Last Updated: 26 September, 2020
Playing board games is an important part of our family. As well as sitting down to spend time together games help us talk to each other. For the children they also teach fair play and, depending on the game, new skills such times tables. We play a variety of games and we all have our own favourites, but there is enough overlap to ensure we are happy to play games other people suggest.
Our favourite board games*
I challenged everyone to pick their top five games. These are the five most popular (in alphabetical order). I found it surprisingly difficult to pick just five games and could easily have picked 10, which I suspect is the same for everyone.
Animal upon animal
In Animal upon animal you stack wooden animals on top of a crocodile. It is a quick game and we often play around or two straight after dinner. Obviously, there is skill in positioning your pieces, but a dice roll may mean you can place two animals or someone else has to take your turn.
Catan Junior is about trading resources so you can build ships and lairs. Dice rolling dictates what resources people get each turn. I did wonder if trading resources was too complicated for my five year old to understand. However, he recently beat me for the first time so I think not!
Kingdomino is one of the games my husband brought back from Games Expo UK this year. It involves selecting and placing dominoes to build land around your castle. You get points for the number of squares of the same land type touching each other. This introduces spatial awareness and thinking ahead. The scoring uses multiplication so another great learning opportunity.
We struggled to buy Magic Maze game during summer. It was obviously in high demand as it was out of stock everywhere. However, it was worth the wait as we’ve had great fun playing this collaborative game. The concept of a dwarf, elf, mage and barbarian trying to escape a shopping mall is amusing for the children. You have to work together to move the pieces around the mall because each person can only move each piece in one direction. It can get both amusing and frustrating as you’re not meant to talk or gesture to each other! There are large number of difficulty levels and we’ve only done the first four so far so there is plenty of development for us.
Tsuro is another quick playing game where you lay tiles to move your dragon around the board. The aim is to be the last dragon standing by not flying off the board or flying into another dragon. It sounds simple, but once your flight path intertwines with other flight paths you are not in control of where your dragon goes.
The votes broken down by person
Here are the favourite games by each person. Again these are in alphabetical order as it is too difficult to select a favourite, let alone list five in order of preference.
My favourite games (female adult)*
Ed’s favourite games (male adult)*
This selection led to a conversation about what is a board game. Do X wing and Deadzone count as board games and if not should Animal upon animal and Exit which do not have boards? We went with the definition of what games would he like to play most if he was choosing the next game.
B’s favourite games (female 8 year old)*
M’s favourite games (male 5 year old)*
Do you play board games as a family? What are your favourites? Which would you recommend we try?
*Disclosure – this post includes affiliate links which means if you buy something after following a link I will earn a percentage of the sale but it will not cost you more. These games are genuine choices by me and my family.