From movie nights to a hike through the woods, and everything in between, family time together creates lasting memories and bonds. Family games to play at home don’t have to be expensive or require anyone to spend hours preparing.
Whether you do a weekly family game night, or are simply looking for a fun family activity, this collection of over 100 Family game night ideas will give you ideas to last throughout the year!
I’ve included lots of new, unique family games to play at home, like free printable escape room games and a taste test challenge, and I couldn’t leave out some of the classic family games, like board games and karaoke.
So, when you are looking for ideas for your next family game night, scroll through the ideas below. Have fun creating memories as you create, play, laugh and work together.
The family game ideas are separated into nine categories to help you find what you’re looking for depending on the night. Try using an idea from a different category each week or let the kids look through and choose what they want to do.
You don’t have to buy something new for your game nights. You can do something different every week without spending a cent. I’ve tried to include games and activities that can be done with few to no materials, or materials that are common in most households.
It’s a long list, but it is meant to give you lots of options. Let your kids read through and find some that sounds exciting to them! Some of the games may only take ten to twenty minutes to play, others will fill your evening. Challenge your family to play all the games over the course of one year!
I’ve also included free printables for some of the games and activities to save you time, and money! There is also a printable list of the 100 Family Games to Play at Home. Can you complete all of the games in one year? Information to download is at the end of the post.
You can even try some Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities for a great way for your family to get out and spend time together helping others.
If you’re looking for a really simple idea without any planning or preparing, check out these fun LEGO activities and challenges. They’re a great way to spend time together.
Setting Up Your Family Game Night
You can set up your family game night anyway you want. Try kicking your evening off with a favorite meal to enjoy together and then introducing the game.
Whether the activity lasts hours or minutes, focus on each other and your time together.
Sometimes family night may only include parents and kids, but consider getting grandparents and other family involved sometimes. It’s up to you what you make of it.
The categories for the Family Games to Play at Home are:
- Free Printables
- Silly / Messy
- Guessing Games
- Scavenger Hunts
- Active Games
- Classic Games
Sometimes family games night at home can be done as a challenge and the winner from each round is recorded, however, other times you can choose not to keep score at all. It’s up to you.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Free Printable Family Games
If you are looking for something different to try on family night, a free printable game or activity cards are always a good choice. Each of the printables needed for the games below are available for free in my Resource Library. Details are at the bottom of this page.
The printables help you save money but also allow you to create your own cards and fill out your own printables.
Free Printable Escape Room – Escape rooms are very popular right now. Try one out in your own home for family games night with this free printable escape room. This activity does not require any special materials, like locks or keys.
All you need to do is print, quickly prepare the puzzles and then place the clues in designated places around the house.
Scavenger Hunt – The second family game night idea is a free printable scavenger hunt. Send players around the house to find, and collect a variety of specific items. First group back, wins!
Build a Story – For families who love writing and telling silly and creative stories, this game is easy to prepare and easy to try with extended family too. Simply print the Build a Story paper. Give each player a page and everyone writes one sentence in the first block to start the story.
They then pass it to the next player, who adds another sentence. Continue passing it around until the boxes are filled. Once filled, the next player reads the story, beginning to end.
Who am I? – Create a pile of character cards and two teams. Players each create 10 cards to start and then give their cards to the other team.
Print the name of a person, place or thing, on a piece of paper. One person chooses a card and either holds it on their forehead or attaches it with an elastic or tape.
Teammates can see the character on their players head, but the player with the card cannot. Other players give them clues, without saying the actual word, for them to guess who or what they are.
Building Block Challenge – This is a great hands-on activity, especially if you have little ones. Grab some wooden blocks or any building material, and create a few structures using only the blocks. A free printable to get you started with ideas is available.
Another idea to try with this building block challenge is to have a few people create together and challenge the other group to also create. Vote on who made it best.
Interview Me – Get to know each other with interview questions that may give you answers you never knew!
