My extended family is growing and we are always looking for fun things to do together. Especially with the holidays coming up it’s nice to have a few ideas up your sleeve that appeal to multiple age groups! The Kidlist Team did some brainstorming and came up with a list of great games to play with big families, family reunions, and family parties. Do you have more ideas? We would love to hear them!
Games to Play with Big Families
We have the classic version of Pictionary and if the younger players don’t know what one of the words means they just pick a new card. One of the perks of this game is that you are on teams, so if the kids need to ask a question it doesn’t disrupt the game to talk to another player on his or her team. Everyone can participate and since the drawings are quick, no one has to feel funny about their artistic ability. Click here for the Junior version of Pictionary.
Our family gets really competitive with Spoons! It’s a simple game that levels the playing field so no one has the advantage, no matter how young you are. For those who have never played, you need a deck of cards and one less spoon than there are players. Spread out the spoons on the table so everyone has equal access to them. Deal four cards to each player and the goal is to get four of a kind. The dealer starts by picking up a card off the top of the deck and either takes it and passes their discard or simply passes it to the left. The last player places their discard into a pile. The first person to make four of a kind in their hand takes a spoon. As soon as the first spoon is taken, everyone else can take a spoon. The player left without a spoon gets a letter and when you spell out S-P-O-O-N, you are out. The last player in the game wins. Simple but so fun!
This specifically-designed game has a picture charade on every card so that non-readers can play along with older kids. It’s great fun as the whole family tries to guess the charades before time runs out. It’s really entertaining and interesting to see how everyone interprets the cards and figures out how to portray them so others can guess! Click here for a version of the game designed so kids can be easily play.
There’s also a version where the whole team acts out clues for one person instead of the opposite. In 60 seconds, teams attempt to guess as many words or phrases as they can and the team with the most correct guesses wins.
My son recently received this game for his birthday and we have been having so much fun playing together! You read a question and each person (or team) makes a guess as to what the numerical answer would be, like “In inches, what is the world record high jump for a pig?” Sometimes the questions are funny and sometimes they are just really interesting! Everyone then puts little wooden pieces, called meeples, on what they believe is the correct answer. Then the answer is read and points are awarded.
Pull out a wooden brick without crashing the stack! This game is only limited by how many people can sit around the tower. Side note: I met the inventor of this game (Leslie Scott). She is so sweet and an awesome woman! I loved hearing the story of how she launched Jenga at the London Toy Fair in 1983 during a time when the toy and game field was male dominated.
There is a junior version of this game that is listed for ages 9+, but I disagree with that rating. If you play teams you can easily play with younger players and discuss what the words mean that are unfamiliar to them and come up with a fun comparison card. We have played and included our six year old without a problem and she had fun joining in. Since it’s all about word associations, it’s very entertaining to hear what everyone comes up with!
I can’t wait to play this game. You guys were holding out on me about this one! The set comes with dice that have either L (pass one chip to the left), C (put on int he center, which takes it out of play), R (pass one to the right) and black pips, which mean take no action. You can play this game with chips or coins. Each player takes a turn rolling as many dice as he or she has chips. Losing all your chips doesn’t mean you are out of the game because there is a chance another player can roll an L or an R. The winner is the last player with chips left and also wins all of the chips or money in the center pot.
The first player to have all ten dice to show the same number wins! You can adapt this game for really young players by giving them less dice, but since the concept is visual it’s an easy game to play with a wide range of ages. Click here to see other games that you can play with Tenzi dice.
This game has resulted in some pretty funny YouTube videos. Score a point every time you turn the handle without getting splatted, but watch out because you could get a pie in the face! All you need is this game and some whipped cream.
Up to 10 players can play this classic card game. Take turns matching a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck either by color or number.