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10 Board Games for Homeschoolers

10 Board Games for Homeschoolers

My Sweets and I are board/card game junkies. 
It's true. 
She and I can be found hunkered down at the dining room table several times a week battling it out. We usually end up playing alone...just the two of us.

It's not that The Hubs and the boys aren't game to play games. It's just that they are a bit more persnickety when it comes to the games they like. My Sweets and I will play just about anything. Anytime. Anywhere.

But, the man-ish ones 'round here don't often want to deviate from their favorites. They're just a bit more choosey.

So, when it comes time for family game nights, our selections always seem to come down to the following 10 games:
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This fast-paced dice game is great for families with wide-age ranges. Although there are over 75 different versions of this game (according to the extended directions) the original Tenzi is played quite simply. Everyone is given ten dice that must be rolled quickly in order to create a 'Yahtzee' type match of all of them. The first person to successfully roll all his/her dice into matching numbers wins. We take this game everywhere because it fits easily into my purse and only requires a few moments to play. With a little bit of rule adjustment, even my preschooler can play. (When he's playing, I require everyone to roll each turn at the same time so that he has an equal chance of winning. He just doesn't quite have the same hand-eye-coordination or speed as everyone else.)


This is an older strategy game that has made a bit of a comeback for its 30th anniversary. Players attempt to get all of their Meeples (game people) off of the sinking island of Atlantis without getting killed by whales, sharks, or sea dragons along the way. We all love this game so much, that we bought the expansion pieces so that at least six of us can play at the same time. The rules are a bit confusing, but like most games, once you play it, you'll be hooked.

Ticket to Ride 

This two to four player game has become a sneaky way to learn the general location of cities around the US and lower Canada. Players try to build railroad lines from one city to the next. The player who completes the most and/or longest routes by the end of the game wins. 

Catan Junior

The junior version of the Catan family of games might be less difficult than the original, but it's not at all less fun. Players use simple strategy to be the first to barter, buy, and build more pirate lairs than their opponents.


Think of Qwirkle as a cross between scrabble and dominoes. Players earn points by creating shape and color patterns in a domino-like play space. This is one of our favorite family games because although their is a bit of strategy involved, everyone has a pretty equal chance of winning. (In case you're curious, every time I bring this box o' fun to a church game night or event, I always have people asking where they can purchase a set of their own. It is an instant hit with just about everyone who plays.)


The creators of Telestrations have successfully combined the classic party game, telephone, with the fast-paced drawing game, Pictionary. There is no clear winner in this group game. The purpose is collaborative fun.

Dutch Blitz

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, a blitz is "an intense or sudden military attack." Although this fast-paced card game has nothing to do with the military, it is definitely intense and sudden. It's like playing group Solitaire at lightning speed.

Monopoly Deal

Confession time. I hate Monopoly. It's long and it's kind of monotonous, in my opinion. But, I'm a bit addicted to the card version. Deal boasts many of the same elements as the original...such as the accumulation of property and assets, but it is more fast-paced and cut-throat. We play this game so often that we actually own two sets.


I played Blokus several years ago with a little boy I used to babysit. He brought it over. We played it. He went home at the end of the day, and I ran all over town trying to find my very own set. The Hubs and I spent the next few weeks playing it together nearly every single evening. Blokus is kind of like a slower version of the old video game, Tetrus. Two to four players compete to fit all of their geometric tiles onto the play space. While there is some strategy involved, even a three-year-old can play it. I love pulling it out to play with my kids when I don't have a ton of time or mental energy to just sit and play a game. I can be washing dishes or folding clothes, take my turn, and never miss a beat of my task or the game.

Buzz Word Jr.

Buzz Word reminds me of the old television game show, Password. On his turn, a player takes a card from the box, reads the "buzz word" or theme word at the top of the card to his teammates, and then proceeds to give each of the ten clues in order. The teammates have to guess a word or phrase that fits each clue but that also contains the "buzz word." If you've ever had the opportunity to play the original Buzz Word, you'll know how to play the junior version. The two games are exactly alike. The junior version just has kid-appropriate word themes. (Since I was unable to find a video of the junior version of the game, below is clip of how to play the original Buzz Word.)

Family games have always been a great source of sneaky learning and family togetherness around here. Each year, our choice of favorites evolves, but these ten seem to always remain in the top slots.

What are your family game favorites? 

Need more gift ideas? Be sure to visit iHomeschool Network.


  1. Love this! We try to buy at least one family game every year for Christmas. Great games! Thanks for posting!

  2. There's a really exciting drawing game on Kickstarter coming out called Createures! I am already a backer: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/createures/createures-flip-5-game-cards-draw-art-critique-imp

  3. I definitely like the 'flat' packaging for Tenzie better. We've got the 'tower' packaging and it is really difficult to put the dice away when we're done.

    1. I bought the flat one because it had more dice sets in it. We are still one whole set short for our family. But, we can usually round up enough dice from other games to have a set for all seven of us.

  4. Our Ticket To Ride is able to be used for up to five players. We love it, it's our favorite game!

  5. We have a ton of games, but often end up playing the same ones over and over. You listed several, but some others are: Monopoly Jr, BattleSheep, WhacAMole Card Game, Tri-Ominos (kid version for younger ones), Chinese Checkers, Sequence... They both loved Duck, Duck, Goose when they were preschoolers.

    1. We love Tri-Ominos! It's not easy to find really fun games that are great for two players. My daughter and I play that one often.

  6. We are big nerds around here...so naturally, some of our family favorite board games are super nerdy. Castle Panic, Forbidden Island, Pandemic, Machi Koro, Uno Attack, Othello and Mancala are all favorites. We are a realllllly REEEEALLLLY big fan of co-op games (the first three games I listed are cooperative where your whole family works as a team against the game). It helps quell the competitive spirit that can tend to wreck an otherwise nice time. Though we do still play one on one games like Uno and Mancala too.

  7. We like Bananagrams and Quiddler, too. Our favorites are word games, but we play Zingo and Who Gnu with the younger ones.

  8. We play a lot of Skipbo as a family. It is fun to play as teams of two. The boys against the girls, the kids against the parental units.

    1. That's a game that I've never played. I've almost bought it so many times, but have never pulled the trigger. Thanks for the nudge.

  9. Okay, I know this is an older post, but our family loves Wingspan. Fantastic, interesting family game.

    1. I've not heard of that one. I'll have to look it up! Thanks for sharing, old post or not.

  10. My son and I have been playing Pay Day a lot this summer. We also get a kick out of a game called Madeline (after the book character) made by Briarpatch. Oh, and Richard Scarry's BusyTown Eye Found It! is an all-time favorite because it is collaborative but challenging especially for little ones.