Motherhood

A Fun Game to Play With Kids

A Fun Game

Certain kids’ board games make me want to poke my eyes out (Candy Land, I’m looking at you). But this weekend, we played a game with our kids and we were all laughing hysterically…

Heads Up!, which Ellen DeGeneres plays on her show, has an app version you can play at home. You put your phone on your forehead (so your teammates can see the word but you can’t), and they have to get you to guess as many words as possible before the timer runs out. The kids’ version has words like Cheerios, clouds and Dora the Explorer. We have the best time playing and it’s so cute to watch kids try to describe everything. Even the adults get super flustered trying to win.

Three other games that are legitimately entertaining for adults: Jenga, Too Many Monkeys and Memory.

What games do you actually enjoy? That aren’t boring? Also, Toby calls Monopoly “Molopoly” and it’s so painfully cute that Alex and I made a pact never to correct him.

P.S. Four games to play while lying down, and a bedtime board game.

(Photos taken of the boys at home.)

  1. Alina says...

    Ticket to Ride is a super fun game that can actually be fun for both kids and adults. I play it with my 6 year old nephew and we have a great time, I play it with my friends and we have a great time too haha. Also, Anomia is a great game if you like Heads Up (it’s examples, not descriptions) and not tech based. I just looked and there is a kid version too- highly recommend this one as well! The “kids” play every year at Christmas, and we’re laughing and yelling late into the night.

  2. Heads up is my favorite game! No one in my family would ever want to play with me but over Christmas I did it with my niecephews and we did the animal one and they LOVED IT!

  3. Seraphim says...

    ‘Silly Street’ is awesome! Perfect for all ages… and very silly.

  4. colleen says...

    Ravensburger games are wonderful! Snails Pace Race is a family favorite…our 4-year-old grandson loves it!

  5. Ellen says...

    We just discovered ‘left center right’ wild dice game and it’s SO MUCH FUN. you can play it with kids (we played it with my 4 and 6 year old nieces) and adults, it’s evenly fun. Plus it’s small to bring/store, only chips (or switch it for $ :-)) and 3 dice.

  6. Charades for Kids! Each card has three options to play out, one being a picture so the littles not reading yet can participate. It’s pure comedy to watch and I was shocked at just how into they got playing it. They were so good it shocked me! Ha You can order on Amazon of course :)

  7. Yelena says...

    We are obsessed with “Outfoxed” at our house. It’s a great who-dunnit cooperative play game where you have to figure out which fox stole the pie. It comes with clues and a decoder. My almost 5-year old loves it!

  8. Kate says...

    I grew up playing Uno, Yahtzee and SET with my family. All are based on chance, and a little bit of skill, which enabled the kids to sometimes beat the adults and the adults to have some fun along the way. I still play these games to this day (I’m 31) and I plan on playing them with my future unborn children someday.

  9. Stephanie Frederickson says...

    Spot it! We’ve been playing this for years with our kids who are now 11 and 14. And we still play it. Great for when your waiting for food to come at a restaurant. :) it’s small and easy to carry. And Kids can beat their parents honestly!

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Spot+it&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

    • jen says...

      we LOVE this game too. I often give it as gifts too.

    • Stephanie Frederickson says...

      *You’re* not your 😳🙄

  10. Heather says...

    My kids (5&7) love Sleeping Queens (cards), Tenzi (dice) and Mancala… all games I really like to play with them too!

  11. Meg says...

    I bust out the Guess Up – the Heads Up knock-off – at adults-only get-togethers all the time and it’s always a hit! So fun!

  12. Cassie F. says...

    Silly Street is our family favorite! It’s simple, fun, and we’re all laughing the whole time. It’s a good one.

  13. Cheryl says...

    Junior Molopoly! The kids buy their own ticket booths at a carnival instead of boring old houses and instead of going to jail you go to lunch. My daughter has learned so much about counting, hoarding money, being a responsible banker and owning the world. She absolutely adores it and she’s only six.
    Also Uno, Harry Potter Uno specifically.

  14. SN says...

    This is for younger kids — but we’ve gotten our nieces and nephews the game Monkey Around and it’s a GREAT game for kiddos (2-3 years old) that prompts them to move around. Highly recommended!

    • Emily Wallis says...

      We love this one, too!

    • My parents used to stack the deck so I would win Candy Land quickly when we played!

  15. Ellen says...

    time’s up!

    You dont even need the official game, you can just make your own guessing cards and then it’s even more fun that everyone has a little bit of an advantage sometimes!

  16. Emily says...

    Happy Salmon & Avocado Smash are favorites with my nieces!

  17. Allison says...

    We love Hoot Owl Hoot, Sushi Go, Carcasonne, and Zooloretto. Our kids are 4 and 8 so sometimes the 4 year old plays on a “team” with someone else. If we’re just playing with our 8 year old, Ticket to Ride and Yspahan are also favourites.

  18. The whole family plays Sushi Go and Sleeping Queens (invented by a 6-year-old!). My 7-year-old loves Ticket to Ride and Dominion (which is an adult board game that he plays with his dad; all about strategy).

  19. Katrina says...

    Ambassador is an awesome version of Charades, really great for groups. One person is in a separate room with a list of about 10 words. Everyone else is split into two teams with each team in separate rooms. One person on each team gets the first word from the “Ambassador,” and runs back to their team to act out the word. Whoever guesses it has to run to the ambassador for the next word to act out. Whichever team gets through all of the words first wins. It is absolutely hysterical. One NYE, no one woke up with hangovers because we were too busy running around playing the game to drink! I imagine it would be a fun slumber party or kids birthday party game too.

  20. Joanna says...

    Silly Street! I think someone got this for us and it’s almost like Cranium for kids. I really enjoy it and it’s hilarious.

  21. Heidi says...

    There is a fun game called Pass the Pigs that is super fun- the two dice are actually little pigs and you roll them and rack up points based on how they land. They come in a little box that is easy to travel with and the landing positions have funny names like Snouter, Trotter and Leaning Jowler. It’s funny when you get to debate, “Oh that’s totally a Leaning Jowler, he’s partly on his nose!”

  22. Jill Petri says...

    Spot It, Dicecapades and Left Right Center are also favorites.

  23. Heather D says...

    My little guy is 4 and we struggle with games. Does anyone have any suggestions for something that would keep his attention?

    • Nicole B. says...

      My 4 year old likes the memory games! We also “play cards” with her. We just get a deck of cards out and do what she says with them. She’ll hand some out to us, make us pick one out of a pile. Doesn’t make sense to us but she enjoys it.

    • Ashley says...

      My 4 year old likes Kids on Stage, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders!

    • Heidi says...

      Do you have the game Zingo? It’s similar to Bingo, and it has a cool dispenser, he might love being in charge of pushing the button to see what the next picture combo is!

    • Maggie says...

      Memory games, Chutes & Ladders, and Shark Bite are all good for 4. It gets more fun when they’re just a little older!

    • Kim says...

      Sequence for kids is wonderful! My kids started playing it around 3 and at nearly 8, my son still enjoys it.

    • Sara says...

      I second Zingo – that was the first game that held my girls’ attention. They (3 and 5) both love Pick Me Up, Piggie, too.

    • Allison says...

      Our 4.5 year old adores Go Fish and Hoot Owl Hoot (a co-operative board game), and Race to the Roof (no idea if they still make this one as it was from my childhood). He also has fun playing on a “team” with one of us or his older sister if we’re playing a game that’s a bit too old for him.

    • M says...

      My 5 year old received a Lucy Hammett bingo game. My 3 year old loves to play it with us, and I was surprised at how long he sat there and focused on the game.

    • Heather D says...

      You guys are amazing. Adding several of these to my amazon cart! Thank you. I love this CoJ community!

    • Stephanie Frederickson says...

      Spot it! We’ve been playing this for years with our kids who are now 11 and 14. And we still play it. Great for when your waiting for food to come at a restaurant. :)

      https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Spot+it&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

    • Yelena says...

      My 4 year old loves “Outfoxed”. We got it as a gift on her 4th birthday and I think we’ve been playing it almost every night since (she’s almost 5).

      https://gamewright.com/product/Outfoxed

  24. Lucy says...

    One of my favorite memories: we were in Tokyo with about 12 friends, and we wanted to go to a Sumo match. They only have 100 tickets that they sell the day of, so we’re standing in line at 5am waiting for tickets, and we started playing Heads Up to pass the time. Pretty soon other people waiting in line with us were playing too, calling out hints or charading. It was such a crazy day, and as always Ellen has the super power to bring people together.

  25. Rebecca says...

    The makers of Exploding Kittens just came out with a new game called Throw Throw Burrito. We played with adults and throwing squishy burritos at each other brought out the kids in us – so much fun. I think kids would have a blast with it. My partner is a (adorable) huge board game nerd, so we got the kick-starter version a few weeks ago, but I believe it’s available to buy now/very soon!

    • Alyssa says...

      YES! My boyfriend just got this and it is seriously so fun. He bought the Kickstarter version that came with two versions of the indoor version plus an outside version with blow up burritos, safety goggles and sweatbands. It’s ridiculously fun.

