Giving games and puzzles as Christmas gifts is a time-honored tradition in our family. This is why I’ve found the best new games for 2023 that my kids and yours will love to play.
From card games to board games and dice games, you’ll also discover the best classic games from years past that you don’t want to miss. Because you don’t have to be new to be a great gift for kids.
Get ready for some tabletop/board game family fun!
The Best Games for Kids and Families, 2023
HABA My Very First Games
Work together to harvest all the fruit in the orchard before the raven gets them. A cooperative game to help kids develop social skills for 1 to 4 players.
Find My Behind
A memory game with mixed-up animal fronts and backs with beautiful artwork.
My First Math Dice
A first math game that helps kids pair the amount of counter chips to the appropriate number as well as teaches about more and less than and simple addition.
Tea Cup Pile-Up!
Flip a challenge card and find the first teacup shown. Race to place it on your saucer and continue, relay-style, until your tower matches the stack on the card. Correctly complete the tower and ring the teapot bell first and you win the game. Be the first to build and complete your tower correctly to win this royal relay race.
My First Castle Panic
For 1 to 4 players, stop the monsters from smashing the castle!
Story Time Chess
Learn to play chess with chess pieces with unique stories and 30 mini-games, all of which teach children the rules of the chess game.
Animals Upon Animals
You’ll love this wobbly stacking game where players race to place all their animals on the animal pile first. Roll the die to see how many animals you can stack up– or if you get to add to the base. A fun interactive game (that we love) that fosters hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
My kids and I love Smart Games 1 player 3D logic and deduction games and this new choice is no exception. Comes with 60 challenges with horses, pigs, cows, and sheep.
Gathering a Garden
This new eeBoo game develops basic skills like patience, counting, and an understanding of different categories of plants and gardening-related elements.
Throw Throw Avocado
Easy to learn. This active group game gets you to collect points and matches then battle other players by throwing avocados. For 2 to 6 players. Play on its own or combine with Throw Throw Burrito.
We love this fun, engaging strategy game that will develop your visual/spatial skills and long-term planning.
Make a Pie!
EeBoo games are some of our favorites. This game introduces kids to fractions –– and helps to reinforce halves, thirds, fourths, eighths, and sixteenths.
Shark Floor Puzzle
A shark-shaped puzzle made of sturdy pieces with shiny foil accents.
Museum Seek & Find Glow Puzzle
Put together this 100-piece puzzle, then search for the 40 hidden items. Shine the included blacklight on the puzzle to reveal hidden glow-in-the-dark objects.
Easy to learn, this is a fun dice game for two to five players.
A Game of Cat & Mouth
ages 7+, 2 players
Speedy and fun! Flick the tiny paw with a ball and try to get it to hit spots on the cat’s face like the hose or teeth.
Perfect for multiple ages of children, teens, and grown-ups, this is a party game for up to 8 players with fun challenges and battles of coordination, motor skills, dexterity, and teamwork.
We love this game with multiple-choice questions covering worldwide myths and folklore–from gods and heroes to magical beasts and monsters.
Put your kittens on the bed (boop), and it pushes the other kittens one space away. The object of this logical herding cats game is to line up three kittens in a row to become a CAT! Get three cats in a row to win.
Put together the puzzle, read the instructions, and guess before you open the sealed envelope with the solution.
I thought this would be too hard because my husband isn’t a big reader and my daughter isn’t old enough to know all the books. But, we picked books we either knew from the Children’s Book title (Elephant and Piggie!) or book titles that we could pantomime and were more guessable. And it was HILARIOUS FUN! We loved it and laughed a lot! The directions are to play in teams, but we only had three so we just played individually.
More Essential Games for Kids to Give as Gifts
Roll and Play
ages 18 months+
Honestly, you don’t find many games for this age group, and this is the best interactive card game for toddlers and preschoolers I’ve seen. Roll the big colored dice, pick the matching color card, and do the action. There are 48 game cards in six age-appropriate categories.
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game!
Preschoolers love to play this award-winning game. Parents and teachers love it because it builds color recognition and counting practice as well as fine motor practice. Use the squirrel Squeezers to put the colored acorns into their logs. The first person to fill up their log wins. (Full review here.) A best game for kids under five.
ThinkFun Heads Talk Tails Walk
Can you walk like a chicken while meowing like a cat? Match bodies with heads! But if you make a mismatch, everyone makes the mismatched animal’s sounds and motions! Hilarious! This is one of the best games I’ve seen for preschoolers.
