Motherhood

The Game Our Kids Can’t Stop Playing

Vintage Uno

What games do you like for kids? We found this one on a stoop the other day, and the boys have now played it 946,255,308 times. (The whole house is filled with squeals!) Here are nine other classics…

Do you have any other recommendations? I’m curious to hear!

P.S. Slamdunk birthday presents, and how to inspire kids to play on their own.

(Photo of a 1973 Uno set.)

  1. Patricia Medina says...

    My 5 year old really likes to play Outfoxed, Rat a tat Cat, Sleeping Queens, Crazy Eights….. We will be getting Memoirrrr really soon! Excited for it! I’m thinking of getting Dragonwood, but maybe all the math might be too advanced for her?

  2. Annie says...

    Sleeping Queens! It’s a great card game- a family favorite. Another great one is the Busytown game, which is collaborative. We also enjoy an old-fashioned game of cards, like Crazy Eights and King’s corners!

  3. Kim says...

    Am I the only one who grew up loving Operation? I remember playing that and thinking., “yeah I could definitely be a doctor” lol

  4. FLS says...

    Charades for kids and Pictionary!

  5. LOVE Slamwich! I remember spending my summers at the pool as a kid and this was a popular game we played during rest breaks. Of course, they were all warped from our little watery hands. <3

  6. AC says...

    My son is 3.5 so we have to do simple games with him. He loves King Domino and Richard Scarry’s Busy Town eye search. We love the Busy Town game because it’s cooperative and you win (and lose!) together.

  7. Sara says...

    BLINK! it’s so fun…from 7,8 year olds to adults. It’s a quick attributes game. We even have BLINK! tournaments.

    • Kim says...

      Ha ha! I thought we were the only ones who had this game!

  8. Tiffany says...

    My boys are 7 and 9, so just a bit older, but we play a lot of games. Uno is our go to to bring to restaurants (just in case). At home we love YamSlam (like a faster paced, less complicated Yahtzee)- we even bought a travel version to bring on our recent road trip. Monopoly Jr. is still a good one, too, because it is uncomplicated and does not take as long as the original. The condo where we stayed for our spring break ski vacation had Sequence, so that is our current obsession!

  9. Georgia says...

    Slamwich is the bom dot com! and my siblings and I (all in our 20s) STILL play uno together. Started as something to do on family trips and I guess we never really stopped. We’re really cool in case you can’t tell :)

  10. melissa says...

    Rat a tat cat!

    • Boymomma4ever says...

      Yes! And Sleeping Queens! And Exploding Kittens! Ticket to Ride-my first journey. Qwirkle. Catan jr. Qwixx, Blink, Spot it (and jr.), Sequence for kids, For Toby maybe Phase 10 and Skip Bo and Dutch Blitz, and similar to that is Nertz (or solitaire frenzy.) Perfection is great! My love Battle ship, thinking about getting the electronic version from Target. I was looking at My first bananagrams. Do your boys like it?

  11. Cyndi says...

    Phase 10 and Monopoly Deal are great games for the whole family. Games are a great way to unplug

  12. My three-year-old loves Feed the Woozle. It has silly (gross) snacks that are fed to the woozle in goofy ways on a spoon. It’s cooperative, funny and it helps pre-schoolers master some new motor skills and develop a sense of humor. So fun!

  13. Sasha says...

    For older kids and adults, Ticket to Ride is a blast. And I’m convinced it must make one smarter, because my brain hurts when I play.

    • Joanna says...

      There’s a Jr version! My 5 year old loves it!

  14. Liv says...

    My two 6YOs are likewise obsessed with Uno, and I just introduced them to Sequence, which has quickly become another favorite!

  15. Liz says...

    We play a lot of games with my 7.5 year old stepdaughter — even some for adults. Our favorites at the moment are Catan Junior, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride. Some are harder for her than others, but she can beat us at all of these, and it’s so much more fun to play competitively than to let her win or be bored ourselves now that she is older.

  16. I played a bunch of Bananagram games on my trip to LA with my twin and our friend :) AND played a few games of UNO and dominoes on my date…it was fun ;)

  17. Molly says...

    Trouble, a thousand times. My son won’t stop playing it and before we finally bought him the game (it was on back order) he couldn’t stop talking about it since he plays it at his daycare. He loves me a lot (as a 4 year old should), more than candy and our dog, but he told me he loves Trouble more.

  18. Lori says...

    War card game, and guess who! Love spot it!

  19. Anu says...

    Spot It is a favorite with our 5 year old.
    A new favorite is Bounce Off that both our 8 year old and 5 year old enjoy playing.

  20. DIanne says...

    Great topic — added several new games for our family and my classroom library thanks to the commentary. Sincere thanks for posting and for all who shared.

  21. Heidi says...

    My 8 year old nephew loves Settlers of Catan, he caught on quicker than anyone else! And my 3 year old nephew loves Candy Land, and just candy in general :)

  22. Karina says...

    Monopoly Deal (so addictive) and mancala (SO SO addicting). My 8-year-old loves them. For my very temperamental 4-year-old cooperative games are da bomb. Count Your Chickens for the win!

  23. Jenn S says...

    We have Thanksgiving tradition to play Apples to Apples after dessert. It has morphed into playing the game with the craziest hat or wig you can find after Halloween. People who stop by think it’s the best game ever they ever seen

    • Sasha says...

      I love this tradition! Apples to Apples is super fun.

