Need a holiday gift idea for a family with teens?
Here are some tried and true favorite family games that the teens in our family (and their friends) always seem to love to join in and play.
Top 10 Favorite Family Games Appealing to Teens
1. Scattergories (ages 13 and older) - Scattergories challenges players to write down asnwers while a timer is ticking as you try to come up with words that match the letter rolled on the dice with the category on a sheet. Players need to think creatively and think outside the box to excel at this game. We spend hours playing this large group game with extended family members as well as our own family unit and laughs ensue. You can play this game on teams or as individuals. This is definitely the game where it pays to be unique and different from the crowd in terms of your creative answers. as your answer is canceled out if someone else has a matching answer. What a great message to promote to teens that being different wins points! We have played this game with our kids since they were in elementary school and play with multigenerations with great success.
2. Phase 10 (2-6 players) ages 7 and older- a rummy-type game with the first player to reach the 10th phase wins; usually in about 45 minutes to an hour. I love how multigenerations can play this game together and how each player is working at their "own pace" to proceed through levels of collecting sets or runs. When I was growing up, my family played Progressive Rummy, which I feel is very similar.
3. Apples to Apples Party Box - this award winning comparison game can be played with 4 to 10 players and is a quick game for people to learn. Apples to Apples provides great humor, eliciting many laughs, while challenging teens to also use quick thinking in comparing different things. This card game includes 1,000 different cards with a Green pile of Adjectives and a Red pile of Nouns or Actions. Adjectives are announced and then each player uses cards with actions or nouns in their respective hands that they think best match the adjective (examples such as "Scary", "Wild", "Graceful", "Happy"). A rotating judge selects his or her favorite adjective description each round. I love that this game can be played with multigenerations and ends in great laughter amongst family members or friends.
4. Loaded Questions (must be a teen or older) - I love games in which there is no "right" or "wrong" anser and this is one of those games that all you need to know or guess is who said what answer. The game is designed for 4 to 6 players and for those 12 years and older. There is an advantage to knowing players "better than others" but it definitely doesn't matter if you are playing with those you just met. We laugh so hard when we play this game as our teens often try to "throw" others off by putting down obscure answers which is a game in itself guessing who wrote down the craziest answer. This is one of those games that I could play for hours, laughing on and on, as you get to learn other people's opinions or thoughts on the nearly 1,000 questions that come with the game. This is probably my personal favorite game to play with our teens. Sample questions: For what world-changing event would you like to take credit? What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone? What book had the most profound impact on your life? Where would you hate to be by yourself? If you could rid the earth of three creatures what would they be? Who in this room snores the loudest? What are most afraid of? What's the longest you have gone without taking a shower?
5. Sequence Game - This exciting game uses playing chips, cards and a game board and is designed for ages 7 and up. The game involves a great deal of strategy to try to get a sequence of five in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. A little skill and a great deal of luck make this a simple game to learn and you can play with two to twelve people but it must be in multiples of two or three. The game can range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes but averages about 15-20 minutes. There is a Kids Edition of this game too.
6. Blokus Game - I must warn you. This game is highly addictive! This award-winning strategy game is perfect for varying ages from age five and up. Using various shaped tiles, this strategic board game challenges spatial thinking and creative thinking. The game received the Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity. The Hubs' and I have spent hours challenging each other and our kids to this game over the past few years. Although strategy is involved, it's an easy game to learn to master after just one round or one observation.
7. Qwirkle Board Game - is similar to Sequence, Scrabble and Othello as it involves strategy in maneuvering tiles in a well-planned strategic way. This game can be played by two to four players and is designed for ages 6 and up although the strategy involved helps to have similar age ranges playing together. Each game lasts from 30-45 minutes and can get pretty cutthroat amongst those that take their competition seriously. This game won a Parent's Choice Game Award for the critical thinking skills and strategy development that goes into this game.
8. Rummikub - This Thanksgiving this game was introduced to our teens and proved to be an easy game to pick up with strategy learned as you play, especially with experienced players like my sister-in-law Angie and niece A.J.! Using tiles with numbers in different colors, you must combine your tiles in runs or sets. This is one of those family games that are fun and challenging for the adults as well as kids beginning at age 8 years and older.
9. Would You Rather? - This is another hilarious large group game that needs at least four or more players. Count on at least 45 minutes of outrageous discussions that really make you think with "mind-boggling questions" comparing two different scenarios ranging from the absurd, bizarre, ethical or mind-expanding questions. There is a version for younger children as this version is strictly for family members over the age of 12.
10. Tied: Monopoly and Yahtzee - these two classic games both reign supreme in my house. We have several versions of each game. I think these games have both been around long enough that they need no explanation.
The list would not be complete in the eyes of my teens if I did not include the following games that need merely a deck of cards (and a few household spoons) so I have provided our family favorite card games as well.
All You Need is a Deck of Cards: