Family board games are one of the best ways to connect with your kids’ and have fun as a family. We love nothing more than enjoying a family game night, all gathered around the table and hanging out. We almost look forward to rainy days because there are so many great board games for the family. Now that the kids are getting older, we’re really enjoying playing any kind of game with them, however, we realized that we were tending to play the same games again and again, which gets boring.
So we polled our other full-time RV friends and asked them what are their favorite games. We were shocked at how many board games are out there and how few we were aware of. Hence this blog post, so if you are as clueless as we were you should get caught up on this article and treat yourself to some great new family board games.
The kids got this game for Christmas and it was an immediate hit. It jumped right onto our “Board games for the family” list. What I love about the game is that it’s a lot of fun but it also encourages teamwork and focus.
The objective of the game is to travel through time by spinning the time machine and advancing the appropriate number of circles. If the time machine spinner or the game piece lands on a “search,” you pull an item from the stack. The item can be something like a vase, a cat, a horse, a cape etc. Most of the objects exist in each of the time periods. My daughter loves the capes worn by the Egyptians and how different they are from the capes worn during medieval times, which led to a conversation about the purpose of capes. Just a really fun and educational game. On top of that, the imagery on the board is absolutely beautiful!
My kids got this when they were 7 & 8, I think the best age range for this game is 4 – 8! My son is 9 and is already getting bored with this game unless we all get involved and then he loves to get down on the floor and play. Just an FYI, this game is quite large, so it doesn’t fit on a table, we put it on the floor of our 38′ fifth wheel and have some fun with it.
This is one of my favorite games for kids because it makes them think! I use it for homeschool too, I love it. It is based on the old “20 Questions” we all played as kids.
The Hedbanz game comes with a stack of picture cards, each featuring an animal, food, or common object. The categories are few and simple, but this allows everyone, even young children, to get in on the family fun. And because you’ll be racing against the one-minute sand-clock timer, each round moves quickly, ramping up your energy and challenging your wit.
This board game comes with everything you’ll need to play. The game can have anywhere from two to six players, each person straps on a headband and your card is placed in your adjustable headband right on your forehead facing the other players. Everyone but you can see your card. The game comes with a sand clock timer, 72 cards, 24 chips, 6 headbands and a set of instructions. Your group of two to six players will be strapping on headbands, asking funny questions, and making wild guesses without complicated setups and rules.
Playing Hedbanz is simple. After dealing one card and three chips to each player, take your card and place it in your adjustable headband without peeking. When your turn arrives, ask each player a question about who, or what, you are (‘Am I a food?’). If you get stuck, the sample questions card offers tips on the types of questions you might ask. The idea is logical thinking, asking general questions first, then down to more and more specific questions until you guess the item. Once you guess the item, you give back one chip. The first person to give back all of their chips wins.
Once the kids figure out how to play it, it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes ours get a little frustrated because they are not asking the right questions The sample questions card can help out here. It’s a great learning experience for kids and a great way to connect as a family. You can really have a lot of fun with this game, I love the fact that the kids are learning the process of elimination skills while we play.
This is another favorite of ours! It has been around for a LONG time and is certainly one of the classic board games for the family. SORRY is a game that can be played by kids of any age starting at age 6. It’s a lovely way to enjoy a rainy day inside the RV, the kids have a lot of fun plotting their ‘sweet revenge’ on their sibling or getting back at mom and dad for sending one of their pawns back to home! It’s a great game to help the kids practice their counting and how they deal when things don’t go their way. I love this game for parents because it’s an easy one to take out and play. We work from on the road and there are days when we have to play catch up so we work a little longer. It’s nice to be able to stop working and take out sorry and play it with the kids, it doesn’t need a lot of concentration.
We love pulling out Monopoly on days when it’s either raining outside or we’re exhausted from a big day out or travel day. It is certainly one of the best family board games of all times. We can open this game and spend hours having fun together as a family. It’s also great for helping the kids to learn how money works. I’m including a link here to one on Amazon but you can get the game much cheaper from Walmart or Target especially around the holidays. This seems a tad expensive to me. There are also themed sets of Monopoly for just about anything your kids are into so this is a great gift for a Star Wars, Disney, or Sponge Bob themed birthday.
I haven’t played Clue since I was a little girl, but I remember how much fun it was and still is apparently! My daughter received the clue fame from her 9-year-old brother for her birthday and she is obsessed. Any chance she gets, she wants to play this game. If mom and dad enjoy playing the game, that’s a win-win for me so this one fits the bill. There are certain games that I cringe when they ask to play (like Candyland, I cannot stand that game- I actually hid it for several months, but she found it!).
The kids love Clue, it’s changed slightly since we played it as kids. Now they provide the kids with clue cards to help the game move faster. It does come with a notebook of detective sheets, I could see straight away how fast the notebooks would disappear. A quick tip, we taped 5 sheets together and photocopied them so we’d have more sheets when the initial ones ran out.