  24. Eliza says...

    Love this topic! I have two boys (almost 12 and 9) and some of our faves are Monopoly Empire (quicker than regular monopoly and super fun), Exploding Kittens, The Game of Life, Uno, Catan Junior, and recently (on a trip back to Brooklyn to visit my parents) we played my old Trivial Pursuit Junior!! The boys loved it.

  25. Hallie says...

    My 6yo loves Connect Four. But is also a very sore loser (tears and everything), so we are slowly introducing games like Sorry.

  26. Leanne says...

    God bless all you mamas out there who can play endless hours of Candy Land because it MAKES.ME. WANT. TO. SCREAM.

    On the flip side, we love playing games. However there is no taking it easy on the kids. My hubs and I are in it to win it. We’ve developed quite the collection of cooperative games like Pete the Cat, Sculpt it (by the Cranium folks) Race to the treasure or Forbidden Island.

    It’s also amazing to watch when we are playing a competitive game and the 4 year old comes out of nowhere to completely destroy the rest of the family.

  27. Jill says...

    SKIP-BO! I believe that is the natural progression from Uno…haha. Also, I’m pretty sure Perfection gave me high anxiety as a child and still gives me anxiety just thinking about it.

    • Keegan says...

      SKIP-BO FOREVERRRR!
      I LOVE this game. I’m constantly asking my kids to play with me.

      Also, Dutch Blitz makes me almost pee my pants I get so excited and into it! (The instructions are awful. Check out YouTube for a how to video).

  28. Rebecca says...

    Try Rat-a-Tat-Cat! We all love it.

  29. Celine says...

    Aaaah, UNO!!! Def a favorite over here too!

    I have a 9 yo and a 3.5yo.

    The little one likes Chomp, the Game of ladybirds by Orchard toys and Sneaky snacky squirrel.
    I volunteer to play board games in my eldest daughter’s school twice a month and the gr 2 to 4 kids love: Pop to the shops by orchard toys, Woolfy by Djeco, Outfoxed, 7 familles (French card game), Melissa and Doug Suspend game, Monopoly jr, Qbitz, Spot it, Mobi and of course, UNO!!

    I love this post. I took some notes. Thank you!

    • Nina says...

      Playing board games at your kid’s school? what a genius idea!

  30. Cooper says...

    I used to play Mastermind with a five-year-old I nannied for. The problem-solving skills he used to break the codes were super impressive! My husband and I love Sequence.

  31. Libbie says...

    I have so many happy memories playing Slamwich with my mom at the laundromat. We’d play for hours, and it seemed like such a special treat, despite spending an afternoon doing laundry.

    I had forgotten about that game, so thanks for the happy reminder. :)

  32. Amber Garvey says...

    Exploding Kittens! Has a great strategy that kids can catch on to fast, and the cards are super funny.

  33. Katie Peshek says...

    Love these recommendations! My 5 year old is board game obsessed. Favorites at our house are Clue Jr., Race to the Treasure, Guess Who, Zingo, and classic card games like Crazy Eights and War.

  34. sara says...

    I guess Uno is a universal crowdpleaser! I am a special needs teacher and I host a “boardgame-club” every Thursday. The boys I work with have a really hard time when it comes to turn-taking and waiting. Last week, we played
    UNO for 30 minutes without a rude word or a fight! What a huge success!! Thanks for all the ideas.

  35. sara says...

    I guess Uno is an universal crowdpleaser! I am a special needs teacher and I host a “boardgame-club” every Thursday. The boys I work with have a really hard time when it comes to turn-taking and waiting. Last week, we played
    UNO for 30 minutes without a rude word or a fight! What a huge success!! Thanks for all the ideas.

  36. Marie says...

    Blokus! We got a set for our kids for Christmas, and we are all hooked, from 6 to 43 (and up – the grandparents bought a set after visiting, too). Also, Dizios is good for a dominoes alternative.

  37. Katherine says...

    “Spot it” is the best! We play it at dinner parties with friends all the time. I love that there are 5 different games in one and that it packs so easily into a suitcase or bag. I always travel with it and love pulling it out at the airport to kill time! SO FUN!

  38. Jane says...

    Perfection! I haven’t seen or thought about that game in forever, but I *loved* it as a kid. Our nephew really enjoys Set Junior (https://www.setgame.com/setjunior), which we got him after he saw us playing Set.

  39. Meagan says...

    Love the ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ games–they promote kindness and cooperation over competitiveness! We have ‘Race to the Treasure’ and ‘Hoot Owl Hoot’ but the others look great as well. Also, my 3 and 6 year olds love to play ‘Zingo’ together. It’s fast-paced and fun!

  40. when they’re a bit older get Monopoly Deal – it’s the living best card game and the only version of Monopoly worth playing. Suitable for kids from age 8 and up I’d say, and bonus: adults love it. https://fave.co/2H8ydej

  41. Kirsten says...

    My brother and I LOVED playing “Sorry!” and also endless games of Slap Jack and Speed. I remember that I would always theatrically slap the wrong face card to crack him up. My family was also big into Yahtzee!

  42. When my nephews were very small, the eldest would truck off to kindergarden and so the youngest and I would have “coffee dates” at Borders Books. Over tiny cups of vanilla steamers, I would have my ass handed to me over and over again at Parcheesi. All this to say, it’s a great classic for all ages.

  43. Mandy says...

    Our family loves Otrio! It’s a fancy version of tic-tac-toe with three different size rings so you can win multiple ways. We had it out at a holiday party we hosted and 4 families ended up going home and purchasing it they loved it so much.

    • DIanne says...

      Math teacher here – otrio is a great game for working through strategy. We love it too!

  44. Lucy says...

    Games are our annual Christmas Eve present for the kids. It lets them open something that day, and then provides us with entertainment to allow the sugar high to wear off before bedtime. We got them Fibber and Connect Four this past one (they’re 5 and 8). Favorites from previous years include Mousetrap, Sorry, Uno (always and forever), Candyland (which I think they’ve probably outgrown at this point, but they still enjoy), and Yeti in My Spaghetti. I Can Do That! was a favorite when they were younger.

    • Lucy says...

      Oh, and my older daughter just bought herself Dragonwood with her allowance, and loves it.

    • Abby says...

      Yes to Connect Four! Also great travel sizes available.

  45. Oh, and have you discovered Sleeping Queens? It’s a card game designed by a 6-year-old girl! My kid loves it.

  46. My son is almost 6, and he’s super into Ticket to Ride. It’s an adult board game (there’s a junior version but he scoffs at it) that involves building railroads using different color train cards and learning routes. It’s great for developing an affinity to geography. Speaking of, on road trips, we play the cities game: you start with any city, and the next person has to name a city that starts with the last letter of the city the previous person said. You can play with just words or with names or with animals or whatever, too. Bonus: no props needed.

    • Cynthia says...

      My eight year old grandson is also into the adult version of Ticket to Ride.
      Dizios, a twist on Dominos, is another great game for kids and adults that incorporates spatial awareness, strategy, and counting. We’ve been playing since he was 5. He always kept score using llll method to learn to count by 5’s. Now he makes up his own rules to make it trickier.

    • Liz says...

      we love this game with my 7 year old stepdaughter as well!

    • Chelsea says...

      My 7 year old loves Ticket to Ride Jr. We got it for him when he turned 6 and we love playing it with him too, so much better than many kids’ games! We love the adult version too.

      My husband taught our son chess when he was 5 and he loves playing it and goes to chess club at his school. He thinks it’s so cool that people have been playing it for hundreds of years!

    • Sasha says...

      I’m super impressed with kids this young playing Ticket to Ride!! I find it hard as an adult lol.

  47. juliana says...

    My nieces and nephews are obsessed with the game Dobble. They get so into it, and it’s a nice game for all ages.

  48. Hannah says...

    We love playing Skip-Bo with our nephews! We’re a family of card sharks and love watching my grandma patiently using Skip-Bo to teach my sister’s oldest boy basic card-playing strategy, (and also gently beating him every. single. time.)

    One game I am (and always have been) loathe to play is Monopoly – but there’s a new version that is at least faster, as it uses credit cards(!) My boyfriend, (whose Polish parents were refugees from communism in the ’80’s), was raised on Monopoly – it was the only game they had in the house! (I guess to get their new American sons some early experience with capitalism?!) He’s the only one we know who can sit and play g-damn Monopoly with Rowan for hours and hours…!

    • Caitlyn says...

      Yay! Skip-Bo! I also come from a family of card sharks and Skip-Bo became our go-to game that we’d sit around playing for hours.

    • Hannah says...

      Love it! Yes, the adults tend to continue playing even after the kids go to bed! :)

  49. Maryann says...

    Love hearing about all the games! We received Sushi Go Party as a gift and it has a bit of a learning curve at first, but has become a family favorite. Also highly recommend Wits and Wagers as an excellent family game. We’ve played it with several families spanning a wide age range and its super fun. I’m a big fan of Ticket to Ride. My daughter (age 8) and I had a nightly game for awhile this winter.

    • Kacy says...

      My husband and I play Sushi Go just the two of us. It’s much more fun with a lot of people, but it’s a good one for a coffee shop date!

  50. Rebeccah says...

    I am one of 4 and my mom gives us a family game every Christmas that we all enjoy while we’re home for the holidays (with spouses and kids, there is a total of 14 of us) and then each family takes a turn keeping the game at their house throughout the year. Some of our favorite games have been: Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Set, Bananagrams. We haven’t yet tried Pandemic but I’ve secretly told my mom that that needs to be next on the list.

  51. Tracey says...

    djeco card games are great for kids; cute graphics and a variety of different games. I bought some on holiday in Canada and my nieces and nephews loved them so much that it became my Christmas present to them that year to order a bunch off Amazon. My favourite of them is Piou Piou which although is easy for kids 5+, it is played in our house more by adults with a bottle of wine on the table. There’s not so much strategy that it impedes conversation but is still entertaining with the chance to stitch each other up.

    We also have Beasties, Sakapuss, Mixamatou, Mistigri and Pipolo. All are great.

    A note: when buying Djeco, be aware that some of the games are actually the same game with a different theme so check that the description sounds different, or, if you’re daft like me, be prepared to on-gift the double ups. :)

    • DIanne says...

      I discovered these in Canada as well – while exploring Montreal. Mixamatou is our favorite, and great for all ages, and easy for little ones

  52. Meg says...

    We’re also big fans of Gamewright. One of our current favorites is Wig Out. We’re also loving Brain Freeze and Harry Potter Clue. When my daughter was a little younger, we liked Feed the Woozle; Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel; and Busytown. Games are so fun. It’s been one of my favorite things as she’s grown….getting to play more and more games with her that are fun for me too!