Peaceable Kingdom Fire Truck Pups Floor Puzzle
Preschoolers love fitting together these sturdy, large shapes into a large floor puzzle.
From Peaceable Kingdom, this game is a fun game for gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, imitation, vocabulary, and social-emotional skills through play! Toddlers will do the prompts that include movements like hugs to high fives to simple gross motor skills like balancing, hopping, and marching.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
ages 4 – 8
A fun scavenger hunt game for kids to get outside, read, and search! Use the 160 cards to find items indoors and outdoors.
Two players, deductive reasoning, communication, and fun! Try to guess your opponent’s mystery player. This game will be a favorite choice for YEARS to come.
Yeti in My Spaghetti
What a blast! Start out with the noodles across the top of the bowl with the Yeti on top. Players take turns removing the noodles one-by-one without letting Yeti fall. If it falls, you’re out.
Another game from the makers of Tenzi! This game asks players to study the picture on the card and build it. LOVE it!
A fun avocado twist on the game of Snap for kids! It’s simple to learn and quick to play. Switch and smash quickly to win this fun game.
Tenzi is a SUPER FUN yet simple dice game that works for almost all ages (except the ages 0 – 3) which is why it’s one of our top recommendations (aka. the BEST) family night game. Be the first player to get all ten of your dice to show the same number. Full review here.
Help the Sleeping Queens wake up by waking them up with the Kings and be the first player to reach 50 points. We ADORE this game and play it all the time. (My 14-year-old has loved this game since she was little!) It’s easy to play, fun, and great for family game night.
Blue Orange Maki Stack
Aren’t these wooden sushi pieces the best? Pick a card and race to build a matching stack using the sushi, soy sauce, and mat. My daughter and I often play this before bedtime and love it. We like that it takes about 10 – 15 minutes and makes us laugh. A great gift option for 2019. (Full review here.)
Scrambled States of America
This card game gets regular play in our house. Not only is it fun to play but it gets kids more familiar with the United States.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
We love this game — it’s great for all ages, including kids, teenagers, and adults. You’ll place cards down with various images but you MUST say the next word in order of the phrase “taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza.” It’s fun and funny.
RushHour Traffic Jam Logic Game
Not only does this game provide hours of strategy and problem solving but it’s FUN to accomplish these tricky puzzles. We are big fans.
Blobby’s Pizza Math Card Game
(Our favorite thing about this game is the ordering pad because it’s so cute!) But really, it’s also a fun and engaging game where you’re trying to earn the highest bill by building and eating whole pizzas. Play from your plate and the table and use the monsters to steal pizzas from other players. While you’re at it, you’ll be practicing addition, fractions, decimals, and percentages!
Hone your strategy and math skills and learn basic economics, all in a fun card game for 2 to 4 players. You’ll buy and sell magical potion-making ingredients to make sets then make the potions and trade them to earn points! Plus, aren’t the potion vials fantastic?
Magic: The Gathering Adventures in The Forgotten Realm
A team-up between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, creating the ultimate fantasy card game.
This is my personal favorite family strategy game — mostly because occasionally I can beat my kids. They love this game, too — and let me win sometimes. Isn’t that nice?
We laugh so much during this game as we totally butcher words trying to figure them out. In fact, my daughter has started writing down the funny words we invent on accident.) To win a card, you correctly read the word around one of the colored circles. The player with the most cards wins.
My kids (and husband) like this game so much. To play, turn over one of the challenge cards. Try to match the formula in one of your 3 test tubes using the 6 colored balls. Move the molecule balls from tube to tube –but don’t touch! Read my full review here.
Qwixx – A Fast Family Dice Game
ages 8 +
Qwixx is a simple but fun strategy dice game where the more numbers you cross off, the more points you score. With no downtime between turns, you’ll have a chance to gain from each and every roll.
A reasonably priced competition-sized foosball table brings fun to any setting, perfect for home game rooms.
The Settlers of Catan
Players must roll and trade for resources to build roads, settlements, and cities for points. The first to ten points wins. It’s easy to learn but the strategy requires some practice –it’s a very popular game for families and friend groups!
Dune Gale Force Nine
Along with the (incredible) updated Dune movie, here’s an updated board game based on the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel! Become the leader of one of the factions then fight to gain control of the spice and the planet Dune.