December 2nd, 2014

Top 10 Favorite Family Board Games

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Groovy Green Livin Favorite Family Board Games

There’s nothing like spending time playing a great board game over vacation. Puzzles are not really my thing, but the rest of my family gets into them. Set me up with a good board game and I’ll sit for hours. With the holidays rapidly approaching and a long vacation in the not to distant future, I’m predicting hours of entertainment will be needed.

Here are a few of our favorite board games

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There’s no doubt a good board game makes a great holiday gift for the entire family. And an added bonus: they’re guaranteed to keep your kids away from their screens for a while.


For many years we played Monopoly Junior and now we’ve finally graduated to the real deal: Monopoly. This board game provides hours of entertainment. And I mean hours. There are many versions out there, but I’m a classic monopoly fan.


HedBanz is a pretty hilarious game for all ages, although the 8-12 age group seem to really love it. Everyone wears a headband with a card on it facing out. Ask “yes” or “no” questions to figure out if the cartoon on your head is an animal, food or man-made object. Be the first player to guess what you are and win.

COMOTION: The Competitive Game of Simultaneous Charades

CoMotion is a great game for the entire family. Think charades with some added twists. Players throw the dice, pick a card and act out a word or phrase. It’s a race against the clock and you could end up acting out words at the same time as the other team.


We’ve been playing this one for a few years and it never gets old. As each player adds a piece to the board each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners. Play with up to 4 players.


The Settlers of Catan board game is a popular choice with my three boys. I have to admit that I’ve never played. Players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. It’s a trading and building game with a fairytale theme. Players have to gather resources to build settlements and cities.


Colorku Solid Wood Game is a Sudoku-like wooden board game with color marbles instead of numbers.

QUORIDOR Classic Game of StrategyGroovy Green Livin Gifts for Tween Boys

Quoridor was a big hit on the beach last summer. Quoridor is a fast-moving strategy game that is similar to chess insofar as players move pawn-shaped pieces across the board. The difference is that there are wooden fences one erects to block the progress of and force a different route upon an opponent.


If you like the game “telephone” you’ll love Telestrations. Telestrations has players draw what they see then guess what they saw. You can only imagine where this ends up. Hilarious fun!


Sort It Out  is on my list to try this year. Players are asked to arrange lists of measurements, events, weights, and stages into the correct sequence. Everyone plays on every turn so there’s no sitting around and waiting. It just won the “Game of the Year” award at the TOTY Awards.


Wits & Wagers takes Trivial Pursuit to the next level. It’s a trivia game that lets you bet on anyone’s answer. It allows you to guess the answer you think is the closest to the choices you are given. This board game can accomodate anywhere from 4 to 20 people.

What are some of your favorite board games?

Looking for a few fabulous gifts for a boy ages 8-14? Here’s my list of 20 Holiday Gifts for Tween Boys. Also check out my 15 Tech-Free Gifts for Tween Boys. 


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photo credit: wwarby via photopin cc

26 Responses to “Top 10 Favorite Family Board Games”

  1. I’m not sure if it counts as a board game, but Tenzi is a dice game that my girls love to play. These are all great suggestions, I just started looking for some games that the kids, and hopefully adults, will love to play so I will be checking out some of these.

  2. Nice! I love playing games but I tend to gravitate toward card games. Perhaps too many never ending games of Chutes and Ladders or Candyland scarred me. Thanks for the suggestions to change it up a little.
    Tamara @ We3Travel recently posted..Win a 2 Night Stay in Sunriver OregonMy Profile

  3. Hmmm, we only play two or three of these. I’ll have to give the others a try. Right now, we are into Scattegories, Guillotine, and Clue.
    Green Bean recently posted..Green(er) Gifts for the Gardeners on Your ListMy Profile

  4. I’m a big settlers of catan fan AND since I’ve moved I don’t have the game (I used to play it at my friends house) Thanks for the inspiration for a great holiday gift idea!
    Lindsay recently posted..RSVP to watch the powerful HBO documentary Toxic Hot SeatMy Profile

  5. I grew up in a family that had family game nights, but my husband did not. He only reluctantly plays – unless I pull out Monopoly! 🙂

  6. My boys ages 6 and 3 are just getting into board games and love the game of life and wonder forge games. I cannot wait to start playing other classics with them.
    Divina recently posted..Holiday Camera Shopping at BestBuy #CamerasatBestBuy #HintingSeasonMy Profile

  7. I’d like to try Blokus. I tried Settlers of Catan a few times before kids. Highly addictive! I have been trying to find more cooperative games (like those by Peaceable Kingdom) for my little ones.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..5 Ways to Avoid Toxic StyrofoamMy Profile

  8. I have played Settlers of Catan a lot when it first came out. I loved Life, Payday, and Rummikube when I was a kid. My sister and I would play those for hours.

