Playing board games with the whole family can be a daunting undertaking. Who will end up crying in a corner? Who will win and rub it in everyone's face for the next week?
Of course, board games are also a great way to bond with each other. Here are some of the funniest board games for the whole family to enjoy at your next family gathering. These games are bound to have you giggling your way through Easter, Mother's Day, and family birthdays - or any evening or weekend afternoon!
Not one for the proud artists in the family, but this best-selling game is perfect for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. Pictionary is a great family game where you have to try to communicate what is written on your card by drawing it on a pad of paper. Then, the rest of your teammates must guess what you're drawing in under a minute.
They have unlimited guesses within the timeframe, and the first team to guess the correct answer wins the round. The winning team then rolls the dice and moves the team's playing piece forward the same number of spaces on the board. The game then continues clockwise.
With time pressure, Pictionary certainly breeds some interesting visual interpretations of seemingly simple images. Bad drawings and wrong guesses will have you and the family falling about.
The game needs to be played with four teams of equal numbers, so there's loads of room for everyone to get involved!
Telestrations is basically Broken Picture Telephone, but with sketching. The whole family will love this one, with hilarious interpretations coming from lousy artwork.
Each player receives a sketchbook and marker, and there is a deck of cards with different phrases written on them. Finally, there is a dice. Each player needs to roll the dice to determine what they will be drawing. This word or phrase needs to be kept a secret.
Each player must write their secret word in the designated space in their sketchbook. If there is an even number of players, you can immediately draw the word or phrase you’ve chosen from your card. If there is an odd number of players, you must pass your sketchbook to the player on the left, and they must draw your secret word.
Once everyone has drawn their first sketch, they pass their sketchbooks to the next player on their left. This player has to look at the drawing and write what they think it is on the next page. Players must do this without looking at the secret word on the first page of their sketchbook.
After the players have written their interpretation of the first image, they must pass the sketchbook to the next player on their left. This player must now draw the word written by the previous sketchbook holder.
The process is repeated until all players have their original sketchbooks in front of them. There are some hilarious outcomes, as you can imagine!
Articulate is the perfect game for big family gatherings, as from four to over 20 players can participate. The game is known as the game of fast talking because players have to describe words on the playing cards while the rest of the team guesses what they are. This is definitely one of the best board games around. Articulate tests your trivia skills as well as your ability to describe words.
The words that have to be described are determined by the location of the team’s playing piece on the board. The board position has a colour, and the describer must describe the corresponding word on the card.
When describing, the player cannot use any of the words in a phrase, words that rhyme or the "sounds like" technique, or say what the word starts with or how many letters the word has.
Teams have 30 seconds to describe the word on the cards. The aim is to successfully describe as many words as possible to progress on the board. Once your team members have guessed a word correctly, the describer can draw another card for the team to guess.
With tight time constraints and team pressure, descriptions become colourful and funny, as do the guesses. It's an excellent game for everyone, although slightly more competitive family members may end up flipping the board.
Apples to Apples
Family politics could make this game interesting because one person determines the winning outcome of each round. Although this is technically more of a card game than a board game, Apples to Apples is guaranteed to cause some family laughter.
The aim of Apples to Apples is to get the most green-apple cards by the end of the game. To start, each player is dealt seven red-apple cards with descriptions on them.
Whichever player is going first has to draw the first green apple card and show it to the rest of the table. Players then have to place, face down, a card from their hand that they think best describes the green apple card. The last person to play a red-apple card has to take their card back and is no longer part of the round.
The player who drew the green apple card must then shuffle the red apple cards on the table while they remain face down. Once shuffled, they choose which red apple card description best matches the green apple card. The player who played the winning red apple card wins the point and gets to keep the green apple card.
The game continues until a player has enough green-apple cards to win. With mismatched descriptions, differing opinions and hilarious pairings, Apples to Apples is undoubtedly a game that will get the party started.
Balderdash has been around since the 80s and is known as the "hilarious bluffing game". A classic word game, it usually causes groups of players to break out in fits of laughter and is especially fun when played with the whole family.
Each player has a playing piece which they place on the board in the space marked “START”. Players must also have a definition sheet or a piece of paper on which they can write their word definitions.
All players must roll the dice to determine who starts as the "Dasher" (the person in charge of drawing the first word). The player who rolls the highest number is the Dasher. The Dasher then draws a card and rolls the dice again to determine which word on the card the rest of the group has to submit definitions for.
The Dasher reads the word aloud, and each player must come up with a definition. At the same time, the Dasher writes the corresponding, correct definition down.
Once everyone has come up with their definition, and the Dasher has integrated the correct definition with the others, the Dasher reads out all the definitions on the table, taking care not to change their tone of voice when reading the correct one. This typically results in tremendous amounts of laughter - depending on the players' creativity or feeble-mindedness.
Once the hilarity has subsided, moving clockwise from the Dasher, each player chooses which definition they think is correct.
Although you don’t need a board to have fun with this one, Charades is a family games night classic. Charades is a great game because it can be played with all family members. Ridiculous enactments and overthinking simple actions always lead to hysterics in the living room, which is why it's made our list of funny board games to play with the whole family. This version is particularly apt for some family fun as it comes with a pictorial representation for any kids who are too young to read.
