We have just wrapped up another summer holiday where we spent lots of time together as a family (my absolute favourite time of year!). When we weren’t at the beach, we were almost always playing games. So many games!  We played a lot of card games (like Golf or Cabo or even multiplication war), but we also played a lot of board games. I thought I would share some of our family’s favourite games. I’ve also asked readers to share their favourites too, so if you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find recommendations from readers. (Feel free to add any of your own in the comments section below.)

Our Favourite Family Games

For bigger kids and adults:

  • Rummikub – a great game that helps with counting, math skills, and strategy — fun for all ages (as long as you know your numbers). I play this with my 67-year-old friend, Margie, and also with the kids!
  • Backgammon – we love this big Backgammon board by Planet Finska!
  • Cribbage – I grew up playing this with my dad, so it’s a firm family favourite. All you need is a cribbage board, a deck of cards and 2-3 players. (We got our Cribbage board from here. I bought it for Michael as a wedding present and had it personalised with his initials on the top.)
  • Chess & Checkers – classics! (We have a folding board similar to this one that has chess and checkers pieces).
  • Code Names — I played this with my siblings and parents last year when I travelled home to visit family and it’s such a fun game!
  • Skattergories – a favourite game from my childhood. You roll a big letter die and then try to write down as many answers starting with that letter within the time frame.
  • Set – a great game for travel as it’s just a deck of cards so it easily fits into a tote bag. The aim is to quickly try to find as many sets as you can. We love this game!
  • Uno – who doesn’t love a game of Uno?!!!
  • Guesstures – a fast-paced charades game (another favourite from my childhood).
  • Boggle – a word-search game, great for learning words (and practicing math skills when you add up the score).
  • Scrabble – another classic word game! (Michael and I can’t play this anymore – it gets too competitive between us! haha)
  • Slapzi – a fast and fun matching game.
  • Rat-a-Tat Cat – similar to the card game of Golf.
  • Clue – the classic detective game. I love that the kids are so into this classic game!

For younger kids:

  • Spot it! (aka Dobble) – a great game for travel, as it’s so small and can be played anywhere.
  • Orchard – this is such a sweet game where you work as a team to collect all the fruit before the raven gets it! (There’s no winner or loser, therefore no crying!)
  • Bingo – we have ‘Ocean Bingo‘ and ‘Australia’s Deadly Animals Bingo‘ and it’s a fun way to learn your animals.
  • Go Fish – we love this illustrated version by Oliver Jeffers, but you can also just use a deck of cards.
  • Chutes & Ladders – a classic (I still have my game from childhood!).
  • Djeco Ludamino – all of my kids have loved this sweet set which has 3 games in one box.
  • Trouble or Ludo – classic games great for teaching counting skills.

And some recommendations from readers:

“We just bought the board game, Hues and Clues, and it’s the best and so, so fun for the whole fam. Super creative and interesting as everyone interprets cues and hues differently.” – Natalie  

Very similar to golf, are the games Skyjo and Beaver Gang. We love to play these with the kids. We also love Ligretto and Skull King.” – Marianna 

A family game we love is Telestrations. It’s like telephone but drawing. The game set usually comes with enough notebooks for 6-8 players, but we’ve combined multiple game boxes to include more players. It’s suitable for all ages too – young kids would have fun with it, and we’ve played with my 90-year-old grandma! We all end up laughing at how silly some of the drawings and guesses are. We love it so much that my sisters and I made a version of the game specific to my dad for his 60th birthday!” – Molly 

We love the pick and pass card game, Sushi Go!. It’s easy to learn, has fun illustrations and works for a variety of ages. We also like Dixit which is very easy to learn, inclusive,  great for a huge variety of ages and about story telling.” – Daisy 

Our two favourite family games at the moment are Skyjo – a card game (but not with regular playing cards) and Ticket to Ride!” – Gillian 

We really got into Bird Bingo over the holidays. Never thought I’d be into bird bingo but the kids loved it and my 3-year-old now recognises and remembers the names of most of the birds. Love it!” – Ellen 

“We have loved Blokus and Labyrinth board games recently (my older kids are 8 and 10). I think they’re both good for spacial awareness and lateral thinking, and my husband and I genuinely enjoy playing both with them, which I don’t always find is the case! Oh and our all-time wider family favourite (that I played as a child!) is Hotel. It’s like Monopoly, but you actually physically build (with cardboard blocks) the hotels. It can get very competitive, and isn’t quite as long as Monopoly, but still great fun.” – Georgie


For more ideas and tips for keeping your kids entertained at home, check out my 100-page eBook, At Home with Kids. I share our favourite games, toys, books, educational activities, craft projects and lots more.