Increasing family togetherness time topped your resolution list for 2018. So why not break out some fun family board games and get the year off to a great start? We searched through the hundreds of games out there and came up with the very best for tots to tweens. Read on to see them all.

Games for Babies & Toddlers

Movement, matching and color/number/letter trifecta games are all the rage with kids this age. Our picks are surprisingly simple to learn but oh-so-much-fun to play!

BeginAgain Balance Boat

Kids will stack the animals without sinking the ship when they play BeginAgain’s popular balance game. The playing pieces are carved from sustainable rubberwood and are durable enough for everything from sticky baby hands to excited toddler fingers. See how many animals you can stack before the boat tips over!

Ages: 3 months-5 years.

Buy it on Amazon, $24.88.

Seek-a-Bo

In this get-up-and-move game, kids peek under “Seek Me” cards and then try to match requests under the “Find Me” cards. They’ll put their memory and matching skills to the test as they remember where they last saw a banana, a dog, or even something blue. The included parent guide lays out different ways to play, so that older sibs can get in on the action too, and still feel challenged. That’s a winner in our book!

Ages: 18 months & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.95.

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Roll & Play

Kids as young as 18 months can roll the die in this game. It’s big and colorful, and each side includes a simple action they can do all by themselves. Like “Make a happy face” or “Roar like a lion.” Parents, you’ll need to help them figure out the action once they’ve cast their lot. But when it comes to the “doing,” they’ve totally got this.

Ages: 18 months & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.99.

My Very First Games: First Orchard

In this classic Haba game, kids race against a ravenous raven to pick colorful wooden fruit pieces from the trees. With each roll of the dice, they either match the color they rolled with the fruit in the trees, or move the raven forward in an attempt to steal the fruit. Kids can play this one by themselves, or with up to three of their buddies cooperatively. Pick them while you can!

Ages: 2 & up.

Buy it at Amazon, $25.99.

Three Little Piggies

Kids use big chunky pieces to build solid houses for three little piggies in this game based on the popular children’s tale. 48 challenge cards mean your little builder will have plenty of opportunities to keep the piggies safe, whether inside or out, as they avoid the big bad wolf. This quick-play game is not only fun, but it helps kids develop their spatial reasoning skills. 

Ages: 2 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $24.88. 

Games for Preschoolers

These big-kids-in-the-making need a little challenge. Give them what they’re looking for with these proven picks.

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

It’s totally legit to sneak in this game, and that’s one of the reasons your kids will love it. They get to play the part of the squirrel, quietly pilfering colorful acorns from the tree and stashing them in a log. But watch out! Your collection can be raided too, or you might lose an acorn on a spin. This award-winning game is for 2-4 players.

Ages: 3 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $14.81.

Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It

Richard Scarry’s amazingly detailed Busytown books come to life in this detective game. Break out the six-foot-long playing board, and then get to work finding hidden objects like balloons, street cones, ladders and more around this busy, busy town. On each turn, players move forward, solve a Goldbug mystery or take away one of the delish food items waiting for them on Picnic Island. This is where all the players are headed, hopefully before the pigs eat their spread. 

Ages: 3 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $18.87.

Feed the Kitty

Introduce your preschooler to the game of cat and mouse with Gamewright’s Feed the Kitty. Roll the special dice to find out if you use your mice to feed the cat, pass them to a different player, or sneak on by the kitty sleeping by his bowl. It’s a super fast, simple game that everyone in the family can play!

Ages: 4 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $13.99.

Press Here, The Game

Fans of Herve Tullet’s stunningly creative Press Here books will swoon over this artistic, open-ended game based on his art. Kids work to complete his pictures by placing punched-out primary colored circles in just the right spot on any one of the 25 playing boards. It’s a chance to work through patterns and logic while creating an artistic design worthy of framing.

Ages: 4-6.

Buy it on Amazon, $13.71.

Yeti in My Spaghetti

Hey kids! There’s a Yeti in your spaghetti, and it’s up to you to keep him there in this fast-paced game. Once you’ve got your spaghetti noodles in place, set the pasta-loving yeti on top. Then it’s time to show off your skills as you remove the noodles, one-by-one, without letting the yeti fall in. He can’t wait to eat your dinner; it’s up to you to keep him out.

Ages: 4 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.40.

Hoot Owl Hoot

Uh oh! The sun’s about to come up and the owls need to get home before it does. Using their matching and memory skills, kids work their way around the game board to do just that. If they work together, there’s a good chance the owls will be safely nestled into bed before the day begins. No reading required for this one!

Ages: 4 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $27.06.

Games for Grade Schoolers

These big kids have got game. And we’ve got the 10 they’ll play over and over again, no parents needed.

Race to the Treasure

Work with your player teammates to beat the ogre to the treasure in this cooperative game, designed by Peaceable Kingdom. It’s easy when you know the right path to take. Kids map it out, avoiding the pitfalls of the fantasy forest along the way and if they do it right, there’s a big reward waiting for them at the end. No reading required for this logic game!

Ages: 5 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $15.99.

Ticket to Ride, First Journey

A scaled-down version of Worlds of Wonder’s award-winning board game for adults, Ticket to Ride, First Journey is as fun as the original. Using their planning and problem-solving skills, players work their way from coast to coast, completing train routes through cities all over the United States to get to their final destination. All it takes is five routes to win. Now that’s the ticket!

Ages: 6 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $43.52.

Outfoxed!

Put on your thinking cap to figure out who stole Mrs. Plumpert’s pie in this cooperative, who-done-it game. Players work together to compile clues and use the handy evidence scanner to rule out suspects. Time is of the essence because the there is making his way toward the exit, while you and your fellow detective decipher all the clues.

Ages: 5 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $16.80.

Ice Cool

This award-winning 3-D board game is pretty fantastic if you ask us. To play, kids use their fingers to flick colorful penguins through doors, over walls, and around corners as they make their way around the icy board. It’s amazing how far these little guys can travel, and with a little bit of practice, your kids will be chipping penguins up and over obstacles in no time flat. Watch out below! 

Ages: 6 & up

Buy it on Amazon, $25.99.

Exploding Kittens

Parents will love this game because Matthew Inman (he draws The Oatmeal) developed it. Kids will love it because … exploding kittens! The object is a simple one—avoid drawing the exploding kitten card from the deck. If you do, you’re kablooey and out of the game. It takes a bit of strategy mixed with luck to avoid detonation. But using cards like exploding back hair and rubbing the belly of a pig-a-corn, in addition to playing diffuser cards like the kitten therapy card, players work to stay in the game as long as they can.

 
Ages: 7 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.99.

 

Clue

In Hasbro’s updated version of this family classic, Dr. Orchid joins your favorite colorful characters from generations past. To play, you and the kids use your sleuthing skills to determine which of Mr. Boddy guests killed him while staying at his mansion. Was it Miss Scarlett with the rope in the Conservatory? Or how about Professor Plum, in the library with the candlestick? Your guess is as good as ours in this deductive reasoning detective game.

Psst … want more classic games for your crew? We’ve got the goods here.

Ages: 8 & up

Buy it on Amazon, $17.90.

Dweebies

We heart this fast-paced card game that’s as easy to set up as it is to play. With six cards in hand, players work to make pairs and collect more cards than their opponents. But it’s not always as easy as it looks … not every card has a partner, and some have more than one. And the colorful Dweebies themselves are half the fun.

Ages: 8 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.99.

Sushi Go!

This fast-paced, pick-and-pass card game will have you heading out for sushi when you’re done. Players keep cards moving, like on a sushi conveyer belt, while deciding which ones to keep and which ones to pass. Pair cards to score points as you race to beat your opponents … but not too many, as dessert is a must in this delish game.

Ages: 8 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.39.

Sleeping Queens

The object of this game is a simple one—the kings need to wake one of the twelve sleeping queens so they can live happily ever after. But upon closer examination, players soon find out they’ve got spells and wands and dragons and knights to contend with in their quest to find eternal bliss. Two to five players are all it takes to hold this royal court.

Ages: 8 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.99.

Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City

This next iteration of the original Machi Koro dice-rolling, city building game turns the original sleepy village into a bustling metro area. Anywhere from 2-5 players engage in head-to-head competition, working to strategically complete landmark building before anyone else does. There’s a whole lot of dice, money to exchange and over 180 cards, which means each time you, play, you’re building a different cityscape. 

Ages: 10 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $17.49. 

Do you have a game your family likes to play that isn’t on our list? Add it in a comment.

—Allison Sutcliffe

Editor’s Note: Prices current at the time of publication.

Images courtesy of manufacturers.

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