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Running through the sprinkler, chasing down the ice cream truck, catching fireflies—something about the waning days of summer makes us seriously nostalgic. Here’s another old-school path to wholesome family fun: Board games! Behold, our fab five. 

cranium the board game


For those who hate reading and explaining endless directions (attention span? what attention span?), this one has no complicated list of rules to break your…uh…cranium. Instead, players simply team up, roll the colored dice and pick a related card. They are then challenged to complete a funny task—from spelling a word backward to drawing with their eyes closed—before the timer runs out. 

pie face game the board game

Pie Face Game

Want to make a toddler think you are funnier than Tina Fey, Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong combined? Allow yourself to get whapped in the face with a tablespoon full of whipped cream or pudding. Giggles for days. 

twister the board game


OK, so this one may not technically be a board game per se, but since there’s a spinner involved and it comes in a cardboard box, we’ll let it slide. Invented in 1966, it simply never gets old. Ask anyone who’s watched her grown husband—wearing the required socks—languish with his booty in the air as her kindergartener crab-crawls beneath him, hellbent on reaching a colored circle. 

hedbanz the board game


Deductive reasoning skills in a box. Each player receives a new mystery identity via a card to stick in their headband. As the timer ticks, they ask “yes” or “no” questions to determine who or what they are. If they guess correctly before the clock runs out, they’re on their way to a win. 

race to the treasure the board game

Race to the Treasure

After a summer full of sibling smackdowns, we’ll take the road with less rage, please. Enter this magical adventure from cooperative game maker Peaceable Kingdom. Players age five and up work *together* to construct a path and collect keys to a gilded treasure box. Their only opponent? A gruesome ogre angling to get there first. 

RELATED: The Best Board Games for Every Age

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