Unplug from your devices and spend some family time together playing board games in this era of social distancing. Here’s a collection of family board games that you and kids might like. If your kids are preschoolers or in their teens, there’s a game to suit. Some of these games are easy to learn if you have younger kids. The list includes some retro classics as well as some of the hottest games.
Bonus: Some of these fun board games even have educational benefits. Just don’t tell your kids that. Just tell them it’s unplugged play,
It’s a classic game of real estate wheeling and dealing. Best of all, Monopoly teaches your kids about property, budgeting, rent and taxes. Great way to get kids to practice their math skills without them realising. For younger kids who might not be able to sit through an entire game of Monopoly, try Monopoly Jr.
Expand your kids’ vocabulary and get them playing Scrabble. In this classic game, players choose seven letter tiles and then try to form a word. Great way to get kids spelling. Also, it tests out their math skills especially when adding the tile numbers and multiplying for triple word scores. Just remember to have a dictionary handy to verify words. For younger kids aged 5 – 7, play Scrabble Junior. Double-sided, one side features picture clues to help young spellers. Ages 8+. RRP $34.50
Similar to Scrabble is Upwords, a 3D word-building game. In this game, you choose letter tiles and make words but you can build upwards. It’s a clever strategy which can make it easier for kids to spell words. Ages 8+. RRP $29.99
5 Second Rule
Think you’re good at quick thinking and
You soon learn who can draw in Pictionary. It’s a game where one player sketches out the clue while teammates try to guess what it is. Hilarious especially when the drawing isn’t that easy to understand. There’s card for both adults and young players so it’s versatile for a family / adult game. Suitable for ages 8+. RRP $29.99
Get your family playing Cluedo, a classic murder mystery game. It’s a fantastic game to teach deduction as it involves eliminating suspects, weapons and locations. Maybe it’s the opportunity to announce “It was Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick” but it still provides plenty of entertainment for the entire family. You can play the game with 2 to 6 players but it’s definitely more fun with more players. Suitable for ages 8+. RRP $39.99
If your family’s a fan of twisted humour, the Stupid Deaths board game is for you. In this game, players have to guess whether a stupid death is real or made up. You vote True or False using your coffin cards. If you’re wrong, the Grim Reaper moves closer to you and eventually you die (or at least you’re out of the game). It’s a super funny game and you won’t believe how some people die. The game states that it’s for kids 12+. However, if your kids are able to deal with mature subjects, you could play it with kids 9 and older. RRP $34.99. Read the Newy with Kids review.
Catan (or Settlers of Catan)
We’ve just recently started playing Catan following a recomendation from another family and we’re hooked. How best to explain Catan? It’s a multiplayer board game that involves strategy and luck. The board features nineteen hexagonal tiles known as terrain hexes. Players players attempt to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads on them. However, the dice determines the resources that you get. The number that’s rolled determines which terrain hex produces resources. It’s a challenge to learn at first but worth it. We recommend watching the video that explains it. Ages 9+. RRP $78.
Encourage hand-eye coordination and get your kids playing Operation. This timeless game involves “operating” on a patient and removing ailments out of his body with a tweezer. But watch out, if you accidentally touch the side, the buzzer will sound and the patient’s nose will light up. This game has been updated and now includes pieces like headphone headache and gamer’s thumb. Ages 4+. RRP $39.99
Yell out your answer in the Smart Ass board game! That’s the point of this trivia game. One player reads a series of clues that get increasingly easier and the other players try to be the first to guess the correct answer. It’s a fun game, with amusing ass references on the board. Players get to throw the dice to choose a category. They include Who Am I? Where am I? What am I? and Hard Ass! There’s also expansion packs such as 90s Nostalgia and Geek Chic. Want an example of a question? Yell out the answer when you’ve figured it out. “I am a musician. I am a child of destiny. I think when life gives you lemons, make Lemonade. My daughter is Blue sometimes. I am the first woman to win six Grammys in one night. My fans sometimes call themselves the Beehive. I am sometime Sasha Fierce, sometime the Queen. Who am I? with the initial B?” Guess Beyonce? You’re right. Ages 12+. RRP $39.99. Read the Newy with Kids review.
