Top Ten Family Board Games
Pools, beach, parks, camping, hiking — summer is a LOT about getting outside and enjoying the warm weather, but that’s not ALL it is. There are definitely times when a retreat into the delicious AC is called for. The problem that arises, if your family is anything like mine, is what I call the Indoor Scattering Effect. Kids (and adults, too) head to their respective corners to spend time with their screens and devices. One way to break that cycle is with a fun family board game! So leave the heat outside, gather everybody at the kitchen table, and bust out one of these classics for some cooler family fun.
My 14-year-old somehow just discovered Clue, and though he’s a self-described board game hater, he had a great time. The new version replaces Mrs. White with a brilliant female scientist, Dr. Orchid.
Oh, the memories. Sorry can be maddening, but in the best of ways. This one’s been around since the ‘30s and is still a hit!
3. Chutes and Ladders
Talk about a game that’s been around a while! Chutes and Ladders’ predecessor, Snakes and Ladders, originated in 13th-century India (it was called Moksha Patam, and was a lighthearted game about the role of karma in attaining salvation. Here in 21st-century America, it’s more about just getting to the 100 square first.
Here’s a fun, timeless dice game that’s pretty much all luck — a plus when age and experience aren’t well-matched around the table.
This one’s only a two-player, so you’ll have to have a Play-the-Winner line if you’ve got a whole gang. It’s so good, though. Some of my own favorite childhood memories are of playing Mastermind with my dad. The smarty-pantses in the family can really let it shine in this game!
I know, I know. While it might drag on a bit, a lot of kids find it thrilling to be able to make choices that affect their ultimate outcome. It was Milton Bradley’s first ever game (though it started out a little darker — Google that one!).
It may not have been around since forever, but I’m telling you, it’s an instant classic. This game is what would happen if Tetris became three-dimensional . . . and then rebelled against itself.
8. Trivial Pursuit (Family Edition)
The Family Edition takes away a good bit of the aggravation that original Trivial Pursuit had (at least for me). There are separate cards for kids and adults; while the kids might get the question, “Which planet did the Romans name after their god of war because of its red color,” the adults get hit with, “The name of what South American City translates into English as ‘January River’?”
9. Mouse Trap
Watching something you’ve built actually work is an amazing feeling — especially when it works to your favor!
It’s another two-player game, but it can also be a two-teamer. Keep your poker faces on and infiltrate the other side to capture the flag!
by Jacqueline Moon