Years ago, Friday night became family game night at our house. Laughing, sharing, and building memories.

Here are the best games for families and family game night. Our family’s all-time favorites.

Send this list to the grandparents if they are looking for gift ideas!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

The games below recommended are listed from youngest to oldest!

Snail’s Pace Race ~ this was our family’s very first board game! A beautiful cooperative game from Ravensburger with wooden snail pieces and die with colored dots. It’s hard to find games for young children and this one’s a gem. NOTE: look for this used as it’s not readily available any longer. Ages 3+

Kapla Blocks Kapla Blocks ~ natural, unfinished wooden planks that can be built into just about anything. Don’t underestimate this simple set of blocks. They can build amazing, elaborate structures. Great for solitary play as well as cooperative building. My teenagers each wanted their own set! Ages 3+

Max the Cat ~ a family favorite cooperative game that my children played over and over again. Players work together to get various critters safely home before Max catches them. Ages 7+

Bananagrams ~ a word game where players race each other to build crossword grids. Small and compact, great for family game night and also to take with you on the go. My 18-year-old daughter still plays this game with her college friends!
Ages 7+

Mancala GameMancala ~ an ancient strategy game for two players. Great to play when studying Ancient Civilizations. Ages 7+

RummikubRummikub ~ our #1 top family favorite. We were introduced to this game by Aunt Shirley years ago. And it’s still a go-to favorite on Friday nights.
Ages 8+

Labyrinth GameLabyrinth ~ a race for treasures through a moving maze. One of my daughter’s favorites. Ages 8+
You've Been Sentenced!You’ve Been Sentenced! ~ create silly sentences that are hilarious. Ages 8+

The USA Card Game ~ fun geography card game you can play anywhere. Comes in handy tin. Learning is happening while having fun. Ages 6+

Ticket to Ride ~ This cross-country train adventure game is fun for the whole family. Players connect railway routes crisscrossing North America. Ages 8+

Apples to Apples JuniorApples to Apples Junior ~ a game of crazy comparisons, full of laughter and so much mixed-age fun. Ages 9+

You can also get the original Apples to Apples for the pre-teen and teen crowd. Great for holiday gatherings too. Ages 12+

Looking for more ideas? Find additional Gift Guides & Book Lists for Simple Natural Families here.

Similar Posts


  1. Because of my ADHD I have not been able to do this with my children which makes me feel really bad because they love board games.

    1. Yes, that can pose challenges to playing games for sure, Sara. I will say that one of my children is in that category, and we still found ways. The Kapla Blocks on the list were fabulous for all three of my children, including (and especially for) the one with attention challenges. So don’t give up on the idea entirely!

  2. I’m realizing we have so many Nickie plastic toys that they don’t even play with I’m going through today I’m going o get rid of them and make room for games!!
    We had celebrated a birthday and ended up playing bingo with extended family and everyone had a great time!!
    Christmas is around the corner and I like to buy quality toys like wood for boys 4 and five any ideas would be great!!

    1. Yes Monica, great idea to begin clearing out now for some wonderful new playthings at the holidays. isn’t it fun to play games at extended family gatherings!?! Such a good all-generations activity. My top choice for a good toy for 4 & 5 year old boys is either a wooden castle with figures, or a wooden barn and farm animals. Check out the company, Melissa & Doug. I am panning on putting together a Children’s Toys Gift Guide soon, so keep your eye out.

    1. Thanks, Ines! Great suggestion on the Orchard game. It’s not easy to find good games for young children so I appreciate your suggestion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.