One thing we got really great at as a family during COVID has been games. We’ve played a lot of games and done a lot of puzzles and it’s been really wonderful. Matt and I have always been big on games. Whenever my mom comes to visit we usually end the night with a round (or four) of cards or Rummikub. I remember being newly married and spending hours into the night playing Spades with our friends. Now that the girls are older it’s so fun to play games with them too. With the holidays upon us, I thought it would be a good time to share what we think are the best family games to play as a family just in case you want to scoop up a few games as gifts or to play together while you’re home during the holidays.
For reference, our girls are 8 and 5. Some of the games I’m sharing here are a bit too advanced for Millie but she enjoys “being on mama’s team” or we let her “play” along with us just in her own way. And sometimes she’d rather build with legos while we play.
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Jenga | This is a childhood favorite that never gets old. We recently bought it to play with the girls and it surprised me how much Millie loves this game. This is one that the girls can play together or we play as a family. Another thing I’ve heard about but haven’t yet done is make a homeschool activity out of this game by taping sight words or math problems to the bricks – I think that would be a big hit with the girls!
Ticket to Ride | I’ve talked about this game a bit over on Instagram. My whole family loves it. The idea of the game is to create routes along the map (game board). You get extra points for the longest route and you have certain routes you are trying to get based on cards you draw. It’s a strategy game that can get super competitive. Peighton is getting better and better every time we play. This is a game that we get out when my mom visits because she really enjoys it as well. This one is too advanced for Mills but she usually either plays on my team or sits with us and lines up all the trains.
Rummikub | I’ll always remember the first time we played this game! Way before kiddos, Matt and I were moving cross country and stopped to visit his grandpa in Missouri and his grandpa kicked our booties at this game and we laughed and laughed! As soon as we settled in our new home I purchased this one and we’ve been playing it ever since.
Sequence | This is a game I remember playing as a kid so once P was old enough I went ahead and scooped it up. It’s another game of strategy that she gets better with every time we play. The goal of the game is to get either two or three (depending on how many are playing) sequences on the board. You can block other players which makes it very competitive! Peighton and I spend a lot of time ganging up on Matt in this one. 🙂
Qwixx | This dice game is one that my mom bought us several years ago (we always play games when she visits). I like it because it’s a quick game that you can play several rounds of a night. It’s also a game that many can play at once. So whenever we can socialize again, I think up to 8 players can join in. A good one to have in the game cabinet.
Sleeping Queens | My friend Laura shared this game at the beginning of the stay at home orders way back in March and I bought it right away. I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve played this game since then. Peighton is 100% obsessed and she wins the majority of the time. She’s ruthless. Sleeping Queens is a card game that requires a little bit of strategy, requires some math skills, and is a whole lot of fun. Basically, all the queens are sleeping and you have to use the cards in your hand to wake them up. Each of them has a point value and whoever has the most points at the end wins.
Mexican Train Dominoes | I was introduced to this game last year by Matt’s sister and brother in law. We spent a few days with them and every night ended in a heated game of dominoes! As soon as we got home we ordered it to keep it in our game cabinet for when we have people over. I think we’ve only had the chance to play it once since buying it but we really can’t wait for the chance to dust it off again.
Blockus | I can’t remember where I heard about this one but it’s another game I purchased at the beginning of the stay at home orders and we’ve played it a ton since then. We play it as a family (Millie even plays) and Matt and I play a lot just the two of us after the girls go to bed. It’s a game of strategy that frankly, I’m not very good at. I get frustrated because I can never seem to win and I still keep coming back to it. I don’t know what that says about me but it’s a fun game!
Honorable Mention: Pretty Pretty Princess | This vintage game is one that I never had as a kid (I preferred Mall Madness, “there’s a sale at the department store!”) but my sweet friend gifted it to Millie for her birthday and she LOVES it. It’s a sweet board game that comes with little pieces of jewelry and whoever gets the most jewelry gets to wear the tiara at the end and say “pretty pretty Princess.”
Those are my top favorites but I have several more that I’ll include in the widget below and you can do some research of your own. Highly recommend any of these as a gift this holiday season. It seems like we’re going to be at home for the foreseeable future, might as well make it fun! I’d love to hear what some of your favorite games are or if you’ve tried any of the ones I’ve listed. I’m always looking for new ones to add to our collection!