  53. Beth says...

    The “Card Holder for Little Hands” is an absolute game changer! My kids can play card games, but they can never manage to hold the cards.

    • Boymomma4ever says...

      I always keep these in my “gift closet” because we gift card games constantly! It helps my littles to not be frustrated over the cards.

  54. Lately, we’ve been playing a lot of strictly verbal games when we’re on the go or in the car. No equipment required. The Alphabet game, 20 questions, 2 Truths and a Lie, or just made up games, like: Find something with stripes! Find someone walking more than one dog!

  55. Hannah says...

    Uno! That is truly a game that brings joy to all ages. 2 summers ago I traveled to Sardinia and rented a house there with 10 friends. After the end of adventuring each day we’d slowly pile into the house and gather around the table for several rounds of Uno and wine. Take me baaaaack.

  56. My 2yo doesn’t really understand games yet (although we do play a DinoTrux matching game sometimes!) but my husband and I used to love playing Guillotine. You line up nobles and try and take them away from the other person. We would get super competitive! We also used to frequent a board games cafe and play Ca$h’n Gun$ and Ghost Blitz.

  57. Jamie says...

    We love family game night. It is a great time to bond! We always play Qwirkle, Parchessi, Trouble, Sorry, Clue, and if we agree not to get too emotional… we play… RISK!

    • DIanne says...

      YES to Risk – the computer version has helped us speed up the game of Risk as well

  58. Aimee says...

    We played Uno for hours at lunch and recess in elementary school (late 70s, early 80s) until someone from the conservative church in town complained that there were “card games” going on in the school and then we couldn’t do it anymore. Still rankles, man.

    • Sasha says...

      Wow, Uno as a bad influence, that’s a new one!

    • sarah says...

      The guy that invented Uno went to my church growing up!

  59. Sleeping Queens and Rat-a-Tat-Cat were huge favorites when my son was in his sixes and sevens. I also endorse Labyrinth….great game and beautiful to look at while you play. I haven’t seen it mentioned here yet, so I suggest Set. It’s a game of pattern recognition and kids can play with grown ups. For beginners, age is no advantage and the game has patterns-in-science origins.

    I work in a middle school (grades 6, 7, & 8) and we have a math games club. We play Set, Rummikub, Sequence and Labyrinth. For fun that uses numbers, Farkle always gets the kids laughing. One of the things I learned with my middle schoolers is that they love to play and love to play with grown ups. It’s a great way to practice sportsmanship and build community.

    • Cynthia says...

      I second (and third) both Sleeping Queens and Labyrinth!! We play especially the former every weekend. My 6yo and 10yo both enjoy it (as do their parents).

    • DIanne says...

      Another good MS math-y game is Q-bitz and Q-bitz Extreme – 4 players compete to make a pattern displayed on a card from 16 cubes. Very good for spatial understanding (reflection, rotation, symmetry, etc). SET is awesome too. You might try Otrio as well, mentioned earlier.

  60. Abby says...

    Best Topic ever! (Probably have said this a hundred times on CoJ already.)
    Growing up in Germany there was a huge variety of board games at our house as well as at the kindergarden and after school care, so it is super hard to limit myself with suggestions.
    When I was a toddler “Snails Pace Race” was always a winner as was “4 first games” by Ravensburger. I even remember playing those even though I must’ve been about 3 years old.
    Later on we basically owned every game by Haba, a company well known for their use of beautiful wooden play pieces. I guess the most classic from Haba would be “Orchard”. My mum still keeps all the Haba games from my childhood well wrapped up in the attic in hopes of giving them to me if I ever have children (still missing the male counterpart for this to happen, but ‘hope is the last to die’ as we say in German).
    I can also confirm that “Labyrinth” was a great hit in primary school as were “Uno”, “SkipBo” and “Elfer raus”.
    For pre-teen and adults alike I’d recommend: “Settlers of Catan”, “Bohnanza”, “Fantasy Wizard”, “Cranium”, “Taboo” and “Phase 10”.
    For more advanced players definitely recommend “Pandemic”. So nice to not play each other but cooperatively.

    Lastly, I also wanted to link to an Economist article on board games which was published recently in their magazine (includes great recommendations for advanced players):
    https://www.1843magazine.com/features/tabletop-generals

    • DIanne says...

      LOVE HABA games!

    • Boymomma4ever says...

      I LOVE HABA GAMES! My first Orchard is the first game my littles play and they love it! We have Monza to-go (which is preferred over the board game because they can make a new race track every time.)

  61. Sara says...

    We have a 7 & 10 year old and playing games with them is absolute joy. Lately, the whole family has been hooked on Sequence! It’s so surprising to learn that your kids are great at strategizing!
    When they were little we played a LOT of Tier Auf Tier, and Connect Four is still a big hit!

    • Chelsea says...

      Sequence is so much fun! We have the kids’ version as well and enjoy playing it with our 4 and 7 year olds.

  62. Kim says...

    My girls are 12 and 7. Favorite games are Forbidden Island, Sleeping Queens, Sushi Go, Exploding Kittens and Ticket to Ride. We just introduced them to adding Dexter and Alvin (a dinosaur and alien) to Ticket to Ride. It was a hit, but we all had to change our strategies. Lately, they’ve been playing not only with their dad and I, but are also pulling games out when their friends come over.

  63. Chutes and Ladders was my favorite, but we also loved Uno and Yahtzee!

    When we got a bit older, we enjoyed Monopoly. My sister was usually the banker — which figures; she now works in finance!

