Every holiday season we set aside at least one day when we hang out in our pajamas, turn off our devices and phones and play games and puzzles. We try to play games together on a regular basis too but the holidays are my personal favourite because there’s literally no one expecting us to check our messages, or race to an event. I block off a day where the only commitment we have is to be together. It’s a great way to connect with each other in an otherwise busy schedule.
My kids are tweens now (12 and 14) so here are the games we’re enjoying right now. If you have any other suggestions for family bonding activities, please let me know! We’re always on the hunt for more fun 🙂
Family Bonding Board Games:
Ticket to Ride
- Our kids really like this game. It’s simple enough for the youngest one and still fun for the rest of us. We’ve added a few rules and changed things around to make it more interesting but it’s a good one to play with a drink and snack in hand for some good together time.
Settlers of Catan
- This one is great for kids and adults alike. There is a bit of learning and strategy involved so I’d say it’s best for over 10 years old. We love this game and have played it for many years. We now have extension packs too!
- I know, it sounds like it wouldn’t be fun given recent world events. But it’s one of the only collaborative games I’ve seen which means that we can all play on the same team. This is helpful if you have a younger child that wants to join but doesn’t yet have the ability to think of advanced strategies. There are easier and harder ways to play and because usually we lose by only a few moves, it gets exciting. We like to win so we always want to play ‘one more time’ so we can finally beat the game.
- This is a great game for family bonding and even for larger parties. We end up yelling out the words and it’s always funny to hear what comes out of our mouths against the clock. A few times we’ve accidentally done the French side which creates a lot of laughs.
- I’m sure you’ve seen this one, always a good time because I still draw like I’m 6 years old.
- This one has been fun but sometimes the trivia questions are tricky for the kids. We have an older version, I’m not sure if a newer one would be better. But we love the sculpture and humming cards.
- For this game, each person has to take a turn doing something and you have to bet on whether you think they can do it. It’s super hilarious and the kids get so excited. We end up all trying the activity after the person whose turn it is, which makes it even more enjoyable. Apparently I’m pretty good at flipping coins and getting them into a cup!
Around the world in 80 days
- We tried this one because it’s different and new. It’s a cool concept and once we start playing, we can get into it. It’s not our go-to but it’s nice to have some variety.
- This one is a different type of game in that each player basically plays a different game. Then you interact by trying to block others. If you’re not paying attention, someone will beat you. It took a few tries to get it and to learn all the roles but my kids enjoy it.
Penguins and Pickles
- This one is more like a card game. It goes fast and is a good one if you don’t have a lot of time. Also people tend to get competitive which makes for more fun.
- My daughter loves this game because you have to cheat to win! Enough said. Better with more players and long sleeves!
- This game is always fun and stimulates creativity. I personally enjoy it better with more people because otherwise it’s easy to figure out who wrote each answer. Try not to play it when you’re exhausted (as most parents are), it’s more fun when you can think of creative answers 🙂
- This is a new game for us and for some reason, my kids want to play it all the time. It’s a quick thinking game and helps if you know lots of random facts. It’s quite fun.
- Takes more time and some patience but overall fun.
The Fart Game
- This is a card game where you have to make silly fart noises while playing. Needless to say, it’s a fan favourite at home.
Do you have any good games that your family loves to play? Let me know, we’re always looking for screen-free fun things to do together to help us bond as a family.