one of the boys as a guessing gift for christmas. (Guessing gifts: mystery packages we wrap up for our kids starting on December 15th. You get three yes or no guesses on the first night and then one each consecutive night until you guess correctly or it’s Christmas Eve. It’s a very fun tradition passed on to us from my aunt and uncle.) The night he guessed it, we played over and over and squealed every time the tower collapsed. Plus, because it’s about balance, it feels a bit educational.

    product description: 

    A family game of tricky hangs and steady hands! Try this hanging balance game and you’ll be hooked! Suspend comes with 24 notched, rubber-tipped wire pieces to hang from a tabletop stand. Sound easy? Try adding another piece! Each time a bar is added, the balance shifts, the difficulty changes and the incredible midair sculpture transforms. Can you add all your game pieces without making it fall? This tricky game for 1-4 players is a test of steady nerves and steady hands.

    monopoly deal

    This is a great alternative to the real monopoly game and much faster. It takes a round or two to get the hang of it, but after that, you’ll play hand after hand.

    product description: 

    Get a handy way to play the classic property-trading game! Be the first collect 3 full property sets of different colors, and you’ll win the monopoly deal card game. You’ll pick up cards when it’s your turn and play action cards to charge players rent, steal their cards or demand money for your birthday. Build up property sets, gather piles of money and keep wheeling and dealing until you’re the monopoly deal winner!

    Does your family have any favorites? Please share!


    22 thoughts on “5 games I actually enjoy playing with the kids”

    1. Spot It! It’s small and requires I reading so it is easy for little ones to play too.wehave played with adults at parties and enjoyed it as well.

    2. We are a huge board game family. Two small games you may want to check out for your trip are: Brave Rats (card game) and Niya (advanced tic tac to). Super excited to hear about your trip by the way!!!

    3. I love this post…always looking for a new game to play. I definitely want to try Suspend and Monopoly Deal with my boys (ages 14 and 11). We love to play Blokus, Quirkle, Tapple and Phase 10!

    4. Thank you SO much for this post! I feel the same way about Monopoly. My boys are older and I was just thinking about some games we could play (besides Monopoly-;).

    5. We love a dice game called Tenzi. It has lots of variations to make it more challenging, and it’s all about speed so rounds move quickly. And you can play as few or as many rounds as you want… no getting locked in for an hour like you would with Monopoly!

    6. My kids ages are very spread out (12 months, 7 years and 12 years). Games definitely get more fun as they age in my opinion! Both of the boys (the older ones) love to play Rummy. (Unfortunately, the 7 year old still loves the card game “war” as well…my word, it doesn’t end.) Scattergories is a total fave with my 12 year old and me. It’s something you can play easily with just 2 (or more) people. We also all love Taboo…we just tailor it a bit for the 7 year old, by pre-picking easier words and reducing the number of taboo words that can’t be said. My baby girl (Audrey!) ;-) love to play anything as long as we hand her a card to munch on.

    7. We played Hedbanz with our grown kids and spouses last summer. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. It was a blast!!

    8. A girl friend of mine invented this one doing road trips with her girls….Might be right up your alley and its educational!! Redonkulary. Amazon has it.

    9. My 5 year old loves to play Sequence. He would play several times a day if we would agree to it! We also started playing Zilch with him and we all enjoy it.

    10. We have all of those except Suspend. I’ll put it on my list. We also like to play Yahtzee as a family, the kids love it, it gives me a headache. ? Bananagrams is also a good one for older kids who can spell.

    11. Ticket to Ride is the best! It is worth the price and if you check on-line you can often find it on sale. The American version is good to start with but the European version is great for older kids and adults.

    12. We play Uno almost every night after dinner with our 3 yr old and 5 yr old. It’s so much fun and starts them thinking about strategy and planning ahead. We’ve even gotten to the point that there is some friendly trash-talking, which is HILARIOUS coming from a young kids!!!

    13. I love monopoly deal! Have you tried Scrabble Slam? It’s the same basis as Deal but with spelling short quick words! It’s fun too!

    14. Check out “The Game of Things”. It’s great for a multi-aged group, or any group. Lots of laughs. We really like Apples to Apples also. Lately, my kids have been having friends over to play “Settlers of Catan”, and it’s addicting among their friends, and a great strategy game.

    15. Uno. By far. My boys are 13 and still love to play with their mom. I love that it is easy to do even when you feel tired and that one hand takes only a few minutes (though once we get started, we usually play for much longer). Plus, it’s a great game to get us talking – that is HUGE as we head into the teenage years (eek!).

      Oh, it would also be perfect to take on your road trip because it doesn’t take up much space;)

    16. Nice post! Agree that some of the games can be torturous to play. Suspend looks like so much fun! Our favorite to play with the kids is Blokus.

    17. Monopoly Deal is SO much better than the board game! Quirkle is another fun one. It’s sort of like Dominos, but you match both shapes and colors. At Christmas my sister brought out Left Center Right. It’s a super easy dice game that can be played the very young and very old alike. You can play with a ton of people, too.

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