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The Best Family Board Games for 2015

Updated on June 27, 2015
The best board games are fun, entertaining, and educational. You can play them with your family or your friends, and they are portable. They also make great family gifts.
The best board games are fun, entertaining, and educational. You can play them with your family or your friends, and they are portable. They also make great family gifts. | Source

Fun Party Board Games for Kids and Adults

During our family gathering, after dinner, we found that people tend to keep themselves entertained by their personal electronic devices instead of following the conversation. Everybody was texting, or playing a game on their iPad, or Smartphone. Some had even commandeered the desktop. Since this was a family gathering, we felt that we should be doing something as a family, so we broke out the board games.

Board games are a fun way to stay connected while being entertained. You can learn a great deal about each other, and maybe pick up some new vocabulary words or facts that you did not know. Board games are a great way to pass the time, and provide lasting memories of people interacting with each other.

Our family plays board games several times a year. We play them whenever we have friends over, and at some of our birthday parties and other family gatherings. They are also fun entertainment on family game night. We leave a couple of games out in the living room, and sometimes can sneak in a game or two while we are waiting for someone.

This is a list of games we have played and particularly enjoy. They are all a lot of fun to play. They would make great family gifts.

Apples to Apples

This is a great family board game that can be funny and entertaining. One person is the judge, while the other players play the game. The players receive a set of seven cards with different nouns printed on them. The judge has green cards, which has adjectives printed on them, and places one on the table. The players have to look at their seven cards and find a card that most fits the description on the green card. The judge decides which one of the cards played most fits the green card. There are several variations included in the directions as well.

Some of the younger players did not know the meaning some of the adjectives, but the card provides synonyms, so we did not have to break out the dictionary. They also did not know some of the names of singers, actors, etc., but they were not bothered by this, and used the cards when they thought the adjective described a person.

The game is played very quickly, which keeps it fun, and teaches quick thinking, strategy, vocabulary, and creativity. You can play with four players, but this game is more fun with five or six players. Up to 10 can play, but we haven't tried it with that many people yet. The party box comes with more than 1,000 cards, and additional expansion sets are available, so you never play the same game twice, and can stay entertained for hours.

Blockus

Blockus is a great board game for people who like to play Tetris. Up to four people can play, although more can play if they play in groups. Each player receives a variety of shapes of pieces in one color. The pieces are placed so they only touch one corner of a previous piece of the same color. The object is to use as many of the tiles on the board as possible, while trying to block the other players. This is a great logic and strategy game and helps you see spatially. The raised spaces on the board help keep the pieces in place, although we did manage to knock some out of place anyway.

The game does have small pieces that are not suitable for kids under three.

Cards Against Humanity

This is a card game that is like an adult version of Apples to Apples. The black cards are the question, and the players choose one of their white card which would be the best answer to the question. It is hilarious, but you do have to have a sense of humor to play it. Don't play it with your boss or people whose opinion about you matter. There are many cards that deal with bodily functions and sex, and many of the combinations will be politically incorrect.

If you enjoy playing this game, there are many expansion packs to give you even more combinations of questions and answers.

Forbidden Island

In most games, there is a winner and a loser. One of the best features of Forbidden Island is that the team works together to save the four treasures before the island sinks completely into the water. The game requires teamwork, cooperation and strategy. Everyone either wins or loses as a team. It was a winner of the 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games award.

Pandemic

The game encourages team cooperation as they try to rid the world of the four diseases that are threatening to become pandemics. The two to four players build their strengths and work together to form strategies. The board contains a map of the world, which subtly teaches geography.

Sequence

The deluxe edition of Sequence comes with a rolled board, which means there isn't a bump in the middle of the board. It is a card game that is played with chips. It doesn't require too much thinking, so you can have a conversation while you play. You place the chips on the board, and try to block other players from placing their chips on the board.

It does have small parts which are not suitable for kids under three.

Rummikub

This game for two to four players is like the rummy card game. You receive engraved plastic tiles that you arrange into groups of three. You create runs, such as Red 7, Red 8, and Red 9, and sets, such as Red 8, Blue 8 and Black 8, and keep adding to them. It is a great fun combination of strategy and luck.

Super Scrabble

Super Scrabble has a large plastic game board with 200 letter tiles. The larger deluxe game board allows you to spell more words than the regular board. It has a rotating board, which has raised grid spaces to keep your tiles in place. You receive a set of tiles, and form words by placing them on the board. Each word counts for different number of points depending on where it is placed.

You can practice math, spelling, logic and memory skills while playing this fun game. Be sure to keep a dictionary nearby as you learn new vocabulary words.

This game does have small pieces and needs to be kept out of reach of kids under three.

Rack-O

Rack-o is a fun game that we have been playing for years. It is a game that can be played by two to four people. Each player receives a rack and a set of cards. The cards are numbered 1 to 60. You place them on the rack in the order that they are dealt. As you continue to play the game, you decide where to place the card on the rack so that you can to get your cards in order from lowest to highest. You discard the card that is there in the slot, and replace it with the one you received. The first one to have all their cards in order on the rack wins the game.

The rules of the this game are easy to learn. The game is a great way to teach children their numbers and the sequence of numbers. There is strategy involved, which keeps the adults entertained and focused. The game is designed for people aged eight and up, but some younger people can play the game as well. There are no small parts, and no assembly is needed.

Twister

Twister is a great way to get some exercise and have some hilarious fun while teaching the kids balance, physical coordination, their colors, and the directions left and right. It is a great party game. There is a board on this game, although most people wouldn't call it a board game. You spin the wheel on the board to decide what body part (left hand, right hand, left foot or right foot) to place on what color on the mat.

Connect 4

Connect 4 is a game that is played with two people. I leave it out in the living room, because it is fun and quick to play. Set up is easy. You place your checker pieces in the rack and try to get four in a row, and try to block the other player. The first person to get four in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins.

Uno

Uno is not a board game, but it is a great card game that is fun for the whole family. You can play any number of players, and the play keeps moving around so all the players feel like they are still playing instead of having to wait forever for their turn. It reinforces counting, colors and waiting turns. This anniversary version is like the very old version of Uno, and does not have the arrows and symbols like the newer version.

PayDay

How can I give you all this personal finance advice without telling you about a board game called PayDay. My nephew loved this game, and wanted to play it every time I babysat him. You go around the board and collect a salary and pay bills. You can save money and borrow money and buy investments. It is a great fun way to teach about the fundamentals of budgeting, and counting money.

Fun Family Board Games

Board games are fun and entertaining. They provide a fun way to interact with family members. The games listed in this article are all games we have played and enjoyed. You are sure to enjoy them as well.

Board games also make great gifts for the whole family. Instead of buying each member of the family a separate gift, buy them all something that they will all be able to enjoy together.

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