Are you looking for a way to bond with your tweens and teens? Look no further because this list of the best board games for teens is exactly what you need!
During the pandemic and the shelter in place orders, my family and I were desperately searching for ways to keep ourselves entertained. We tried lots of different things and even came up with a quarantine bucket list.
My teens, my husband and I spent hours working on jigsaw puzzles, watching movies and making crafts, but some of the best nights we had were spent playing board games.
Board games are experiencing a surge in popularity and it is not all related to the pandemic and people staying at home. They are fun, generally easy to play and most are good for a wide range of ages, which makes them perfect for families.
So even though society is starting to reopen, this list will still come in handy for rainy days and family nights.
Why board games are good for your teens
There are benefits to board games that you may not have considered. First, playing a game allows you to spend time with your teens. It gets them away from electronics and makes them focus on having fun with the family.
Second, board games can help teens develop their brains. Some games are strategic and force your teen to plan ahead and use critical thinking skills. Other games call for creative thinking and self-expression, which are valuable tools for teens to possess.
Lastly, board games can be good for your teen’s health. Yes, I’m actually being serious about this and there is research to back it up. Laughter has been proven to be good for your mental and physical health. Plus, when people laugh together, it forms a bond between them.
Which one should you choose?
So how do you decide which games are right for your family? I’ve broken them down into some general categories and included Amazon links to make it easier for you. You can read my descriptions and also click the link to see the Amazon reviews.
As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you.
Games to make you laugh
Kids Against Maturity is the board game that inspired this article. My family played it last week and had a blast! In fact, my 12-year-old son was laughing so hard that he was practically crying. The game is like a toned-down version of Cards Against Humanity, with lots of fart and poop references.
The tag line for Exploding Kittens is “A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats“. Sounds interesting, right? The artwork and sayings on the cards are hilarious, plus, it is super easy to play and the games are quick (about fifteen minutes).
Watch Ya’ Mouth is a funny, family-friendly game that is appropriate for all ages. It’s almost impossible to not laugh when your kid sticks a mouthguard in and tries to relay a message like “busy buzzing bumble bees” to you. You can have up to 10 players and for the germophobes reading this; the mouthpieces are washable.
Throw Throw Burrito is the world’s first dodgeball card game. It is for 2-6 players and appropriate for all members of the family. Be warned, the game involves hurling super soft, squishy burritos at each other so play it in a safe space.
Do you remember Cranium? Cranium Dark is the game you knew and loved as a kid, but for a slightly older crowd. Act, draw and sculpt your way to a win by being the first player to collect seven cards.
The object of Picwits is to pick a picture to go with a cation. With a rotating judge for each round and over 140 different captions, Picwits is a solid pick for your next family game night.
Strategy based board games for teens
If you are a fan of Risk, then consider Settlers of Catan for your next game night. This award-winning game lets you build a civilization and harvest and trade resources while keeping an eye out for the other players. It is best for 3-4 players and does take a little while to complete a game (60+ minutes). Expansion packs are available to keep the game fresh and exciting for years to come.
Pandemic debuted in 2008, but it is particularly relevant now. This game promotes collaboration as everyone works together to stop four worldwide outbreaks. You will need 2-4 players and a good amount of time to complete the game (45+ minutes).
Ticket to Ride is another game that requires thought and planning. The basic premise is simple – design train routes throughout the country that are long and connect cities. This game is great for competitive teens and takes 30-60 minutes to play. Best for 2-5 players.
Unstable Unicorns sounds like it would be just for laughs, but there is an element of skill involved too. The goal is to build a unicorn army before anyone else. The game was funded by Kickstarter and was named the People’s Choice Toy of the Year in 2019. You will need 2-8 players and 30-45 minutes per game. Expansion packs are also available.
Games for older teens
What do you meme? is hilarious, but definitely not appropriate for younger teens. The concept is simple – create the funniest meme by captioning a picture. The game is fun and easy, but there are a lot of references to sex and drugs, plus vulgar language.
Not Parent Approved is another “fill in the blank” type of game. There are some cards that are definitely for more mature teenagers, but this game is guaranteed to make your teens howl with laughter.
Relative Insanity is similar to Cards Against Humanity, but there are lots of hillbilly family jokes. This one is better for older, more mature teens because there are a lot of sexual references on the cards.
Classic board games for the whole family
Monopoly is an oldie, but a goodie. This game teaches your kids about money and budgeting in a fun way. It is best with at least 3-4 players and can take a little while to complete a game (60+ minutes).
My kids have always loved Uno. It is simple to play and fun for everyone from young kids to adults. Plus, it is easily portable so the Uno cards seem to accompany us on every camping trip and beach vacation
Taboo has been around for years and still delivers lots of laughs. The object of the game is to get your teammates to guess a word, without using certain words to help them. This is a great game for parties or family game nights.
Apples to Apples is an award-winning, comparison card game. It is family-friendly and easy to play, even with large groups.
5 Second Rule is actually a lot more difficult than it seems. The object of the game is to name three things in a certain category within five seconds. However, there is something about the timer counting down that makes your mind go completely blank, which is part of the appeal of this game.
A few more board games for teens
The goal of Bears vs Babies is simple. Create the most magnificent monster to eat the most horrible babies. The tweens and younger teens in your house will love using their imagination to create the monsters and the furry game box is adorable.
Jimmy Fallon plays Box Of Lies on the Tonight Show and now you can play it at home too. This game will help your teen use their imagination as they have to describe or invent what is in the box and try to trick the other players. The game is for up to four players.
Get to know the inner workings of your kids’ minds by playing Would You Rather. This card game presents two choices and they have to say which one they would rather do. As a mom, I thought it was not only fun, but insightful too.
What did you think of the list? Were there a couple of games that caught your interest? Did I miss your favorite board game for teens? Drop a comment below and let me know!
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