It’s finally winter break and you’re looking to spend some time with your kids. Which is perfect because it’s easy to pack in fun holiday-related activities during the break. But what happens when you run out of your planned holiday activities? What do you do with all that time? Well, we have a list of great games and activities that can be played during this winter break! Say goodbye to bored kids! Here are our top picks for games to play during winter break:
1) UNO – If you’re looking for a game that is perfect for all ages, check out UNO! This card game can be played by anyone and is all about matching colors and numbers in order to get rid of your cards first. So it’s great for helping younger kids learn their colors and numbers. If you’ve got a whole bunch of people, then play with two decks because it will make things more interesting!
- UNO is the classic family card game that’s easy to learn and so much fun to play!
- In a race to deplete your hand, match one of your cards with the current card shown on top of the deck by either color or number.
2) Mastermind for Kids – This game is perfect for anyone who loves a good puzzle. It can be played with two or more players, and the goal is to figure out your opponent’s code! Our 6-year-old twins just learned to play this game. They loved cheering each other on as worked to figure out one another’s codes.
- 3 levels of play make this the easiest Mastermind to learn
- Players take turns setting secret codes and solving the codes
3) Sleeping Queens – This is the current family favorite in our house. Easy enough that preschoolers can understand, but complicated enough to keep teens and adults interested. The goal of the game is to collect as many queens (of course) as possible by playing cards that match the numbers on the sleeping queens. The twist? There are only eight kings in the deck, so you need to use them wisely! Our kids also love that it was designed by a 6-year-old!
- The package height is 1.5″
- The package lenght is 5.6″
4) Yeti in My Spaghetti – Quick setup, game play, and take down. This game is an easy way to quickly fit in some extra family time after dinner. This game will get the whole family laughing as they try to remove spaghetti noodles without knocking over yeti! This is a great way for kids of all ages to build their fine-motor skills while having fun.
- OODLES OF NOODLES—Lay out the noodles over the bowl with the Yeti on top!
- PULL THE NOODLES—Remove the strands of noodles from the bowl, but don’t let the yeti fall!
5) Spot It – This game is great for all ages and can be played with as few as two players. The goal is to find a matching symbol between the cards that are face up. With so many different symbols, it keeps things interesting and challenging. A fun matching game that’s easy to set up anywhere! Perfect for travel. Throw it in a bag and bring it to Grandma’s over the holiday!
- QUICK AND ENERGETIC: Spot It! is a fast-paced family card game that sharpens reflexes and observation skills.
- MULTIPLE WAYS TO PLAY: Enjoy 5 mini-games with easy-to-learn rules, suitable for players of all ages.
6) Sushi Go – This is the game my family is getting for Christmas. It’s a card game where you try and collect the best sushi dishes. The game can be played with two to five players, and the recommended age is eight and up. It looks like a lot of fun, and it’s perfect for those who love sushi!
7) Monopoly Jr – This junior version of the classic game is perfect for younger kids. It’s shorter, has less complicated rules, and can be played with up to four players. It’s a great way to teach kids about money and property. My kids like to fight over the game pieces!
- SIMPLE AND FASTER MONOPOLY GAME FOR KIDS: This Monopoly Junior board game features simplified gameplay for budding Monopoly fans.
- FEATURES TOP HAT TOKEN: The Monopoly Junior game includes an adorable top hat token like the one worn by the Mr. Monopoly character
8) Gobblet Gobbers – Another game that is easy for kids to learn and play, but with enough strategy to keep adults entertained. The goal is to get four of your pieces in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. With so many different pieces and the possibility for them to be played in so many different ways, this game can be played again and again.
- COLORFUL AND FUN KIDS AND FAMILY STRATEGY BOARD GAME: With this fun children’s game, kids will exercise memory, strategy and focus & attention. Great to enhance critical thinking and to strengthen social skills. Easy to understand and play – no reading required
- HOW TO PLAY: In this fun 3-D twist on the classic tic-tac-toe game, line up three of your gobblers on a 3×3 grid to win – but beware, as bigger gobblers can gobble (cover) smaller ones, and one gobbler belonging to your opponent could be hiding underneath the gobbler you want to move across the board!
