If you love the idea of family time together along with enjoying a bit of healthy competition, then you’ll definitely want to know the best family game night board game ideas.
Best Family Game Night Board Game Ideas for Kids of All Ages
Families have been playing board games for years. It offers a healthy dose of competition for all ages, along with plenty of laughs.
If you haven’t hosted a family game night yet, why not start a new tradition. And, what better ice breaker than a game.
Make your evening a success with these tips:
• Make it an event they’ll remember. Bring on the snacks and drinks. Shut down the cell phones and focus on the time you have together.
• Set aside enough time to play the game from start to finish. No one likes to be rushed especially for family game night. Make sure you allow enough time to go through the rules and play, so that everyone can enjoy the moment.
• Select game(s) that will match the players’ ages, activity and skill level. Match the board game to the gamers who are planning on playing. If there are adults, choose games for 14 years and older. If there will be children involved, choose a board game that offer a multi-level of skills.
• Let players take turns choosing their favorite game. Board games should sustain a gamer’s interest. This goes for ALL family members.
• The game should have a proven track record for family fun. While it is nice to try out new games, family game nights should just be designed to be fun and carefree, not meant to have gamers worry about rules or complex game rules. Family game nights should just be fun, fun, fun!
• Have fun. If you choose a game that specifically teaches a certain skill, think about one that can also be played for pure enjoyment. And, if a game becomes too technical, difficult, or frustrating, try another game.
DID YOU KNOW? Chess, Checkers and Backgammon are some of the oldest board games ever created (6 A.D, 1600 B.C., and 3000 B.C., respectively).
Fun Themes for Family Game Night
Want to add a bit of “spice” to your family game night? Try one of these variations for an evening that is sure to be hot, hot, hot!
- Girl’s Only Board Game Night
- Guy’s Only Board Game Night
- Kid’s Only Board Game Night
- Adult’s Only Board Game Night
- Guys against Gals Board Game Night
- Kids against Adults Board Game Night
- Oldest against Youngest Game Night
- Mixed Aged Game Night
- Husbands against Wives Game Night
- BFF Game Night
30 Board Game Recommendations for 2020
Here is a recommended list of the top family game night board games for all ages. First we’ll start with the classics (meaning games that have the longest standing) and then onto the newest and upcoming games into the 21st Century:
(Note: The years in parenthesizes indicate the year that the board game was initially introduced and/or marketed to the general public.)
1. Scrabble (1948)
2. Candy Land (1948)
Candy Land was invented by Eleanor Abbot while recovering from polio in 1948. She market-tested the game at the same time with the young patients at the same hospital who were also battling the polio disease. A beloved family game for all ages.
DID YOU KNOW? Backgammon was a favorite game in Greece as well as other European countries.
3. Monopoly (1923)
One of the most famous and well-known games, Monopoly, can be found on all four corners of the globe and can be played at many levels (kids through adults). And, from its inception, Monopoly has challenged both friends and families alike.
To date, it has been produced in over 89 languages, with over 200 million games sold and with over 500 million people who have played this game. Interestingly, there are at least more than 900+ versions of this game and can be found as a board game, online, as well as formatted for the iPad, iPhone, etc.
So, it’s no wonder that this game has such a lure. By the way, have you tried out their “Millionaire Edition?
4. Parcheesi (500 A.D.)
Parcheesi was originally named Cross and Circle game Pachisi and was played by real people, usually servants who were dressed in bright attire on large outdoor “boards. It was created around 500 AD. This is a counting game recommended for players 8 and above.
5. The Game of Life (1860)
The Game of Life is America’s first and oldest “parlor” game, and to date, and still retains the honor of being the top game in the Family Game Night category.
6. Mystery Date (1965)
This game has been popular for over 50 years with young girls ages 6-14 years of age.
7. Rummikub (1930’s/1950’s)
Rummikub was invented by Ephraim Hertzano in the 1930’s. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the game was marketed door-to-door. To date, Rummikub is the world’s third best-selling board game. It is sold in over 54 countries and printed in over 26 languages. It was awarded “Game of the Year Award” by the U.S., Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland, and South Korea. And because of its popularity, there are over nine countries that have Rummikub clubs.
8. Pictionary (1985)
This games is perfect for ice breakers for large groups.
9. Yahtzee (1956)
Yahtzee was introduced by Edwin S. Lowe, who also brought the game BINGO to the U.S. It’s an offshoot of such dice games as Poker Dice, Yacht and Generala. Better for players ages 9 and above.
10. Battleship (1931)
Battleship was originally a “paper-based” game in that players used paper sheets to “mark” theirs and their opponent’s ships. It pits two players against each other in one of the best loved guessing games.
11. Trivial Pursuit (1979)
This game was conceived by Canadians, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. While playing Scrabble and drinking beer, these two friends decided to invent their own game. This game comes in many different levels of play from juvenile to adult versions.
12. Operation (1965)
In the game Operation, the unlikely patient is Cavity Sam. Great game for those who want to test their surgical dexterity.
13. Clue (1943/1949)
The inception of this game has it’s roots during the fire bombings during World War II by Anthony E. Pratt in 1943. It wasn’t until 1949 that Parker Brothers picked up the patent for distribution in the U.S. A great whodunit for all ages.
14. Chutes and Ladders (16th Century/1892/1943)
Chutes and Ladders was created in India. It was called Snakes and Ladders but its original name was translated as Ladder to Salvation. A great game for multi-generational players.
15. Guess Who? (1979/1982)
A fast and fun game that pits two players against another to Guess Who?
And, now the newest additions to the classic line up of great family board games:
16. HedBanz Game (1991)
17. Qwirkle Board Game (2006)
18. Ticket To Ride (2004)
19. Blokes Game (2000)
20. Spot It Game (2010)
21. Calliope Tsuro (2009)
22. Pick Your Poison (2017)
23. Goat Lords (2016)
24. Catan (1996)
25. Pandemic (2008)
26. Azul (2017)
27. Villainous (2018)
28. Trekking the National Parks (2014, 2019)
29. Scythe (2016)
30. Labyrinth (1986)
For more great ideas for your next family game night, be sure to check out this article: 20 Top Party Board Games for Large Groups.