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If one of your goals for this year is to spend more quality time with your family, a great way of doing this is to set aside frequent time for family game nights. Below, I’ve compiled a list of our family’s ten most favorite games. Often at our family dinners, not long after the dishes have been cleared, the games come out. We love trying new ones, but these are our favorites that make their way to the table most often.
A great game for large groups. Each player is dealt several cards. The cards contain what can best be described as “adjectives” or “descriptive words”. Play is done in rounds, and each round players take turns being the judge. The judge selects a “key” card and everyone else has to pick the best card from their hand that they feel best describes the judges card. The judge then chooses the one he or she thinks is the best, and the person who played that card wins the round. Our family has had a lot of fun with this game.
This is quite possibly our family’s most favorite. It’s great for a large group since it’s played in teams. There’s a round, hand-held disk that gets passed back and forth between the teams. The disk displays a word or phrase that the person holding the disk has to get his or her teammates to guess without using the word in any way and before the disk’s buzzer goes off. We have the old-fashioned version, but newer ones are electronic.
A team game as well, this one comes with a pair of noise-making headphones. One teammate wears the headphones while another teammate reads a phrase from a card. Though unable to hear anything but noise, the person wearing the headphones must try their best to repeat what’s being said by reading their teammate’s lips. It is so much more challenging than it sounds, but hilariously funny.
For this game, each player wears a headband. A player chooses a card with a person, word, or phrase on it and places it in a holder where they can’t see it but the other players can. The person that chose the card asks the other players yes or no questions to try and guess what’s on the card. This game is much harder than it sounds, but is still fun.
You can find the regular version HERE, or there’s also a Harry Potter Hedbanz HERE.
Mad Gab is a neat game where players have to decipher random words to discover a phrase. It’s important to say the phrases out loud to figure out the phrase. With Mad Gab, it’s all in what you hear, not what you read.
While meant for a maximum of four players, our family uses two games to have enough tiles for everyone. The goal is to play your tiles like you would cards in Rummy by grouping numbers together. While this game takes some thinking, it’s really fun to play.
A classic that is my personal favorite. We don’t generally play this one at our family gatherings, but every once-in-awhile, my husband will play it with me. I have the Diamond Anniversary Edition which has built-in wheels to rotate the board around to the current player, stores all the game pieces inside tiny drawers, and folds up to create its own carrying case.
Another playing card-style game. The game board shows pictures of the cards in the deck. Players use the cards in their hands to put markers on corresponding spots on the board. The goal is to get 5 markers in a row. The player or team to do this three times, wins. Our family normally plays in teams, and we have a blast signalling (or “cheating” as it’s more commonly referred to) our teammates that we have a one-eyed or two-eyed jack.
I found this little gem at a thrift store for a few dollars, and was surprised at how fun it was. Players take turns asking the group questions from a deck of cards. Players don’t have to know any specific answers to any of the questions, they simply write their best guess on little wipe-off boards. Then the players place a chip on what they believe is the closest answer. If they guess right, they win more chips. So much fun!
*Photo on graphic by Bill Branson. Graphic designed by Kenn Morris