One Calm Night – Take a moment together to be mindful with this collection of ideas and activities to add calm to your night and work your way through the activity ideas. This has worked wonderfully on a game night after a busy day.
Escape Room Puzzles – If you are interested in trying an escape room, try creating one by printing these free puzzles. Use the puzzle templates to create the escape room of your dreams! You could also challenge each family member to create a new escape room of their own for others to play.
Letter Hunt Game – As a teacher, I’ve always loved this game! For little ones it is a great way to have some fun together and learn at the same time. Try out this Letter Hunt game that can be played around the house.
Make Your Own Hunt – Try creating your own scavenger hunt using the free template. Hide certain items or choose items you know are in your home, and fill out the boxes. Give the printable to each player or work in teams to find all of the items.
Silly or Messy Family Game Night Ideas
What’s that Food? – This game always get a lot of laughs! It is a bit of a taste test, but players also have to identify the food item. Choose a few food items. Blindfold one player at a time or play as a group, and give a piece of food.
It can be something you commonly eat, or some new flavors. Players taste and try to guess what the food is.
Since you are playing with family, you know any allergies, but make sure that all food players taste is safe for each person.
Minute to Win It – These games are quick, easy, and often funny games that are a great option for family games night. Check out this collection of ideas, and free printable games.
Food Face – If you want something really messy, but hilarious, grab some cheese puffs or mini marshmallows and whip cream or peanut butter for this messy food toss.
One player covers their face with either the whip cream, or peanut butter, and the other players toss either the cheese puffs or mini marshmallows to stick on their face.
The player with their face covered can move around to ‘catch’ the tossed items. Set a limit of a minute or two and then the next player gets a turn. Whichever person has caught the most tossed food wins.
Balance This – Grab a plate, cutting board or book for this next game! Challenge each person to balance as many stuffed animals (or another item) on top of the flat surface while holding it with one hand. Most stuffed animals wins.
Move that Treat – Using a piece of chocolate or a cookie, place the treat on your forehead. Moving only your face muscles, attempt to move the treat down your face and into your mouth. No hands and if it falls the player is out. Great for some laughs and make sure to get some photos!
Swinging Food – String a collection of pieces of food across the room. Make sure that the string is not too tight and hangs down. Each player tries to get the pieces that are hung on the string.
You can time each person to see who was able to do it the fastest to eat the most food on a string.
Spaghetti Art – This is one of my favorites. Hang onto your leftover spaghetti. In pairs or groups, challenge one person to draw a picture. The catch? No pencil, pens or markers. They have to use the wiggly piece of spaghetti.
Matching Outfits – I can think of many kids who would love a great dress up game. One family member decides on a dress up outfit that they are thinking of, but they are not allowed to say any colors or specific clothing item names (skirt, socks, pants etc.).
Players have to try and figure out the type of outfit they are thinking of and get dressed in it from their closet. Players come out of their rooms once dress and see who dress most like the original design.
For example, the lead player may say they are going to dress in something dark and fancy and covers their knees. Players may come out in black formal outfit. Whoever is dressed the closest to the lead player wins.
Play with Your Food – Get ready for another messy one! If you have some leftovers that aren’t going to get eaten, don’t throw them out! Give everyone a plate with mashed potatoes, rice or something similar. It’s time to play with your food.
Give players a set amount of time, such as five minutes, to create the tallest tower or structure they can. Get out the ruler to check once time is up.
If you want to add to the challenge, you could give everyone toothpicks to help stabilize their structure and make it taller.
Squishy Feet – This will get very messy, but it is a great sensory opportunity for children. Plus it is a very memorable activity. I always did this activity with my kindergarten students and it was an activity that they remembered years later.
Fill at least five bins with different materials from around your house. From applesauce and marshmallows to water beads and playdough. Have everyone take off their socks and walk and squish through each bin.
