15 Great Family Board Games + Card Games We Love
Looking for some great family games to play together? Check out some of our favorite family board games and card games we play with our kids.
As parents, we provide a lot for our kids, but we can’t be everything to them. While I love to read with my kids and bake with them, I’m not a super fun mom who plays imagination games or gets on the floor and plays with toys. I didn’t even do that as a child myself, so I have little interest in doing that as an adult.
I do, however, enjoy playing board games and card games with my boys. We used to do family game night every Sunday evening. It worked for a while, though our schedules have changed, and it’s not always on our agenda anymore. But when we have time, all four of us typically playing enjoy a good board game or card together.
Some of the classic games are still great. My boys discovered an old version of The Game of Life hiding in my parent’s basement last time we visited, and they loved it (even though it was missing a few pieces). They also like Monopoly, though it’s not my favorite game to play.
There are lots of new games, however, that incorporate fun strategy, a bit of luck, and are especially creative that are always hits in our house. Below, I’ve shared several of our favorite family board games and card games we play with the boys (who are currently seven and nine).
Did we miss anything? Let me know in the comments so we can check it out.
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15 Fun Family Board Games and Card Games
All of the games below are great. I separated the list into two groups, starting with the games that are great for travel or playing at home. All of the games require a bit of space to play, so they aren’t necessarily perfect for playing while on a plane or in a car, for example. However, you can store each of them in a small container so they fit in a suitcase without taking up too much space.
A Note on Ages: I’ve included the recommended ages for players for each game based on the game maker’s suggestions. However, my boys have played all of these games before reaching the recommended age. Use the age indications as a guideline, but I definitely don’t think younger kids are incapable of playing more challenging games with some help from an adult.
8 Fun Family Games That Are Great For Travel
Dragonwood combines dice, individual cards in each player’s hand, and a shared set of community cards, all of which help players earn points by capturing mythical creature cards through the game. The game requires strategy and a bit of luck. I love playing this game with the boys, and it’s a game that is great for adults as well.
Ages 8+ | Players 2 – 4
Many historic artifacts are missing. Compete against other players to collect the most points by gathering collections of artifacts from six different civilizations as well as collections of treasure cards.
I’ve played this with both my 7 and 9-year-old boys. It takes a round or two to get into the groove because there are quite a few rules. But it’s totally worth the investment of time. There’s quite a bit of strategy to play and a few different types of strategies that can lead to victory.
Ages 10+ | Players 2-8
In this card game, players use king, dragon, and jester cards, as well as a little bit of basic addition to wake up queen cards to win the game. Certain queens are worth different amounts of points, and a few even have special benefits or restrictions to make the game a bit more fun.
This game can be really quick (5-10 minutes) with just two players or take a bit longer with more players. It’s quite easy for young kids to learn, and I love that we can play a few rounds in no time. As long as the child can do basic addition with single digits, they can play this game.
Ages 8+ | Players 2 – 5
In this game, the hand you’re dealt doesn’t tell the whole story. Each player earns points for cards they keep from their hand, but there’s quite a bit of strategy involved because players pass hands of cards with each turn. What’s in your hand this turn, will be in another player’s hand next turn. A player wins when they earn the most points after three rounds of play.
Like many games from Gamewright, this game is pretty easy to learn to play. However, it works for adults too because there is an opportunity for strategy if you’re playing against other adults.
The company also released a Sushi Go Party version of the game with a few more features that we’ll have to try sometime.
Ages 8+ | Players 2 – 5
Each player receives a handful of letter tiles and begins creating words. Each new word must build on the words already on the player’s board. As players use letters and get stuck, they call all participants to take one more letter tile from the open pile. Ultimately, each player builds a set of words that are connected like a crossword puzzle.
This is a great game to practice spelling and creative thinking. Players need a decent understanding of basic spelling and reading to play on their own, but younger players could play in teams with an adult or older child.
Ages 7+ | Players 1 – 16
In this letter tile and spelling game, players compete to build individual words with their tiles. The words don’t have to connect to each other. However, players can steal letters from players to make new words and upgrade existing words to words worth more points. The stealing element of the game is really fun, and I’ve seen my boys get really creative building impressive words with others’ tiles.
