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!
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) 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!
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.
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!
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 dinosaur game piece!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?