You can add to this activity by putting alphabet letters or number in each bin and challenging everyone to find the whole alphabet or numbers 1-10…with their toes.
The next collection of family games to play at home, include games that can generally be played sitting down and don’t require a lot of movement or preparation.
For the most part they are fairly calm and include more talking then action. For some family game nights and families these are the perfect fit.
Hum that Tune – We all have a few favorite songs and have an assortment of songs in our head that are tunes that most people would recognize. We often play this game in the car, but it is also perfect for a calm family games night.
One person chooses a song to hum. When someone else recognizes the song, they call out the song title.
What’s Changed? – Have one person leave the room so that they cannot see the rest of the family. Together everyone changes one, or more, things in the room. Invite the person outside back in to guess what has changed.
Hidden Object – Everyone finds an object in the house and hides it inside a bag so that it cannot be seen. Other players guess what the hidden object is by asking questions about the object. The player reveals the object once it has been guessed.
What do I Feel? – This activity is similar to the previous one, except instead of guessing and giving clues, players get to feel what is inside the bag and then guess what the item is. They are not allowed to see it. From an apple to a sock, what is the hidden item?
Would You Rather? – This is a simple game that one player asks their family if they would rather do one thing or another. For example, would you rather see into the future for the rest of your life or win the lottery? It’s a great way to learn some fun opinions about each other.
Movie Memory – There are lots of movies that are famous for specific quotes. If your family has enjoyed a lot of movies together, try out this movie quote game!
Each players says a quote from a movie and the first person to recognize the quote and say which movie it is from calls it out and gets a point!
Guess the Sound – Would you recognize the sound that a stapler makes versus a pop can opening? This is a game all about sound and listening. Each player chooses an object from around the house that makes a sound.
Without players being able to see the object, the player makes the sound and then everyone guesses what object made the sound.
No Two Alike – One person starts by drawing a picture that no one else can see. They describe the picture to everyone without saying what it is a picture of.
For example, there is a large circle touching the middle bottom of the page. A smaller, but still large circle is on top of the large circle and so on to make a snowman.
Once the full picture has been described, everyone shows their pictures and the one that is closest wins. Trust me there will be some laughs.
20 Questions – A list of guessing games would not be complete without twenty questions. Even young children can have some fun guessing and keeping track as players get to ask twenty questions to narrow down the thing the player is thinking of.
Cup Search – Hide an object, or a treat under a cup. The cup cannot be see through. Line up many more cups to create a bunch of rows and columns. Players ask questions about the cups to the player who placed the treat under the one cup. Players pick up cups as they narrow it down.
For example, players ask if the treat is in the third row. If no, the cups in the third row can be eliminated. Limit how many questions can be asked based on the abilities of the group.
Kindness + Working Together Activities
Hot Potato – Everyone knows how to play hot potato, by passing a ball or object around. When the music stops that person is out.
In this game however, instead of being out the person with the ball has to say something kind about someone in the family. Alternatively, everyone could pay a compliment to the person with the ball.
What I Love About U – Print each family members name on a sheet of paper and pass the page around. Everyone adds something that they love about the person.
When everyone is done writing, the papers are given to the person whose name is on it to then read aloud, or enjoy on their own.
Handmade with Love – If your family includes some kids, or adults who love arts and crafts, give everyone a specific collection of materials and challenge each person to create a gift for one other family member.
Everyone creates for someone else. It is fun to see what everyone creates using the same materials.
Kindness Challenge – Spend some time on family night writing down some things that you can do to show kindness. Print each on a piece of paper. Later everyone chooses one and is challenged to do the kind thing before the next family night.
Rainbow of Love – Work together to create a rainbow using only materials from around the house. Each person can have one color to collect.
Caught you! – Throughout the week have a jar with little pieces of paper available for everyone to write on. Anytime someone feels that another family member did something kind, they write it down on the paper. On family night, read all of the kind things that were done that week.
