Boardgames You Can Actually Play With Your Kids

Park Slope Parents share the favorite boardgames they like to play with their kids.



One parent asked: "I was wondering what board games you play with your kids that you actually enjoy and are not just torture. My daughter is nine and we seem to really be stuck on Uno and Spot it (mostly when traveling or at restaurants). Here are the responses...


Recommendations, for general boardgames:



Apples to Apples: "I personally love Apples to Apples Junior.  Travel-friendly, lots of laughs, and not boring even after many (not required) rounds."
"The adults seem to have as much fun with both as the kids do."



Beat the Parents Board Game: "a trivia game with different questions for kids vs. adults)."




Castle Panic




DIX-it: "For at home we play DIX-it which my daughter loves. It's beautifully illustrated."

Dominion: "Dominion and Risk are our other favorites."

El Grande!

Exploding Kittens

Five Crowns

Forbidden Island: "lots of fun"

Gobblet! "They make a smaller travel version that fits in a bag."


Headbanz:  "At a playdate the other day we played a game called Headbanz.  Everyone wears a plastic head band with a card facing out.  The other players can see your card, but you obviously can't.  Each card has a picture of something on it (could be an animal, an object, a food, etc.), and you have to ask questions to figure out what you are (Do I have four legs? Can you read me?, etc).  It's good for playing with a mix of ages.  My kids loved it and have requested it for Hanukkah."
Heads up: "There is an iPad app version [similar to Headbanz] called Heads Up which is similar."



La Harve 


Love Letter

Machi Koro


Mexican Train

Mouse trap


One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Pandemic:  "For the family (we play a lot of boardgames) we play Pandemic which would work for 9 and up. It's actually a game where you have to work together to solve the disease. Makes a change from the usual competitive games."

Puerto Rico


Quiddler:  "We love Quiddler."

Quirkle: "With my 10 yo, I don't mind Quirkle. It is wood tiles with colored shapes, you have to match and make sets laid out in a crossword type arrangement. Also not for travel/restaurant but I like that it isn't a dice/race game. Also we've been playing Set, a card game that involves searching a grid of specially marked cards to make pattern/color/shape sets, that one would travel well."




Settlers of Cataan: "they got into it when visiting a family friend" and "Settlers of Cataan is awesome, and my just-turned-9yo can play it no problem. There's also a Star Trek Settlers of Cataan if you're that kind of geeky."

Seafarers of Catan



Seven Wonders: "they've played Seven Wonders with other friends and are NUTS about it."

Slap Jack

Small World

Smash Up

Sorry: "classic, not the other 5 versions they’ve come up with"


Stone Age - "current favorite!"


Sushi Go

Rat-a-Tat Cat: "We still love Rat-a-Tat Cat


Ticket to Ride  "two versions, America and Europe" and "I love that one!"

The train game (domino game that's addictive for some of us). Both great for tweens to teens and beyond.



For traveling:

For traveling GUBS is great. A card game but with some strategy involved.

[see more travel games and toy recommendations from members here]


Shorter games:



Frog Juice

Millles Bournes

Rat-a-tat Cat

Sleeping Queens


Longer Games:

Life and Monopoly: "are good too, just take too long for my tastes!"

Monopoly "an old favorite - I find if you only play it a few times a year they don't get sick of it."



Card Games:

Crazy Eights: "is a nice break from Uno, Spit (played with a deck of 52 cards, it's a game of speed)."

Go Fish

Poophead: "We also like card games—Poophead (name changed from “Shithead”)

Trash: "They also like Trash (not sure if this is the right rules)


Solitaire: "It can also help to teach them solitaire if you want them to have something to do besides be on devices (although you can buy battery operated games as well). Can keep them occupied when you want to hang out and talk with family."



Other Games:

Jeng: "Played Jenga last night w my 11 yr old. I was "into" it and had some fun. I know, not really a board game, but I thought it would count. Though you couldn't play it at any restaurant.
Not if you ever planned on returning ;-)."


No boards required:

I Have: "There's also the make-up-a-story, where everyone adds a word."

Name Game: "Pr that word game where you have to build off the last letter (e.g., ostrich-hat-toboggan-navy, with celebrity names: Charlie Chaplan, Carole King, Kenny G, Greta Garbo, Gilda Radner, Ray Charles).


Recommendations for the Brooklyn Strategist (November 2013)

"The Brooklyn Strategist is a great place to buy and learn about games but also the store near the Empire State is great too, to learn about and buy games.

"Hear, hear for Brooklyn Strategist. Great selection and they're so helpful!"

"My kids learned some great games at the Brooklyn Strategist."