Twelve Favorite Family Board Games to Pass the Time

Who loves playing exciting games like Chutes and Ladders and Candyland on repeat?

Yeah, me neither! But my family does love games!

Here are some of our favorite family board games:  (many have learning components, which is great while kids are home from school!)

Family Board Games To Help Pass the Time

Family Board Games for Ages: 4+

Robot Turtle
2-5 Players
15-30 minutes

An introduction to programming. Create a course on the board and use directional cards to program your turtle – the least “steps” wins. This game is great because the difficulty can be adjusted.

Izzy says: “You get to program it and then move the robots the right way!”


2-4 players
20 minutes

A cooperative board game. Play as chicken detectives trying to catch a pie thief. Each turn chooses between finding clues or suspects.

Izzy says: “I love the little orange machine (to check the clues)!”

Family Board Games for Ages: 8+


2-4 players
15 minutes (took us 30-45)

Build a 5×5 square using domino tiles of varying terrain. Great for concepts like counting, multiplication, spatial awareness, and planning ahead.

Izzy says: “Get the right things in the right places so you can get those points!”

My Little Scythe

1-6 players
45-60 minutes

Be the first to complete four of eight goals! Teaches that getting ahead quickly has consequences and there’s a price to pay for fighting.

Izzy says: “I like the cute characters and moving stuff around!”

Best Treehouse Ever

2-4 players
30 minutes

Card game with similarities to Tetris. You draw cards with various color codes to create the best treehouse.

Izzy says: “My favorite part was planning and seeing the exciting things you got to put in the treehouse.”

Math Fluxx

2-6 players
5-30 minutes

This is a variation of the card game Fluxx, based on math and equations. The cards played change the rules and goals of the game.

Izzy says: “It’s hard to follow all of the rules and there’s a lot of math.”


1-8 players
35 minutes

Be the first to arrange your letter cards into one or more words, getting points over eight rounds. Bonus points for the longest and most words played make it nice for varying ages. (Quiddler Junior is also available.)

Izzy says: “I like spelling words. Now I can read so it’s a lot easier!”

Hive Pocket (Travel Size)

2 players
20 minutes

Surround your opponent’s Queen bee while trying to keep your opponent from surrounding yours. Similar to chess, but without a board.

Izzy says: “It’s really fun to fight, but I don’t like how everything has a certain way to move.”

Family Board Games for Ages: 10+


Family Board Games To Help Pass the Time

1-5 players
40-70 minutes (took us 90+)

Gain points over four rounds by collecting birds, eggs, and food, and by completing bonus cards and goals. This game has lots of instructions, but it’s not that difficult once you start. (Price fluctuates; watch for a good deal.)

Izzy says: “My favorite part is rolling the dice in the bird feeder. I also like the art and learning about different birds.”

The Tea Dragon Society Card Game
(based on the graphic novel by Katie O’Neill)

2-4 players
30-60 minutes

Each turn you either draw a card, triggering effects and strengthening your position or you buy a card, improving your deck or scoring points.

Izzy says: “I like the stories with the different seasons.”


2-4 players or teams
30 minutes

Collect marbles by thinking up words that correspond to a given letter and topic in less than 15 seconds.

Izzy says: “You get to flip stuff over and get marbles.”

Family Board Games for Ages: 12+

Paper Tales

2-5 players
30 minutes (took us 60)

Drafting game with lots of strategy. It has a good flow – you have time to develop strategy, but it doesn’t go on forever.

Izzy says: “It’s really exciting. You have to choose the right card with the right power.”

Honorable Mentions:

Cockroach Poker: “I love it because it gets all your tricks out. But with me…I always have tricks up my sleeves.”

Dice Throne: “I like the characters and the art on the boards.”

Battle Line: This is one of my favorites. Izzy says, “It’s hard as a beginner to know which cards to keep.”

Forbidden Desert: “I like to solve the mystery to find the pieces to make our aircraft.”

Where do I buy these?

Some are available at Target and all are available on Amazon. However, we love to support local businesses, so I highly recommend checking out First Turn Games in the Town & Country Shopping Center. Once we’re all able to get out of the house you should head to their store, buy a game, and sit at one of their tables to play. While you’re there, maybe play a few games of pinball!

I hope you all find some games here that you’d love to try! Let me know what you’ve tried or other games that I should check out!

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