  26. Barbara says...

    When my brother was little he would say when it was raining and we were in the car – turn on the swipper swipers for wind shield wipers. We still call it that and we have kids of our own.

  27. Laura says...

    Heads up is so much fun with any age group. Not sure what the recommended minimum age is but I bet Ticket To Ride would be good with older kids. I love to play it with my adult friends.

  28. Ai says...

    Rat a tat cat! So fun-

    • TSA says...

      I was going to say this too!

  29. Lindsey says...

    We play a LOT of UNO, but I’m ready for something new. I have Sleeping Queens and a few people recommended it, so I’m going to take it on our camping trip next week.

    My nephew calls UPS “youpus” and now the whole family does, it makes me laugh every time.

  30. Sarah says...

    Did you see this article recently about Candy Land? The game was invented by a schoolteacher during the polio epidemic, which explains its design for imagination and adventure (and also that the players were definitely a captive audience). https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/07/how-polio-inspired-the-creation-of-candy-land/594424/

    I’m a huge fan of Monopoly Deal. It’s the card version of monopoly, and games only last about 15-20 minutes! I love bringing it on camping trips, and my husband and friends (and mom!) love playing. I don’t know if it would be as great with young kids. After all, playing with the houses, pawns, and fake money is the best part of the game when you’re little!

    • Jenn says...

      Monopoly deal is great with kids! My 7 year old twins love it and it’s one of our go to family games.

  31. Heads Up is the BEST! I started a game with a couple of friends once on a long subway ride in the city and by the time we got off, we had half the train car playing with us. Everyone started off in their usual riding-the-subway funk and by the end of it everyone was laughing and participating.

  32. Marissa says...

    Trouble and Animal Upon Animal! Don’t be fooled by the travel version of Animal upon Animal, though. Spring for the full-size! Even adult hands are not dextrous enough to maneuver the teeny pieces.

  33. Megan says...

    Growing up, my family and I would play “The Animal Game,” a 20-questions type game where you have to guess what animal someone’s thinking off. Is it a mammal? Is it a predator? Can it fit in a microwave? My younger brothers would always ask in all seriousness, “Is it a female?” to which you had to say in equal seriousness, “Sometimes.” To keep from cheating, you had to whisper the animal in my mom’s ear. Because my youngest brother was the loudest whisperer, we all had to holler while he told my mom his animal. We play it to this day and we’re all adults now.

    • Kathy says...

      We played this ALL THE TIME with my kids growing up but we said “is it bigger than a bread box”? So much fun!! Made me smile when I saw your comment.

  34. Lindsay says...

    We love Qwixx, Qwingo, and Fluxx with our 9 and 13 year old. My spouse and I play Qwixx on our own and with other adults too. It’s so fun! We’re about to do a backyard camp out with friends this weekend and I love the ideas of Nerts and Spoons with a big group.

  35. I sent my nephews and niece Too Many Monkeys after reading about it here. They gave it two thumbs up, so thanks for the recommendation.

  36. Nathalie says...

    I’m not really into games, but I don’t mind playing Dobble (it’s over so fast!) With older children I enjoy Ubongo, Yahtzee and Crokinole (not sure if I spelled any of those right).

  37. Got caught in the rain one night recently when my whole family came to visit us. We were sitting at a bar in midtown Manhattan, 6 fully grown adults soaking wet and freezing cold playing head’s up and laughing our asses off. Even with some of the worst weather it was one of the best nights of the trip and gave me some memories I’ll never forget.

  38. FGB says...

    My son said starcastic instead of sarcastic. It was so cute we never corrected him. He was not happy when he realized he was saying it wrong and grilled us on any other words he said incorrectly. We had to come clean that it wasn’t Mote-zart. Oh my sweet classical music loving boy. He also hated abbreviations and called places “Baskin Robin Hood” “hamburger king” and “inside and outside” (we still, including our son, use these names exclusively)

    • PJ says...

      I love this and will now also use these formal names.

  39. Rikki says...

    We’ve recently (over the past few years) turned into a game family. It’s great fun to spend time together in this way! Our kids favorites that us parents also don’t hate to play:
    Sleeping Queens
    Spot It
    Exploding Kittens (the potty humor is the best over here with our 3 boys)
    Connect Four (we had a family reunion this summer and everyone got so competitive with this! Hilarious.)
    Labyrinth
    Enchanted Forest
    The Magic Labyrinth
    Santorini
    Cover Your Assets (8+ I think? This one is SO fun)
    Plain old charades! My kids adore this one and we are always cracking up together.

