Who doesn’t love a good board game?! From the newer ones that have hit the shelves more recently to the good old classics we used to play ourselves as kids, there are so many to choose from. We are a family that love board games. We’re a competitive bunch. So we have listed our favourite family board games which would make an ideal Christmas present for any family this Christmas. Our 3 kids are aged 3, 8 and 11, and we like to find games that we can all play together. We have listed the games suitable from the age of 3 up to fully grown adult. So here are our favourite family board games for Christmas 2018 and beyond. Let us know your favourites in the comments below.
Family Board Games for Christmas 2018 for Ages 3+
Dinosaur Race -Orchard Toys
We have to admit to being a huge fan of Orchard Toys, as they make learning fun. This one is great for encouraging little ones to take turns, perfect their counting and for their observation skills. It’s a competitive game where your dinosaur races against the others around the track. The winner gets a medal. We love it because even though it’s for younger kids, older ones can play too and there is no age advantage as its not skills based.
Alphabet Lotto – Orchard Toys
A fun lotto game where little ones get familiar with the letters of the alphabet, along with key phonetic sounds such as ‘th’ and ‘wh’. The game progresses with your child’s learning, so you can start with just the pictures and then progress onto the letters. We love it because, as with all Orchard Toys it doesn’t feel like learning, but there are plenty of ways to up the learning in the game to make letter recognition fun.
Farm Bingo – The Learning Journey
You have to find all the items relating to the farm, on your card to win. The game is designed to assist little ones with object and word recognition. You can either play with the words or the picture cards. Picture cards are perfect for little ones and for increasing their vocabulary. The word card option is ideal for early readers. We like it because it is an easy game to play, and it just happens to be a favourite of my 3 year old.
Family Board Games for Christmas 2018 for Ages 5+
Pass the Bomb – Gibsons Games
A fantastically fun game for all ages. Even my three year old loves it and will join in. You have to say items relating to the picture card drawn from the pack. For example – what is in your school bag. You then have to take it in turns to come up with answers while passing around a ticking bomb.
The pressure is on to think quick, if the bomb explodes on you while you’re holding it you’ve lost that round. The game is great for getting you to think quickly under pressure. Our kids love playing it with us and seeing us squirm under pressure and of course they love it when the bomb explodes when we are holding it.
Charades for Kids – Charades for Kids
Based on the game we all know and love (or hate). The game has lots of easy picture cards for kiddies to mime for others to guess what they are. Great to play in teams too so ideal for Christmas when you have a crowd. We love it because not only is it fun, but I think it also helps to increase confidence in the children. As it gets them to stand up and perform in front of others without being too self conscious.
There are cards to suit all ages from 4 years up like Lion and a Cat. Older children can act out actions and objects like washing your hair, eating an apple or an ambulance. We love it as it appeals to each of our children despite the age gap between them.
Pop to the Shops -Orchard Toys
This one is great for introducing little ones to the concept of money. Children learn about handling money and giving change. All the coins are replicas of real money so they learn about what a 10 pence looks like etc. They throw the dice and make their way around the board to purchase items from the four different shops. First one to fill their basket wins. We like it because it is pretty easy game to understand and for young ones it feels like a ‘proper’ board game.
Sum Swamp – SG Education
A great one for practicing simple sums as you race around the swamp. There are two number dice and a dice with a minus or plus sign. So every turn you have to work out a simple sum to move your piece. It also helps kiddies learn their odds and evens too. Lots of fun where you can get stuck in an endless loop around the swamp and places where you get to move forwards or backwards. We like it because it is a quick game and an easy one to practice simple sums in your head.
Kerplunk – MB Games
Kerplunk has been around for years and it’s still going strong today. It’s a great game to see who can take out the straws without letting any of the balancing marbles fall. Some added features from when i played it as a child, with golden ball and some slightly different variations of how to play which are good to change things up a bit. Whilst it is recommended for ages 5 and above, our 3 year old loves this. I just wouldn’t let her have it unsupervised because of the marbles.
Junior Alias – Tactic
A game where you have to describe the picture on the card, without saying the word on the card. Kiddies have fun describing words including animals and objects. Its like a mini articulate for kids. They also have to guess what’s on the card when others are describing. Like charades, it is a great game for building confidence as it encourages children to speak in-front of their friends or adults.
Dobble – AsmOdee
A fantastic portable game, ideal to take out and about. Players compete with each other to find the matching symbol in common with any other card in the deck. Sounds easy, but as all the symbols are of varying size its more difficult that it sounds.
As the game is based on reactions and visual perception, there is no age advantage, making it a great game to play across ages, which is why we love it. It is also great as it is small, so we often take out with us to restaurants or to other peoples houses.
