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Not every board game is a great fit for lots of players, at least not when you play “by the rules.” But there are some great board games for large families.
When my oldest daughter was about seven, she really got into board games. And it was so much fun for my husband and I to play some of our favorites with her. But we quickly realized that many of the best games required four players. And with only three of us ready for the strategy, we had to leave quite a few on the shelf.
Fast forward a few years, and we now have four kids who really are at the perfect age for many games. And a couple of younger ones who want to be involved in any way possible.
So now we have the opposite problem – too many players for many of our old favorites. Thankfully, there are some amazing games that are designed for six, eight, ten, or even more players. And these games are quickly becoming new favorites.
- Interest players of different ages
- Are easily adaptable based on the skill and reading level of players
- Are enjoyable enough to play more than once
- Don’t take hours to play – most are in the 30 to 60-minute range, which is perfect for a quick family game night
Want to see which games made our list? Here are our top ten favorites.
1. Settlers of Cataan – with the Extension Pack
While the normal Settlers of Cataan can only accommodate four players, they make extension packs for each of the versions. These add-ons contain the pieces you need to add two more players.
We currently have extension packs for the original Settlers of Cataan, and four of the expansion packs:
I’m pretty sure this means we have the entire line of extensions…if you know of one we don’t have please let me know!
Each of them are so much fun! We love that they:
- Have enough pieces the younger kids can free play with them while the rest of us play.
- Use the same base rules but expand them with each so they feel fresh, but not overwhelming for the kids.
- Have so many map ideas and scenarios inside – they really do a good job of introducing one new concept at a time.
- Have a definite end – there’s no playing until everyone else runs out of money or anything, just play until one player reaches the required points. This typically takes an hour for the shorter campaigns and a little longer for the more complex ones.
We’ve found this game to be a good fit for our kids once they turn about seven. But, our kids start playing games when they are small and we do a lot of talking about them. So, they typically are ready before the “recommended age” of the manufacturers.
This game works for early readers, since there’s not a lot of reading going on. The resource cards all have images, and the “price formulas” for buying things are written with images as well.
You can also have younger kids “team up” with an older player. Then they can put the cards down and build cool things with the pieces you haven’t put on the board yet. It’s amazing how quickly kids can pick up the rules when they get to sit alongside you and participate.
2. Wits and Wagers – Family Edition
We first heard about this game several years ago while listening to Dave Ramsey. It’s been such a fun addition to our game collection!
There are five different spaces on the scorecard, so you can just team up with more players than that. We often play in teams, pairing younger and older players.
Game play for Wits and Wagers: Family Edition is super simple. The question cards ask questions that require a number answer. Each player or team writes the answer they think it is on their dry erase board. Once everyone has the answer written down, these boards are arranged from smallest to largest.
Then it’s time to vote. Each player gets to place a couple of tokens on the boards they think has the right answer. You can go all in on one number, or spread out your votes to try to maximize your odds of earning points.
Once the real answer is revealed, it’s time to score. You get points for guessing the closest number (without going over) and for having people guess what you wrote.
It’s super accessible, especially if you just have the readers do the reading. Most four and five year olds can write numbers, and they enjoy voting. Score keeper is also a fun job for a middle child – using a dry erase marker to fill in circles for points is exciting!
Once one person or team has filled in all the circles on their line of the scoreboard, the game is over. This doesn’t take too long, about half an hour or so.
3. Five Second Rule Jr. (Or the Original Five Second Rule)
Can you name three ice cream flavors in five seconds? What about three makes of cars?
The goal of Five Second Rule is to spit things out quickly. You draw a card, read it, and then have five seconds to name three of whatever it says.
This game is a lot of fun because it:
- Has a noisy timer that kids love
- Plays super quickly
- Makes everyone think
- Allows other players to try a card one player missed
- Helps teach you to think quickly
When we play with younger kids, we have one person be the reader. They read the cards for everyone.
The Jr. version comes with a board and six pawns, but honestly we don’t use that often. We typically just grab the box of cards and timer and have one person start reading.
We set a number (like 10) and the first person to get that many cards wins. It only takes about 15-25 minutes to play a whole game, so this is a great game to pull out for a quick surprise game night before bed.
This is one of the newest additions to our board game collection. I found it at Wal-Mart this summer on clearance for only $9! You better believe I scooped that deal right up…
Dixit accommodates six players. The pictures cards are large and beautiful.
To win, you need to be the first player to earn 30 points. Here is how the game is played:
- One player goes first. They look at the cards in their hand and secretly select one. Then, they say a word or phrase that relates to the card.
- All the other players look at their cards and pick one that matches that word or phrase. Then they play these facedown.
- When everyone has played, the cards get mixed up and set out along the board.
Now the voting stage begins. Each person tries to guess which card the original player put down.
You get points for guessing correctly, and having other people guess yours. There are a couple of quirks in the scoring, but once you get used to them it’s easy to keep track of.
This game works really well for even younger players. There is absolutely no reading involved. Kids often pick up on small details that the older players miss.
We are definitely going to have to pick up some expansions to this game, because it’s quickly becoming a family favorite.
5. Ticket to Ride
Since six players can play Ticket to Ride, it works perfectly for our family in this current season. And, we play it a lot…
- The Original
- The 1910 expansion
- Heart of Africa expansion
- France/Old West
- Rails and Sails/Great Lakes
- New York (a smaller game with taxis)
Once you learn how to play, you’re all set. Though the rules vary slightly between versions, the game play is very similar.
