What’s your favorite homeschool family game?
We asked some of our members to provide their best suggestions. We’ve arranged them in alphabetical order (see if yours is on the list, or add it in the comments!).
Note: MPE does not officially endorse any of the below games. As always, we encourage families to do their own research before purchasing any products.
Apples to Apples
Originally published by Hasbro, this Mattel board game gets players to draw comparisons between a “green apple” with “red apples” – and may the best comparison win!
For example, say the judge for that round chooses a green apple card that says, “Happy.” The other players then pick from the five red apples in their hand whatever they think the judge will most associated with “happy.” The red apples could say things like “Squirrels,” “The 1980s,” “Leaves,” and “Dirty Diapers.”
If you throw down “Squirrels” and the judge decides that this most describes “happy,” then you get to keep the green apple card.
Whoever collects four green apple cards first wins the game!
This family game from Simply Fun helps introduce concepts of saving, charitable giving, and interest in an enjoyable math-rich setting.
While your kids are racing other players to earn “money” through saving, chores and other jobs, mom can bask in the knowledge that they’re playing at real-life skills!
This popular Hasbro game has gone through many updates over the years. Teammates race to guess a word or phrase that appears on the game’s screen, so long as the person can describe it any way possible (without saying it) before the timer runs out. The first team to get seven points wins the game.
Who doesn’t remember playing this classic murder mystery board game as a child? “And I say Professor Plum … committed the crime with a candlestick … in the billiard room!”
It’s time for the Wild, Wild West … and some schemin’ and stealin’ along the way! Your goal in this exciting board game is to become the richest bandit in the Old West as all players rob a train at the same time.
Digger’s Garden Match
This family game, also from Simply Fun, is for ages 4 and up. It helps players learn shapes, counting (up to 50) and colors, along with spatial reasoning.
A longtime favorite, Dutch Blitz helps improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, social team building … you name it!
Interestingly enough, the Dutch Blitz website credits the family game’s creator, Werner Ernst George Muller, with using the game to help teach his children colors and numbers. Sounds like a great homeschooling tool to us!
Here’s a way to make reading even more fun! Help a princess, dragon and knight discover their kingdom (with land tiles) and accomplish objectives written in your book. The first person to read all the pages of their book is the winner. Recommended for ages 8 and older.
Introduce your children to calculated risk-taking with this PlayMonster family favorite!
One homeschool mom says her now grown-up children still ask to play this game at family reunions! This economics-based board game helps players, or farmers, get from winter to fall through the purchase of fields, ridges and pastures.
Game players (recommended for ages 4 and up) work to win as many “books” of cards as possible. A book can be four of any kind of card in a standard deck, such as aces, kings, etc. You can find more detailed instructions here.
This Spin Master family game uses cartoons for a “What am I?” guessing puzzle. Children ask yes or no questions to discover who the cartoon is, which is attached to their head. The first player to correctly guess their identity wins!
Hide & Seek (Night, Indoor version)
Who says you even need a board to play a game? One mom suggests making the house pitch dark at night, then playing hide and seek indoors!
Kingdomino (and QueenDomino)
Think of a domino game, but with a twist – building your territorial kingdom. Once each player has completed a 5×5 grid, the player with the most points (based on the number of connecting tiles, and crowns securing those tiles) will win the game.
Queendomino is another territory-building game. You can play this game independently from Kingdomino or in conjunction with it if you have the right game grids.
Another longtime favorite, the Life board game mirrors many of the milestones and steps an average family in the U.S. will experience: high school, college, marriage, parenthood, and so on.
For ages 8 and up, try honing your multiplication and addition skills with this Simply Fun game.
Whoever can drive 1,000 km first in this beloved French card game is the winner!
No board game list is complete without Monopoly, the property trading game that almost everyone remembers playing at least once as a family.
My First Carcassonne
This children’s game (ages 4 and up) used to be The Kids of Carcassonne. Players need to catch all the animals that have been set free in the town of Carcassonne before the sun sets.
The object of this Victorian card game is to match pairs and not be left with an odd card (the queen) when the game ends! A great way to improve number recognition, pairing and matching.
Give your children hours of playing time while learning about science and the environment! This Blue Orange board game is an abstract strategy game where players work to earn the most points by completing the life cycles of their trees.
This bestseller by MindWare encourages players to match tiles with the same color or shape without making duplicates. Once you have a line of all six in a row, you’ve scored a “Qwirkle!” Whoever has the most points after the tiles run out wins the game. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
This numbered tile game improves pattern recognition, planning skills and sequencing in some of the most exciting ways imaginable. As players place numbered tiles in runs or groups in their turns, they’re working to use all their tiles before their opponents. The game has sold 50 million units and counting!
A sequencing card game from Mattel, Skip-Bo hinges on players’ skill and strategy. Players work to deplete their stockpile cards while building up to four “build” piles (162 cards in all).
Settlers of Catan (and Catan Jr.)
This board game classic will keep strategic thinkers pondering and ruminating for hours! Players vie to build the best settlement by trading and bartering limited resources. Whichever player is first to earn 10 victory points will win the game.
Ticket to Ride
This game, produced by Days of Wonder, has sold over 6 million games to date. Players build their own cross-country train networks by collecting different cards. While the rules are simple, the strategy required to hold the train routes (that get increasingly longer and more valuable) will keep your family engaged for hours!
You can also find lots of expansions in different countries, such as India, Germany, the Netherlands, and much more.
Wits and Wagers
One of North Star Games’ biggest hits, this game asks outrageous questions (that no one knows the answer to) and invites players to guess. Then everyone bets on whichever guess that they think has the highest odds of being right.
Editor’s note: You may also enjoy our blog post of educational math games for homeschoolers.
Any homeschool family game favorites we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!