We love playing this game on our family night, it’s fun to watch how differently the kids play it. My 8-year-old daughter is more conniving (I think it’s a girl thing) and is very diligent in her note taking so she doesn’t share too much with the other players. My son shares everything and keeps nothing to himself, but he loves to make an assumption early in the game. I like that it makes kids think. You can choose not to use the clue cards and play it the old way too. This is definitely STILL one of the best board games for the family to play together.
Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego has fast become one of our favorite board games. The recommended age for this game is 8 years and up. There is definitely some thinking and skill involved in playing this game, 8 years old is the perfect age to start playing. I wasn’t able to find it on Amazon but it is available at Target.
How it works: You deal the cards, each player gets 2 location, 2 loot, and 2 henchmen cards plus a dry erase marker and dry erase booklet so you can take notes of where everything gets moved to. One of each card goes into the middle of the table. Each loot card has a corresponding location card. The goal of the game is to get a matching set of loot/ location cards into the center AND learn the location of the Carmen Sandiego card.
The first player rolls a dice, the dice will show a symbol corresponding to one of the card types. If it’s a loot card, that player will look at a loot card anywhere on the table without the other players seeing and make a note of where the card is, eg, MT = mom top row. Whenever you can match a loot and location card, you can “make an arrest” and take those cards off the table thus eliminating them. Then you can move either a loot or location card that YOU know into the center. This continues until someone has put a matching loot and location card into the center AND knows where Carmen is. Then they can “issue a warrant.” If they get it wrong they lose! It’s a great game to teach kids how to focus on taking good notes, we love it here in the Roving Foley household and recommend it to other campers. Again it’s a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy the family game night. The kids love when they figure it out first and get to “issue an arrest for Carmen Sandiego!
I do recommend that this game is played with 4 players, we do sometimes play it with just two players because my daughter wants to play it ALL THE TIME, but it’s more fun when there’s 4.
I do suggest picking up another pack of dry erase markers because the ones that come with the game will dry out fast because the kids forget to put the top back on!! I have found a packet of dry erase markers at the dollar store so check there first. This game is a little more intricate and takes a few tries to master, but once you do it is sure to become one of your favorite board games for the family to play.
I want to be outside whenever possible, with some of these board games, when it’s windy it’s just not possible to play outside. With Scrabble Junior, the wind doesn’t matter and that’s why it’s on my list. Plus it’s also a great way for the kids to work on their spelling without realizing it’s educational. We played Scrabble Junior when the kids were 5 – 7 and had a blast- even I enjoyed it. With Scrabble Junior, the kids don’t need to know how to spell, they just need to know their letters so we had a lot of fun with this game. I love that the game grows with you because on the other side it has the regular scrabble. It’s another great way to help kids work on their spelling. Plus I think most parents will like this one.
This game came highly recommended from many fulltime RV families. For some reason, we have never played this game so as you can imagine this one is on our Christmas List. From what I gather, you can play this game with all ages (this is a huge plus when you are visiting family). I love any game that is educational for the kids because again I can sneak some homeschooling in and they have no clue what I am doing. It sounds like I could do that with this game.
There are two types of cards – red cards (things) and green cards (descriptions). Each player takes turns being the hudge and pulling the next description card, then the other players try to pick the best description (in the eyes of the judge) from the cards in their hands, Whoever put the winning red card in, takes the green card as a win. The player with all 4 green cards is the winner! The game itself comes with 441 Red Apple Cards, 63 Green Apple Cards, this tells me you can play this game for a long time without getting the same card.
I had heard of Life but again we never thought much about it and again it came highly recommended by our full-time family RV friends. In short, the game takes the player from approximately being college-age to retirement, going through life events such as choosing a career, getting married, buying a house and having children. Between the major life happenings, the player can also experience plenty of other events that span the winding game track: some that could qualify as a midlife crisis, like buying a beach house or plastic surgery, and other, smaller occurrences such as receiving stock, upgrading a computer, etc. The game ends when all players retire and the person with the most money is declared the winner. I can already tell this game will be one of my 8-year-old daughters’ favorites.
Fair warning, this is expensive but this was the highest rated game from several full-time family members. Ticket to ride is a light strategy game where the aim is to connect routes with the chain of trains you have and get points. The person with the highest number of points wins! It is a nice game for kids and elders alike. It is a fast-paced game and a lot of fun according to our RV families. It appears that you do need some space to play- the board size is quite large so that is something to think about. Considering the space requirements and cost, this one will be on the back burner for now.
This is another great game that came highly recommended from some RV families. It’s an award-winning strategy game where players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements, and cities on their way to gaining enough points to declare victory. It’s great for a family game night or a rainy day afternoon because it will keep everyone engaged for up to 90 minutes. There are also quite a few variants to keep up the interest level for years.
Telestrations is a fun game that kids and adults can have fun with. All the game requires is a sense of humor, you don’t need to be able to draw at all thankfully! Each player draws a picture of what they are designated by a die roll. They then pass their drawing to the next person who deciphers the pic. Again the guesses are passed to the next person who again draws what was written. You can imagine the output of this game and the amount of fun you can have.
