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Sometimes planning fun family activities can be challenging especially if you are trying to not spend a lot of money. One of our favorite family activities is Family Game Night. We’ve accumulated a lot of games over the last 8 years and it allows us to have a rather dynamic game night. Sometimes we play just one game and sometimes we play as many different games as we can manage in the time we have available. It is one of my favorite ways to spend time as a family. I like to make it special by making a fun treat like brownies or our favorite popcorn and smoothies. It really doesn’t have to cost a lot or require tons of time planning to have a fun time together.
And although my kids are 5 and 3 it doesn’t mean we only play Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Here are some of our favorite games to play.
For Younger Children:
1. Max– a great cooperative game where everyone works together to get three woodland creatures away from the cat Max who will eat them if he can. Perfect for younger kids especially sine everyone is working together so everyone wins or loses together.
2. Richard Scarry’s Busytown– another fun cooperative game that’s a cross between a look and find book and Max above. As a group you are working to get to an island to have a picnic with Pig Will and Pig Won’t who might eat all the food before you can get there!
3. Uncle Wiggly Game– this is an old classic from my husband’s childhood that we inherited. Great for kids who are learning to count and similar concept to Candyland.
4. Black Sheep– we play this with a slight adaptation for my little ones where we work to collect as many animals as possible and disregard the point values associated with the animals.
5. Duo Card Game– similar to the classic Uno, Duo has you match 2 characteristics instead of just 1. My 3 and 5 year old love this game and can mostly play it without assistance.
6. Spot It Junior– my kids love this game and will sit in their room playing Spot It (hallelujah). Each card has only one match to any other card and you really have to look for the matches. It’s also a great travel game because it is so small.
7. Sequence for Kids-Little ones can play this game on their own once they learn the rules. My kids love finding the matches.
And if your kids are older, you might enjoy some of these games. These are great group games and can be adapted to play with younger children as well. We also play a lot of games as a couple for our date nights at home so I’ve included a couple of those.
For Older Children:
8. Survive Escape From Atlantis– escape from a volcanic eruption while avoiding sharks, whales, and other dangers! We have the original version from the 70s and love to play to it- even with my 5 and 3 year old.
9. BANG– the classic game of Mafia with a spaghetti western twist.
10. Wackee Six Card Game– race the other players to get rid of your cards. This game gets crazy especially when you have 6 people playing.
11. Scotland Yard– this is a unique game where one player is trying to avoid the police while all the other players work together to hunt him down. It is way harder than it sounds!
12. Ticket To Ride – Europe– we love to play this as a couple. You work to build train routes on your destination tickets but may be foiled by other player’s lines being built first.
13. Qwirkle-match colors and shapes to score as many points as possible. Get all 6 shapes or all 6 colors in a row and you get a qwirkle. A great group game.
14. 221B Baker Street – if you are Sherlock fans like us, then you might like to try your hand at sleuthing out the answer to the mystery as you travel back and forth across London hunting down clues.
15. Carcassonne– build castles, roads, and farms while battleing your opponents for control. There are some fun expansion packs and other versions of this games available.