9) Blue Orange Games Chickyboom – A fun balance game that gets the whole family excited! It’s a fun way to work on balance and coordination. Kids will love the excitement of seeing the pieces fall while building fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and improving sportsmanship! My kids love seeing who can last the longest before tipping the chickens!
- COLORFUL PRESCHOOL BALANCING GAME: With this fun game, kids will exercise fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Great STEM activity to learn balance, counting with basic additions, and to strengthen social skills. Easy to understand and play – no reading required
- HOW TO PLAY: Stack up all the chickens, wagon wheels and hay barrels on the perch and balance it on the roof of the barn. Then remove the pieces one at a time before they lose their balance and the perch topples! Add the point value of each piece collected and get the highest score to win!
10) Qwirkle – This one is a little more complicated, but still fun for the whole family. It’s another game that helps younger kids improve their colors and numbers skills! It’s also perfect for adults who love strategy games. The game is simple to learn, but hard to master!
- Strategy Game: Qwirkle is the perfect game to hone player’s tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. This family game features a massive amount of choices, including 3 tiles each of 36 possible color-symbol combinations
- Easy to learn: An engaging game with easy to follow rules, Qwirkle is great for younger players while still challenging them mentally. Simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points as you go
12) Clue Jr – This junior version of Clue makes a classic mystery fun for young kids. Kids will enjoy playing detective by traveling around the board looking for clues that help figure out which room someone was murdered in, what weapon was used, and who did it! The best part? There’s no reading required, and the game only takes about half an hour to play.
- 2-IN-1 MYSTERY GAME: It’s the mystery game that grows with your child! This Clue Junior game offers twice the fun with a double-sided gameboard, featuring 2 school-day mystery games and 2 levels of play
- CLUE GAME FOR YOUNGER KIDS: Introduce kids to the iconic mystery board game. It features classic Clue gameplay, but with kid-friendly mysteries, a school setting, and classic Clue characters as kids
13) Hoot Owl Hoot – A cooperative game where everyone works together to get the owls back to their nests. This game is perfect for younger kids and helps teach them how to work cooperatively! This is one of my kids favorite games. Even our 3-year-old loves to play.
- HURRY LITTLE OWLS: In this color coordinated matching game, players cooperate to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Help all the owls home before sunrise and everyone wins!
- LEARNING AND GROWING: Kids learn simple strategy, following directions & taking turns. Two levels of play allow the game to grow with your child and lets older kids play with younger ones too.
14) Operation – This classic game is always a hit with kids and adults. The goal is to remove pieces from the body without setting off the buzzer. This game helps kids develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and learn cause-and effect relationships. It’s also perfect for anyone who loves to laugh!
- CLASSIC OPERATION GAMEPLAY: A favorite kids game for generations! With the Operation electronic game, kids get to play “the doctor” and perform “surgery” to make Cavity Sam better–or they get the buzzer
- SKILL AND COORDINATION: In this fun board game for kids, players use skill and coordination to remove all kinds of easy-grab wacky ailment pieces with the tweezers without hitting the sides of the cavities
15) Invasion of the Cow Snatchers – Work those logic muscles with this fun game! The goal is to figure out the sequence of colors that will open the cow’s cage. This game is perfect for kids and adults who love a good brain teaser. With so many different sequences and possibilities, it can be played again and again! Best played in turns, my family loves to watch each person complete their “turn” and cheer each other on!
- Trusted by Families Worldwide – With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world’s leader in brain and logic games.
- Develops critical skills – Builds logic and problem solving skills through fun gameplay.
16) Battleship – Who can sink the most ships? This classic game is perfect for kids and adults who love a good naval battle! It’s perfect for all ages, and can be played with two players or teams.
