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Best Family Home Evening Games

Updated on December 31, 2012
We love playing games.  Uno is our first "big kid" game in our family.
We love playing games. Uno is our first "big kid" game in our family. | Source

What is family game night?

Family game night is a time when families get together to spend some quality time together and play games. Family game night was an important part of my childhood. We loved to play board games and cards together. As my husband and I began our family, we knew that this was a tradition that we wanted to continue. Technology has created some different types of games that families can play, including Wii games, but this guide will focus on the traditional card and board games. Although the video style games have value and teach great skills such as strategy, there is something about those traditional games that brings a family together.

Fantastic Family Card Games

Great Family Games

Toddler/Preschool Aged Kids
Early Elementary Aged Kids
Upper Elementary Aged Kids and Older
Go Fish
Boggle Jr.
Scrabble Jr.
Chutes and Ladders
Apples to Apples
Hi Ho Cherry-o
Set Game
Eric Carle ABC
Good Night Moon Counting Game
Trivial Pursuit
Sequence for Kids
Set Game

What are some great games for families to play?

Depending on the age of your children, there are many great games to play. We are just beginning to leave the early board games such as Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Although these are still great favorites for my kids, we have recently embarked on the big kid games.

When choosing games to play as a family, use the age guide as a reference only. Remember that you know your children best and will be able to know if they are able to play a game that has a higher age recommendation. For example, this Christmas Uno joined our home. Although the age guidelines say 7+, my 4 and 5 year olds were able to play this game and understand it quite well. We eased them into the game by playing several hands with the cards showing and talked them through the steps. Before we knew it, they were easily beating us!

Here are some guidelines for choosing games for your family:

  • Be sure that the game will hold the interest of all members of the family.
  • Check to see that the game will not last too long if there are younger members of the family playing.
  • Select games that have a learning element incorporated. Counting, categorizing, spelling, building vocabulary, and developing strategies are all great learning opportunities.
  • Choose games that are FUN! After all, you want this to be an experience that the whole family wants to repeat each week.

The table to the right will help you to begin to make quality choices in games for you and your family.

Do you have family game night at your house?

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What are the benefits of playing games as a family?

There are so many great reasons to have a weekly family game night.

  1. Families get to spend time together. This is so important in our faced paced world.
  2. Educational growth. There is so much learning built into these games that most of the time children are building logic and reasoning skills and don't even realize it!
  3. Competition. There is a need for children to develop and sense of competition. Competition is a healthy trait for kids to learn. Playing games within the family setting allows children to learn how to be gracious competitors as well as gracious winners and losers. I personally think that children should learn that everyone will not win and that is ok. It is all part of playing a game.

If you have some favorite games that you enjoy or have enjoyed playing with your family, please feel free to share them below.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Our family used to play Bridge together, even when we had only three players, and the bidding and strategy can be contagious.

      A good card game for two (or more) is Cribbage, but you need a Cribbage board for keeping track of each person's progress. Walmart has them, at least in the Super Walmarts.

      An early game I enjoyed with my parents, and it taught patience and dealing with frustration, is Pick Up Sticks. The objects were sometimes in special shapes such as farm tools, etc.

      Anything that gets family members together having fun is a super investment of our time here on earth.

      Give some thought to game presents for Christmas and the holidays.

    • profile image

      mts1098 5 years ago

      You just brought a smile to my face with great memories of family game night - we played Wii bowling weekly for a long time...cheers and thanks for the reminder

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      We love game nights! Our favorite game right now is "pop-o-matic" Trouble. I bought it for the kids at Christmas, and my seven year old LOVES this game! They love Chutes and Ladders, but it is my least favorite game to play, so I usually try to pull out Trouble or Candy Land instead!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      I love game nights! I will have this tradition, too, when we have kiddos. :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      That's one of the things I enjoy doing the most - playing board and card games. We played Scrabble shortly after Sam got home and I'm going to try to talk him and Quincy into playing Michigan Rummy. They don't like to play that with me though because I win too much!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      'Select games that have a learning element incorporated. Counting, categorizing, spelling, building vocabulary, and developing strategies are all great learning opportunities."

      Very true, and very clever. Games night can be so much fun, and educational as well.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Our family enjoys playing these games too - the last one we played was Settlers of Catan. It takes a while to understand the instructions, but it is a great strategy game. Great hub - I particularly like the table with the games separated out by age groups. Voted up.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Great and need to buy more board games for my girls this year. Thanks for the gentle reminder here!! Awesome article and had to vote up and share, too!!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I agree family comes together, if they play games in the evening or may be at weekends, which is very much essential for togetherness and harmony among family members. Nice suggestions by you.

      Thanks for sharing this interesting hub.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Good stuff to start the new year with--viva family game night! Playing games together is important for many reasons. Be sure to include kid's friends sometimes.