Holiday Gift Guide: Games
This is the week that keeps on giving! First the huge announcement from yesterday, and today – the holiday gift guides!
I’m posting these popular gift guides weeks earlier than normal so that you can capitalize on Amazon Prime day if you are ready to do your holiday shopping early. If not, no worries! These guides will be here all season long!
As you know, I recommend only things we’ve loved, bought and used ourselves (or things our family and friends have introduced us to). This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of favorite games, just a random selection of the ones we love!
If you need even more gift-giving inspiration, there are many other gift guides in the archives that include some of our favorite gifts of all time!
If you have something amazing to recommend, I’m all ears- I love good recommendations. Let me know in the comments!
>>>All the Amazon links below are affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if purchases are made through that link. PLEASE feel free to shop around for the best price.<<<
Games, Games, Games
Uno Flip: We love this version of Uno! Lately, this is the game we pull out most when we want to play a quick game but don’t have a lot of time. We’ve introduced this game to several families, too – a hit every time!
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza: SUPER simple, this game is fabulous for big groups (older kids and teens, especially). This is Cam’s group of friends favorite game (in fact, I think one of them brings it to school and they play it during lunch every day!).
Outsmarted: My sister and I agree that this game is one of the funnest we’ve played this year! This game is like a combination of Trivial Pursuit, Kahoot and other interactive quiz games. You do have to download an app and use a device, but you don’t need a device for every player (on the flipside, you CAN use a device for every player and people can even join remotely – like if you have kids or family members or friends living away from you). Super fun!
Popdarts: This is an interactive game that is perfect for active teenagers, and fun for the whole family! My kids play this less as a game and more as a “can I actually land the popdart if throwing one of them off the banister” type challenge.
Shocktato: We had this game last Christmas and played it with every person/family that walked through our door. I’m not sure it was the best way to welcome them! Haha. This game is wild and fun…it’s exactly what it sounds like. Hot potato with a toy potato that will shock you (more like a strong buzz) if you’re left holding on to it. Super easy, fun group game.
Yamslam: I love easy-to-learn and easy-to-play dice games, and this is just that! It’s a fast game, too, and we pull it out often on weeknights for a quick game sesh.
Herd Mentality: This fun game reminds me of Double Ditto (and Listography down below) where you try and match answers with the group. I’m only a little bitter that every time we’ve played, I’ve ended up with the stinking pink cow (which makes you the loser).
Card Shuffler: We have this card shuffler and use it constantly. I’m not the world’s greatest shuffler, and this shuffles the cards fast! It’s perfect for any game where cards need shuffled.
Cascadia: My sister’s family has this game, and we’ve played it with them many times. It is a) gorgeous, b) clever and c) strategic. Every time you play, it’s a bit different, which makes it fun to play. I think this game is best for age 9 or 10 and older.
Disney Color Brain: We’re huge fans of the original Color Brain game – and this Disney version is fantastic. We received it last year for Christmas and have played it many times over this last year! We did get through the cards pretty quickly, but there are enough cards and enough time in between game play to keep it fresh and exciting.
Spikeball: I know this game has been around a long time, but it’s worthy of this list based on how much it is played with around here. My kids (all of them) are obsessed. We’ve had a knock-off brand, as well, and this original Spikeball set has lasted much longer.
BattleChip: A unique cross between cornhole and golf, we got Brian this game for Father’s Day and highly recommend it as a great game to add to outdoor game playing.
Taboo: This game pretty much defines my teen years. It’s been around FOREVER. I recently re-introduced it to my own teens, and they loved it (read: it got quite competitive). Such a classic and so fun!
Magnetic Chess: I have a few kids that would play chess nonstop (on their phones) if I let them. We’ve had several wooden and homemade chess sets over the years, but this magnetic one takes the cake. It’s sturdy, well-made, and perfect for in-person chess playing.
Magic Puzzle: Have you experienced the maddening delight of one of these puzzles from the Magic Puzzle Company? One of you recommended them to me, and they were the hit of holiday break last year. They are unlike any puzzle you’ve ever experienced!
