Organise a family board game night

Get the family together for a board game night.

Playing board games is a fun family activity that helps family members connect and spend quality time together.

There are other benefits too, of course the family gets to spend quality time together but kids get the opportunity to practice and learn number, word and social skills involving communication, taking turns, sharing and simply enjoying the company of others.

Prepare for your family board game night.

To make your family board game night fun and give it the best chance to become a regular family activity simply, be prepared.

Choose a game or games that suit everyone, take into account age and abilities and whether they have player board games before. We have suggested some games below to help you get started.

Read the rules and give the game a practice run before you introduce it to everyone – being familiar with the board game components and rules means there is little downtime and everyone can start having fun quicker.

Although learning a new game and introducing it to other players may seem like a challenge just consider the first time you may have played classic board games such as Monopoly or Risk, they needed time to learn and a number of plays before fully enjoying the game – but it was always great to have someone to learn from and teach you how to play.

Good family board games to consider introducing to the family are generally easy to learn and quick to play -  check our suggestions below.

When choosing family board games check the recommended ages because they're a guide for how appropriate it will be for certain ages. Please keep in mind even though a board game is recommended for a eight year old they may need adult help – which is a good thing anyway and our board games are for family or friends to play together, it's a lot more fun for everyone.

If a game says 6+ then it is most likely appropriate for kids to learn and play without too much adult supervision. If a games says 8+, then children will need adults to teach and be involved. If you are purchasing a board game for 14 year olds+ they can most likely handle learning themselves, with some adult assistance if required, although we suggest learning and with them.

We like the idea that family board games encourage children and adults to play and spend quality time together and that is always good.

Suggestions for your next family board game night

The selection of games below are easy to learn and fun as well, they suit kids from age 8 upwards. If you are looking for family board games suitable for other ages check our family board game range which is organised by recommended age. View family board game range here ▸

 

Kingdomino

Dominoes with a award winning twist. Each turn, connect a new domino to your existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play.

Award winning family board game.

Learn more about Kingdomino here ▸

Age 8 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 15 min
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Qwirkle

While Qwirkle is as simple as matching colours and shapes, it also requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Players score points by building lines that share a common attribute - either colour or shape. 

Qwirkle is a quick family board game to learn, but you'll soon discover you need to think strategically in order to score the most points - fun for young and old.

Learn more about Qwirkle here ▸

Age 6 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 20 - 40 min
 

Sushi Go! Card Game

Maki rolls, Sashimi, Dumplings, Tempura... all very delicious - but other players are hungry too! With strategy and luck you try to collect your favourite sushi dishes to earn enough points to claim the title of Sushi Master.

Sushi Go! is cute, easy to learn and quick to play while being engaging for players of all ages.

Learn more about Sushi Go! here ▸

Age 8 up
Players 2 - 5
Time 15 min
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Hey, that's my fish!

Move your penguin around the board and gather fish along the way, while cutting your opponents off in the ice floe. Who's flippers will be left holding the most fish?

Hey, That's My Fish! is a great family board game that is easy for children to play while offering enough strategic thinking to keep young and old entertained.

Learn more about Hey, that's my fish! here ▸

Age 8 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 20 - 30 min
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Cardline – Animals

Challenge you and your friends' logic and memory skills while trying to place in order either the size, weight or lifespan of animals at the same time! This family board game increases in complexity with each card played. Good board games are always Guaranteed to teach and entertain!

Cardline Animals is a portable fast action family card game, even if you are not a zoologist it is still a lot of fun.

Learn more about Cardline Animals here ▸

Age 7 up
Players 2 - 8
Time 15 min
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Get together with board games for two players

Board games are a great way to socialise with family and friends and you don't always need a large group to have fun.

Here are some of our best family board games for two players.

 

Splendor

You're the leader of a merchant guild and collect gems to acquire developments and ultimately earn noble favor and prestige. You must carefully chose your tokens to acquire a development of interest without revealing your intentions to other merchants.

Splendor is a satisfyingly simple, tactical, and addictive family board game with quality artwork and components.

Learn more about Splendor here ▸

Age 10 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 30 min

Carcassonne

Players build the area surrounding the city of Carcassonne, one tile at a time, they then place Meeples on fields, cities, roads or monasteries in order to score as many points as possible.

The player who will most cleverly place tiles and use Meeples will win the game.

Learn more about Carcassonne here ▸

Age 7 up
Players 2 - 5
Time 35 min

Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is a cooperative family board game that is easy to learn but offers tension, excitement and lots of fun. You play as one of 4 characters who work together using their unique abilities to gather the island treasures, but don't take too long, this island will not give up it's treasures easily.

Forbidden Island is an award winning board game and encourages problem solving, strategic thinking and cooperation.

Learn more about Forbidden Island here ▸

Age 10 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 30 min

Qwirkle

While Qwirkle is as simple as matching colours and shapes, it also requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Players score points by building lines that share a common attribute - either colour or shape. 

Qwirkle is a quick family board game to learn, but you'll soon discover you need to think strategically in order to score the most points - fun for young and old.

