How to Choose the Perfect Game for Family Game Night

African family of father, mother, daughter and son crouched on the floor playing a board game, smiling.

Between the responsibilities you have at work, making meals, driving to swimming lessons, and paying bills, we know how hard it is to juggle daily chores and quality time. That being said, setting aside an evening every week or so for a family game night is the perfect way to spend time with the ones you love and have a little fun. Here are our tips for planning and holding a wonderful family game night!

Tabletop Games

Two little girls and one boy sitting on a couch in front of a white coffee table playing games with two adults - a man and a woman

Winning or losing, tabletop games are super effective when it comes to encouraging your child’s social-emotional development. Besides teaching graceful winning and losing, strengthening cognitive skills, and fostering collaboration, tabletop games also help the whole family sharpen their thinking skills.

After you choose a game you think your family will find exciting, make sure you have a set-up free from distractions. Put away all phones, tablets, and computers, and shoot to play after dinner so everyone can focus their attention on the fun. Once everyone’s ready, start playing with the help of our list of our favorite tabletop games!

For Kids 3+ Years

Animal Flashcards

While you may have bought these colorful double-sided flash cards as a learning tool for your toddler, they can be repurposed for a host of fun games! Have everyone play a sorting game, or set a timer and aim to gather all animals of a particular habitat –– underwater animals, insects, or birds –– before time runs out.

“First of all I love that this is non-tearable. These are really sturdy. The cards are super fun and interactive. My little one is already obsessed. Also great for those that are multilingual because you can just translate the card and they can associate the word to the lovely images on the cards. You can play lots of fun games later on as well by doing the animal sounds or image and letting little one name the animal. Great gift and can only recommend these.”

- Afua Duana Ampah ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Guess in 10 Junior

Your little one will also love Guess in 10 Junior as they use guider tiles to guess the animal in only 10 questions - no reading required! From Animal Kingdom to Foods We Eat and Community Helpers - there are plenty of themes to gear toward your family game night fun. 

“My kids are 3 and 5 and both love animals. They love this game. It’s awesome because they can even play it by themselves. The clue cards are self explanatory so they don’t need help reading them or figuring out what questions to ask. But it’s also fun to play with them and not be bored out of your mind with repetition like so many other children’s games. I highly recommend this game!”

- Verified Amazon Customer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For Kids 4+ Years

Found It!

The smartest scavenger hunt around, the aim of Found It! is to search for and find the object on the question card. Once you do, shout "FOUND IT!" and keep going until you’ve found seven cards to win.  With versions you can play indoors or outside - this game is versatile and can help little ones get the wiggles out!

“A really great family game that gets the kids interacting with one another whilst learning and away from screens! We had so much fun playing. Would highly recommend!”

- Harish ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For 6+

Rapid Rumble

Looking for the fastest, funniest, and most clever category game out there? Look no further than Rapid Rumble! Roll the die, set the timer, and get ready! Quickly shout out answers for the categories and be the first one to finish your deck of Letter Cards. Perfect for helping your child pick up on new words and learn phonics, Rapid Rumble pushes players to think of answers and get rid of letter cards as fast as possible to win!

“This is a game for all ages! It’s fun to challenge each other and come up with different words. We love the ‘did you know’ part of the cards. Helps the younger kids with expanding their vocabulary and letter sounds. My older child is challenged to think fast!”

- Maria ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sinking Stones

Great for introducing little ones to family game nights, Sinking Stones is a fast-paced strategy game. Use the different cards to hop around and off the stones and save yourself from drowning in the deep water. This game strengthens your kid’s critical thinking and reasoning skills, all while they try to survive the sinking stones!

“Good quality board game perfect for game night round the kitchen table. Kids enjoy it as do us adults. Would recommend.”

- Shopaholic ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For 8+

Guess in 10 Marvel

The perfect addition to superhero themed activities, travel, or any family game, Guess in 10 Marvel challenges you to guess your favorite superheroes in ten questions or less. Gift it to a Marvel fan, and watch the whole family thank you for the power-packed fun. The cards and the questions they pose encourage critical thinking, plus, they can also be repurposed for pretend play: tell the card holder they aren't allowed to answer the questions in words, but must act them out like charades instead.

Psst: This game also won awards from both NAPPA and the Toy Insider.

“A Father's Day Gift - My husband was great at this, he is very familiar with the comics as well as current Marvel. It made for great family time, lots of laughter and ‘Oh yeah!’ moments. We have a couple of Guess in 10 games and enjoy all of them”

- MomandTeacherSTL ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It can be hard to pick a game that will please every member of a family with different interests and ages, but this list offers lots of options that will appeal to everyone! Or, try out a rotation where every week, a different person gets to pick a game for the family to play –– give them bonus points if they organize themed snacks, too. Picking out little prizes the next time you go to the store can also add some extra fun to family game nights.

Whatever you do, make sure your game night plans considers your little one’s needs. Find games that interest and excite them and that they’re able to actively participate or get help enough from others to enjoy the activity. Skillmatics games make it easy to start the fun right when you open the box!