Today I’m focusing on board games. Family board games to be precise.
The list below details our favourite family board games and ones I hope you will all enjoy this Christmas and beyond!
We love a good board game in our house, but with three kids at different ages, levels and abilities it can be hard to please them all every time. While some of these games are slightly advanced for our youngest, he can (and does) play with either myself or Chas.
I wanted this to include games that we actually play and actually love. Too many of these lists I come across include family board games that haven’t been played but are on the ‘popular’ list. The games below are all different, but all wonderful in their own way. We play these multiple times a week and if they’re not yet in your games cupboard, I highly recommend buying them. Add them to your list this Christmas and have fun for the next few years!
So… onto the top 10 family board games (in no particular order):
Cluedo is a firm favourite in the Begley house. This classic murder mystery game is great fun and as the kids have got older, the games have become really competitive. I remember playing it when I was a kid and it’s honestly just as much fun today – With a couple of new suspects, it’s up to you where, how and who.
Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza is a new addition to our games night. It’s so much fun, easy to play and suitable for everyone. Our youngest is 6 and loves it! The rules are simple: Split the deck between 2-8 players, who each place their cards face-down in front of them. Players take turns flipping a card face-up on a pile in the middle while saying the words (in this order) ‘Taco’, ‘Cat’, ‘Goat’, ‘Cheese’, ‘Pizza’. If the card in the middle matches the word being spoken, the players race to slap their hands down on top of all the cards. Whoever is last must add the stack to their own set of cards. The winner is whoever gets rid of all their cards first. Watch out for the additional action cards.
Qwirkle is a must for all strategy games lovers. It is a particular favourite of our middle daughter, who’s 8. The rules are once again simple: Build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape and score points for doing so. However the strategy comes in with the ability to build complex combinations and core top points. The tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking will keep children interested and engaged for years.
Dobble – the game of speed, observation and reflexes. We love it in our house as it’s quick, easy and great for all three kids. Every card is different and only has one picture in common with every other card in the deck Spot the common image and get rid of your cards first. Please note, this link is for the special Great Ormond Street Hospital edition. This is a hospital in the UK and each game sold makes a contribution to Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity.
Yahtzee, that classic dice game should be on every list of board games! Part luck, part strategy, it’s simple enough even for our 6 year old to understand. While he may not be strategic as his older sisters (yet) he still has great fun! I love it now as much as I did when I was a child playing with my family. Continue your family traditions with classics such as this.
Mastermind (Code Breaker) I remember having hours of fun with this game, playing against my sister and never quite managing the strategy side of things. Fast forward 30 years and I still have the same issues! A strategy game for kids of about 8 years and up, guess the combination and break the code. We love this game, but we definitely need to hone in our strategic skills.
Catan is another game that should be on all board game lists. Build, settle and trade on the island of Catan. The game is highly addictive and really strategic. We love it and spend hours playing it. It says that it is suitable for ages 10 and up, however our 8 year old plays it (and enjoys it) with some guidance. There is also the option of playing as a family in a Catan tournament. The fun will last throughout the years!
Boggle is the perfect game for kids to help them with their vocabulary and spelling. The best thing about it is that they don’t even realise they’re learning! Compete head to head with the family or your kids can play it on their own. Shake the letters, flip the timer and try and find as many words as you can before the time runs out. Boggle is a great idea for kids with dysgraphia and dyslexia. Click here for more games that will support your child’s writing and spelling.
Ticket to Ride is available in a number of different editions – including US, Europe and Africa – we are still on the First Journey. This edition is perfect for kids from ages 6 and up. The concept of all of the games is the same: players collect train cards, claim routes and try to connect cities coast-to-coast. This edition is quicker with shorter journeys available, keeping the children’s attention.
Top Trumps. Would any list of board/card games be complete without Top Trumps? This game has transcended generations and is back with a bang. We have a number of different collections ranging from predators to princesses and wonders of the world to loveable pets. However you can choose from cartoon characters, films, sports and so much more! The choices are endless.
These all have a permanent fixture on our games night rotation and if you decide to buy any this year for Christmas, I really hope you have as much fun playing them as we do.
If you’re looking to become more sustainable this Christmas, click here for a list of gift ideas.