This is another fun strategy game that both kids and adults will love. These type of games are my favorite because adults actually enjoy playing them. Similar to Scrabble, each player starts with their own hand of six tiles. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. And so it goes until the pieces make up a giant grid. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied. This is another game that came highly recommended by many RV families.
We don’t have this game at home (sigh), I keep trying to convince the kids to try it but they simply won’t. To me it looks like so much fun, so maybe you can convince your kids to give it a go. Here it is on Amazon but I do want to mention that some of the reviews mention that the paper used for the faces is quite thin and unfortunately not as they used to make them.
“Why did you let her get that?”, my husband asked me on the phone the other day when I told him that our 8-year-old daughter bought the board game Trouble. She has wanted this game for a long time and we kept putting it off because of the noise. You know when the press the glass bubble and the dice jumps up and hits the glass every time and makes a loud noise. I didn’t think it would be so bad and it was a birthday gift card and she picked it out herself! A week later and I have to say the noise doesn’t bother me that much and she loves playing it. It’s not dissimilar to Sorry but I do have to say that I prefer Sorry, this game seems to take much longer than sorry, which I suppose is a good thing. It’s interesting to watch the kids struggle with whether to send someone home or not – just kidding, they love sending someone home!
What little boy doesn’t want to blow up things and be in a head to head battle where the object of the game is to annihilate your opponent!. This is a must-have if you have a boy, your daughter may love it too, mine does :).
Another game that came highly recommended by several full-time RV families. This is a family board game that is played with strategy. Each player takes turns placing their 21 pieces on the board, each piece must touch another of the same color, but only at the corners. You’re looking to stake your claim and protect your territory by fitting as many of your pieces on the board while strategically blocking your opponents. To win the game, you must have the smallest amount of pieces left.
This is a game that adults will love and kids maybe 13 and older. This is where you answer questions such as “What’s the great movie of all time” or “what do you say when a cop pulls you over?”. This would be perfect for when you meet up with other families and everyone gets to hang out and have fun.
This is easily one of the most elegantly designed games of all time, including other categories such as video games. Most board and card games are very sensitive to player count for various reasons: downtime between turns, hidden information, resource limitations, etc. Also, they have a tendency to appeal to target specific demographics, such as age groups, genders, fields of interest, levels of strategy, and so on. But due to its simplicity, Carcassonne manages to bridge nearly all of those gaps effortlessly. There is no hidden information, so the game is a state machine. You simply look at the current state of the game and react accordingly. Turns are also quick, making downtime negligible, even with additional players. Player actions are extremely simple, making the game particularly easy to teach and learn.
Another one we didn’t have, it is clear to me that I have failed as a mother! My kids have been without for so long (hands to head in shame). Seriously though I don’t know why we don’t have more board games for the kids and this would be one of them. This Christmas will rectify this issue and the kids will have lots of board games to play with. I love Bananagrams because again it’s educational for the kids and helps them with their spelling and learning new words. Through these type of word games, the kids expand their vocabulary while having fun and that’s a win-win in my book. What I love more than the game is the pouch it comes in, so little space is needed plus you can throw it in your bag to take anywhere with you, so you have it on hand.
This game sounds awesome for those of us who love the outdoors and spend most of our time hanging out in National Parks and camping in various campgrounds. This is a game where both children and adults can play and learn fun facts about the great outdoors. The game is designed to grow with the player, starting at level one questions, which are primarily identification of animals. As the players increase in their knowledge about the outdoors, they grow into the higher level questions. The game has a very interesting story behind it about how it was started as well. As you know I love games like this because I can incorporate it into homeschool. This one is definitely going on our list.
Another fun one for all involved. I love fun games for kids to play, there really is nothing better than watching your kids burst out laughing and that’s what this game does. Players race against the timer giving clues to get team members to guess the words. Think about trying to get someone to say “Brain Freeze” without being able to say ice cream or headache. As I said I love it in terms of expanding the kids’ vocabulary and having a blast while doing it. There’s a little more to it but that gives you the gist.
This is another great idea for families that travel and homeschool. This looks like a great game to teach your kids geography and help them to learn all the US states. Every player gets dealt a hand of cards, which they keep face up on the table in front of them and quickly study. Then a card is turned over from a deck in the middle of the table saying something like (for example) “A state that has 4 syllables.” There are many different states that could qualify. (Alabama. Mississippi, California, North Dakota….) The first player to both slap the table and say the name of a 4-syllable state that is currently in their hand wins that card and sets it aside in a separate pile, face down. Whoever wins the most cards wins that round.
Part rummy, part mahjong. Players take turns placing colored, numbered tiles in runs and groups, rummy style. The board continually changes as players adjust the tiles on the table. The goal is to get rid of all your pieces by making sets of either sequential numbers or 3-4 of a kind (1,2,3,4 or 3,3,3,3), you can also build onto the existing sets on the table laid out by other players as long as you maintain the integrity of the sets.
Which are your favorite board games for the whole family to enjoy?