Board Games To Play With Your Family
Is the board game officially dead? Like video killing the radio star, has Xbox killed off the board game? Well, that, my friend, is up to us. We are the ones who must keep the board games alive and save the next generation from never knowing the excitement of a game where you actually look at each other, and not a big screen T.V.. And the matchless camaraderie where a game can be played by everyone at the party, not just the ones with controllers.
Are board games dead? Not if we resurrect them. And resuscitate them. And play them with our kids. Here are the ten best board games that are fun for the whole family. And there's not one controller to be seen! These are games that are great to play at Christmas, with your family, or on a rainy Saturday when everyone's stuck inside. These games are all social games, meant for a group, and they get everyone involved. These games will get you talking to you each other, and laughing out loud!
Some New Ideas
Here are some new ideas for board games.
Rory's Story Cubes: Storytelling Extravaganza
Do you like to tell stories? Hear other people tell stories? If you do, then the game, Rory's Story Cubes, are for you. Rated as the most popular game for on Amazon.com for this season, this simple little box contains nine dice that display pictures instead of numbers, for a total of 54 different graphics in total. Participants first roll their dice, and then weave together their images into a cohesive story. This is a similar activity to the old-one-word story sometimes played at parties or in the classroom, but it has pictures!
The cubes are of good quality and the box has the directions written right on it, so you cannot lose them. This game works well for children as young as six, but adults can also play and have fun at this. Stories are universal, told by old and young alike. For a chance to stretch everyone's creativity and be as silly as you want, try Rory's Story Cubes.
Telestrations: It's Like Telephone, But With Drawing
Did you ever play the game, "Telephone" when you were a kid? It was a simple activity where you formed a line of people, and the first person thought of a "secret." The secret was then whispered down the line, until it got to the last person. The point was, the secret always changed quite a bit by the time it got to the end of the line.
Well, the new board game called Telestrations works on the same premise, only instead of whispering the "secret,' players pass the original message along by drawing on little pads. At the end, the last player must guess what the first drawing was supposed to be. And just like the Telephone game, Telestrations is lots of giggles and fun.
Looking At Other People's Awkward Photos
Awkward Family Photos is the name of website that shows hilarious family photos where you wonder, "what went wrong?" All the pictures are real and that's what makes them so funny: we can imagine our family doing the exact same thing! Now, they have developed an actual game out of it.
I haven't tried this game, personally, but it sounds absolutely hilarious! I have spent hours laughing at their website, and it especially great for parents who grew up in the 80's and 90's. How fun to make fun of ourselves!
The way it works is that the players take turn answering questions about the picture and one person chooses which is the best answer. That's it. Simple but such a way to spark creativity. The best part is definitely the laughs that will ensue from just looking at all of these "awkward photos." The box lists the game as good from aged 13 and up.
4. Word On the Street
Word On the Street: Team Work Rules In This Game!
This game divides all the players into teams. Each team's goal is to use all the letters of the alphabet, from their words. Each team grabs a card, with a category, such as "women's clothing item," and try to brainstorm words that relate to their card word, using as many letters as possible, that are needed for their team.
This game is obviously great for spelling and vocabulary. But the fun part of it is the teamwork. Working in teams lets everyone participate, of all skill levels, and it makes less intimidating for those who aren't as quick at thinking of words. Everyone can help! And working as a team creates a sense of camaraderie. that going solo does not. Fun for the whole family, from eight years old and up!
These are some games designed to send you into absolute hilarity.
Taboo: Getting Buzzed Is Jarring!
If someone tells you not do something, it's pretty hard not to do it. That's the premise of the party game named, Taboo. Players are given cards with a one word that they are trying to talk about to their team mates. For example, they might receive the word, "Snow." They then have to talk about snow without, for example, saying the words, "cold, igloo, Canada, or hot." Sounds hard, doesn't it? Well, it is. And if you mess it up, you get buzzed, which is immensely jarring.
The frenetic pace and inevitable goofs are make this game a lot of fun. We laugh as someone blurts out the forbidden words, and then try hard not to do the same thing ourselves. Such fun!
6. Cranium Wow
Cranium Wow: Laughter Is Almost Guaranteed!
The Cranium games, invented by Whit Alexander and Richard Tait, in 1998, were designed to use many of a person's skills, not just their vocabulary skills, or their guessing skills. In Cranium Wow, players are divided into teams and take turns in roles of Creative Cat, Data Head, Star Performer, and Word Worm. The whole game consists of tasks that must be completed, such as "draw a rabbit," or playing marionette with your teammate.
Cranium Wow is very similar to the other games in the Cranium series. This version of Cranium does have has different cards and different tasks, to make it a variation from the original, with a bit more variety than the original. The genius of the Cranium line is that you just can't be serious when you play this game. It's designed to get you out of your comfort zone and take some risks. And laughter is almost guaranteed!