  64. My 4.5 year old is into pick up sticks! she also likes “old maid” but our set is full of awful gender and social stereotypes so we have been thinking of making our own set out of cardstock.

  65. Stacy Thompson says...

    We love Blokus, Quixx, and Apples to apples!

    • DIanne says...

      BLOKUS – again, another great math-y game

  66. Emma says...

    Right now our favorite games are wielding spatulas, running from a diaper change, and turning the humidifier on. Haha, can’t wait to play the games you mentioned with my now 15 month old!

  67. Kate says...

    We have just started playing games with my nearly 4yr old, I have had some many recommendations for rat-a-tat-cat so we will get that for his birthday.

    When we were kids we used to love UNO, pass the pigs and Jenga. We used to chant Jenga! Jenga! Jenga! when it was getting tense, until we were virtually screaming it….not so peaceful ?

    • Boymomma4ever says...

      I might start with Sleeping Queens with your 4 year old. We have found that we need to play on a team with ours younger than 6 because there is addition and strategizing. Blink is a great one at that age!

  68. Caroline says...

    My now 4 year old discovered connect 4 last summer and was instantly obsessed. Also Zingo and goold old-fashioned tic tac toe.

  69. A nice idea for a child I have to admit :) Maybe son’s case in the near future.

  70. Sussed is a great one! My kids love it. Lots of funny questions that the kids love. It’s kind of like a “how well do you know this person” game as you try to guess each person’s answer. Pretty cute with kids!

  71. Carrie Yuill says...

    After dinner we play ‘family dominos’, as our four year old likes to call it:) It’s really Mexican Train, however. Besides the fact that it is a fun game, it has been super cool to see how our son’s little brain works as he strategizes and lays out his initial train to play. Also, the game takes at least 20 minutes or more and requires some concentration and focus which helps all of us wind down at the end of the day. Nothing is better than seeing our son hit the train button, after he beats us, standing proud in his chair doing the choo choo dance with his arms moving up and down!

    As a side note, I also carry a few different card games in my purse to play when waiting for food at a restaurant, etc. it has been a lifesaver in not resorting to screentime and gets the whole table involved.

  72. Kristy says...

    Chinese checkers! Rummikub!

  73. Astrid says...

    Ligretto!

  74. Janey says...

    My kids (and all the kids I have since bought it for as a gift!) Love Kanoodle. It’s super fun for all ages, 4 up til adults and comes in a little case so handy for restaurants/travel etc. I keep it in my purse and have lost count of the times it has amused my boys in situations where patience is required!!

  75. Tracey Rae Beal says...

    we aren’t having much success getting into games. we have two kids, one is relatively interested, one loses interest quickly. One adult is super interested and serious and the other (me) can stay focused but isn’t super jazzed. I would rather be outside, watching a good movie or reading a book.

  76. At what age can most kids start playing these sorts of games? My daughter is 2.5 (today actually!) and I can’t wait to start playing with her… Although I expect I may need to wait a couple of years…

    • Rebecca says...

      Belle – I think my twins were around 3 when they started enjoying the Richard Scarry Busytown board game. I think that’s a good one to start with.

    • Thanks so much Rebecca!

    • Boymomma4ever says...

      I mentioned this in an above comment: Haba My First Orchard! It’s sooo great and the pieces are big wooden fruit with a wooden crow. Even my 2 year olds could play!

  77. Dee says...

    Commenting because I don’t think anyone has mentioned my childhood fav- Buckaroo. Also the game Pie Face was game-of-the-moment with small boys and EVERYONE a few years ago here in the U.K. Both offer the same terrifying jeopardy of the uno game!

  78. Krysten says...

    Current faves at our house are:
    Sleeping Queens, Sushi Go, Go Nuts for Donuts, Zeus on the Loose, Machi Koru, Lanterns, Forbidden Desert, Jump In. My boys (3.5/7.5) especially love stealing Zeus from each other in Zeus on the Loose. Sleeping Queens has been played multiple times a day, every day, since Christmas.

  79. Capucine says...

    Bugs In The Kitchen! Because even small kids can participate. It’s a battery powered cockroach in a maze, the aim is to roate ‘walls’ shaped like silverware to get the cockroach in your kitchen. (So wrong. But a joy to kids!)

  80. Hannah says...

    Rat-a-tat Cat is a great one!

  81. Lisa says...

    So many great recommendations here! My six year old loves Ducks in a Row (kind of a step up from Connect Four but a similar idea) and the baseball version of Spot It. Little brother (3) is trying to be patient enough for Red Dog, Blue Dog but in the meantime enjoys trying to cheat at Candy Land.

  82. Ramona says...

    Years ago when I was a Nanny, that 3 year old beat me most of the time! I’ve heard that Uno is coming out with a new version….”Dos.” Not sure how it’s going to differ, but it’s just what I heard.

  83. Jill says...

    We love Spot It! I have a 13 year old, we have been playing spot it forever, but now we play Hipster Spot It, by the same Spot it people. Has really fun pics like mustaches, bikes, glasses, coffee etc.

  84. Amy says...

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Clue yet! I recently taught my 9 year old daughter to play and she has been teaching her friends when they come over to play. So cool to hear her explain the game to eager playmates. Also, we play Dungeon Quest as a family too; it may too scary for younger kids but our daughter loves it!

  85. Page says...

    Connect four! My 7th graders loved it for brain breaks and it is such a quick game.

