10 Family-Friendly Games You Can Play with Your Children

You want to spend time with your family, but need something that everyone will like? Finding something that interests everyone is a tough balance, especially if you have children whose ages span more than a few years. The following offers 10 different games for all venues and age ranges. These games are appropriate for the ages specified and, ultimately, it is up to the parent to determine the maturity and ability of his or her children when attempting the games.

Indoor Games

Weather does not always cooperate and being stuck inside does not have to equate to a boring day. Keeping craft items on hand can make playing this game an easy task, one that all family members may enjoy taking part in.

Younger Children – Paper Bag Divas

Gather the following materials:

  • Paper bags (or old socks)
  • Yarn
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Craft eyes
  • Cell Phone (with music apps)
  • Pipe cleaners, construction paper, buttons, etc.

Spend time creating paper bag popstars. Make sure to give the paper bag rock star a name and then create a name for the band. Next, select a family-friendly song that the band can perform. Pick a song that everyone knows and sing along with the music. Do several in a row and create a concert to perform for invited friends and family members.

Older Children – Twister

Twister is a game that even older children love to do, especially when it is with their less than flexible adults. Twister is a game that is played on a large plastic sheet covered in colored circles. Players take turns spinning an indicator that will show which circle must be touched by the player. The player who fails to touch the colored circle on his or her turn, or who falls in the attempt, is out. Play continues until there is only one very flexible player on the mat.

Board Games

While board games are most often played indoors, many board games find their way into the out of doors as well. Here are a couple of games that will do well in either environment.

Younger Children – Blokus

Blokus resembles the old Tetris games. The rules are very simple to follow and if your child knows his or her colors, he or she can play reasonably well. Blokus asks players to place their piece on the game board, then add to their color. Colored pieces must touch their corresponding color piece. Faces of pieces can never touch. Play as many pieces as possible. The person who plays the most pieces, wins.

Older Children – Oh Snap!

A hilarious game that will have older children rolling on the floor laughing. The game is a spin-off of the earlier game called Jenga, where blocks are removed without toppling the tower. In this game, the player must remove a wooden disc from a spring-loaded tension bar on a provided board. Since they are so tightly packed, some pieces will be able to be removed easily, while others will cause the bar to snap, shooting pieces around and rearranging the board. It is a very suspenseful game.

Video Games

Be the cool parent who plays video games. The listed games are user friendly for those unused to toggling between too many switches.

Younger Children

Sesame Street One Upon a Monster (2 – 5 years of age)

WII Party (6 – 9 years of age)

Older Children

Child of Light (10 – 12 years of age)

Valiant Hearts (13 – 18 years of age)

Outdoor Games

Playing games outdoors can be fun for the entire family. Games that promote team work or offer ample opportunity to move and get some exercise are the best choices. Here are a couple of games that both older and younger children (even adults) will enjoy.

Younger Children – Duck, Duck, Goose!

Most children in the U.S. grow up playing this game and find it fast paced and fun. Everyone sits in a circle, with one family member being elected to be the runner (this person stands outside of the circle). Then, the runner runs around the circle tapping everyone’s head as he or she shouts, “Duck, Duck, Goose!” When the runner taps someone’s head and shouts, “Goose!”, that person must jump up and run around the circle to catch the runner. If the runner makes it back to the person’s space in the circle, he or she is considered safe and the new person becomes the runner. If the runner is caught, then he or she must continue to be the runner until he or she finds an open space in the circle.

Older Children – Geocaching

Geocaching has become all the rage for older family members. Geocaching utilizes the GPS function on cell phones. Most app stores offer free geocaching apps. Parents can set difficulty levels and most state parks now offer geocaching. What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a game utilizing GPS and when players successfully locate the item that is hidden at the given coordinates, various rewards are offered. The game is global, and has about 2.4 billion caches hidden all over the world. Decide as a family which adventure you will go on and see what you can discover together.