Have some family fun with these awesome family games for all ages!
Family game nights are such a great thing to implement no matter the age of your children.
With the large increase in time that kids spend on electronics, implementing a family game night in your home provides many benefits.
It creates a bonding experience for families that kids will remember for years to come. It also promotes emotional and mental development in children, which then carries over into school and social settings.
Playing board games is also a great way for you as a parent to assess how well your child is developing certain skills.
Can they think strategically about their moves, or are they good sports if they lose?
Of course board games and other types of games are made to be fun, but why not take the opportunity to teach your child things like good sportsmanship, following the rules, and winning and losing gracefully all while having fun!
While there are many, many great board games out there for families to play, there are also many great games that you can make up with things right in your home.
From minute to win it games to relays, races, and STEM themed games, it’s time to get creative and pull those dusty games out of your closet or make up some new ones!
Family Board Games
Family board games are a really fun way to whip up a family game night and start getting into the routine of spending time with one another without screens.
1. Eric Carle Matching Game
If you are looking for games for your three-year-old, this fun and colorful Eric Carle matching game is sure to keep your toddler’s attention, at least for a little bit.
Your toddler is sure to recognize the adorable characters from the Eric Carle book series with the hungry caterpillar, the grouchy ladybug, and brown bear.
2. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Board games for 3 year olds should be fun and educational. The sneaky, snacky squirrel hit that right on the head…or nut in this case!
Help the little forest creatures get food for winter by using the squirrel squeezer to pick up acorns.
Designed to help young children learn colors and work on fine motor skills, this silly game is sure to become your toddler’s favorite in no time.
3. Don’t Break the Ice
A classic, Don’t Break The Ice is a favorite for all ages.
One of the many games for 3 year olds, this will help develop fine motor skills while having fun banging fake ice cubes out of the platform.
This is also a great early game to start teaching little ones strategy, you can’t knock all the blocks out at once or the penguin will fall down.
And there’s even a cute Frozen edition that my twins love playing.
4. Pete the Cat The Missing Cupcakes
Join beloved Pete the Cat to find the missing cupcakes!
A great game for ages 3 and up to help work on fine and gross motor skills alike. Collect colorful cupcakes as you ask out activities, sing songs, and identify animals.
5. Matching Letters Game
If you are looking for board games for 4 year olds, this game is the perfect mix of fun and education!
This matching game helps to develop strategic thinking skills, memory, spelling, and word recognition.
You’ll feel like a great parent because they are learning and they will be having so much fun they won’t even realize it’s educational.
6. Watch Ya’ Mouth
A hilarious game to play with kids over 8 years old that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Those playing should be old enough to read and be ok with potentially drooling on themselves with a silly mouthpiece in trying to talk. Silly phrases like “warm beef meatballs,” will have you rolling on the floor laughing.
Minute to Win it Games
Minute to win it games are such a great way to start up a fun family game night.
These games are a favorite for many because they are easy to do, you can make them up with just about anything from around the house, and generally pee your pants hilarious!
There are three different ways to do minute to win it games, individual versus clock, head to head competition, or splitting up a group and having one person from each group go head to head.
The only time you really need to score a minute to win it game is when you are playing with groups.
You can use just about anything in your house to play minute to win it games, various balls, plastic cups and flatware, buckets, cookies, balloons, blindfold, streamers, empty 2-liter bottle, and of course a timer.
There are TONS of minute to win it games that you can play with your family that are great for kids and adults of every age.
7. Face the Cookie
This is a really funny one and will have everyone laughing and cookies all over.
This is a fun one to play head to head against someone else. Place a cookie on the contestant’s forehead, they have to get it into their mouth without touching it. First to eat their forehead cookie wins!
8. Defying Gravity
This is a fun and easy one for the little ones. Blow up three balloons for each player, they have to keep all their balloons up in the air for one minute!
9. Bottle to Bottle
Tie or tape two bottle together side by side.
This works well with 2-liter bottles or can be done with any larger type plastic bottle with a small opening. In one of the bottles, place something small (cereal, jelly beans, dried beans, stick pretzels).
The player has to get all of the contents from one bottle into the other bottle. It’s much more difficult than it sounds…
Games for Teaching Teamwork
Teamwork is such an important skill to learn while you are young.
The skill of teamwork carries over into school and job settings. Teamwork can help teach kids how to negotiate, be respectful, flexibility, and how to be leaders. Here are some fun games that promote teamwork.
10. The Blindfold Game
This is a game that you can get really creative with.
Often times you blindfold someone and their teammate gives them directions on where to walk and what to do. This often leads to hilarious results and potential bumps and bruises if their teammate doesn’t give very good directions.
You can also play the blindfold game and do something like make a sandwich or put together a simple puzzle. The goal here is to have one person blindfolded and another person giving them instructions of some sort to complete a task.
11. Cup Stacking Challenge
You are going to need at least three people for this game, but the more the better. In the cup stacking challenge you tie strings to a rubber band and give the end of the string to each person.
They then have to use the rubber band that is tied to the strings to stack cups into a pyramid. They have to pull their strings at the same time to stretch the rubber band enough to place it over the cup and pick it up.
It might sounds simple but it can be rather difficult.
12. Build a Bridge
This is a great game for kids that love to build things.
Divide your family into two groups. Without looking at what the other group is doing, you each need to build half of a bridge. When you are done, come together and figure out how you can connect it. This works with regular Legos, larger blocks, craft sticks and glue, newspaper, all sorts of different materials.
STEM Themed Games
I am a huge advocate of doing games with kids that also teach them things and get their little minds working overtime.
STEM themed games are great because they combine the fun of games while teaching science, technology, engineering, and math skills. While you can get pretty creative with STEM themed games for older children, even the little ones can participate.
13. Spaghetti Structures
Grab a bag or two or of marshmallows and some spaghetti and start building. This is a very popular project that schools do when working on STEM initiatives, so why not make a game out of it? You can break your family up into teams or do it individually and see who can build the tallest tower. Just make sure everyone has an even amount of spaghetti (toothpicks work also) and marshmallows. Of course the funnest part is eating the marshmallows afterwards.
14. The Static Can Balloon Race
This static can balloon race is a really neat one that focuses on using static electricity to move an aluminum can. Simply make two lines (using a string or piece of tape) as a start and finish line. Then give each player a balloon and an aluminum can.
They can only move the can using static electricity from the balloon. They can “charge” the balloon up with static from their shirt or hair and use it to pull the can towards the finish line.
15. Build a Rube Goldberg Machine
Think of a simple task that you do around your house daily.
It could be something like turning on a light or starting the wash machine.
Now work together to build an over complicated machine to achieve that task. Here is a video how a Rube Goldberg machine can be used to turn on a light. You don’t have to get super fancy, just find things around your house that can be used. This is a great “game” to promote critical thinking and engineering skills.
There you have it! What sort of games do you love to play for your family game nights?