How to Be Kind – Brainstorm some scenarios where you could choose to be kind. Talk about each of the situations together and what your reaction could be. For example, a new child in class, grandma cooks a big dinner for everyone. This is a great way to reinforce family values.
Important Things – Do a little presentation for the family about valuing the right things, like family and friends with this mental health activity for kids. It is a fun representation of making sure to focus on the important things.
Moving Mats – The ultimate team work game! Grab two small blankets. Everyone stands together on one blanket and strategize to make their way across the house by only standing on the blankets.
Blankets can be moved and lifted but players can not step off the blankets. Try small blankets for a more challenging game.
Love Letter – Sit together and each write a letter about all the things you like about another family member. Or you could write about a family member or friend not sitting with you. Read or send the letters.
Family Games to Play at Home Scavenger Hunts
One Doesn’t Belong – Grab 10 items and set them in other rooms around the house. The item set in the other room must clearly not belong, such as a spatula in a sock drawer. Challenge players to quickly find each item.
Glow Path – A glow in the dark scavenger hunt is always fun. Hide some glowing stones around the house to create a path to a final destination.
Treasure Map – Create a basic map of your house with very few details. Add an X to get kids to read the map and find what’s in the location of the X.
Follow the Trail – Give players a sticky note with a word on it that is the location of the next clue, such as fridge. In the fridge, another sticky note says another location in the house. Follow the clues until the final note and prize are found.
Find it! – Hide 10 items around the house, such as t-shirts or forks. Tell specifically what the items are and the rest of the family is challenged to find all of the items.
Flashlight Hunt – This is a family favorite in our house! Grab a flashlight for a game of hide and go seek – in the dark.
Word Art – Create a word using materials from around each room, such as cotton swabs or spoons. Create words in a bunch of rooms to be unscrambled to make a sentence. The sentence tells where a prize is!
DIY Escape Room – Create an escape room using hands-on clues for a special family game night. Check out this collection of 40 DIY escape room puzzles.
Sardines – One person hides, then everyone searches for them. When they find them they stay with the hidden person until everyone discovers the group. Can you stay quiet?
Balloon hunt – Hide and go seek with people is always fun, but try it with a balloon instead. Balloons are big and colorful so they can be easy to find, but for younger children you can be with them as they search for the balloon.
Family Games with Technology
Family games nights are ideally screen free, but there are some great games that use some technology that may keep kids engaged for some evenings.
What is that? – Take a close up photo of something in the house. Really close up so that textures can be seen but the actual object cannot be identified upon first glance. The rest of your family have to search and figure out what the object is.
Photo Shoot – Do a photo shoot and then a silly photo shoot. Choose a themed, get dressed up and get a photo ready to be framed!
Movie Remake – Do you have a favorite movie to watch as a family? Remake all of your favorite scenes as you create, and film the movie. Outfits and all!
Name that Tune – If all family members have a phone, or device, everyone chooses a song, plays a few seconds of it, and everyone else has to identify the song.
Name that Film – Connected and similar to the previous game, instead of songs, show a movie clip and players have to guess the name of the movie.
Stop Motion – Create a stop motion video using toys and items around your house. You can create your own story or remake a favorite movie.
Dance Party – Play a favorite song, turn up the music and have a dance party.
STEM Challenge – Use simple materials from around your house and work together, or in pairs, to complete a STEM challenge! Check out this collection of over 45 STEM Challenge Ideas.
Science of Light – Use mirrors and laser pointers and work together to get a beam of laser light from one end of the house to the other.
How Heavy? – You need a weight or scale for this activity. Challenge everyone to find things that weigh a specific amount. For example, ‘Find items that weight a combined total of 15 pounds.” Test them on the scale!
Active Family Games to Play at Home
Floor is Lava – This is always a favorite with kids. Try using a few sheets of paper to help create stepping stones to tricky places. Work together to get from one location in the house to the other.
