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The best board games for families

Forget the fancy feasts on Christmas Day—whether you’re into lunch, dinner, or both, the downtime between meals really makes the day. You’ve got quintessential Aussie activities like backyard cricket or a beach swim. But for something easy, fun, and good for your brain – how about busting out a board game? From quick and easy group games like Chameleon to strategy sessions with CATAN, board games bring the fun and pack a bunch of perks, too. Here are the best board games for families!

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The benefits of board games for families

1. Put down the screens

Taking a breather from the 24/7 nature of screens is crucial. Board games offer a lovely escape from the never-ending stream of notifications; we can connect in a refreshing and fun way. Plus, studies show that board games can reduce stress, allowing players to shift their focus from the everyday grind.

2. Everyone is equal

Board games level the playing field for everyone, from Grandma to your little nephew. In games like CATAN, job titles and real estate don’t matter; it’s all about convincing your 8-year-old nephew that trading two ore for three wheat is a stellar deal (even though you know it’s not). The joy of haggling with a child over market economies and reluctantly accepting lopsided trades creates hilarious memories that will be retold for years.

3. Board games have something for everyone

Besides the laughs and bonds, playing board games is a brain boost. Kids learn critical thinking, problem-solving, patience, and sportsmanship, plus they hone communication skills. Board games also offer a low-pressure way to socialise, easing anxiety and providing structured interaction. Plus, they’re a mental workout, demanding strategy and quick thinking. A 2019 study found playing board games slowed cognitive decline in ages 11-70. Imagine getting smarter while having a blast and claiming victory!

The best board games for families – Christmas 2023

Herd Mentality by Big Potato Games

RRP: $29.95.

Voted as “the best party game ever created” by TechRadar in 2022, “Herd Mentality is guaranteed to have you in stitches… a fabulous game to play with families.” It’s a game where you must think like the crowd to win.


Herd Mentality Family Board Game

Herd Mentality is a hilarious game for the whole family


The Chameleon & The Chameleon Pictures by Big Potato Games

RRP: $39.95.

Described as a social deduction game, the games are about spotting the imposter, blending in, and not getting caught, as the game’s name suggests.

CATAN from CATAN Studios

RRP: $89.95.

CATAN is considered one of the most important and influential games ever, selling millions of units since its launch. Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be CATAN! This game of trading and expansion is about players gathering resources and building the biggest settlements on the fictional island of CATAN;

The Fuzzies

RRP: $29.95.

The Fuzzies is a game about creating gravity-defying towers out of fuzzy little balls. Draw a card and remove that fuzzy ball using either tweezers or your fingers, but you can’t get out of your seat. Stick it anywhere higher on the tower. If you are successful, the next player goes, but if any balls drop, you must draw challenge cards equal to the number of balls dropped and do the challenge(s) on your next turn. Fuzzy fun for everyone!

Exploding Kittens

RRP: $39.95

Exploding Kittens is a simple and humourous family card game that’s as wildly entertaining as it is cat-tastically fun!  The game combines strategy and a dash of unpredictability as you navigate a deck filled with adorable (and explosive) feline friends. The rules are easy to grasp, making it accessible for young kids and keeping the fun flowing.

The game’s quirky artwork and hilarious card descriptions add a layer of laughter that brings giggles to all generations.  The quick-paced rounds ensure that no one gets bored. It’s the kind of game that brings out the competitive spirit in everyone while maintaining a lighthearted and friendly vibe.

Best Board Games for Kids Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is simple yet addictive


Story Time Chess

RRP: $49.95.

Story Time Chess is a board game that teaches chess to young children using silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces and a unique chess board. The stories and supporting materials communicate the rules of chess to children ages three and up in a way that makes learning chess simple and fun. Best of all, no chess experience is required for parents or children to learn.


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Servicing BrisbaneGold CoastSunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids eventsattractions & things to do with kidsschools and educationschool holiday guideshealth & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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Search tags: Christmas | Family-friendly
By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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