  86. Katie says...

    I have a three and a half year old boy. We have a few games and he rotates between loving them all: Marrakech, Tier Auf Tier, Monza, Hamster Clan, Feed the Woozle, and Bugs in a Rug. We also have a dinosaur version of snakes and ladders, and a matching game with Peppa Pig characters. We love board games!

  87. madelyn says...

    I just taught my 8 year old son how to play Scattergories…..he is ridiculously, surprisingly good at it…and it helps with writing and spelling, too.

  88. Abigail says...

    I second Rat a Tat Cat. Also Monopoly Deal is amazing!

  89. Sam says...

    Love eeBoo! & YAHTZEE forever. But also, jigsaw puzzless! Can’t get enough of them, for kids and adults.

  90. Amber says...

    We also love gamewright games. Go Nuts for Donuts is the current favorite!

  91. chelsea b says...

    Mille Bornes!

    • CG says...

      Yes!!!!

    • lana says...

      That’s a classic!

    • Heidi says...

      This is the best card game, hands down! We love Mille Bornes!

  92. Megan says...

    My animal loving 7 year old is obsessed with the game Cardline. You have to rank animals either according to length, weight, or life expectancy. It’s portable (just a big deck of cards) and it works for a lot of age groups.

  93. Sarah says...

    Oooh I should also mention and oldie but goodie – Labyrinth (by Ravensburger) is fun for the whole family.

  94. Fiona says...

    I really appreciate a game that spans the ages, and by that I mean holds my interest, and provides a challenge for me as well as the kiddos! (Please do NOT ask me to play snakes and ladders….) Some games we all like in our house (kids ages 8-13) include
    -Catan junior, Carcassone, Labyrinth, we have a version of Guess Who that changes every time, and Forbidden Desert is a great cooperative game.

  95. Sarah says...

    We too like Slamwich, and most of the Gamewright catalog of card games. Particular favorites are Sleeping Queens, Too Many Monkeys, and Rat a Tat Cat.

  96. kate says...

    Rat A Tat Cat!!! The kids had it at a family reunion once, and all the adults stayed up late drinking and getting REALLY into it, haha.

  97. Nikki B says...

    For elementary schoolers struggling with math, Mobi is a GREAT game and really good for fluency!

  98. Jessica says...

    Sleeping Queens! My daughter loves it and it’s my go to birthday party present. Highly recommend!

    • Amy says...

      Sleeping Queens is awesome!

  99. Kimberly Becker says...

    Games are a hit in our house too! We do enjoy old favs, Scrabble and Pictionary. The latest craze for our 9-year-old and 11-year-old is Exploding Kittens!!!!!

  100. Emily says...

    Cooperative games that we enjoy with our 3.5 yr old:
    Snails Pace Race
    Race to the Treasure

    • L says...

      We love Race to the Treasure too!

  101. Claire says...

    I have a 16 year old, and we’ve always loved playing Monopoly, Qwirkle Blokus and chess. For Christmas I bought a new board game called Sequence that we have actually not even tried yet because if I don’t insist then everybody drifts off in other directions. Also, he and his friends love to play Cards Against Humanity…. (I probably failed some parenting test with this one, but all the other parents seem fine with it… so score one for peer pressure).

    • Landon says...

      Sequence is really fun. You need to insist and have everyone play! :-)

    • Sara says...

      Blokus is so fun, too! I forgot about that one. It’s so satisfying and tactile.

    • Claire says...

      Landon- thanks for the nudge, and the rec! Inspired by this post and the responses I am planning to get us playing Sequence this weekend.

  102. Wendy says...

    We play many of the games listed above. We also like cooperative games—Busy Town for younger ones and Forbidden Island for elementary aged kids are fun. Also, when I play games with my 9 year old and win too often, we play a couple rounds of a card game called wig out- -with her quick reflexes she beats me almost every time, making it a good way to end the evening (and it is fairy quick so easy to fit in a round or two).

  103. Elliott P. says...

    Slamwich and Rat-a-Tat CAt are made by Gamewright – EVERY game by Gamewright is a winner, they have nailed the age range perfectly.
    Someone above mentioned Sushi Go! – Best. Game. EVER. We are all addicted.
    A newer game for slightly older kids – Camel Up! – is fantastic.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!

  104. My kids love what we call ‘the bee game’ (I’m not sure if that’s its official title!), where you criss cross branches in a hive across a tree trunk, top it with a bunch of little bees, and everyone takes a branch as carefully as they can until the bees start tumbling down. The person with the least amount of bees wins, but if you’re my kids, you think lots of bees means winning ;) We also have a cute game called Stone Soup – which is a team game and not competitive. For older kids and adults, I like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dastardly Dirigibles, and Pandemic (that one is fun and messes with your mind!).

    • Nicole says...

      Ahh, the Honeybee Tree! We love this game—it starts oh so carefully, but goes wild a few rounds in!

    • Kristin R says...

      Honey Bee Tree!

  105. Briana says...

    Jenga! Even my two year old can play.

  106. gmh says...

    Our 5 and 7 year old love Mole rats in space and castle panic. Cooperative games that you can actually loose if you aren’t strategic and working together.

  107. Ann says...

    We love SkipBo! My Dutch mother in law and her husband play it almost every night. Ages 7+ includes people in their 60s too! They’ve hooked us and we love it too. My 3rd grade class erupts into cheers and groans during indoor recess. It’s like a Bridge club in here with tables of 4 all over the room having a wild time playing SkipBo!

