11 of the Most Exciting Family Board Games for Christmas 2016

We love board games any time of year but especially at Christmas time when we have more free time to play them. So we all know the classic family board games that everyone loves like Monopoly and Cluedo but what’s new in the land of board games? Here are 11 of the Most Exciting Family Board Games for Christmas 2016:

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#1. Hedbanz


We used to play this with bits of paper stuck to our foreheads! Hedbanz is the question game of “What am I” where each player has a card on a headband on their forehead and has to guess if they are an animal, food or object before the timer runs out.

Suitable for ages 7+ with 2-6 players.

Available from and

#2. Dobble


My kids played this during the summer with their cousins and loved it. In Dobble, players compete with each other to find the matching symbol between one card and another. Every card is unique and has only one symbol in common with any other in the deck. The match can be difficult to spot as the size and positioning of the symbols can vary on each card.

As the game is based on reactions and visual perception, rather than knowledge or strategy, there is no advantage for adults over children, making it the perfect family game.

Suitable for ages 6+ and playable by 2-8 players.

Available from and

#3. Bananagrams


Another favourite in our house, Bananagrams is a fun word game with tiles that come in a banana pouch. All you need is a table and the Bananagrams. We find it fun to play as a family but it’s also educational as kids are trying to spell words.

You share the tiles out between the players then take it in turns to build words in the style of a crossword. The crossword changes all the time as more tiles are picked up and placed into words. You can play in teams too.

Suitable for ages 5+ (simple words) and as many players as you have tiles for.

Available from and

#4. Pie Face

pie face

The big hit from Christmas last year (you could not get your mitts on one anywhere!), with its pie throwing arm that could go off at any moment splatting you in the face with whipped cream!

You must hold your nerve and keep your fingers crossed – because this is one game where you don’t want to end up splat on your face.

Suitable for ages 5+ and no limit on players as you just take turns.

Available from and

Recommended Reading: Hot Toys for Christmas 2016

#5. Qwirkle


In Qwirkle players have to build lines by matching tiles based on either colour or shape scoring points as you go. While it seems as simple as matching colours and shapes, you also need to think strategically when you play and players have lots of in-game choices, with 36 possible color/symbol combinations.

Suitable for ages 6+ and for 2-4 players.

Available from and

#6. Blokus


There’s just one rule in Blokus: each piece you play must touch at least one other piece of the same colour, but only at the corners! It takes less than a minute to learn but can really challenge the whole family. Each player gets a set of 21 pieces – red, blue, green, or yellow – then takes turns placing them on the board.

The goal is to fit the most pieces on the board. The game ends when no one can place any more pieces. Everyone counts the squares in their unplayed pieces and the player with the lowest score wins!

Suitable for ages 7+ and up to 4 players.

Available from and

#7. Scrabble Twist N Turn

scrabble twist n turn

Scrabble Twist N Turn is a new version of the old classic. It’s fast, easy and you don’t have a board, or need points. Colour-coded “Gotcha” tiles add twists and skip turns make game play more lively. The first player to get rid of all of their tiles wins.

Suitable for ages 8+ and up to 4 players.

Available from and

#8. Mashin’ Max

mashin max

In Mashin’ Max, you have to hurry and scurry around the board as fast as you can and gather as many berries as you can while you’re doing it. But you’ve got to protect your critters from Mashin’ Max, because he thinks mashing critters is silly fun – and you lose all your berries if he mashes one of yours! He spins and slams and you can only win by dodging his big fists.

Suitable for ages 4+ and 2-3 players

Available from and

#9. Rapidough


Think of Pictionary combined with Playdough! Rapidough is a team game of sculpting charades. Each team takes a turn to create a model of what’s on their card. The 1st team to guess correctly what their sculpter is creating wins the round. However, there is a twist – the winning team gets to steal a plug of dough. The result is that teams can end up with a pea-size piece of dough to model with.

Suitable for ages 8+ and 2 teams or more.

Available from and

#10. Simon Air

simon air

Get ready to Swoop, Swerve, and Hover! Now with touch-free technology, the Simon Air game is the new version of the popular Simon game. Players can choose to play solo or with a friend. Either way, the goal of the game is to repeat the light pattern for a long as possible.

Suitable for ages 8+ and 2 players.

Available from and

#11. Zingo!


Zingo! is a matching game where players match the pictures and words to their challenge cards. The Zingo! Zinger dispenses tiles and fun as young minds quickly race to be the first player with a full card and yell “ZINGO!” Two levels of play make this a great game for kids to play with older or younger siblings.

Suitable for ages 4+ and 2 or more players.

Available from and

Over to you now. Are any of these board games a family favourite? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

family board games

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls