One of our favourite past times is playing family board games. Ever since the boys were little we would carve out time to sit as a family and play classics like frustration or buckaroo and as the children have got older this is one tradition we have kept hold of. We regularly have games nights and at Christmas we invite family over, extend the teams and really let our competitive sides out to play!
As a blogger I often get messages asking for recommendations of family board games, especially at Christmas, and it is my board game reviews that get the most traffic from google, so I thought I would put together a list of our all time favourite family board games that are suitable for children 7 plus.
As the name suggests you have 5 seconds to name 3 items or things. Some are easier than others such as name 3 flavours of ice cream compared to naming 3 mountain ranges, however, even thinking of ice cream flavours when put on the spot with a time limit and all eyes on you can be hard work, resulting in some hilarious answers. 5 second rule is available as a family board game or a travel game, both are brilliant. We have played this so much that we now even play our own version without the cards or timer in the car on long journeys. You can read our full review of 5 second rule here.
I was first introduced to the adults version of this at a friends birthday party. It was great fun but a lot harder than I expected it to be so I went away and bought the children’s version (which is definitely easier) to play as a family at home. What I love about this family board game is that it is easy to understand and perfect for younger children to be able to join in with on an equal footing to their older siblings as they do not need to be able to read. One designated person reads the card and then the player/team select the correct colour card for the answer. For example what colour is Winnie the Pooh’s T-shirt? This game can takes no more than 15 minutes but to extend it you can always add in extra rounds. It’s the perfect family board game as some questions are definitely geared more to the kids than the adults such as cartoons and brand colours and then some are more educational like flag colours and primary colours.
I doubt there is a family in England that hasn’t played monopoly at some point. It is a little bit like marmite, you love it or hate it! For us the kids absolutely love it and always ask to play this but it usually takes 4 plus hours to complete which is why we also have the junior version and the fortnite version. Both of which are a lot less intense and can be completed quicker. If you have fortnite fans then I highly recommend that version as it is less like monopoly and more like a battle game and will help entice them off their screens for a change!.
Pass the Pud
This is a festive game in the sense the pud is a Christmas pudding, however, the game itself is not festive. You pass the pud and answer questions as quickly as you can in the hope that the pud doesn’t burp in your hands. Its’ a fast paced game, similar to 5 second rule where you need to think of relatively simple answers such as name a vegetable in a very short period of time. It’s amazing how a little bit of pressure can make people forget the most obvious of things and say the most obscure, perfect if you fancy a giggle and again can be enjoyed by younger children as one person can read the cards aloud.
This is a lesser known game but one we love. It looks a bit like dominoes and sounds a bit like pairs. It is great for getting the brain working and can get very competitive. There are 3 different versions you can play with the game our favourite is where you role the dice and you have to be the first person to grab the matching pebble. Not as easy as it sounds. You can read our full review of Cobra Paw here.
It doesn’t matter if you are good at art or not this game will put your drawing to the test. Depending on the card you’re dealt will depend on which pair of glasses/lenses you will where whilst trying to draw a given thing against the clock as your team mates guess what it is. The stronger the lenses the harder it is to see the paper never mind focus on your drawing. Googly eyes is sure to have you all laughing, especially when you remove your glasses and see your own art work which you thought was clear but is actually anything but. You can read our full review of Googly eyes here.
This game is the opposite to most of the games shared so far as it requires calm, patience and skill. It is simple but effective and lots of fun. The idea is to balance blocks on top of each other without making them fall down, the problem is the blocks are wonky and you don’t get to decide which block goes next. You can read our full review of wonky blocks here. You can read our full review of Wonky Blocks here.
We only got this game at Christmas but it is fast becoming a favourite. The boys loved going up against me and their dad and although that may not sound fair the game is geared up with kids questions and parent questions with a few challenges thrown in along the way. If I am honest it is definitely the challenges that had the kids loving this game as they found it hilarious going head to head in things like ice cube competitions.
This game does not sound very exciting but it really is lots of fun. You roll the dice to decide on a letter and then you pick a card with a list of categories on it. The idea is then to go against the clock to think of one thing per category beginning with that letter. Then you reveal your answers and duplicates are eliminated. The person with the most unique number of correct answers wins.
This game is perfect for dedicated games nights or when you have more time to sit and play a family board game as it can take about 40 minutes. The idea is to move around the board until you reach the finish line but each time you stop you have to get creative in order to move forward. Based on the colour marker you land on depends what you need to do but it could be a play on words, acting, sleuthing or humming. Cranium junior is lots of fun and gives people the opportunity to show off their talents.
Topix is a fast paces game where you race against the clock t list as many things as you can related to the given topic. However, to make things even harder all the items you list must began with a certain letter too. Topix is aimed at those over 12 so although it’s a family game you may want to try it out yourselves before you let younger players join i too check you think it is suitable and easy enough for them to follow. Personally, I think younger ones can join in especially if you work on teams instead of as individuals.
What are your favourite family board games? For more fun family game ideas check out this family game gift guide.