We are a game-playing-family however most of us aren’t all that great at sitting in one place very long, so we’re also pretty picky about what we play. That being said, I figured we might be a pretty helpful source if you’re wondering what to get the kids/cousins/friends for Christmas (or other holiday!) or wondering how to keep little humans entertained on a stormy day or quiet weekend. Here’s our list of favorites — in approximate order of difficulty!
- THE SNEAKY, SNACKY SQUIREL GAME, super fun and has a montessori vibe to it.
- FRANKIE’S FOOD TRUCK FIASCO, same as above.
- PANCAKE PILE UP, a fun relay game and something big and little kids can play together.
- ZIMBBOS, a fun stacking and counting game.
- HI-HO CHERRY-O!, you might remember this one from your childhood… still so good and works on counting :)
- THE LADYBUG GAME, just an all-around good little kids game.
- CANDY LAND, gimme all the rainbow trails and peppermint stick forests! ha!
- PENGOLOO, a fun matching game that you can keep super simple for little-little ones or more challenging for preschoolers.
- HEDBANZ DISNEY, fun and silly and again you can take it as seriously or not-as-seriously as you want (we’ve only ever owned the disney version but I’m sure they’re all great!).
- OPERATION, no introduction needed, I’m sure!
- SIMON, another classic and I love that travels well and only requires one player but is also fun to take turns with.
- UNO, another game that packs well (perfect for cabins or camping) I think we own about 3 different versions of this game but the emoji one looked fun for the kids.
- GUESS WHO, not sure why but my kids tend to bicker when playing this game, however it’s a great one to play when hosting playdates or sleepovers especially because the rules are so easy to follow… same goes for BATTLE SHIP.
- TWISTER, love this one because you can play by the rules or just freestyle and be goofy — also great for playdates!
- SHOOT THE MOON, my parents bought this for us several Christmas’ ago and it’s a family favorite. I usually leave it out in the family room as an easy activity solo or as a group.
- CLUE, is the best!
- CONCENTRATION, another low-fuss game (but it’s loud so make sure no one’s napping, ha!) for Kindergarteners and up I would say but probably depends on fine motor skills or you can play more like a puzzle without the timer.
- QWIRKLE, great for game nights but definitely need at least one adult involved that likes numbers… i.e. we don’t play on nights that Johan is on shift, lol.
- CATAN, one of the best games invented for family or game night (we play a lot over holidays and vacations) and it’s fun enough for the little kids to stay engaged even though they’re usually teamed up with Johan or me. Full disclosure, it can take a looooong time to play so plan accordingly. It’s worth it…. and this coming from a girl that refuses to play monopoly. Also, added CATAN JR. to my shopping cart for a Christmas gift!
Curious if the game Mouse Trap is as good as I remember it being? Let me know if your fam has it! We’ve decided to cut way back on screen time in our home for a bit (more on that later) so am looking for a new game or two to add to our usual rotation.
Also, working on my very first HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE and would love to know if you have any special requests… I’ve heard from several friends that husbands and grandparents are their hardest to buy for. Do you agree? Anyone else? Or maybe a certain price range that would be helpful?
Let me know so I can round up some ideas for ya!