10 best family board games you need to play this summer plus fun summer printables!
I love games. Correction, I immensely dislike active games that make me a spectacle for humiliation but I absolutely love family board games! They are a great way to connect with a group of people and break the ice when you feel as if there is not a common ground for communication.
My husband and I like to play family board games when we are stuck inside for a long, rainy weekend. Weekends are meant to reconnect the family unit and give rest. I find that social media, video games, and other electronics hinder an environment of family togetherness that I often strive for which is why we like to push the idea of playing games. Family board games make us actually focus one another. It helps to promote good communication, math, reading, and other skills for your children.
So, raise you’re hand if you are a person who claims to have a hate for games.
Don’t be shy! There are many of you out there– including three family members of mine. Maybe we should create a support group for all my lovely game haters after you hear what I am about to tell you.
Play all ten of these games! Seriously! They will change your perspective on games if you posses just ONE funny bone in your body. If you don’t posses one, I am truly sorry for pestering you. But I am sure you do, so we don’t need to worry about that and we don’t need to form a support group quite yet either.
Even the coldest board game-hearted family member of mine accidentally let a chuckle slip from their tightly pursed lips! To this day they still do not admit to laughing but my side of the story will prevail because I caught it on camera. Camera’s don’t lie! I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think I have ever experienced anything in my life more difficult than trying to get a board game hater to join in ONE– just one– family game.
Before I freak you out any more, let’s go through 10 of my all-time favorite family board games. To make it easier for you, I included a link in each picture that goes straight to the product. These are not in order, except for the last one because it is my favorite and favorites need to be mentioned last in my book!
** Scroll to the bottom for your summer printables**
1. Apples to apples
This game was my introductory to family board games. It’s very simple to learn and it can last as long (or as little) as you would like. I have only played the original game but I believe the company now has edition after edition of different themes for the same board game — much like Monopoly.
How to play: The game is fairly simple. There are two different card colors: red which represents nouns and green which represents adjectives. You are dealt a number of red cards (5 I believe) and the dealer will flip the top card of the green draw pile over to reveal a word. Everyone (except the dealer) must play a card that best matches the word on the table. The trick is that the card on the table and the cards in your hand are NOT going to be like trivia oriented because this game is supposed to be comical. For example, the dealer flipped a card over on the table and it says “Tasty”. You have five cards in your hand: Elvis Presley, Trees, going to school, Mad Cow Disease, and waterfalls. Which one will you choose? Once everyone hands in a card that best describes the adjective, the dealer will choose the one they find to be the best fit.
2. 5 Second Rule
Hilarious game that can be quite challenging but it is very family oriented! The suggested age range is 10+ but I have seen a 7-year-old play and still enjoyed it. In fact, I have seen a lot of families enjoy this game.
How to play: It is fairly self-explanatory, you have 5 seconds to name three different things in one topic. Sounds easy but when you’re put under a time crunch your mouth begins to blurt out whatever comes to mind first! If you don’t get all three within the 5 seconds, the next person will take a shot. However, they can not list what has already been listed!
A classic family board game but never gets old! It is a quick, fast thinking, and somewhat annoying game. Annoying because there is a buzzer that is pressed if you mess up and I do not like messing up.
How to play: You have just drawn a card with the word “cow”. The goal is to get your teammates to guess the word that you are trying to describe. The trick? Well, you can’t say any of the “helpful” words that are listed under your key word on the card. Some words that can not be said while describing cow could be something along the lines of moo, farm animal, milk, etc.
4. Exploding Kittens
This is the only game I am listing that I have not personally played. However, I have heard a lot of great things about this game from friends and decided that I should list it. This game is on my list of games to play this summer as well!
How to play: It is a card game and you are safe as long as you do not draw an “exploding kitten” card. There are action cards that can help diffuse the “explosion” and that’s about it. I heard it’s a ton of fun for children and their imaginations while also being a practical game for adults.
5. Monopoly Deal
I just started playing this game when my family visited my grandparents! I was involved in the anti-monopoly board game group but after playing this I had to resign my membership. I am not a fan of monopoly– takes too long and can be down right boring. This game, however, is quick and hilarious. Fair warning though, it can make your game allies your enemies!
How to play: The directions are confusing. The first time we played this game we actually had to YouTube the directions because the game does not include enough information. I will not get into the nitty-gritty details of the game but just trust me when I say that it is fun. And for $4-$7, you’re not spending too much for that much needed fun! This game has the set-up of monopoly, as in it has the homes, electric, railroad, etc. but it also includes interesting cards such as STEALING PROPERTY and STEALING A WHOLE SET OF PROPERTY. Like I said, when your hard-earned set of property is stolen, you quickly form game enemies!
6. Phase 10
I initially purchased this game on a whim because I was lacking a couple stocking stuffers for my husband and the price of $6 is just unbeatable. We decided to play this game on Christmas and we had a load of fun but can also create gaming enemies!
How to play: Phase 10 is kind of like the game Mummy but with a twist. There are 10 rounds (or phases) of card orders. You will start on phase one and in order to move to the next phase, you need to complete the phase you are on before someone else does. If you do not complete the phase, you’ll be left in the dust as the others continue to the next phases. Some phases may include matching card colors, a run, three of a kind and four of a kind, and so on. The problem is that there are also cards in the deck that can mess up your chances such as skips and wilds!
7. The Game of Things
Another game I bought my husband for Christmas — he loves games, can you tell? It’s a fun game but a little over priced because of the wooden box it comes with.
How to play: There will be a pretty funny topic or question drawn that each person will have to answer. Then you’ll have to guess who said what! The game is fun but you need quite a few people to participate to get the most out of it.
8. Been There Done That
If you are someone who hosts a lot of parties, this game is for you. It is a fun twist to the meaning of breaking the ice (or tension). You will learn facts about your guests while still keeping them entertained with a fun game!
How to play: You can play up to 12 people and the age range is 13+ but you could easily play with younger children. Unlike many other games that are similar, this one is family friendly and isn’t crude. Each person gets the chance to read the question and then the others how many of the participates have done that.
9. Pie Face
I had to include this game because it has stirred up social media lately and for good reason, it’s hilarious.
How to play: Load the hand with whipped cream and stick your face in the hole. Every time a person cranks the hand without getting splashed with whipped cream will get a point! Super easy and kind of pointless game but it creates a lot of laughs, especially when the grandparents join! Cleaning up is easy because the game is plastic. Just YouTube this game and you’ll see how popular it is right now!
Seriously the funniest game I have ever played (and I have played a lot of games). I had to list this game last because it is my all-time favorite! Remember when I mentioned the person that accidentally let a chuckle out while playing a game? Well this game would be it! You’re going to watch the party pack because the regular comes with only a certain amount of dry erase flip books which are essential to playing this game.
How to play: It’s a mix between Telephone and Pictionary. Every player uses a small dry erase flip book to sketch a word they drew from the card pile. There is a time limit for drawing time and once it’s over, the sketch book is handed to the person on your left — finished or not! The best part is that you do not have to be an artist to play the game! With the time limit, everyone is going to be drawing something close to stick figures and basic geometric shapes.
Have you played any of these family board games? Which one is your favorite?
As promised, here are two printables inspired by summer fun!
Click on the pictures to print your free printable!
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