  108. Jen says...

    Rat a Tat Cat! I think I love it as much, if not more, than my 4 year old. May try to convince my husband to play it with me after C goes to sleep.

  109. Elizabeth says...

    SLAPZI is awesome and good for about age 4 or 5 through adults. Same company makes the dice game TENZI, which is a fun dice game. But Moose Farkel takes the cake for fun dice games!

  110. beth says...

    We just got Hungry Hippos in our house (after I resisted/ignored requests for the last 6 months) and my son played it for over an hour yesterday with his dad, sighed, and said “This is the best game ever”. Who knew!?

  111. Brianna says...

    When I was a kid, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Hi Ho Cherry-O were all the rage. Hi Ho Cherry-O had a video to watch as you played along.

  112. Bethany says...

    Dixit! The art work is great and play is similar to Apples to Apples. Younger children can be partnered with an adult if needed.

    • Elliesee says...

      I second Dixit as we have so much fun playing it with family and friends. The simple rule is learned fast by young and old, it’s full of surprises and even losing at it is fun. Now I have to try the other recommended games! I liked Sardines by Djeco, as there is humor and everyone can work their memory.

  113. Christen says...

    Old maid and Guess who are a hit in our house!

  114. Anita says...

    Other great classics are Connect Four, Yahtzee and Guess Who. I think Battleship is fun and challenging but it can get competitive (as another commenter noted). Hoot Owl Hoot is an awesome cooperative game. I also like Bird Bingo (for the gorgeous illustrations).

  115. Emily says...

    As a young girl of about 10, my perfect evening involved playing skip-bo with my grandmother then watching the Lawrence Welk show together. It was our Saturday sleepover pre-church ritual. It was heaven. These days my kids and I dig memory games, Sleeping Queens, Catan Jr., and playing Sorry! at the corner cafe while we eat lunch. I’m excited to introduce them to some new card games this summer when home in Michigan, namely, Euchre.

    • MJ says...

      That makes me think so much of my grandma! Love this comment, thank you :)

    • Liz says...

      Euchre!!

    • Katie Larissa says...

      I did that with my mamaw! Except Go Fish was our game of choice. Now I want to go watch Lawrence Welk. :)

  116. Elizabeth says...

    We love to play games, and it is always the present my kids get me and each other on holidays. We play a lot of Uno and Go Fish, and we love Moose in the House (by Gamewright, the maker of Slamwich and Rat-a-Tat Cat) and Super Genius. I like to pack those and I Spy Snap for long waits at restaurants since they travel and play in a small space. For board games, we absolutely love Labyrinth and My First Carcassone, because they involve strategy but aren’t too challenging for my 5-year old. When the 3-year old wants to play, too, we like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Zingo and Hungry Hungry Hippo. And my son always beats me at Sorry and Trouble because he is ruthless!

    For my birthday this year, my 5-year old set up a games night for me. He set up all the games and had my husband purchase snacks. It was the sweetest birthday present ever!

  117. Katherine says...

    In my 4th grade classroom, Blokus, Cat Stax, and Set are favorites (and were all originally mine that I donated to our indoor recess stash). Blokus is basically like Tetris but with a twist (you connect your pieces by corners only, but can go side by side with opponents’ pieces); Cat Stax is like tangrams but 3D in that you build stacks out of little plastic cat pieces (there’s also Dog Pile if you’d rather have dog pieces!), so it’s great for developing spatial awareness; and Set is my all-time favorite card game where you make sets of 3 based on several different pattern rules (sets can be made based on shape, color, and/or fill). Set is definitely more advanced but once you know the rules, it is highly addictive. When I first learned how to play, I could literally feel my brain working to identify sets – it’s a great mental work out and so satisfying once you master it!

    • Margaret says...

      Set is the best game ever! I learned it in third grade, but even now that I’m an adult I enjoy throwing down against friends. My brother, who lives in Tokyo, bought Set for his friends’ kids to play when they visit his house, since it’s pretty nonverbal and he felt like he could explain it.

    • DIanne says...

      Cat Stax! Got it for my son who loves cats instead of dogs. Another great one for visual dexterity. Try Qbitz – your students will love it. Use DonorsChose to get funds for the games for your classroom if needed

  118. Amanda says...

    Guess Who! Both your boys are old enough, and it’s a classic.

    • Tracey Rae Beal says...

      great suggestion – thanks!

  119. Heidi says...

    We love Zingo! We also love Memory matching games.

  120. Yahtzee! A bit old for a 6 & 7 year old, but I have memories playing with my Grandma growing up and I want them to love it (they love throwing the dice and adding up the numbers).

  121. Kelly says...

    My son received Rush Hour -a traffic jam logic game- for his fifth birthday. It’s so intruiging that the adults got involved, solving the traffic problems! Players ‘battle gridlock as you you slide blocking vehicles out of the way’. It has a travel pack that came with a bag, and it has been so entertaining, we bought Rush Hour Shift!

  122. Jody says...

    Also, don’t forget:
    Apples To Apples Junior
    Rat-a-tat- cat that I mentioned earlier, was the card game recommended by our local toy store before sleeping queens. We had so much fun with it that all my daughters friends and cousins asked for it! and like sleeping queens, it has a math component.

  123. Jody says...

    Tenzies, Rat-a-tat cat and when a little older…Sleeping Quuens!

    • Sara says...