Family Board Games for Christmas 2018 for Ages 7+
Headbanz -Spin Master International
A game where you put the picture card on your head for everyone else to see but you. You then ask everyone questions to try and decipher what you are. There is added pressure from a timer too so you have to think quick. It is great fun to play, especially when you get completely stuck. There are cards with prompt questions to help children think of some questions incase they get flummoxed.
Downfall – Hasbro
Ok, so I have tried to refrain for games for just two players, but I can’t not list Downfall. I used to play it when I was younger with my sister and now my boys love it too. As it is only for two players you could always play winner stays on. Essentially you have to get all your pieces to the bottom before your component by out manoeuvring them on every turn. Thinking ahead and outwitting your opponent is all part of the game.
Bugs in the Kitchen -Ravensburger
I remember when my son asked for this last Christmas and I thought it would be an utter waste of space. How wrong I was. It’s hilarious. It is a fast moving game where you have to try and get the Hex Bug out of the kitchen into your slot. You do this by changing the obstacles in its path, which is a like a maze.
Outwitting your competitors to create a path to ensure the Hex Bug makes its way to you before anyone else. We love it because it makes us giggle. We are all super competitive and try and move as fast as we can to get the bug which in itself creates a lot of excited panic and fun. It’s just such a different game from anything else we’ve played
Monopoly – Hasbro
Another classic, which probably needs no explanation. Its an ideal game for when you have plenty of time as it can take forever! Not much has changed from the original, I guess why bother when the formula works. It’s good fun to see who gets bankrupt first and who is a budding property tycoon. The junior addition is also good fun and a much easier and quicker game for little ones.
Family Fortunes – Drummond Park
Just like the TV show. The game features elements from the show including Fastest Finger First and the Big Money Round. You need to find the most popular responses to silly survey questions. Our survey said…! Just like the programme its a good game for all the family from kiddies to grandparents which is why we love it.
Family Board Games for Christmas 2018 for tweens
Articulate Your Life – Drummond Park
Articulate has been a favourite of ours for years. It is a game where you have to describe the word on the card, some of which are pretty difficult. You describe things from countries to objects to activities. We had the original version and loved it so much we took it on holiday with us, but then forget to bring it back home. We now have this version, which is slightly easier but still good fun. As its easier it also means that the kids (not the 3 yr old) can join in too with a bit of help.
Pictionary – Mattel
The game for quick draw. Sketch what is on the card for other players to guess. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But how would you draw ‘Oklahoma’? Some are ridiculously difficult but its all good fun especially if you have some less than great drawers on your team which can make the guessing hilarious.
The Logo Board Game – Drumond Park
The logo board game is all about knowing your logos. It taps into the useless knowledge we’ve all gathered up over the years from watching telly, eating chocolates and just generally going about our daily lives surrounded by brands. It’s a good one to play across mixed generations as all ages playing will know more than they think they do.
Countdown – Rocket Games
So probably not the one to play when you’ve had too many vinos as you need to concentrate. The game is just like the TV show where you get to create words out of scrambled letters and see who can make the longest words. There’s also the number round and the conundrum at the end. The best bit is the timer which sounds exactly like the one on Countdown and creates extra pressure while you play. All part of the competitive fun. Younger kids would probably enjoy it too, but the conundrums are pretty difficult.
Family Board Games for Christmas 2018 for when the kids go to bed..
When the kids eventually go to bed at Christmas night, we then turn to some board games for the adults. These are the ones we always head back to time and time again.
Cranium – Hasbro
A great game for a crowd as you play in teams. It’s a combination of trivia knowledge, sketching, acting and clay moulding so there is something for everyone. It’s like a combination of different games in one. You have to crack all areas and race around the board to beat your opposition. Lots of fun and one we play every year at my parents.
Scrabble – Mattel
Another classic. Outwit your opponents with your words and high score by strategically placing your words in the double score boxes. Just make sure you have the dictionary on hand for any disputes! The junior scrabble version is also a great game for younger kids. This is one of the few board games that I will play with my husband after the kiddies go to bed. In fact I prefer it as a game for two as it feels more competitive and isn’t as slow.
Balderdash – Drummond Park
Balderdash is a hilarious bluffing game where you try to outwit your opponents and get them to vote for your version of the truth. You have to keep a really straight face to not give anything away. My family are so competitive I think they start thinking of phoney answers well in advance of Christmas. It is great fun as you really don’t have to know anything to play.
Have we missed any of your favourites? Which games do you love playing at Christmas?
Coincidentally, I was speaking to Cardiff Mummy Says and she was pulling a list of favourite board games together too from local bloggers. There’s lots of different ones listed on her list too, so be sure to check it out for more inspiration HERE.
If you found this post useful, please share, or pin for later 🙂