Who’s the Leader? – Have one person leave the room, put on a favorite song, and assign one person as the dance leader. The leader slowly moves and dances and the rest of the family mirrors their moves.
The person who left the room re-enters and has to guess who the leader is.
Indoor Obstacle – Create an indoor obstacle course!
Shoots and Scores – Practice your ball throw with this indoor game. Use a laundry basket or any bin and roll some socks into a ball. Stand a distance from the basket and throw! Whoever gets the most of their socks in, wins!
Balloon Race – Try a relay race, with a twist. Instead of just running and getting through obstacles, try it with a balloon between your legs. There will be lots of laughter!
Caught in a Web – Use tape to create a web or bullseye across a door frame for each family member. Give everyone a bunch of cotton balls and start throwing!
The person who has the most stuck to the tape at the end of a set time, or once all of the cotton balls have been thrown, wins!
3 Legged Pose – Do you have some gymnastics moves? Find a way to stand, or hang onto each other so that only three legs are on the ground!
Laser Maze – Create a laser maze in a hall! Tape pieces of string all over the hall to create a zigzag maze for family members to move through. If they touch the tape, they’re out!
Sock Basket – Fill a basket with balls, balloons or balled up socks, using only your feet. Make it harder by putting the basket far from the balls. This is also hilarious to watch.
Other Family Games to Play at Home
These last few family games to play at home are games that don’t specifically fit into one of the other categories. Many are games that are board game types without the board, others are just fun and easy games to try together.
5 Items – Have each family member run and grab one object. It can be anything in the house. When everyone is back together, each with an object, the challenge is to create a skit/short play that incorporates all of the items and makes they connect in some way. You may have more then 5 objects.
More than Meets the Eye – Choose any simple object from around the house. It could be a towel, box or spoon. The first person tells a made up story all about the object and then passes it onto the next.
Maybe the towel is Superman’s cape, maybe it’s the King’s baby blanket. The more details the better!
One Word at a Time – Our family plays this game a lot, even on car rides. One person says a word, then the next person says another word that makes sense connected to the last. As you go from person to person, a story is created.
Up – If you have some balloons hanging around your house, or are celebrating something for your family games night, this is a great game with kids.
Throw a few balloons up in the air and see how long your family can keep them all up without falling. Try adding in more balloons to make it more interesting.
Connected – One family member runs around the house and gathers five object that they feel are connected in some way, maybe the color, the letter they start with or who they belong to. They show their objects to their family and everyone guesses how they are connected.
One Word – From Christmas carols to today’s hits, say a word, such as love and the rest of the family thinks of a song with the word in it. First one to come up with the song thinks of the next word.
Silent Ball – This is actually a game that my students loved to play in our classroom, but my kids love to play it at home too.
Everyone finds a place to sit, without their feet touching the floor. (For little kids just make sure they are sitting somewhere they won’t fall).
Grab a few soft balls and throw them around the room. If a player drops the ball or makes a sound, they’re out!
Where is that? – Take a photo of somewhere in the house, such as the fridge door or window. Players get to see the picture and race to find the spot it was taken.
Letter Run – Add some fun and learning to your family games night. This is a great game especially with young children. Call a letter of the alphabet, or a number and everyone has to run and find something that starts with the letter, or has the number amount.
Ball Knock – Place a ball, or balled up pair of socks onto a plastic cup(s). Stand at the other end of the room from the cup(s) and throw the ball and try to knock over the cups. Add points to each of the cups to keep score and make it a challenge.
Act it Out – Split your family into two groups. Each team prepares by thinking of fifteen or more items/objects. Five that are easy to act out, five that are medium and five that they think will be hard for the other team to act out.
Write each onto a small piece of paper. They then give their papers to the other team.
One player from each team (one team at a time) chooses a piece of paper from the other team and try to act it out without any words. If their team is able to guess it, they get a point.
They get one point for an easy card, two for medium and three for hard. Tally all points up to find the winning team.