I have not played this particluar version of Cranium, but I know they are very similar, and can say from experience that these games are great group games, and always cause a room full of laughter!
The Old Favourites
Here are the best of the classic board games. Still good after all these years!
Monopoly: Taking Out A Second Mortgage? Sounds Like Real Life!
Monopoly is a classic old favourite, perfect for an afternoon when you want to spend a few hours wheeling and dealing with your kids. This old classic of buying and selling real estate is fun because anyone can win, no matter how old they are, and everyone has to make business choices that may affect them for the length of the game.
Deciding whether to buy, or sell, or take out a second mortgage. Sounds a lot like real life, doesn't it? And it is. That's what's make it so intriguing. The dilemmas we face in Monopoly are the problems we face in our lives. Greed rules, the bank wins and some of us go belly up. Monopoly lets kids and adults try out their ruthless sides, all in the name of good fun!
I, myself, grew up with Monopoly, and tried to coerce the adults around me to get caught up in a game of Monopoly.
Clue: A Weapon Was Used
Clue is the original whodunnit game. A murder is committed. We don't know who did it, but we must use our powers of deduction to figure it out. Was it Professor Plum or Miss Scarlett? A weapon was used. Choked by a rope? Knocked out by the wrench? By logic, we must determine what killed the victim. And who was the unlucky dolt that died? This, too, is yet to be determined. And finally, we must scour the mansion to see where the dastardly deed occurred. Was in the kitchen, beside the stove or within the walls of the cultured library. No body knows, but we must find out, before the other players do so, first.
Sound a bit brutal? You bet. Adults and children alike play detective, take notes and make observations. The clock is ticking: who will solve the crime first? Clue is an oldie but a goodie. Introduce your family to this old standby and start the fun again.
9. Apples To Apples
Apples to Apples: Comparing Ridiculous Things
Apples To Apples is a game about comparisons. A play on the old phrase, "it's like comparing apples to oranges," the game also gets you to compare ridiculous things. The best ridiculous comparison wins the round. Who decides what's best? The judge for that round, which is always changing. It is the brilliant simplicity of the game that makes it so appealing. This board game works for everyone: 8-108 years old. Although the box says it's for children over 12, I have personally played it with my eight-year-old niece and she loved it.
10. Dutch Blitz
Dutch Blitz: Easy To Learn, Hard to Get Good At It!
Dutch is an old classic invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch people, and is still popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish community today. And it is a simple game, but don't let that fool you. It's easy to get the hang of it, but hard to get good at it.
The game works with each player receiving a separate group of cards in a different back colours. Within each card pack, there are four different colours, very similar to a regular pack of playing cards. All of the players play together to put out cards on their respective piles from 1-10, all the while getting rid of their stash pile.
With expert players, it gets unbearably fast, as cards fly past you, all trying to get to the piles first. It's a lot of fun and very appropriate for the whole family.
Dutch Blitz Craziness!
A Retro Clue/Risk Commercial!
More Games Articles
- Fun Board Games for Improving Vocabulary Skills
Word games are great for increasing vocabulary. Here are four choices for improving vocabulary: Apples to Apples, Scrabble, Word Up, and Balderdash. Useful article for teachers and parents.
- How To Play The Balderdash Game As A Class
A helpful guide for teachers wanting to use Balderdash in their classroom.
- Quick 5 Minute Filler Activities for the Classroom
Quick and fun filler activities for the classroom. For when you have just five minutes left: five minute activities for those last five minutes.
Comments Are Always Welcome
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on January 07, 2016:
I like nothing better than to "resurrect" someone else's outstanding Hub, but I'm sorry I didn't get to this one until after Christmas when it could have helped so many gift searchers through their puzzlements. Nice list and good illustrations and descriptions.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on January 12, 2015:
Hi @ideadesigns, I remember playing Monopoly as a kid, and it would go on for hours! And yes, Taboo can be such a blast with a big group of people. Thanks so much for the comment, and have a great day.
ideadesigns on December 28, 2014:
Monopoly is a long game! We played Taboo (or something like it) at church and it was so fun!! As for the rest, I haven't played. We played Clue when I was younger, a mind intriguing game. Thanks for sharing your list!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on December 08, 2012:
Jravity, that's so neat that you still play Monopoly! It's nice to see people still playing the old favourites. Thanks for the comment and have a wonderful evening.
jravity1 from bellevue, MI on December 01, 2012:
I can't go more than a month without playing monopoly.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 24, 2012:
@Kimberley, Monopoly was my favourite growing up, too. I think you'll like Rory's Story Cubes. Have a great night!