Learn more about Qwirkle here ▸

Age 6 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 20 - 40 min

Love Letter

Try to deliver your love letter while exposing competing suitors, but be careful your opponents are trying to eliminate you as well while trying to deliver their own letters.

Love Letter is a fun family card game of strategy, deduction and luck – easy to learn and quick to play.

Learn more about Love Letter here ▸

Age 14 up
Players 2 - 4
Time 30 min

Meet the creator of Catan

Settlers of Catan, or 'Catan' as it is also known is one of our favourite family board games.

Why? Catan cleverly combines strategy, luck and competitive play – in what is generally a positive experience for all players. We are not alone in our praise of Catan, it has won numerous awards including the 1995: Spiel des Jahres Game of the Year and over 25 million copies of the game have been sold world-wide.

We came across this charming video about the creator of Catan, Klaus Teuber on Great Big Story where Klaus is interviewed about the game and how he created it, he also gives away his personal winning strategy.

It's a great little video, only 4 mins long, please enjoy.

 

Best family board games for the Winter school holidays

If you're looking for a great indoor activity to keep the kids (and parents) entertained these school holidays grab a board game or card game. We have selected a range of family board games to keep everyone entertained during those long winter afternoons.

Read on for our five best family board games for the school holidays.

 

Sushi Go! Card Game

Maki rolls, Sashimi, Dumplings, Tempura... all very delicious - but other players are hungry too! With strategy and luck you try to collect your favourite sushi dishes to earn enough points to claim the title of Sushi Master.

Sushi Go! is cute, easy to learn and quick to play while being engaging for players of all ages.

Buy Sushi Go! here ▸

Age8 up
Players2 - 5
Time15 min
 

Settlers of Catan Board Game

Catan is one of our favourite family board games. Basically you gather resources which enable you to build roads and settlements to earn victory points. Along the way you get to trade resources with other players and collect special development cards.

A great strategy game with excellent replayability.

Buy Settlers of Catan here ▸

For younger players buy Catan Junior here ▸

Age 10 up
Players 3 to 4
Time 45 - 90 min
 

Forbidden Island Board Game

Forbidden Island is one of the best cooperative family board games. Players play as characters with different skills and discuss team strategy and work together to gather treasure and beat the game.

With a range of skill levels from novice to legendary it allows all family members to learn the game

Buy Forbidden Island here ▸

Age 10 up
Players 2 to 4
Time 30 min
 

Terror In Meeple City Board Game

A great family board game for kids because you actually get to build the meeple city and then destroy it! Monsters get dropped, cars get thrown and you even get to huff and puff and blow buildings down. Oh! those poor meeples.

Fun to set-up, play and destroy.

Buy Terror in Meeple City here ▸

Age 8 up
Players 2 to 4
Time 30 - 45 min
 

Hanabi Card Game

Hanabi is a cooperative family card game where you work together to create the best fireworks show based on clues provided by the rest of your team.

A great family game which is quick and fun to learn. Winner of the 2013 Spiel des Jahres Game of the year.

Buy Hanabi here ▸

Age 8 up
Players 2 to 5
Time 20 - 30 min

Compact and action packed – best family board games for travel

Let's face it, not all family board games make ideal travel companions. If you're searching for good board games to keep your luggage slim and your family and friends entertained, you've come to the right place.

Read on for our five best family board games for travel.

 

5. Cardline – Animals

Challenge you and your friends' logic and memory skills while trying to place in order either the size, weight or lifespan of animals at the same time! This family board game increases in complexity with each card played. Good board games are always Guaranteed to teach and entertain!

Cardline Animals is a portable fast action family card game that is quick to learn.

Buy Cardline Animals here ▸

Age7 up
Players2 - 8
Time15 min
 

4. Love Letter

The Prince(ss) is locked away in the palace and you must rely on members of the court to help deliver your love letter first. Along the way you expose competing suitors, keeping their letters away - beware, other players want the Prince(ss) to themselves.

Love Letter is a portable fun family card game of strategy and deduction – easy to learn and quick to play.

Learn more about Love Letter here ▸

Age10 up
Players2 - 4
Time30 min
 

3. Hey, that's my fish!

Move your penguin around the board and gather fish along the way, while cutting your opponents off in the ice floe. Who's flippers will be left holding the most fish?

Hey, That's My Fish! is a great family board game that is easy for children to play while offering enough strategic thinking to keep young and old entertained.

Buy Hey, that's my fish! here ▸

Age8 up
Players2 - 4
Time20 - 30 min
 

2. Hanabi

Work together to create the best fireworks show by placing the correct cards. Sounds easy! The trick is you cannot look at your own cards.

Hanabi is a cooperative family card game of memory and deduction that is easy to learn, quick and fun to play.

2013 Spiel des jahres Game of the Year!

Buy Hanabi here ▸

Age8 up
Players2 - 5
Time20 - 30 min
 

1. The Resistance: Avalon

A hidden role game where players try to figure out who is on the side or good or evil. Merlin alone knows Mordred's agents of evil, but he must not overtly single them out as the assassin is looking for him too.

A great social family board game where players get involved, acting on the little information they know to level accusations about who is good or evil - great for large groups.

Buy The Resistance: Avalon here ▸

Age13 up
Players5 - 10
Time30 min