  40. Darby says...

    Uno, exploding kittens, scrabble… when my daughter was younger she loved the Disney version of Apples to Apples (no reading required). My son and I really like Stratego, Carcassan and Smallworld but my husband and daughter are less enthusiastic;) Pandemic is a fun cooperative game.

    • Alyssa says...

      Yes Smallworld! Glad to know other people are familiar with it. The expansions rock too!

  41. happycamper says...

    Code Names is amazing fun for all ages, as long as the youngest can read. We’ve played with just us (parents + 7 year old and 9 Year old ) or with up to 12 (it’s always two teams, but the teams can be big.) It’s so much fun, can be played at different levels of sophistication, and extremely portable (we’ve taken it camping.)

  42. Cg says...

    Headbandz was what we played when my daughter was going, which is essentially the DeGeneres game but came along before and is analogue. You wear a headband and out the card up for others to describe to you.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned puzzles. My daughter go so into puzzle that it seemed like the dining table would be out of commission forever. It’s not terribly portable but it did pass time well.

    • Cg says...

      That should read “young”. Sorry. Typing in my phone.

  43. A says...

    I think we need a post about funny words kids mispronounce and we don’t correct because it’s funnier that way…

  44. Rebecca says...

    Tea Dragon Society is fun for all ages and super cute.

    Manza is quick racing game and doesn’t require reading and has enough chance that it balances between ages.

  45. Rachel says...

    I love your tidbit about Toby saying Molopoly! When I was little my parents thought my pronunciation of breakfast was cute and so now as a 29 year old I still say breaktheast. Haha.

  46. Angel says...

    My daughter and I play 1 angry alligator in the car. You say the number of the letter of the alphabet, an adjective and an animal beginning with the letter of the alphabet. I try to vary it sometimes – birds only, plants only, adverb and verb instead of adjective, but daughter does not like any other versions.
    Anyone know any animals beginning with Q other than quetzal and quail?
    A new car game we are playing is spotting numbers in order. You can start over every time or begin where you left off.

    • Sarah says...

      Hi Angel- Quokka; Quarterhorse or Quoll (I think they are all Australian animals… at least: I’m Australian, and have known about them…) What a fun sounding game!

    • Angel says...

      Thanks Sarah! I had to look up what kind of animal is a quoll. Can’t wait to bust those out next time we play!

    • Erin Orr says...

      We play a version of this too – and as the kids have gotten older, the game has evolved too. Currently for each letter of the alphabet, you pick a name, a city you live in, and something you sell. As in I’m Erin, I live in England and I sell eggs.

    • Carolina says...

      Can you use extinct animals? Quetzacoatlus was a pterosaur, one of the largest flying animals of all time. I only know this because my daughter loves dinosaurs! :)

  47. Laura says...

    We love Outfoxed. It’s kind of like Clue, but it has a lot going on. Our son was able to start playing around age 5. It’s also cooperative, so you’re playing against a fox character instead of against each other. We’ve given it for birthday and holiday gifts multiple times now, and everyone always loves it.

    • April Kalix-Cattell says...

      yes!!! outfoxed! really fun and engaging.

    • Ali says...

      Another vote for outfoxed—I wanted to comment to specifically cite it because I think it’s that good, especially as cooperative games for the younger kiddos go—we have all enjoyed it, and I think my son was able to start around 4-4.5 years old. Another good cooperative game for even younger was the busy town “eye found it” game.

  48. Megan says...

    OMG. Candyland. Torture in its purest form.

    • Marnie says...

      My son says Fonokoly instead of Monopoly. “Mum, can we play Fonokoly?” Best. Recently a well meaning person tried to teach him how to say it properly and I was all like “nooooooooooooo! Don’t do iiiiiit!” :) I am loving this post, some fantastic ideas (that aren’t fonokoly!).

  49. Vicki says...

    My 8 yo granddaughter came over with a game called Quick Cups. It doesn’t look nearly as fun as it is, but it’s a riot. My daughter (her aunt) and I played with her and laughed ourselves goofy! It would be a great game for competitive adults – with or without cocktails!

  50. alison says...

    Our family thoroughly enjoys playing games…Slapzi is a ton of fun (as is Tenzi), Dixit has really beautiful illustrations, Skiwampus, Blockus, there are just so many great ones out there (FYI my kids are 10 and 12 and really enjoy all of these).

  51. Grace says...

    The most popular board came at the summer camp where I work is the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10 Second Challenge.” Some challenges are nearly impossible but so fun to try!

