Greatest Family Games For All Ages:
I love playing games with my kids! I think it encourages critical thinking and camaraderie amongst my kids. Sometimes when my husband gets home late from work, the kids and I will sit in front of our fireplace and play games until he gets home. It’s a great distraction and I genuinely enjoy playing with them! Although, fair warning, it can get heated sometimes! (At least in my house!) Honestly, I have this prayer that someday my kids will be 13, 14, 16, and 16-years-old and that we will still play games with meaningful conversation, and that it will continue to instill a love and camaraderie for each other in it. Here’s a list of our greatest family games for all ages!
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Things to note about our greatest family games for all ages list:
- My kids are 3, 4, 6, and 6 years old. Particularly when it comes to card games I often have to help them hold their cards correctly. Also, sometimes I have to peek at their cards to help them determine what move they are doing to make. Often there’s a lot of shenanigans during our games. That’s okay! Just roll with it. You want this to be a fun learning experience for the. I guarantee you by the time they’re 18 they’ll be pros.
- If you want card holding to be easier since they’re little, you can check out these awesome cardholders! The first time I used these I was young and at a friend’s house- I thought they were super cool!
- My son wanted to be on his own when he was 2-years-old, but if a game was super difficult for a 2-year-old I often encouraged him to be “on my team” and allowed him to play on my lap with my direction. This also helps if your child is learning how to take turns. It allows them to wait for your cue to go.
- Below I will list a suggested age based on my own kid’s experience. This is just a suggestion from playing with my kids- it may not be what the game recommends or applicable to your child. This is also a suggestion based on my understanding that the game may not go “right” and my 2-year-old will drop his cards. That’s okay! I help him pick them up or lay them out on the ground if he’s struggling that day.
Greatest Family Games: Uno Flip(3 years+)
This is our number one favorite. This card set is full of vibrant colors not typical for Uno. My kids love changing the game on each other and having to flip their whole hand and the whole deck! My kids are 3, 4, 6, and 6 years old. The 3 and 4-year-old need some direction on this game because it has a few more rules than Uno. If you are familiar with Uno you’ll learn this game super quickly!
Greatest Family Games: Uno (2 years+)
Good ol’ Uno. We love Uno! Uno is a solid game to get your kids thinking. It encourages them to match numbers or colors together and to look carefully at their cards to determine which route to go! It also has a little bit of spice because every once in a while you’ll get a wild card to change the color or a skipped turn or something else that’s fun!
And if you don’t have either card game or you need a few extras to keep around here’s a link to both!
Greatest Family Games: Go Fish (2 years+)
Go fish is my youngest’s favorite. We like to do it with biblical characters. It’s great because my kids are learning and memorizing the names and stories of people who were in the bible! You can take this same principle with any topic! Here are a few!
Greatest Family Games: War (4 years+)
I just taught this game to my kids 4 days ago! I was on a mission trip and picked up a deck of cards for them as a gift. When I got home they were asking what game the cards were. I tried to explain that it was just a deck that played many games but that didn’t quite make sense. So we sat down and learned how to play war. War is a great educational game because it is teaching numbers and their places. It also encourages them to consider which number is bigger or smaller. Pro tip: Sometimes war can take a super LONG time. Once it’s down to 2 people we do a super long war across the room and lay all of our cards out. On the last card, we flip to see who wins. Everyone gets hyped to see who it was!
This link includes a couple of decks of cards to play other games with as well! The illustrations are so fun!
Greatest Family Games: Sneaky Squirrel (2 years+)
This is one of our top board games. My kids think it is silly and fun to be able to steal acorns from each other when they spin and get that option. Sneaky squirrel encourages dexterity in young kids in particular. For Sneaky Squirrel, you have to gather all the different colors of acorns and place them on your log to win. Firstly, you start by spinning to see what color you get to pick up. Either you land on a color, miss a turn, or steal an acorn from a friend. Once you land on a color you get to use large squirrel tweezers to pick up that colored acorn. You have to get all the colors of the acorns in your log to win.
Greatest Family Games: Jenga (3 years+)
My kids love the fact that we are building a tower and that somebody accidentally knocks it down. In this game, you carefully remove a block from the middle of the tower and then safely place it on top without knocking it down. Slowly the tower grows taller with a massively gappy foundation. Eventually, the whole thing tumbles! This game also allows your child to practice precision and dexterity skills as they carefully maneuver each block out. Also, a fun twist to this game is adding questions to each block. For instance, you can do probing questions like “what are ways we can show ‘I love you?’” Or you can do get-to-know-you questions like, “what is your favorite color?” You can also do both! Adding questions adds another dimension that allows you to reconnect with your child/children and continue to learn about them as they change and mature.
Here are two affordable options! One in plain wood and one in color. We have a plain wood one but it can be fun to select a color for a topic of questions (example: purple: questions about your favorite food, color, etc. Green: questions about your experiences- favorite family trip, memory, activity, etc.)
Greatest Family Games: Matching Games (2 years+)
My kids are becoming whizzes at retaining information and remembering where things are! Way better than me most of the time! Matching games are great because they can be as easy or difficult as you want them to be. Simply place the tiles or cards face down on a surface and then take turns looking for matches. The person that has the most matches once all of the tiles or cards are gone wins! My 6-year-old is constantly beating me at matching games!
Greatest Family Games: Don’t Break The Ice (4 years+)
This is a new one for us. My daughter learned how to play it during speech therapy and it’s been a fun one in our house ever since. Don’t break the ice encourages precision and helps a child learn how to calculate a situation before making a move. You set up these little ice pieces in a frame so that they are tight up against each other. Next, you place a little figurine in the middle of the ice; using a little pick or hammer you tap out pieces of ice until the losing person taps one out and everything collapses.
Greatest Family Games For All Ages #1 Pick: Chasing Fireflies (all ages)
A dear friend just gifted us this game for one of our children’s birthdays. It by far has been one of the most fun games we’ve played as a family!
Everyone around me knows I love fireflies. They make me giddy whenever I see them! As a child, I read about them in books but lived in states that did not have them. I remember the first time I saw them; we were visiting Oklahoma and looking at our current house in hopes of purchasing it. I started to see the air glitter around me and after 20 minutes of trying to figure out what was going on, I turned and asked a friend what was going on. He said, “oh the fireflies?” I remember feeling like a child again! Ever since then I practically burst any time I see them! Here’s the sad part – they’re only around for a few short months. And that’s where the fun of this game comes into play. In the off-season, we can play this game, and it’s almost like having the fireflies back!
How to play:
Chasing Fireflies has a blue and a green team with fireflies that light up these colors. You need to turn on the fireflies so they glow and then hide them all over the house or yard. (Note: this game is best played in the dark) Once they are hidden, hand each of the teams the included plastic jar and allow the teams to come out and look! The first team to collect all of the fireflies first wins. We have played that I hide the fireflies and my children split into teams and look and we have played that the kids hide them and my husband and I compete against each other to find them. Either way, it’s a blast!
For more holiday ideas check out 5 Top Practical Christmas Gifts For Toddlers and 10 Christmas Gifts For Kids That Will Really Last!
And for other parenting tips and tricks be sure to check out our website at Grace This Place!