It can be challenging to find fun things to do with your kids during the cold and rainy months.
We have picked our favourite card and board games, perfect for those days that are too dreary to play outside. From classics to modern games, 2 year olds to adults, these games are sure to entertain the whole family!
First Orchard (1-4 players)First Orchard is not only fun for your little ones, but an enjoyable cooperative game for the whole family! ‘My Very First Games’ are board games specifically made for young children and First Orchard is one of our favourites! Players work together to harvest fruit before the raven gets to the end of the path. If the players can harvest all the fruit they win! All game pieces are made with small children in mind so fruit pieces are large and colourful, which makes filling the basket even more fun!
Memory (2-6 players)Memory is a classic that can be played with the official Memory game or by making your own as a fun craft! Making sure each card has a pair, shuffle the cards and lay them face down in a grid formation. Each player takes turns picking two cards and flipping them over to see if they match. If the card faces are the same, that player gets to keep the pair and counts it as one point. If they do not match the cards are flipped back over. Players take turns until all the pairs have been claimed. This game can also be fun to play as one player trying to beat their personal record for lowest card flip count.
Candy Land (2-4 players)Take a walk through a Willy Wonka world! Players take a card and move their gingerbread person to the next block that matches the colour on the card, or the second block that matches if the card has two blocks. But watch out for licorice, gooey gumdrops, lollipop woods, and chocolate swamps! The first person to reach the rainbow castle wins the game.
Snakes and Ladders/Chutes and Ladders (2-6 players)Snakes and Ladders is very easy to learn but lots of fun to play! Players take turns rolling a dice and moving forward the number of spaces on their roll. Watch out for snakes (chutes)! If you land on a snake’s head you must slide all the way down the board to its tail! Luckily if you land on the bottom of a ladder you get to climb up to the top which might put you ahead!
Guess Who? (2 players)Play detective and ask questions in this fun-for-the-whole-family game. Players take turns asking yes or no questions to guess which character the other player has. Is your person wearing a hat? Do they have brown hair? Do they have glasses? Players flip down options that don’t match the answer to their question. This game is fun for all ages!
Fun Farm (2-10 players)Do you have children that are always moving and love action? Fun Farm keeps the game moving by having players race to grab squishy animals. If the coloured dice match the colours on the card that is flipped over, the player to grab the foam animal that matches the animal on the card gets to keep the card. But don’t randomly grab animals or you’ll have to give up a card! This is an action packed game that will keep everyone laughing!
Dixit (3-6 players)This game is perfect for the artist or dreamer in the family as it is full of beautiful dream-like illustrations! The active player chooses one word to describe one of their illustrated cards. Each player looks at their own hand and chooses a card that best fits that word. The cards are shuffled and players try to guess which card was the active players card. This game is beautiful, relaxing, and fun for all ages!
Clue Jr. (1-6 players)A kid-friendly version of the classic game of Clue. There are many versions of Clue Jr. but my personal favourite as a kid was Clue Jr.: Case of the Missing Pet. Players piece together clues, using a special magnifying glass, to figure out what pet is missing, who took it, and where it’s hidden. This game gets you into the role of detective using an actual magnifying glass to collect clues. Clue Jr. is interactive and can entertain young and old detectives alike.
Sorry! (2-4 players)Another classic to entertain the whole family. Players must get all their pieces from start to home by flipping over cards and following the card instructions. If a player gets a SORRY card they knock a player of choice back to start and take their place. Getting constantly knocked back to start can be discouraging for young children so take all your SORRYs out on the adults in the room!
Operation (1-6 players)Help your children learn dexterity by becoming a doctor! Each “doctor” takes turns trying to remove items from their patient without touching the sides of the openings. Operation is a fun and straightforward game to learn and play and is excellent for hands on children.
Blokus (2-4 players)Blokus is another game that’s simple to learn but will keep you and your children entertained for hours! The goal of the game is to fit as many of your coloured shapes on to the board as you can. However, your pieces must touch corners but not sides. It’s a great game to help children with spatial awareness.
Labyrinth (2-4 players)Labyrinth is a personal favourite of mine. Players must visit the treasures on their cards by navigating a maze. To navigate the maze a player can shift the path tiles one space up, down, left, or right. The first person to visit all treasures on their cards wins. This game is the perfect combination of strategy and luck. With the tiles constantly shifting, the board is always changing which keeps this game fresh and entertaining!
Codenames (2-8 players)
Become a spy with this crowd pleasing game! The game is played in two teams with each team having one person be the spy master. Cards are laid out in a gid. Each card has a common word (or spy name) on it. The spy master must communicate their spy names to their team using one word clues that may refer to more than one spy name. This is one of our personal favourites and is a game you need to try!
Sushi Go! (2-5 players)This is a new game that you need to try! Each player starts with a hand of cards. Players pick one card and place it face down in front of them. All players then turn the cards over simultaneously and pass the rest of their cards to the person to their left. The goal is to collect the most sushi points which are indicated on each card. Each card type requires different card combos to get points. Sushi Go! is quick, fast-paced, super fun, and extra awesome when combined with Japanese food takeout!
Ticket to Ride (2-5 players)Ticket to Ride is one of our favourites. Players take turns either choosing train cards or placing trains on the board to connect locations. Watch out for others blocking your path! This game will keep everyone entertained!
Crokinole (2 or 4 players)A classic if there ever was one! Games become classics for a reason and Crokinole is no exception. Players flick disks across the board, aiming for its center. Darts meets curling meets pool, this game is perfect for practicing aim!
Mastermind (2 players)This game is a fun brain challenge for any age! One player makes guesses as to the colours and order of the hidden pegs. The other player will tell the first player if their guess was the right colour in the right place, the right colour in the wrong place, or not the right colour. Mastermind is a great brain teaser for adults and children!
The Game of Life (2-4 players)Experience life's key moments and make choices of careers picked by kids, for kids. You can choose the longer college path towards a high-paying job or a trade right away to get paid sooner. You can express your creativity and become an inventor or dancer. You never know what ups and downs will come along the way!
Anomia (3-6 players)Anomia means the inability to remember the names of common-place objects. This game will make you forget simple things you thought you knew! Each person takes turns flipping over a card and placing it in front of themselves. If the shape on their card matches the shape on the card in front of someone else, those two people must name something in the category on the other person’s card. For example, if your opponent's card says “Animals”, dog, horse, or tiger are all valid options. The first person to yell a valid answer first wins the other person’s card which could reveal a card underneath and cause a domino effect of shape matches and category calls. This game is fast-paced and will get the whole family laughing.
Apples to Apples (4-10 players)Apples to Apples is guaranteed to make you laugh. Players pick the “Things” card in their hand that they think most fits the current “Descriptions” card. The active player picks whichever “Things” card they think matches the “Description” card the best. Not only can this game help your children learn about nouns and adjectives but the combination possibilities can get hilarious!
Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan) (3-4 players)Catan is a favourite to many! Players collect resources based on a dice roll and use those resources to build settlements. The goal of the game is to be the first to reach 10 points. Points can be earned by having the longest road, building settlements, or having the largest army. The rules of Catan are a bit more challenging to learn but well worth it! There is also a Catan Jr. if your children are 6 to 9 year old.
Risk (2-6 players)Do you need to be entertained over an hour? Then Risk is the game for you! Your goal is to take over the world one country at a time! Each player gains reinforcements on their turn and can challenge another player who controls a bordering country. This game will help your children learn geography and provide hours of entertainment. Risk does take a bit longer to play so it may not be best for children who struggle to sit still or get bored easily.
Plague Inc: The Board Game (1-4 players)This game was only released recently and has already made our favourites list. Each player is a disease trying to infect the world. Country cards are placed on the board and players must try to infect as much of the world as they can with the help of evolving trait cards that can make you airborne, waterborne, heat resistant, or give you other abilities. This is a great game to help make biology fun for your children. It can be a bit complicated to learn but is well worth it!
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot (2-8 players)This game is ideal for any teen or adult with a wacky sense of humor. Players collect bunnies and try to eliminate other players bunnies with hilarious weapons including “Green Gelatin (with evil pineapple chunks)” and “Kitchen Whisk”. The goal is to get the most carrots which will hopefully include the magic carrot which wins the game. This is by far one of my favourite games and is bound to get everyone laughing.
Scattergories (2-6 players)Like Anomia, this game will make you forget all you thought you knew. Players each have a list of categories and a letter dice is rolled to pick a letter. Before the timer runs out, players try to come up with answers that start with the chosen letter and match the categories. This game will get your brain hurting in a good way and put a smile on everyone’s face!
Tip: If you see a board game that looks fun but is for older kids, check to see if they have a junior version! Many games do, especially classics, and they can be just as fun!
Did we miss any of your favourites? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Photo: The ChatterBlock team testing out the games!