  52. Anna says...

    We just got into Rat A Tat Cat this summer and it’s not horrible at all. I actually love Operation (as an adult) and Let’s Go Fishing and Old Maid and Connect Four! I have also started playing four-handed clapping games with my nearly eight-year-old daughter and it is AMAZING. She’s learned a few great ones at camp and I remember some from elementary school and it feels so good to do something that she thinks is endlessly fascinating and cool. We’re practicing after we read Anne of Green Gables every evening and I feel like I’m having the best summer ever. I think I’m probably a secret eight-year-old, so we’re a pretty good match. :)

  53. Laura J says...

    Splash-like spoons but with squeaky dolphin toys. We also liked the kids Monopoly. It goes much faster!

  54. Katie O says...

    My 6/7 year old loves Mancala!

  55. Poppy says...

    that pic of toby and anton snuggling is the most (✿ ♥‿♥)

  56. Susan M. says...

    Uno and Sorry are staples, and recently we’ve added Dragonwood and Sleeping Queens. My nine-yr-old has been obsessed with Dragonwood – card and dice game. My six-yr-old can just manage it; Sleeping Queens easier. I also added an old school Battleship, which is pretty good. My 6-yr-old would like me to get this pie game where you get a whipped=cream pie in your face, but I’m not there. I’ve heard Uno attack spices things up.

  57. Maggie says...

    Kingdomino! So fun my husband and I have been known to continue playing after putting our sons to bed. ;) Additional perk? My 7yo has pretty much learned his times tables just from scoring this game.

  58. Kirsten says...

    My brother and I were crazy for a plain deck of cards growing up. I think we played about 150,000 games of Speed over the years. And Slap Jack kept us occupied during MANY long camping trips. Yahtzee is a forever crowd pleaser in my house, and I also love Pick-Up Stix.

    Now I’m wondering how old is a reasonable age to learn Euchre, which is hands down my favorite card game ever…

  59. Kaitlin says...

    Did you know Monopoly was created originally as an education tool to teach the problems of capitalism? The woman who invented it, Elizabeth Magie, wanted people to understand income inequality. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/monopoly-was-designed-teach-99-about-income-inequality-180953630/

    My husband’s family grew up playing Mille Bornes (literally “a thousand miles” in french). It’s a card game that’s easy to understand, involves counting, and has a fun “take-that” element to it. But you have to play a few rounds usually to determine the winner, so there’s some give and take. And it’s good for 2, 3, 4 or 6 people! It was a cottage classic that we play anytime we get together, adults or kids!

    • J says...

      Mille Bornes! That was the game where we learned my then-6 year old knew how to count cards, lol. He played a certain strategy because he “knew there were no more” of one of them since we already played them all.

    • Heidi says...

      Mille Borne is the greatest card game! I was scanning the comments to see if anyone mentioned it. We love it so much in our family. It is a special deck (not regular playing cards) that you use, similar to UNO. We love the “take that” element of giving people flat tires and red stoplights, too!

    • cg says...

      Mille Borne!!!! My inlaws introduced me to this game, and it’s so much fun. One time we took a train trip, not quite an over nighter, but it was a number of hours long. We played that multiple times on the way and at one point it (perhaps after a drink or two?) we were all playfully trash talking one another’s moves. So much fun.

  60. Amy says...

    The Secret Door is the perfect cooperative game for preschool-grade 1 kids (and the adults who play with them). You play as a team trying to catch the robber before the time runs out. It’s like memory, in that you are matching two times, but the whole team can help.

  61. JC says...

    Bugs in the Kitchen! Fun and encourages problem solving/higher level thinking skills even for younger kids.

  62. Kamina says...

    When my little brother Jon was about 10 he hand-drew a version of Monopoly which he dubbed “Jon Monopoly”. (We thought this name was so ridiculous that we always tease him by referring to it as Jonopoly or Monopojon.) Instead of “Community Chest” it had squares like “Are you vegan? Collect $200”. (Some of our family members are vegan and some aren’t!) All of the place names had the syllable “Jon” incorporated somewhere. (Instead of Mayfair, Jonfair.) He spent days creating this and it genuinely worked as a board game, plus it was hilarious.

  63. Sara says...

    A few fun games that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    Quirkle and The Amazing Labyrinth (challenging and fun for all ages!)
    Pop the Pig (silly, but the kids love it)
    Trouble and Connect Four (great classics)
    War :) Neverending, but it entertains my 5 year old forever

    And it’s so sweet you made a pact to never correct Toby :)

    My favorite words my three year old says these days is “naybe” (maybe) and “fever” (beaver) XO

  64. Hanna says...

    I love Molopoly! Both my boys always said “butcept” instead of “but” or “except” and my husband and I never, ever corrected them.

  65. Krysten says...

    My kids are nuts about Sleeping Queens.

  66. Amanda says...

    My 3 year old calls “UPS” “Puey S” and I will never correct him.