The aim of the game is for players to correctly guess as many enactments or mimes as possible. The player who is miming cannot speak or use sound in any way. They have to mime against the timer to the person on their left, who has one chance to guess the mime correctly. If the answer they give to the mimer is incorrect, the next player to the left has the opportunity to guess, and so on.
The first player to guess the mime correctly gets to move two spaces on the board, while the mimer moves one space when a player guesses what they were acting out. If no one guesses correctly, no one moves ahead for that round.
If you want to make this game fun for the adults once the kids have gone to bed, Charades makes a great drinking game. We’ll leave the rules for that up to you. Either way, Charades is a great party game.
Say Anything is a fantastic betting style game, primarily because the answers revolve around an individual's personal preferences. It's an excellent opportunity to learn just how well your family knows you.
Gameplay requires one scorecard, answer cards, coloured chips, a colour wheel, marker pens and a deck of question cards.
One of the players starts the game as the reader and draws a card from the question deck. The reader then says, "In my opinion…" followed by the question on the card they are reading. The rest of the players must move quickly to provide an answer they think the reader would choose. They do this by writing their answer down on the answer cards provided and placing it face up in the centre of the table.
The reader then uses the colour wheel and chooses the colour of the answer they like best. The reader then places the colour wheel face down to not reveal their answer to the rest of the gamers.
The other players then use their two betting chips to guess what answer they think the reader chose. Players can place their chips on whichever card they think is best, even their own.
Once the betting has finished, the reader reveals the answer on the colour wheel and the points are calculated and written on the scorecard. Gameplay stops when each player has read the questions twice or once the scorecard has filled up completely.
Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition
The Family Edition of Cards Against Humanity is technically the expansion pack and not a board game. However, it is still a whole lot of fun for the family to enjoy. Of course, for more adult party games, parents and anyone above 18 can enjoy the original edition of this very dark-humoured card game.
The rules are similar to Apples to Apples in that answers provided are subject to the players' and the judge's opinions, and the game format is also similar. Each player is dealt ten white response cards. The player who last went to the toilet (yes, you read that correctly) starts the game and draws the first black prompt card. Players then have to play a response card they think fits best into the prompt card. Response cards are played face down, and the player who drew the card shuffles them - still face down - before revealing the answers to the rest of the players.
The person who drew the prompt chooses their favourite response. The player whose response is chosen then takes the black prompt card. After that, each player must draw more white response cards so that they have ten cards in their hand at all times. The aim of the game is to collect the most prompt cards before the game ends.
Don't let the name deter you. This game is hilarious and child-friendly, unless perhaps they have a real attachment to cats. Another card game that is technically not a board game, Exploding Kittens is a game of high pressure which will set off tears of laughter in anyone who plays.
To win the game, you have to be the last player standing. Exploding Kittens is a roulette game and is great fun for a family that wants to play a game that is over relatively quickly.
To start, you remove all the defuse and exploding kittens cards from the deck. Then you must shuffle the deck and deal each player four cards. You give each player one defuse card and put the remaining defuse cards back into the deck. There should be one less exploding kitten card in the deck than there are players. Reshuffle the deck. This is now the draw pile.
If you draw an exploding kitten, you are out unless you have a defuse card, which keeps you in the game. You play the defuse card on top of the exploding kitten card you just drew and discard the defuse card. Then, place the exploding kitten card back into the draw deck wherever you wish. Your turn terminates after you play a defuse card. You must place your hand in the discard pile when you are out.
There are also a set of special combination rules you can play if you want to make the game more complicated. You can check these out in a comprehensive video here.
Potentially funny family favourites
Although not typically deemed funny, these games are still great to play with the whole family. These classic board games test your knowledge and language skills and are some of the best games around.
There are so many versions of monopoly that are bound to appeal to the kids. Versions like Disney Monopoly and even Marvel Monopoly are fun to play and make great gifts for kids. However, for those who can't spare the time to go back and forth on a vicious rent exchange loop toward the end of a long game, there is now a faster-paced Monopoly card game called Monopoly Deal. In this version, action cards determine the game. So it's more about luck than skill, and playing time is significantly reduced.
Scrabble can be comical if you let it be, although most families take it very seriously. This classic board game has been adapted to appeal to the younger generations, with versions like Harry Potter Scrabble gracing toy stores.
Hasbro's ultimate trivia game has several versions that the kids can enjoy, and you don't need to buy a new board whenever you want to change the questions. Trivial Pursuit is a great party board game for anyone who loves to host game nights and test the family’s general knowledge.
The rules for this strategy board game are relatively complex, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t want to stop playing. Catan is a game of survival which can get very competitive very quickly - perfect for a family afternoon.
Another one for strategy game lovers, Codenames is a game where you must find all the agents on your team. Players are seated in either the red or the blue team and must determine where their agents are located on the table. Agents are represented by cards placed in a grid formation. Two spymasters are the only two who know exactly where the agents are.
What is your next board game purchase?
You can find all these board games on Amazon, so the next time you're panicking about keeping the family entertained, don't fret! There are so many amazing board games out there that will test your knowledge, bring out your competitive side and have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Which one will you bring out next time you have the whole family together?