It’s National Game & Puzzle Week! It always takes place in the U.S. during Thanksgiving week, when families are gathered and ready to play together. It’s also when many people are shopping for holiday gifts, and games make a great gift. The family time that happens when playing them is priceless. Here are some of our favorite games for teens and tweens and their families.
Great for those who like to giggle: Not Parent Approved Card Game
It’s like a family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity! I love that there’s a ton of laughter when playing it. (I thought perhaps it was just us, but the comments on Amazon all mention laughing, too.) The game was a 2016 National Parenting Product Awards winner. It’s a card game so easy to take along when traveling, and great for groups.
Designed for 4 to 10 players, ages 8+.
Great for those who like to travel: Ticket to Ride
If your family loves travel or geography, this is a particularly appropriate game. We received it as a gift and found it very fun. There are versions set in the United States, Europe, Asia, India, and more.
If you’re new to the game and don’t have someone to help explain it to you, we think the board game is grasped a bit easier and quicker than the card game. It’s great for just two players, so good for small families or kids playing on their own.
Designed for 2 to 5 players, age 8+.
Great for those who like fun facts: Wits and Wagers
My teen likes this game and says it would be good for a family that’s competitive. Each turn asks a random fact, such as “What’s the world record number of tennis balls a dog has held in its mouth?” Each player makes a guess, and then you put wagers on who is closest to the correct answer. It’s entirely possible you could get no correct answers and still win the game. It can move very quickly, so great if you don’t have a ton of time or want to play multiple rounds or different games in a game night.
Designed for 3 or more players ages 6+.
Great for those who like strategy: Qwirkle
Our cousins recommended this game a few years ago because they enjoyed it so much. It is easy to understand, so with just a quick explanation everyone can dive into playing. The premise to create lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape. It sounds simple, but the combinations can get complex. It’s all about strategy and plotting (and a Mensa Select National Competition Winner), so I consistently lose. But it’s fun, and will develop reasoning skills. Qwirkle is good for a variety of age ranges, too.
Designed for 2 to 4 players, ages 6+.
When I asked my teen daughter what her favorite games are, she replied, “Honestly, Sorry! never gets old.” She said she likes that it’s never the same and there are usually some twists in terms of who is leading.
Designed for 4 players, ages 6+
Whether you’re in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, these games are fun for all houses with fans of the Harry Potter movies. The Clue game involves solving the mystery of a student’s disappearance from Hogwarts with rooms that move and secret passageways.
Note that the Trivial Pursuit game includes questions only about the movies and not about the books.
Harry Potter Clue designed for 2 o 6 players, ages 9+.
Trivial Pursuit designed for 2 to 6 players, ages 8+.
Great for being silly: Hedbanz
An acquaintance was recently in our basement and saw our Hedbanz game. “Bet that hasn’t been played in a while,” she said with a laugh. So, for some families, apparently, Hedbanz is firmly in the tween category. In our family, though, we still have fun with it. (And it was out because it had been recently used.) It’s up to you, but think it’s entertaining to try to help the person wearing the card on their forehead deduce what it is.
As Disney fans, we really enjoy the Disney Version.
Designed for 2 to 6 players, ages 7+
This is great for all ages. Just check on Amazon for Checkers + team name. I suspect the Chicago Cubs game will be a popular way to keep celebrating their World Series Victory.
Designed for 2 players.
Great for groups and multiple generations: Apples to Apples
This is firmly in the oldie but goodie category for us. It’s always fun to play with a group and usually results in a lot of laughs, and some explaining of historical figures and events, as well as their significance, to our teens.
Designed for 3+ players, ages 12+ (there is a junior version for younger kids).
You May Also Like: More fun board games to play with teens and tweens
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