- CLASSIC BATTLESHIP GAME: This classic game of naval combat is a fun game for kids ages 7 and up
- HUNT, SEEK, WIN: This strategy game for kids is the ultimate search-and-destroy mission: call a shot and fire. Sink all of your opponent’s ships for the win
17) Go Fish – This classic card game is a great way to help kids practice their numbers and colors skills! It can be played with two to six players, and is perfect for younger kids.
- FISH ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD: Swim with the sharks and lunch with the lobsters while playing this classic card game of Go Fish! A family favorite just got even more fun with these creative designs.
- EDUCATIONAL: Go Fish is a great way for young kids to learn how to play cards – how to hold them, how to deal, how to read the numbers, and how to be polite by taking turns.
18) Sequence for Kids – This board game can be played with up to six players. Kids learn how to play in a fun and engaging way, which makes it my favorite game for family time!
- The classic game of SEQUENCE made just for kids!
- Play a card from your hand, and place your chip on the corresponding character on the board – the first with four chips in a row wins!
19) Pie Face – This one is definitely more of a novelty toy than an actual board game…but our kids love every second of it. You’ll need some whipped cream and a wet towel for cleanup!
- HILARIOUS PIE FACE GAME: This laugh-out-loud game for kids ages 5 and up might just splat players in the face
- PLAYERS TEST THEIR LUCK: On their turn, a player slides their head through the mask — watch out — pie-throwing arm could go off at any moment
20) Jenga – If you’ve never heard of this classic party game before, let me tell ya…it’s intense! It involves taking turns removing blocks from a tower until it falls apart.
- GREAT PARTY GAME: Liven up a party by bringing out the Jenga game; This classic block stacking game is simple, easy to learn, and makes a great birthday or holiday gift for adults and kids
- GREAT PARTY GAME: Liven up a party by bringing out the Jenga game! This classic block stacking game is simple, easy to learn, and makes a great birthday or holiday gift for adults and kids
21) Puzzles – Does your family love doing puzzles? We like to set up a new puzzle during the winter break and let our family work on it over several days. This year our new puzzle is Star Wars themed like the one above!
- Contains a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle
- Finished size is 38.5 in. X 26.5 in
22) Bananagrams – This classic word game can be played alone or with friends who have mastered spelling words past elementary school levels. It gets kids thinking critically and has the benefits of a great brain workout!
- FUN FOR EVERYONE – Gather your family and friends and race against each other to build crossword grids. This anagram game that will drive you bananas.
- ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL – While this game is easy to play, Bananagrams is also educational. Teach your kids how to spell words and have fun at the same time.
23) Rat-a-Tat Cat – A quick card matching game that keeps everyone engaged until someone wins! It only takes about ten minutes to play so it’s perfect if you have younger children trying to keep up with big cousins playing longer games.
- Children’s card game that helps develop timing and basic mathematical concepts
- Teaches strategy, memory building, and addition
24) Family Night Activities Pack – Do you still need more ideas on how to keep your family playing together this winter break? Check out our Family Night Activities Pack! It has 52 different games and activities that will keep your family entertained for hours on end!
Tips for board game success this winter break
Even with the best board games, it can sometimes be hard to sell our kids on game time. Here are a few tips to keep your kids engaged when they are getting sick of playing board games this winter break.
- Add treats. Candy, popcorn, and other snacks are a great way to up the ante with game night. Incorporate the treats into the game play, or just place a bowl of pretzels on the side for everyone to snack on while you play.
- Turn out the lights and play with flashlights.
- Have each player do pushups or jumping jacks before their turn.
- Build a fort and play your games inside.
- Have each player sing their turn.
- Be excited! It’s so much easier to sell our kids on fun when we are enthusiastic about the game too! Let them see your enthusiasm.
- Let your kids take turns setting up the board or puzzles.
- Get the whole family in on the game. If you’re playing a game that can be played with more than two players, invite your spouse or other siblings to join in on the fun!
Board games are the perfect way to keep our families entertained and busy this winter break! What are your favorite games to play during winter break?