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Best family games for each age group

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Great games for the whole family

Play as a family, and throw in a dose of learning disguised in all the fun.

Want to start some family fun? Games get everybody involved in the action, and kids of every age are engaged and entertained when you play them together. It's a fun way to sneak in some learning too!

Preschool

preschool board games

Gamewright's Feed the Kitty challenges little ones to protect their rodents and keep them from becoming a snack for the hungry kitty. It's a fast-paced dice game that requires no reading. The quick play suits a preschooler's shorter attention span while letting her practice counting skills. Also from Gamewright, Hisss is a simple card-matching game that helps kids with logic, color matching and pattern recognition as they build their snakes from colored cards.

Elementary

Elementary games

What's Gnu? Your elementary-aged child will learn new three-letter words and gain confidence reading and spelling the ones they already know with this fast game from Thinkfun that brings on giggles. The game takes about 20 minutes to play. Another fun game for elementary-aged children is a cross between checkers and tick-tack-toe played on a vertical grid. Hasbro's Connect 4 involves some strategy as players try to block each other's moves in all directions.

Tween

tween games

Hit or Miss is another Gamewright offering that teaches quick thinking and strategy as players have a time limit to think up words to fit a category card they draw. When time is up, roll the dice and guess which words are on your opponents' lists too.

From Out of the Box, kids get an introduction to geography as they "travel" the African continent by plane, truck or on foot. 10 Days in Africa is a fun and exciting way for them to learn more about this exotic land.

Teen

teen games

Teens are challenged by the fast-paced game, Nymble, from Karmel Games that calls for creative vocabulary and critical thinking as players build as many words as they can out of nine randomly selected letters. They play against the clock and challenge other players' word pairings on synonyms, antonyms and homonyms.

From Hasbro, the classic game of Scattergories beefs up teenagers' brainstorming abilities, and because each round is uniquely different, this game holds its appeal and has real staying power.

Family

family games

The Game of Things is a fun and funny game for your next family night. Players write an answer to silly topics and try to figure out who said what. You'll laugh and learn as you guess which player provided the silliest answer to topics like, "Things you shouldn't do with glue."

Hasbro's Cranium Family Edition lets teams work together with a mix of activities — like performing wacky stunts and sculpting items out of "cranium clay" — in a laugh-fest that's great for teamwork. The family edition is kid-friendly, making it a popular choice for family game nights that include various ages of children.

More tips

Toys for fine motor skill development
7 Creative family bonding ideas
Fun themes for family game night

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