    Also we are going to the beach soon and this reminds me to bring some games!

  67. Kristen says...

    We were recently stuck in a crazy long security line at the airport and had exhausted our standard pass-the-time-with-no-resources games (Animal Guessing Game — 20 questions with animals — and figuring out the backwards name of every person we know) when we noticed another family who was going through the alphabet and taking turns naming something they’d seen on their trip for each letter. At the time, those parents seemed like geniuses to me! We brazenly stole the idea and have since played with animals, food, things in the car, whatever. And it’s pretty humorous to play with a 4 year old who thinks kayak might start with F…

  68. Monica says...

    Quirkle!! We are a fairly nerdy family, but this was easy for my 6YO and 9YO to learn. Super fun and it works a smart part of your brain. :)

    • FGB says...

      I second quirkle! Also love SET and cubitz. Obsessed with ticket to ride and rummykub for kids who are a bit older.

    • Jamie says...

      YES! We love this game! It will grow old with us for sure!

  69. JoAnne H Anderson says...

    Sleeping Queens is the best!! A card game that even the adults will enjoy playing but easy enough for a 5 year old. Must check this out. I have raised 4 great kids and now have 10 grandkids – so I have played a few games. This is the best. The grandkids have shared it with all of their cousins on the “other side”…

    • Amy says...

      YES! It’s a favorite in our house…even though my boys are now 13 and 15 they will still play it with younger friends:) I also use it in my 1st grade classroom.

    • Kelly says...

      Yes! We love Sleeping Queens!

  70. JoAnne H Anderson says...

    Sleeping Queens is the best!! A card game that even the adults will enjoy playing but easy enough for a 5 year old. Must check this out.

  71. Amanda M Graham says...

    Sushi Go is super fun. Our kids are 6 and 8, and we do help with scoring, but it’s so fun to see them develop their own strategies.

  72. Claire says...

    Uno

  73. Ali says...

    Qbitz and Qbitz extreme, just arranging cubes in a pattern the fastest, kind of reminds of the logic game puzzles on the LSAT. Sounds terrible, but it’s fun, we’ve been playing since my daughter was 7.

  74. Ro says...

    We had some longer drives and ferry waits this summer and my kids both always got into kid friendly version of “Would you rather?” We did get an app that my older child could read out, but it was just as easy to be driving mom coming up with random ideas. The weirder the better!

  75. Sara says...

    I have a 3 yo and a 5 yo and we really love all the Peaceable Kingdom games we have played. They are collaborative, so you win or lose as a team. They are somehow simple enough for the kids, but have enough strategy that they aren’t a complete bore for the grownups. My personal favorite is Race to the Treasure.

    • Amy S says...

      We have 3 kids 14, 11 and 7 and we love a board game called “Camel Up”. Easy enough for the little guy and fun enough for my husband and I to enjoy!

  76. Kate says...

    Omg I LOVE heads up! Most hilarious moment when playing with a friend: the answer was Colin Powell, and my hints were “in the Bush Administration, first name sounds like a body part,” and she yelled, “DICK CHENEY!!” We were dying.

  77. Midge says...

    A loud, hilarious, fun family game is Happy Salmon. We all just die laughing. We also love Sushi Go and Hanabi—pretty quick and fun for all four of us.

  78. Sarah D. says...

    Spoons!!! It’s the best and kids age 4 and up to adults can play! One deck of cards and each player is dealt 4 cards, you try to get 4 of a kind and then grab a spoon. Spoons are placed in the center; there is 1 less spoon than the number of players, so the player without a spoon is the loser or just spoonless. The dealer begins picking and discarding from the deck, always having 4 cards in the hand. Each player either keeps or passes the card around the table, swapping whatever card works in their hand for the one that doesn’t. Once you have 4 of a kind you discreetly grab a spoon from the center, other players will also grab a spoon once they see one is missing even if they don’t have 4 of a kind. The last person to realize the spoons are gone is the loser or again, just spoonless that round. We play with kids and sometimes just adults and it’s always hilarious!

    • Erica says...

      I played Spoons as a kid with my neighbor friends all the time! It’s SUCH a fun and simple game. We would sometimes elevate the game to Extreme Spoons and put the spoons in another room. This would always turn into a wrestling match on our sprint to the other room for the spoons!

    • oh my goodness, yes, spoons! I had totally forgotten about this so thanks for the reminder. We spent so many holidays playing this as kids. It’s a great one.

    • CaraM says...

      This is one of the BEST games to play with foreign exchange students. Never underestimate the power of Spoons in a large group of people. It defies language skills and everyone connects through the power of laughter. We had two Japanese Exchange students growing up and they always requested it – especially if their friends were over!