    Every month I play dominos with my Mom friends. Great for kids too.

    I cannot wait till my kids are old enough for game night!
    Leigh (@greenforu) recently posted..12 Great Road Trip AppsMy Profile

  9. Great list! My daughter and husband are huge into board games – especially strategy based games like Settlers of Catan and other similar games.

  10. Brilliant! and Fun! I get a little thrill that my kids like old school Scrabble.

  11. My 8yo is currently on a Monopoly and Stratego kick but I’ve been dying to try Headbandz 🙂 Talk about role reversal! Lol.

  12. I used to love playing Scattergories. Nothing like board games for some good old fashioned family fun.

  13. Wow, I haven’t even heard of the majority of the games listed! So much to learn! I’ll be checking these out and I totally trust your insight!

  14. My girls LOVE Headbanz. We play it all of the time. I just saw a new version of it on tv. Of course we will have to buy it!

  15. We love Stratego (although my boys always beat me) and we’re having a blast with a goofy ball game called Bounce-Off.
    Micaela @MindfulMomma recently posted..Greener Holiday Shopping with Rodale’sMy Profile

  16. What a great list! Monopoly, Connect 4, Scrabble, and checkers are on the must-play list at our house these days with our 8 and almost 11 year old! We have Wits & Wagers but I had forgotten about it since we got it awhile ago before our kids were really ready for it! I’ll have to go find it and add it to the game selection!
    Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama recently posted..2014 Gift Guide: Purchase with a Purpose & the Importance of Buying Gifts that Give BackMy Profile

  17. We love playing games. My family really enjoys the not-kid friendly Cards Against Humanity. We also like Trivial Pursuit.
    Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green recently posted..Holiday Gift Guide: For HerMy Profile

  18. My kids are getting into playing board games more now that they’re a little bit older, but it’s still a bit of a struggle to get them to pay attention for the duration of a more complicated game. For now, we’re playing more “kiddie” games like Hedbanz, some My Little Pony game we found in the bargain bin, and Hungry, Hungry Hippo 🙂

  19. Settlers of Catan is my family’s favorite board game of all time! I’m working on 3D printing the hexagonal tiles to have a full 3D set for the new year.
    Jonathan (EcoDad) recently posted..Taking Time To Appreciate NatureMy Profile

  20. Very cool Jonathan. My kids would be very impressed by your effort!

  21. I love the way board games bring people and families together and you’ve listed some great ones. Let me throw a few more in the hat: Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Bohnanza, and Machi Koro All of these make for some fun times with friends or family. If you are looking for some good cooperative games try out Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, or Pandemic.

  22. Hi Brian, Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have to admit that I haven’t heard of any of those board games. I’ll have to check them out.

  23. Show Me The Movie is a great little movie charades game! Its family friendly and we highly recommend it. Of course Taboo is always a hit for us as well.

  24. Hi Lori,

    Thanks for sharing what your family likes in board games.

    I’m late to the party here, but I’ve got a few suggestions for those who like a little more strategy in their games.

    Three of my favorites are Agricola (not for those brand new to strategy game, but very good), Suburbia (easier to learn), and Glory to Rome (a card game unlike any you’ve ever played).

    I hope you’ll check some of them out. You can find thousands more at Board Game Geek.
    Gary recently posted..Pastiche Review: The Sir Mix-a-Lot of Board Games?My Profile

  25. […] on the ski slopes. If you need me, chances are I’ll be skiing, reading, cooking or playing a board game by the fire. If you want to follow along on my daily adventures I’ll be posting photos on […]

  26. […] stuff on the ski slopes. If you need me, chances are I’ll be skiing, reading, cooking or playing a board game by the fire. If you want to follow along on my daily adventures I’ll be posting photos on […]

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Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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