Ages 8+ | Players 1 – 6
Mobi Math Tile Game
This game is like Bananagrams but with math. All tiles are numbers or addition, subtraction, and equal signs. Players create a board that looks like a crossword puzzle but uses basic addition and subtraction equations instead of words. This is a great game to practice math. Younger players could definitely try their hand at this game.
Ages 6+ | Players 1 – 6
In this matching game, players each receive half of the cards. Each card has several icons on it. On each turn, both players flip over one card from their pile. The first player to find the icon that matches on both cards gets both cards for their pile. The player to get all the cards first wins.
While this game is very easy to play, even for young players, the math behind how this game works is very impressive to me. Somehow, any two cards from the set always have one and only one set of matching icons on them.
There are many themed versions of this game for sports teams, characters, and more. I also think children younger than six could play this game.
Ages 6+ | Players 2 – 8
7 More Family Board Games + Card Games To Play At Home
Each player chooses a color and then takes turns connecting their pieces at the corner to cover the most space on the board. The game ends when someone places all of their pieces on the board or no one can make any more moves. The person with the few squares leftover pieces wins!
We played this with kids as young as 7 and games entirely of adults. It’s really fun and something that you can play across a wide array of ages together.
Ages 7+ | Players 2 – 4
Cards Against Humanity (Family Version)
Players each receive a set of black cards. On each turn, the guesser sets a white card on the table and all other players anonymously choose one of their black cards to fill in the blank on the white card. A player gets a point if their black card is chosen to fill in the blank on the white card. There are no right answers, so the connections players choose is the most entertaining part of the game.
The original version of this game is definitely made for adults (and can be very offensive). However, they sell blank cards if you want to make your own version as we did, and they sell a kids’ version of the game as well.
Ages 8+ | Players 4+
It’s another classic game that’s fun to play together and also a great game for practicing letters, spelling, and reading. We modify this game to require older players to find longer words. This helps even the playing field.
There is a Boggle Jr version of the game, but I like the regular Boggle version better. I think kids outgrow the Boggle Jr. version game pretty quickly, and you can modify regular Boggle to work for a variety of ages.
Ages 8+ | Players 2+
The Scrambled States of America Game
Help your little ones learn geography while collecting cards for each of the 50 U.S. states. The game includes a map and state cards that include a few facts about each state, like the state nickname and capital.
Although the age says 8+, you can make this easier for young players simply by giving them a bit of extra time on each turn to match their cards to the play.
Ages 8+ | Players 2 – 4
Ticket To Ride
I love this game! It’s kind of a long game and definitely requires some strategy to win. Younger players can participate, but they probably won’t win until they get a little older (or adults let them win).
In this game, players compete to link train rides together and travel across the United States. Players earn points for reaching certain destinations and creating the longest train lines.
There are many other versions of this game, including Europe, New York City, and many more. If you prefer a location other than the United States, there are lots of options.
We have the United Kingdom/Pennsylvania expansion. You need either Ticket To Ride or Ticket To Ride Europe to use many of the expansions. The expansions come with a board, extra cards, and occasionally, some rule modifications, but you use the trains and train cards from the original versions to play the game.
Ages 8+ | Players 2 – 5
It’s an oldie but goodie, and it’s a great way to practice math. If you’re not familiar with the game, you roll five dice on each turn to try to get a variety of different pre-determined combinations.
Ages 8+ | Players 2+
Wind your way through castle hallways to collect various treasures and artifacts. The board is made up of square pieces, each of which has pictures of the treasures and artifacts as well as walls on them. The catch is that players move the board pieces with each turn, so barrier walls change and treasures move while you’re trying to track them down.
I loved this game as a kid and was thrilled to find it at a local thrift shop a while back. It’s now in our home collection for just a few dollars.
Ages 7+ | Players 2 – 4
BONUS: Cover Your Assets
I purchased this game as a gift for the holidays this year. We haven’t played it yet, but I’ve heard great reviews about it in so many places. I’m excited to try it out in just a couple of weeks.
Ages 7+ | Players 4 – 6
Board games and card games are a fun way to connect with kids, spend quality time together, and do quite a bit of learning in the process. Do you have any favorite family board games or card games I missed? Leave your recommendations in the comments so I can check them out.
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About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.