Family Games to Engage Your Teens
Date: 15 Dec 2020
It takes more than Monopoly to entice a teen away from a screen these days. Take a look at our range of games for both virtual and in-person engagement!
Coming together for some friendly competition is one of the joys of family. Who doesn’t love a big roast on a Sunday followed by a few hours of good-natured yelling, laughing, and cries of, “You stole my mushroom!” (See below). Whatever gaming you and your teens are into – whether of the board or video variety – take a look at these tried and tested games that even teenagers will want to join.
Please note that this is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Bright Horizons. Should you utilise or download any of these resources, any exchange of data is solely between you and that provider – please note that these resources may be subject to their own terms and conditions and / or privacy notice. (As Bright Horizons has no control of the contents of the external resources, it can assume no responsibility for these.)
Games You Can Play Over a Distance
The physical distance that currently separates many of us from our friends and loved ones means we have all had to become creative with our socialising. Here are some simple ideas you can play over a video call, as well as some family-friendly video games that need a laptop/PC or games console to play.
Video Call Games:
- Quiz Nights – Now a staple of lockdown entertainment, our preferred way to quiz is for each person to come up with 10 questions, rather than having one quizmaster host the whole event. This way everyone gets involved and one person isn’t doing all the work. If you’re stuck for interesting quiz round ideas, try these gems: ‘Guess who wrote this tweet/Facebook status’ and ‘First one to grab…’, in which everyone races to find a random household item, like a pillow or a box of tissues, and then holds it up to their camera.
- Pictionary – This classic gets funnier the worse you are at drawing and all you need is some paper and a pen. Over Zoom, this works easier without teams. Find a random word generator online and take turns to draw something whilst showing the camera, with everyone guessing. Keep going for as many rounds as you like.
- Codenames – A board game with physical cards to move, this one does require a single quizmaster, making it ideal for uneven groups or five or more. The quizmaster places 25 word cards (agent ‘codenames’) on the table and the rest of you split into two teams. One ‘Spymaster’ from each team gives one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the grid. The first team to guess all their words correctly wins – but watch out for the assassin card!
Online Video Games:
Boost up with a group voice chat to hear each other’s victory cries (or grumblings) as you play.
- Golf with Your Friends – This does require each player to have an individual laptop/PC, so is better for more tech savvy family members. This charming game is essentially virtual crazy golf. You play as the golf ball itself, across themed courses set in Candyland, forests, Ancient Egypt and more. You can dress your golf ball in various hats and play with collision on or off. Beware; it quickly becomes Golf with Your Enemies if you start purposely aiming your ball at others to putt them off the course!
- Mario Kart 8– Available on the Nintendo Switch, you can play this classic family-friendly racing game online or locally (in the same room). Choose which famous Nintendo character to play as, customise your kart, choose your racing speed and see who the speediest family member is. You can also steal power-up items from other players in this version, including the speed-boosting mushrooms! Locally, this game supports up to 4, while up to 12 players can play together online, but each household will need their own Switch games console.
Games You Can Play in ‘Real Life’
If your household is quite large already, or you have bubbled up with fellow gamers, try out the following virtual and tabletop games.
- Overcooked – This speedy game of cooperative cooking requires a lot of teamwork. Four players will work in a kitchen, chopping, cooking and serving food. Play works in stages with the levels and dishes getting harder, from onion soup to burgers with all the trimmings. Play cooperatively, or try the competitive mode, where you’ll be stealing ingredients and trying to cook more dishes than the other team. Available on PC/PS4/Xbox/Switch.
- Heave Ho – Up to four can play together. You control a cartoon character that is just a head with arms, and you must work your way across various maps. Some gaps are too large to cross alone, so you must team up by holding onto each other and forming a chain. Available on PC and Switch.
- Linkee – Playable with 2-30 players, this game is brilliant no matter the size of your family. Each round, everyone is asked four questions. Work out the answers first, and then work out the link between each answer. The first to shout it out wins the card as well as a letter from the word ‘Linkee’. The first person to be able to spell ‘Linkee’ with their letter cards wins the game. It’s a fast-paced, shouting-out game that’s always popular with teenagers.
- Exploding Kittens – A little bit like Uno, players take turns to draw cards from a centre pile. If you draw an ‘exploding kitten’, you are out of the game, but you can use other, special cards in your hand to defuse the kitten or pass it on to someone else.
- Pit – Another great fun, shouty-style game, this has participants collecting sets of commodities (cards) and ‘trading’ unwanted wares with other players.
Whatever style of game you choose, Happy Gaming!