Board games convey a relaxing time in which the family sits together and enjoys one another’s company through play. These types of games have a long history.
The oldest board game (created approximately 4,600 years ago) is kept at the British Museum. Known as the Royal Game of Ur, it was made for two players. The aim was to get your pieces to the other side of the board as quickly as possible.
But board games aren’t only found within Mesopotamia. Many cultures have their own versions. These types of games offer a number of benefits when played together as a family.
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The Advantages Of Board Games For Families
According to the Australian Child Development Clinic, board games can help your kids learn prosocial skills such as sharing and cooperation. It also offers a break from technology and can improve your child’s mood as well as build a strong connection within the family.
Research shows that playing board games improve mental functioning as well as helps to stop unwanted behaviors. These relate to all family members no matter what age.
So, when the family plays board games together everyone wins (no matter if you actually lose at the game). Treat board game time as a special time for the family to get together and enjoy being with one another.
Ten Of The Best Board Games For Families
Let’s take you through our pick of the best board games for your family. Why are they the best? It’s because they offer the benefits we mentioned above such as improving mental health and brain function as well as strengthening family ties.
If your family is into trains and travel, then Ticket to Ride is worth getting.
The object of the game is to build train routes across America (there is also a European version available). The routes are built by players collecting and then matching train cards.
Points are earned by owning routes between two cities. You can also earn more points by having the longest route.
It may seem straightforward, but there is strategizing needed.
Number of players: 2-5
Playtime: 30 – 60 minutes.
This is a game in which you guess what other people would like. A card is turned over and then all players write their response without others seeing.
If you guess what the majority of players wrote, you get rewarded with cows. The person with an answer that differs from everyone else’s gets given the pink cow. That means you have to wait until you can pass the cow onto another player.
Herd mentality is a game that will have the family in stitches of laughter.
Number of players: 3 or more
Playtime: Can last for hours!
3. Sushi Go!
If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, then you should try Sushi Go!
The goal is to gain the most points by collecting the right cards to make different rolls.
It’s fast-paced as the cards are passed around while each player tries to create the best sushi.
Number of players: 2 – 5
Playtime: 20 minutes
This is another game that requires skill and strategy. In Labyrinth, players are on a quest to find all their treasure through a constantly moving maze.
Players can block one another in a bid to be the first to gather up their loot.
Produced by a company that has been making quality family board games for well over a hundred years.
Number of players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 20 – 30 minutes
A fun card game that only takes a couple of minutes to learn. It may not be suitable for younger children (unless they enjoy the idea of exploding cats).
The aim of Exploding Kittens is to avoid being the one who draws the card with the exploding kitten. If you do, then you’re out of the game. Unless you have a card to counter the explosion.
Number of players: 2 – 5
Playtime: 15 minutes
Here you have to trade, build and expand as you and the other players seek to settle in Catan.
It’s a game that offers a unique experience every time you play. Use your cards thoughtfully so that your settlement grows into the most productive and powerful one.
An entertaining way to teach your kids entrepreneurial skills.
Number of players: 3-4
Playtime: 1 hour
A classic board game that has never gone out of style. Just like Catan, Monopoly allows your kids to develop business prowess.
How can own the most property on the board? It’s the luck of the dice that determines when and where you can purchase real estate. Then build houses and hotels to increase your income without going bankrupt.
Keep hold of the “Get out of jail free” card. It’s a handy one to have. Especially if you are winning the game.
Number of players: 2 – 6
Playtime: 1 hour or more.
For those who are fans of Whodunnits. Become the detective as you find the person who murdered Mr. Boddy.
Sort out the innocent from the guilty through questions and gathering evidence. Once you think you know who the murderer is, make your accusation. If you’re right, revel in the victory.
Number of players: 3-6
Age: 8+ (though you can play with slightly younger children).
Playtime: As long as it takes to guess the murderer!
For bird lovers everywhere, collect birds to raise and inhabit your nature preserve. Food is gathered by dice within a bird feeder while baby birds are gained through collecting eggs.
The person with the most points after 4 rounds wins.
There is a slight downside to this game. It isn’t designed to be played with younger children. So maybe you will want to pull out a different board game when it comes to family time.
There are a couple of expansion packs available to extend your bird collection: Oceania and Asian birds.
Number of players: 1 – 5
Playtime: 40 – 70 minutes
This game will help develop math skills and shape recognition in your children. It also boosts strategic thinking.
The aim is to create a line of blocks that are the same shape or color without duplicates. Gain a Qwirkle if you make a row of six blocks.
With rules that are simple to understand the family will be playing in no time.
Number of players: 2 – 4
Playtime: As long as you desire
Enjoy Your Games Night
The games we listed are among the most popular family board games. They provide a break away from smartphones, computers, gaming consoles, and television.
Set aside one evening/night a week that is dedicated to playing board games and experience the family bonds strengthening. Guards may be let down which allows members to be more open with each other regarding problems they may have.
A word of caution for those who have toddlers/infants within the home. The small pieces that come with most board games can be a choking hazard for children under 3 years old.
When playing, supervision is needed regarding the wee ones within the family. Also, ensure that the game is packed away carefully with no pieces left lying around.
Have fun with your board games.