Classic Family Games to Play at Home
Although these games are common and not as unique to try, they are popular and classics for a reason. They are fun for kids and fun for them to experience and play with together as a family.
Musical Chairs – Set up a bunch of chairs in a circle and play some music! When the music stops, everyone sits down. Except for one person who doesn’t get a chair. Remove a chair each time.
Eye Spy is a fun game for kids of all ages. Have one person choose an object and tell that they spy something purple for example. Players look around and guess what they see that is purple. Keep guessing until someone gets it.
Bring out the deck of cards and play any classic game as a family. From Go Fish to teaching kids games like Euchre.
Tic Tac Toe is another classic that is great for game nights because it is a simple game that most kids know how to play. Try playing with a twist at home by making a big tic tac toe board with tape and using apple, or other objects as pieces.
Grab a favorite board game and set up. Try having a few board games ready to go and the winner gets to pick the next game.
This is not quite a game, but it is a classic family night activity. Cuddle up for a great movie to watch together.
Split into teams for this classic game of charades. Choose a phrase and act it out without speaking. Other players guess the phrase as quickly as possible. If they get it in a specific amount of time they get a point.
You can also play without teams or points and the first player to guess the phrase is the next player to act out.
With a bunch of blankets or sofa cushions, the sky is the limit for what you can make. Fort building is always a favorite with kids, but try a few simple materials to make your tent even better as you build as a family.
Give your family your full attention as you each perform a talent for a family talent show. Everyone prepares a short performance and then everyone shows what they can do!
If you have young kids, Simon Says is another classic game that is simple to play and kids will simply love having your full attention as you play a game that they know well.
BINGO! Play a game of BINGO with the family with little prizes for the winner. Young children can even play BINGO with picture boxes versus numbers.
Create an obstacle course throughout your house using blankets, pillows and boxes to jump and crawl through. Time how long it takes to get through and compete to the end.
Do you remember making paper airplanes as a kid? Try creating them as a family and then testing them to see how far they fly. Bring out measuring tape to check how far they flew.
Turn up the music and choose a favorite song as you sing along for some family karaoke.
Draw a picture and challenge your team to guess what you drew. Pictionary is a classic drawing game for families.
I have some great memories listening to music as we worked together as a family to put together a huge, challenging puzzle. Puzzles are not specifically a game, but they are perfect for family nights.
Building challenge. Grab your bin of building blocks and create something together. Will you create a village or a different item each?
The classic game of Telephone is sure to get some laughs. The first person whispers a message into the person’s ear beside them. They repeat the message to the person next to them and so on until the last person. The final person says the message aloud and compares to the original message.
Truth or Dare can be a fun game for families to play together. They can create a lot of great conversations and bonding. The dares can also get pretty silly.
Find an online game or video game that you can all play together, or on teams. Kids that love video games can enjoy them together as a family. Maybe try some of the old games that the adults remember as a kid.
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That’s a lot of activities and family games to play at home ideas. I hope that some sound exciting to you and you’re excited to try!
There are lots of activity ideas, don’t hesitate to change some of the ideas. They are only indented as inspiration.
I’ve also included a free printable list of all of 100 Family Games to Play at Home activities listed above.
We’ve printed it off and put it on our fridge to challenge our family to work our way through the activities together this year. Each family night will bring new laughs and memory making activities.
Family Games Free Printables
Subscribe to Hands-On Teaching Ideas to be the first to hear about my latest activity ideas and promotions. By subscribing you will also gain access to my Free Resource Library.
Several of the printables featured in this Family Games to Play at Home, are included in the library in a 100 Family Games to Play at Home link and other printables are found in separate links, but are also in the library. Download any and all that interest you.
More Hands-on Teaching Ideas
If you like these ideas for Family Games to play at home, then you will love the ideas below for more activities to try together. From making birthdays special and time outside, these favorites will keep you busy and enjoying your time together.