Puzzle Board: We finally invested in a puzzle board – high time based on how often we do puzzles. This large version is perfect because the puzzle can stay in process on the board and get tucked underneath a couch or bed to finish later. (FYI: the magic puzzles don’t work well on these puzzle boards because of the moving “nature” of the puzzles.)
It’s In the Bag: Ok, this game is FUN. So fun. It’s one of my favorite games on this list! You play it in teams, so I think it helps to have at least six players for optimal fun, but you could have teams of two, as well.
Listography: Another game where you want to try and match answers with others, this game has a couple fun twists that set it apart. It is really fun (and loud – at least with our group that likes to shout out their answers)! My only caveat is that the game board is pretty flimsy and the pieces don’t stay on well. Otherwise, I highly recommend it!
Ten: My aunt and uncle introduced us to this game earlier this year, and I think it ranks up there with my all-time favorites. It’s a relatively simple sequence card game with an auction-like twist. I love this one! It took me a few games to get behind it, but now it’s a favorite.
Fire Tower: This is a fun, strategic game that doesn’t take hours to play – it’s relatively quick! It’s also pretty easy to learn, which isn’t always the case with involved strategic games, if you know what I mean. It is probably best for 12 and up.
Beard Wizards: Any game that describes itself as a way to “harness the raw power of facial hair” has my interest. Haha. This game is quick to play, easy to learn, and really fun! It’s a hilarious game to play (it might seem confusing at first, but it’s a quick learn!).
Amigo Take 5: I’ve professed my love for the 6 Nimmt card game many times. Since it’s next-to-impossible to find the original version, this two-in-one game box is a keeper! It includes Take 5 (the US version of 6 Nimmt) and Take a Number (also known as X Nimmt). 6 Nimmt/Take 5 is one of our most oft-played games around here, and Take a Number is just as fun! This set is a must-have for card game lovers.
Games for Younger Kids
Because I don’t have littles anymore, these game recommendations come from several of my good friends that have still have kids under the age of eight. These are the games they love and highly recommend!
Sequence for Kids: I love the adult and junior versions of sequence, so this “kid” version is bound to be amazing. The reviews are stellar on this one!
Don’t Break the Ice: I lied, this is my recommendation, because my kids played this game nonstop when they were little (and we still have it tucked away in our game closet). It is a classic and such a fun, interactive game for kids (and adults!).
Ocean Raiders Math Game: Games that are so fun you don’t realize you are learning math are the best kind of games! This is a cooperative game. My friends say it’s best for ages 4 to 5 and up.
Count Your Chickens: This adorable game gets rave reviews from my friends who have kids in the 3 to 6 age range. I’m a fan simply because: chickens!
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel: The most recommended game on this “younger kid” list, this game is perfect for preschoolers (it’s kind of like Hi Ho Cherry-o with colors instead of counting). It also has over 10,000 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Hi Ho Cherry-O: Another classic for our family, I played this hundreds of times with my kids when they were little. It got quite competitive! (haha, simmer down, momma!) This game has nostalgic value for me – but it’s also genuinely fun for preschoolers and young kids.
Yeti in My Spaghetti: The premise of this game could not be simpler! Don’t let the Yeti fall into the spaghetti. 🙂 This game is fun for the whole family (and although the game says ages 4 and up, my friends say it could be played with younger kids, too).
Pancake Pile-Up: This is a super fun relay-race type game (so it is active!) that also teaches kids patterns. My friend who has this game says it’s her kids’ favorite – such a clever game!
Here are some favorite game highlights from past gift guides!
- Double Ditto
- Code Names
- Patchwork (great 2-player game)
- Cover Your Assets and Cover Your Kingdom
- Goat Lords
- Monopoly Deal
- Play Nine
- Skull King
- Skyjo (similar to Play Nine)
- Enchanted Forest
- Battle of the UFO’s
- Animal Trivia Challenge
- Wits and Wagers
- Jokers and Marbles
Tons of other gift guides here if you need more gift-giving inspiration!