5 Classic Family Games to Introduce to Your Kids for #FamilyGameNight

I have fond memories of playing games with mom and family as a child. I can remember piling around a table to with dessert and exciting rounds of Shanghai Rummy. I played so many games and have so many favorites that it is hard to narrow down the list, but here are five classic family games that would be great to introduce to your kids.

classic-family-games.jpg
The premise of Mille Bornes is that the players are in a road race. Each race—or hand—is usually 700 miles (or kilometers) long, but the first player to complete that distance exactly has the option to declare an extension in which case the race becomes 1,000 miles. Other times the game is played up to 1000 miles first, and then the first player to complete that distance has the option to declare an “extension” for 1,200 miles. Mille Bornes is played with a special deck of cards. There are hazard, remedy, safety, and distance cards. Each hazard is corrected by a corresponding remedy, and is actually prevented from happening in the first place by a corresponding safety. The target distance is reached by playing distance cards.
— Wikipedia

We played this game so many times when I was a kid and I'm not entirely sure why what is seemingly such a simple little game amused me so, but it is at the top of my list of classic family games to share with your kids. Bonus, your kids will get great math practice while having fun.


Risk is a turn-based game for two to six players. The standard version is played on a board depicting a political map of the Earth, divided into forty-two territories, which are grouped into six continents. The object of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players.[2] Players control armies with which they attempt to capture territories from other players, with results determined by dice rolls.
— Wikipedia

Who doesn't want to dominate the world at some point in time in their life? Risk was always one of favorite games, potentially lasting for hours, in which I was always on mission to outwit my opponents and conquer the map like rock star.


Cribbage, or crib, is a card game traditionally for two players, but commonly played with three, four, or more, that involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points. Cribbage has several distinctive features: the cribbage board used for scorekeeping, the eponymous crib or box (a separate hand counting for the dealer), two distinct scoring stages (the play and the show) and a unique scoring system including points for groups of cards that total fifteen.
— Wikipedia

Cribbage may seem like an unusual choice, but my fascination with this game stems from the fact that it took me a long time master it well enough to beat my mother and grandmother. They were constantly skunking me and it pushed me to play a LOT. Often playing by myself until I was finally able to hold my own against them. So break out the cards with your kids and give them a little challenge.


Classic Yahtzee
By Game
The object of the game is to score points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make various scoring combinations. A game consists of thirteen rounds. After each round the player chooses which scoring category is to be used for that round. Once a category has been used in the game, it cannot be used again. The scoring categories have varying point values, some of which are fixed values and others where the score depends on the value of the dice. A Yahtzee is five-of-a-kind and scores 50 points; the highest of any category. The winner is the player who scores most points.
— Wikipedia

It wouldn't be a proper list of classic family games without a dice play with Yahtzee. Strategy, math and lots of luck were involved in this game that gave me a great foundation for "hands" when I developed a love for gathering around the table with family for some friendly rounds of poker.


Each team moves a piece on a game board formed by a sequence of squares. Each square has a letter or shape identifying the type of picture to be drawn on it. The objective is to be the first team to reach the last space on the board. To achieve this a player must guess the word or phrase being drawn by their partner, or if the player lands on an “all play” square, one player from each team attempts to illustrate the same concept simultaneously, with the two teams racing to guess first.
— Wikipedia

For the times when you want to have a fun family game night without all of the strategy, Pictionary is my favorite. Brush up on your ability to rapidly draw some stick figure creations and get ready for lots of laughs.


What classic family game would you add to list? Which ones do you enjoy playing with your kids?