If your family loves memes, you are going to love the board game Bubble Talk. It’s a super fun game that you can play with your friends and family. The game is played when a judge selects a picture card followed by players choosing the funniest caption that best suits the photo. Funny games – full of lots of laughs as some of the picture card and caption combinations can be hilarious. Ages 8+. RRP $39.99. Read the Newy with Kids review.
Some might argue that Twister isn’t a board game and technically it’s not. But think of the players as the board pieces. Spin the wheel and see what body part you need to move to a colour on the floor mat. You’ll be twisted up in no time with other players. Remember the last player standing wins. Recommended for kids birthday parties. Ages 6+. RRP $39.99.
With its physical pieces that actually transport and trap mice, the Mouse Trap board game is a fun one for families. Part-board game, part-engineering experiment, it shows kids cause and effect as their mice race around the board collecting cheese pieces and stealing cheese from other players. Ages 6+. RRP $39.99.
To develop strategy and hand-eye coordination skills, play Jenga. This game requires a steady hand, a strategic approach and some luck. 54 wooden blocks get stacked in a tower and then players take turns pulling out a block and then stacking it on top. Sounds easy but when there’s the blocks on top or below the block you’re trying to remove, it can be a challenge. The game finishes when the tower collapses. Ages 6+. RRP $26.99.
Dog Man Attack of the Fleas
Based on the best selling book series by Dav Pilkey, author of Captain Underpants, Dog Man Attack of the Fleas is a brand new board game slightly different from others. It encourages players to work together to save the city from fleas – Fuzzy Little Animal Squad. Ages 6+. RRP $29.95.
This is a strategic card game in which players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. Start the game by putting the cards face down and players take turns drawing cards, until someone draws an exploding kitten card. If they do, they explode and are out of the card game unless they have a diffuse card. Ages 7+. RRP $39.
For a fun brain game, choose Guess Who? It’s a great logic game and one to get kids asking questions and reflecting on the answer. Each player has to nominate a character and then players have to guess each other’s character. They do this by asking yes or no questions. Do they have brown hair? Are their eyes blue? Based on the answers, they flip down the possible choices leaving fewer characters, based on which they can ask more specific questions. When they think they know who their opponent’s mystery character is, players make a guess. If the guess is wrong, that player loses the game! Ages 6+. RRP $32.99.
Hedbanz for Kids
You can’t go wrong with family games that involve headbands and “Yes” and “No” questions. This is Hedbanz for Kids, the game where a player puts on a headband with a card that lists what they are. Everyone else can see the card but not them. They then have to ask “Yes” or “No” questions to figure out what they are before time runs out. Great game to get kids to develop their deductive reasoning skills. Ages 6+. RRP $29.99.
Trivial Pursuit (Family Edition)
If trivia’s your thing, then play the Family Edition of Trivial Pursuit. The game is still true to its roots. It still involves moving around a board and answering questions in six categories: Geography, Entertainment, History, Art and Literature, Science and Nature, and Sports and Leisure. However, in this edition, it’s a smaller board so it doesn’t go on forever like the original game. Also, there are specific Adult and Kids questions making it fairer for younger players. Ages 6+. RRP $44.99
The Game of Life
Teach kids some life lessons in The Game of Life board game. As they progress around the board going from Start to Retirement, there’s all kinds of milestones to achieve including getting a job, getting married, having kids. The winner is the player with the most money at the end of the game, much like in real life! Ages 8+. RRP $39.99. There’s also Game of Life Junior for kids aged 5+. Similar to the original version but has more kid-friendly adventures. RRP $39.99
Best games for educational value
- Trivial Pursuit
- Smart Ass
Best games for a laugh
- Bubble Talk
- Stupid Deaths
Best for families with young kids 4 – 7
- 5 Second Rule Jr
- Monopoly Jr
- Game of Life Junior
Got any other recommendations for family game night? Email Newy with Kids with your suggestions.
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.