      Sleeping queens! Yes! Yes!

    • Landon says...

      Tensies is the best!

  124. Heather says...

    I love Set! I brought it to my first graders when I was teaching and it’s fun enough to play with my husband and a glass of wine. Extra bonus: it doesn’t take forever!

    • My family loved Set growing up!

  125. Jessica says...

    My boys (4&6) are very into games at the moment. Their current favourites are Sorry, Traffic Jam, Oh Snap!, Uno and Bird Bingo.

  126. All my students LOVED chess (from about 3rd grade on up, so maybe a bit old for Anton and Toby), clue and battleship.

    The younger ones adored Robot Turtles. It has a silly name, but I like it because it teaches basic concepts used in coding in a fun way and without needing a screen; it can be changed to make it harder (or just kept from repetition) and it isn’t one winner. Each player has tasks to complete.

    • DIanne says...

      Chess is great even for younger kids – really teaches patience and looking ahead. Chess Kids on line is a FABULOUS resource for tips and not expensive for a membership for the year

    • Leslie says...

      Yes to robot turtles my kids both loved it! No Stress Chess is a fantastic way to teach little kids (my son was 4) how to play. To be honest it refreshed my memory on the game too!

  127. Jackie Norris says...

    My four year old is OBSESSED with games. We are playing “Sequence for Kids” probably 10x/day.

    • This is the one I was going to recommend, too! My 4 year old just got Suquence for Kids for Christmas and it’s a huge hit!

  128. Alex says...

    Qwirkle and Blokus. My kids are 11 and 5 and can both play them!

    • Claire says...

      We love both Qwirkle and Blokus too.

  129. Sleeping Queens! We play it with our 3.5 year old and it is pretty fun!

    • Bonnie says...

      Yes!!! Best. Game. Ever.

  130. Ragon says...

    My 5 year old is obsessed with the card game Sleeping Queens and we like it too–it’s fast, it’s interesting enough for adults but easy enough for kids, is good basic math practice (addition 1-10) and everyone we’ve taught it to has loved it also. And the promise of a quick game before school has been motivating her in her slow-pokey moments.

  131. Leslie says...

    No stress chess (teaches little kids and parents alike how to play chess- you draw cards that tell you what and where to move, after a couple of games using the cards you will be able to play the regular way) RackO (fun way to increase number skills), Skipbo (Anton might need to be on your team but Toby should be alright to play with just a little help with his cards)

    • Amy says...

      Yes to No Stress Chess! Its how my chess playing husband taught our daughter to play!

    • DIanne says...

      GREAT recommendation – will try it!

  132. Joanna says...

    Our 5 year old is a game playing kid! His favorites are Sleeping Queens, Too Many Monkeys, Sorry, Ticket to Ride Jr, Parcheesi, Trouble, and Uno. We don’t like Slamwich much.

  133. Randi says...

    My 6 year old loves the game Mr. Mouth. So fun!

  134. Joy says...

    Sleeping Queens is fun for the whole family! The art is so cute, and it also helps little kids practice basic addition.

  135. I love the timelessness of Uno! I’ve been playing it every week with a middle schooler I tutor (sometimes in Spanish to practice colors/numbers), other times in English. It’s so addicting. I also love SET more than life itself.

    • Katherine says...

      Omg Claire, I have a sister named Claire and we are FIERCE when we play Set. She and I have never been very competitive with each other, but once I brought this game into her life, I swear we entered new sister territory where all bets were off. Set for life!!!!!

    • Rachel Elizabeth says...

      I also adore SET! Most of my family dislikes playing with me (because I find the sets too quickly). But, in college, I taught a girl in one of my freshmen year classes how to play and she loved it! We quickly became great friends and lived together for the next three years of school (and continued playing SET regularly)!

  136. Veronica Barrio says...

    Sequence Junior was a big hit when the kids were about your kids ages. Also they like Rummikube and Mexican train which my parents taught them.

  137. Gina says...

    Literally OBSESSED with Uno! Spent the weekend with family, and played many games :) Looking forward to trying out Dos!

  138. Trouble is a popular one in our house, too. But Battleship, is a no go. It’s caused more than one tantrum.

  139. Emily says...

    Ahhh slamwich!! That game brings back many happy memories.

  140. Nelly says...

    Our whole family loves Sushi Go!

  141. Omaya says...

    I’m not up on children friendly games, but my adult game knowledge is fierce! The husband’s and my favorite weekend plan includes having friends over to play a good old fashion board game while consuming delicious beverages. Benefits include intellectual stimulation, silliness, and saved money. And let me tell you, adult strategy games are amazing! Some of our favorites at the moment are: Above and Below, Pandemic Legacy, Seven Wonders, Tokaido, and Evolution.

    • Pandemic Legacy was one of the highlights of my year. It took our little group of friends 8 months to move through. So much surprised gasping and ripping up of cards and new game pieces and just WHAT?? Best game ever.

    • Claire says...

      Wow thanks so much for these suggestions!

  142. Rita says...

    “I Have…Who has?” Card Game
    Blink Card Game
    Pass the Pigs
    Zingo!

    • Shelley Orr says...

      Blink is the best!

  143. Hannah says...

    My favorite game of all time is Rat-a-Tat Cat by Gamewright (who also make Slamwich, which you listed above).

  144. Amanda G says...

    My favorites as a kid were Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Cooties, and Trouble :)

    I also coveted my friend’s Mousetrap game – so many fun moving parts!