Board Games for Kids

My Favourite Board Games to Play on Family Game Night

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This top 10 list is a compilation of our favourite board games to play on family game night. These games for children are also fun for adults to play and that is why my family goes back to them time after time.

  1. Perpetual Commotion - Individual players place cards from their hands quickly onto center cards played. Hands and minds are in constant motion to keep your eye on the action and not miss an opportunity to play your cards. Kids need to know how to count to 12, in sequence. For example, if a 4 is placed in the center then your child needs to know that 5 comes next, etc. It is based on a very simple concept - counting - but there is a lot going on and is usually a very quiet game since players are so focused and concentrating! Ages 8 & up, 2-6 players.
  2. Buzz Word Junior - Get your partner to say the 'secret word' without giving them any of the forbidden clues on the card. If you slip and say one, you get buzzed (electronic buzzers are always popular with kids). Ages 7 & up, 4 or more players.
  3. Scribblish - Draw and write anonymously while exchanging papers and see what silliness you end up with. Definitely good for a laugh. Ages 8 & up, 4-6 players.
  4. Whoonu by Cranium.  Get to know each other better by deciding what activities or things each player likes best. The fun part is that you are limited by what your cards say like 'hot chocolate', 'sleeping in', 'football', 'crunchy peanut butter', etc. That player then ranks the answers submitted from 1 to 6 and points are awarded accordingly. Ages 8 & up, 3-6 players.
  5. Blokus - Place your shiny, colorful tiles of various conformations on the board and try to arrange them so that you can get rid of as many as possible before the end of the game. Ages 7 & up, 2-4 players.
  6. Tribond - This a slower, 'thinker' game best suited for slightly older kids and teens but there is also a junior edition. It is not easy but it's fun to work through the clues together and find a common bond between 3 words. Especially rewarding when you get the right answer! Ages 12 & up, 3 or more players.
  7. Trivial Pursuit Family - I'm pretty sure this game is rigged so that the kids always win as the 'kids cards' are appropriate for them but the adult cards are ridiculous and difficult. Anyhow, let your kids decide if they'll let you use the 'kids cards' too for a couple of turns. Ages 8 & up, 2-36 players.
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  8. Monopoly - We like Monopoly City but there are many other versions like 'Disney Princesses' and 'Dogs'. This game usually sparks some lively debate over rules but we always have fun spending money and buying real estate. With so many different themes, you are bound to find one your family will love. Ages of players will depend on the version you buy, 2-6 players. 
  9. Cranium Cadoo for Kids - This is the kids version of Cranium with similar categories but easier questions. Modelling with clay is always a hit. Ages 7 & up, 2 or more players.
  10. Clue Jr. - Just like the grown-up version but without the violence. Players figure out who ate the chocolate cake, in what room, and with what drink to wash it down. Most kids love a fun mystery like that. Ages 5-8, 2-6 players.

Bonus: Just Dance 4 (or any version) for Wii, Xbox, Ps3 - Of course, I have to add this electronic game as it is so much fun for the dancers (and closet dancers) of the family. It's always nice to break up the sitting with some action. You will break a sweat and the kids will get a kick out of watching your moves. Rated E (everyone). 1-4 players. I like having 4 controllers so I'm not dancing by myself.

So, yes, these board games have stayed the course over years of playing together and buying new ones each year. These are the favorites that we come back to and are requested most often by my kids.