We love playing board and card games in our homeschool. Of course, we also love Minecraft, but for those device free days, nothing beats a rousing game that requires quick thinking, strategy, and a whole lot of fun. With the winter days rearing their frigid heads, it’s the perfect time to break out a game and play around the Netflix fake fireplace. (That fake fireplace gets waaaaay more airtime at our house than it probably should.) Check out our top 10 favorite must-have games for kids below and then let us know what your favorites are!
Must-Have Games for Kids
We did a review of Perpetual Commotion a couple of years ago and even though we loved it then, I had no idea that it would truly become one of our absolute favorites. You can get the two-person fast play version or the six-person version. There’s even an extension pack that lets you add more players if you have a larger family. We love, love, love this game!
Our kids have been playing UNO since they were playing Go Fish. I remember playing it all the time growing up, so it was only natural that my kids got hooked on the UNO craze, as well. There’s nothing more invigorating than a perfectly placed Draw Four!
As much as I love Trouble (and I really do), my parent-to-parent advice is to save this one for a day when you’re not tired or have a headache. The popping of the die is wonderfully fun and when the kids were younger, they were known to have tried to get a few extra pops in – just to make the noise. The new Trouble game board is a bit different than the classic, so be prepared for an updated look if you haven’t played for awhile. Even the teens still love to play this one during the day with us!
Mancala is all about strategy and concentration (and counting!). It’s easy enough for little learners, but still just as much fun for older ones. We like the foldable Mancala board, because it’s easier to store!
By now you may be thinking that we’re a bit boring in the game department, but oh my gosh, these classic games are fantastic! Scrabble is especially good for building vocab and practicing math skills. It’s one of those games that requires your brain to sort through it’s dictionary and find words that fit in the open spaces. We’ve tried the fancy Scrabble boards, but we always come back to this original.
In my opinion, one of the key requirements for a good game is little set-up (except for the #7 on this list, of course). Yahtzee is super easy to set-up, super fun to play, and who doesn’t like shaking the die in that little cup?! Again, a game to take out only when mama is well rested and doesn’t have a headache. 😉
Have a few hours to spare on a rainy or snowy day? If so, Monopoly can make any inclement weather day a winner. I freely admit that we don’t play this nearly as often as Little Miss would like, but when we do make the time for it (because it’s definitely an “in for the long haul” kind of game), we have a blast! I love that it teaches the kids about budgeting, money, strategy, and more. Monopoly is also a good rainy-day-at-the-beach game for sure!
Wait, what?! Playing cards? Just plain old playing cards? Yep! Playing Cards are one of the most used games in our house. From a game of WAR to Solitaire to card tricks, a pack of plain, old playing cards can keep the kids entertained and bring about some good family game time like few things can. The best part? They’re inexpensive!
When we have family gatherings, breaking out Charades is almost a given. This set features levels for all ages, so that it’s appropriate for the whole family. Make sure you have plenty of room for acting out the words and phrases though, because the youngest family members can often get a tad bit enthusiastic when it’s their turn.
Now that the kids are older, Pictionary has become a lot more fun – and the pictures a lot easier to guess! When we’re playing with the aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, we actually use the cards, but swap out the drawing pad for a huge dry erase board that typically hangs in our school area. More laughter has resulted and more memories have been made from our family Pictionary games than I can even count. It may be a classic, but it will change the way your family has fun together.
Family and homeschool time doesn’t have to be over-planned and under stress. Incorporate some board and card games for kids in your daily routine and you may find that it’s your favorite part of the entire day. What games do your children and your family enjoy playing the most? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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