  79. Ashley says...

    When we went to Disneyland a couple months ago we saw quite a few people playing that app/game while waiting in line for rides. My kids are too small for it but I thought it was a great idea!

  80. Meghan says...

    When I first started as a teacher, I substituted in a grade 3 classroom (I’m a trained high school teacher) and came across the greatest game ever invented. It’s called Dead Worms (so much power in a name): basically, all the kids are worms pretending to be dead on the ground. Then one kid, the farmer, has to go tip toe around and check to see that all the worms are dead. If they see any movement or hear any sound, they yell, “DEAD WORMS!”. I must thank the genius, exhausted teacher who came up with this game. I’m always one of the worms when I play, although I often give myself away with the sound of my snoring.

    • Michelle says...

      Haha! I loved this and your humor!

  81. Marlena says...

    My kids love playing Oregon Trail with us, even though we still haven’t survived until the end (just like the old computer game at school – damn you dysentery!)

    As a teen, we played Phase10 with my dad, who would happily nurse a Twisted Apple Cider while playing (and he always kicked our butts!). When I became a mom, I went to visit him and when he pulled up to the table with Phase10 and TWO glasses of schnapps I felt like I was being let in on the real secret of the game. LOL

  82. deborah saul says...

    my grandma used to call monopoly, monotony lol

    • Beth says...

      Spot it! Plus the container is portable so you can bring it with to a restaurant

    • Cg says...

      Your grandma is awesome.
      (Heart)

  83. An aside: don’t you love the sound of those capiz shells in light wind? (I have several sets and their music is so beautiful…)

  84. Jenn says...

    My son just got a new game called Clack for his 5th birthday last week. It’s magnetic, easy to understand and fun. We also played Sorry! at several breweries and restaurants on a recent vacation and now have such happy memories associated with the game. Great to have a few good ones headed into the winter season. My grown-up goal for this year is to learn how to play cribbage. Games for everyone!

    Here’s a link to Clack: https://www.amazon.com/AMIGO-CLACK-Kids-Magnetic-Stacking/dp/B07CN54C42/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=clack&qid=1565040988&s=toys-and-games&sr=1-2

    • Liz says...

      Crib is the best game! I learnt from & played with my grandad, also played with my mum & my 12 year old has been playing for a good few years now!

  85. Andrea says...

    I know it’s obnoxious as all get up but when my son was little we would play Hungry Hippos for hours. Fast forward a lot of years and I gave it as my white elephant gift at Christmas and my kids and their spouses all fought for it!

    • Genevieve M says...

      What’s a white elephant gift? Intrigued!

  86. Erin says...

    Candy Land, ugh.

    Our family sticks to games that do not require reading (our youngest is 4). Favorites:
    – Uno
    – Tenzies (dice)
    – 20 Questions
    – Sloth in a Hurry
    – Clue (with youngest playing on a “team” or just makin’ it up)
    – Telestrations (best for school age and older)

    For 2-3 players, we like everything in the Hoyle kids 6-game pack (Matching, Go Fish, Old Maid, Slap Jack, etc), Garbage (card game), and chess. I highly recommend the Hoyle set: Cards are a great small size for small hands, cute, and cleverly themed. My youngest likes the “Old Maid” (a gardener with her matching fruits and vegetables), so we play to keep the Old Maid card instead of give it away, lol. Crazy Eights are the eight planets in our solar system (in order).

    I’m eager for them to age into scattegories, rummikub, and cribbage!

  87. Jill says...

    Chickapig, but you need to be ok with poop. Super fun

  88. Lana says...

    We’ve been playing old fashioned cards (crazy 8’s, slap jack, etc) and my kids love it! My mom and dad divorced when I was very young, and my dad was always trying to think of ways to keep me and my sister entertained. Remember! This was long before iPhones and Dvd’s! 😂 So come every Sunday after dinner he would get a jug of pennies and place it on the table with a pitcher of red kool aid and a deck of cards. He’d deal us each one card and then pour us each a shot of red kool aid into a shot glass. Before we picked up our card we had to slam the shot back and yell RED EYE!!! before slapping the card into our forehead and then guess if te vakie of our card was greater than or less than the value of the other card players! 😂

    • FGB says...

      This is hysterical!

  89. rachel says...

    Skip Bo
    Spot It
    Nertz

  90. Anne says...

    Guess Who? And Exploding Kittens are favorites in our house!