The goal is to punch tickets by building train routes between cities. You want to earn the most points by the time the game is over.
We love this game because it:
- Plays quickly – about an hour for most of the games (though Rails and Sails can take longer)
- Teaches the kids geography (they’re getting so much more familiar with locations around the world!)
- Requires strategy
- Has extra train pieces the younger kids can play with 😀
This game does require some reading, but it’s supported with pictures. Our seven-year-old is able to play the original version with a little support but hasn’t quite picked up on the rule changes in the other versions. The added strategy is a little much for her currently.
We’ve had this game for a long time. It’s definitely seen better days, as we’re now missing some of the dice. But, we still have a lot of fun with it.
As long as you have two players, any number can play this one. It’s perfect for large families since it’s so flexible.
You randomly set up the nine tiles in a 3X3 grid. Then, you start. One player rolls the die to see what card they flip. There are three colors of cards, red, blue, and green.
- Blue cards – “Find it First” – everyone looks on the tiles for the image that matches the card. When they find it, they shout, “Pictureka!” and point to the image.
- Green cards – “Personal Cards” – Read the card then roll the die. You need to find that many of whatever object is on the card before the timer runs out.
- Red cards – “Outbid” – How many of a random object do you think you can find? Before looking at what the card says, everyone begins bidding. Can you find 5? What if your sister says 6? Do you risk saying 7? The highest bid flips the card and reads it. Now they have to find that number of the object shown.
This game is perfect for larger families with kids of various ages because there’s very little reading involved. Kids of all ages can look for images on the board, even if they aren’t quite fast enough to be the winner. We do remove the timer for the youngest players on the green cards, just to provide a little extra encouragement.
The first person to get six cards is the winner. It plays in about half an hour. If everyone is super-speedy in finding things, it goes even quicker.
7. Luck of the Draw
Enjoy drawing games but not a great artist? This game might be a great fit for you! After everyone has the opportunity to draw the selected word, up to three different characteristics are voted on each round. Players vote for the picture that most closely matches the characteristic.
For instance, you may be deciding who drew the:
- Simplest drawing
- Most cartoon like drawing
- Drawing with the most details
- The most complex drawing
- Drawing an art teacher would be most likely to hang in the center
And so on. There are so many categories, that the points get spread out fairly evenly. It’s a fun, low-key beginning drawing game.
Up to eight people can play Luck of the Draw, which is awesome. And there are fun voting wheels that my kids love playing with.
This game has been in our family since back in 2003 when Bryan was still in the Navy, stationed in San Diego. The church we attended at the time had a game night for young married couples. This was one of the games we played. We enjoyed it so much we purchased it right away.
Of course, it was one of those games that really works better with four players, so it sat on the shelf for a really long time as we waited for our kids to grow up…
In Guesstures, you have to guess what the other people on your team are acting out. So it’s basically charades. But it has some fun components that the kids love, especially the card holder. It’s designed to look like one of those movie director things.
For this game, you break into two teams. They don’t even have to be perfectly even, so don’t stress too much about it. If you have a non-reader playing, allow someone from the opposite team to help them read the words.
Players get to act out up to four words on their turn. Then they add up the points of any that the team guessed and write it down. At the end of all the rounds, the team with the most points wins.
9. Say Anything
This was a fun game we got for Christmas a couple of years ago. We actually got the Family Edition as well, which has much more kid-geared questions. But, they both versions of Say Anything are lots of fun!
To play, one person reads the question on the card. Then, the other players use their dry erase boards to write an answer. But, there’s a catch. They have to write an answer that would be a match for the person who read the card.
So, if it asks, “What’s my favorite ice cream?” you have to write down what you think that person’s favorite is, not your own. And, you can’t duplicate an answer that’s already down, so being speedy is important!
When everyone has an answer down, it’s time to vote.
The person who the answers are about secretly uses the color wheel to vote for the one they think is best. Then everyone else uses a color wheel to vote for which one the other person picked.
You get points for writing the correct answer, and for people voting for the one you wrote. Scores are kept on the score card.
This game can have eight players, so gather the family around and use it as a way to learn more about each other!
It’s time for a classic game that can have up to eight players. My family played this all the time when I was growing up, and I love playing it with my family now! (Except we don’t cheat like everyone did when I was younger :D) If you ever need advice on cheating at Pictionary, my Mom and Aunt Joanne can hook you up 😀 😀 😀
In Pictionary, your goal is to get your partner to guess the word you are drawing before the time runs out. If you accomplish this feat, you get to move on the board. The first team to reach Finish is the champion. And they get bragging rights – or at least they did when I was a kid!
There are different categories of words and a couple of different rules for the rounds. Sometimes, all teams draw at once and the first one to guess wins. Other times it’s just you and your partner. When I was younger, we played the first edition. This one we have now has some other game play variation. But, typically I prefer to stick to the “old-fashioned” way to play.
With younger kids, I like to have someone take them aside and whisper the word. We will occasionally draw a new card if the word is something that player hasn’t heard of. But, starting the kids at about eight seems to help with this quite a bit. Their vocabulary has grown quite a bit by then, and they don’t get as frustrated with their partner when they can’t guess correctly.
But, younger kids can sit and draw alongside you, which helps them feel included.
What Are Your Favorite Large Family Board Games?
I’d love to hear what games are perfect for six or eight players. We’re always looking for new ones to add to our collection, so please share in the comments.
And I’d appreciate it if you’d pin this post for later!