  91. Judy says...

    We are crazy about Telestrations. It’s like “Telephone” but with pictures. Each person draws a word, then passes it and the next person tries to guess what the picture is and writes that word and passes it and on and on. By the end you can’t figure out how “tea cup” became “man purse” and you die laughing. You do have to be able to read, so we pair up a reader with a little one. It is the funniest, funnest game our family of three generations adores!

    • Lauren E. says...

      My family played Telestrations after many glasses of wine at Thanksgiving last year (I’m talking me and my 30-something siblings & cousins plus our parents), and I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. A game for all ages!

  92. Cooper says...

    I used to play Mastermind with the four-year-old boy I nannied. It doesn’t require any reading, and it was incredible to watch how he was able to break the codes.

    • Jenna says...

      Yes! I regularly play this with my 14yo too. I love how it works with different ages.

  93. Katrina says...

    We love Spot It! Such a fun, quick game for kids and adults. We don’t have kids, but it’s an easy one to play at bars! Also love the card version of Monopoly — Monopoly Deal. It’s much faster and more entertaining. Also love Avalon, Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Wits and Wagers, and Santorini!

    • Claire says...

      We love spot it!! I keep a deck in my purse at all time, great for restaurant waiting, waiting rooms, long lines… we love it!!

    • Rachel says...

      My kids (ages 10, 9, and 6) love the classics like Uno and Spot It, but our new favorite is Trash Pandas. It takes a couple of rounds for the younger ones to catch on, but it is the perfect combination of chance and planning. We discovered it at our local library which allows you to check out board games. It’s a great way to try new games to see if they are a fit for your family!

  94. Ally says...

    Heads Up is our family’s favorite waiting around game (like waiting in line, waiting for appointments, etc). People around us never seem annoyed. They actually love watching our kids play or even join in!

  95. Silver says...

    We just bought DIXIT last week – it is fantastic. It is very creative.

    • Alison says...

      That is one of our family’s favorites!

  96. Connie says...

    We are into card games, like Super Tooth, Sleeping Queens, or Uno. We are also a fan of Stormy Seas (this surprisingly-exciting little wooden balancing game by Hape) or Pictureeka (Which is blissfully quiet, because it’s a high-focus game of looking).

  97. selby says...

    i played taboo with my (then) 11 or 12 year old cousin years ago and for her word she kept saying, “this is a SAD woman. SAD and PLAIN”. turns out the word was “librarian”. it still makes me giggle (also saddened by how pop culture portrays librarians)

  98. t says...

    Do all players need to fully be able to read?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      anton can read most of the words, but if he doesn’t, we just quickly whisper the word to him.

    • Kristen says...

      That blog post was so good, just bookmarked for Christmas presents this year. Thank you.

  99. EmilyS says...

    We loved Phase 10 and Sequence growing up!

  100. Heather says...

    My four-year-old likes playing Candy Land, so I surreptitiously removed all of the character cards from the deck. No more getting sent back to square one just when the end is in sight!

  101. Jo says...

    My 8 yo asks for “vallina ice cream” and I find it very cute too. Also, he once called “instruction manual”, a “construction manual” hahha

    • jdp says...

      when we play cards (gin, uno), our kid calls the discard pile the “disco pile.” not only have we have never corrected him, we will never call it anything else. other game favorites: gubs, easy scrabble and boggle, and we just started playing taboo together and he loooooves it.

    • Aleena says...

      My husband and I invented a game called Pass the Cats to play with my nephew. It’s exploding kittens, but without the exploding kittens or defuse cards. So instead no one wins or loses and you just sort of pass the cats… We played it this summer and he loved it! Not competitive and you get to spend lots of time admiring the cute cat cards.

  102. shade says...

    molopoly is the CUTEST. Also, we play that with our 6 year old multiple times a week lately. That, chess, connect four, and Taki (uno). Outfoxed is cute too.

    • Amy says...

      Love outfoxed!!
      How do you play so Monopoly doesn’t last for EVER?

    • Emily says...

      Spot it!

    • Kat says...

      It’s Monockoly at our house :)

  103. hali says...

    omgomg I bought a box of diy otterpop baggies for a bachelorette weekend in the spring and forgot i still have over 100 baggies still tucked away in my cupboard! I’m making paloma pops tonight! Party at my house this weekend!!

  104. Cindy says...

    We played hundreds of games of uno and I never once hated it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! i like uno, too!

    • AN says...

      The best is Uno Attacks, have you seen it? The unpredictability element when you press the button is so addictive. Sometimes you get zero cards but sometimes like 8 pop out and you’re like “doh”! Kids and adults alike get so excited!

  105. Kate says...

    We played this game on our beach vacation last month with 3 generations and it was definitely one of the best parts of our trip. I still laugh out loud thinking of some of the clues! 😂