Family Fluxx: The best Friday game night we’ve had in a long time

We’re a family of board- and card-game players, and Friday evening usually finds us huddled on the floor playing something-or-other. Our kids are 8.5 and 4.5 (one reads, one doesn’t) so it’s not always easy to find games that are fun for everyone.

We’ve already blown through our standard-issue Milton Bradley and Hasbro games, but my husband haunts specialty game shops and often comes home with something new for us to play. (He’s introduced us to The UglyDoll card game, Apples to Apples, and much more). Last night, it was Family Fluxx, and it the best fun we’ve had in a long time.

The fun of this simple card game is that rules and fortunes change quickly and drastically. Pre-readers will have more fun teaming up with readers, but the action is so fast and surprising that there’s plenty to keep them entertained. And no two games are alike.

From a social skills perspective, this game is wonderful for kids who need help getting comfortable with unpredictability. Our son tends to get upset when life doesn’t play out the way he’s mapped it out in his head. This game gives us a lighthearted way to model calm in the face of the unexpected.

Once you’ve had your fill of Family Fluxx (which is plenty fun for the grownups), there are Fluxx versions geared toward older kids and adults including the original Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Eco Fluxx, Stoner Fluxx (?) and Fluxx in other languages (I found Spanish, German and Japanese). There are even Christian and Jewish expansion packs for the original Fluxx deck.

I’d love to hear about your favorite board- and card games. Do tell!

Making up new rules for card- and board games
Alternative trading card games: Xeko and Bella Sara
Cheapass Games: For the true cheapass, they’re free


  1. Uly says

    Sleeping Queens. Not a day goes by without the little ones begging to play that game.

    You can also try looking at the various games over at, or adding games to their database.

  2. says

    We’ve been playing Fluxx for years now. I love it. I had no idea that there was a family version, though. Thanks!

    And my husband will adore the zombie version…

  3. says

    Sounds like a great game! Our kids are nearly the same spread as yours (8 and 3.5) and it is tough to get them on board with the same game. We have enjoyed simple card games like Go Fish and Jr. Yahtzee (my 8 year old helps the 3.5 year old with the scorecard).

  4. says

    We love Fluxx and Apples to Apples too! My 5 year old learned to read this year and that meant turning the corner onto cool games with words on the cards. It has been so much fun!
    We like Munchkin and its variants, though it’s just a little complex for our 5 year old. But he does play Settlers of Catan and the Days of Wonder games with us, because he’s sat in so often.
    We love Cranium games too – games like Super Showdown are in the mid-range between their little kid games and the ones aimed at adults. Ravensburger games for kids have never let us down – Race to the Roof, First to Reverse. Our son is beginning to enjoy “party” games like Taboo (Junior) and Squint too. I do have a few reviews of games on my blog, and I try to mention cool new ones we find – choose the tag “board games”. :)

  5. Betsy says

    No Lobosolo’s post isn’t spam. That is an awesome site to learn about kid’s games. We have had some fun with Go-pher It – it’s a press your luck card game with our 4 and 2 year old (the two year old makes the decisions, but I handle the cards). I’d love to hear about more games.

  6. whitney says

    We get most of our games from specialty websites, but my favorites are not kid games. I love Ticket to ride and Bohnanza. I get most of my kids games at garage sales, so we just have the basics…candy land, chutes and ladders, go fish…

  7. says

    We absolutely love Fluxx. One of the best parts for me is the ability to buy BLANXX (just like they have blanks in Apples to Apples) so you can personalize and add your own rules, goals, and such.

    I’ve never played with anyone who thought this was boring, although the constant change has been a bit much for some folks.

  8. says

    We love FLUXX and Apples to Apples too! I’ll pick up the Family version before Ranger starts reading.

    Cheapass Games are another household favorite…

    These similarities make me even sadder that I didn’t finally get to meet you last week.

  9. says

    My daughter LOVES FLUXX!! We gave it to her for Christmas and it’s one of her favorite games (she’s 7). Another big favorite card game in our house is Ruckus. The other game we like is called Blink, but it’s only for two players and it moves really fast!

  10. says

    We have a 4.5 yr old also, so we tend to stay away from reading required games as well. Our favorites right now are Gobblet, Triominos, Cat and Mouse. Gobblet and Triominos the wife and I will even play after the kids have gone to bed.

    John (Pop) at

  11. says

    My kids (ages 7 and 5, so one reader, and one who can’t read) love Clue Jr. Even our 5-year-old can figure out who stole the missing cake by himself, and he is so proud of himself when he does! :)

  12. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Thanks — my “spam” radar went off, too, but I shall let it stand — a good link.

    Loving all these game suggestions!

  13. says

    We really enjoy (with our 8 and 5 year old – one prereader one reader) LCR and Fill or Bust. We also play skip-bo, but the 5 year old needs reminders on what to do sometimes.
    I will say LCR is VERY portable and one of th reasons we do love it – we’ve played it easily at restaurants, waiting for airplanes, we carry it on vacation and it’s usually in my purse for a way to fill a few moments =)

  14. flynn says

    Another good source for game reviews is Matthew Baldwin’s blog, Defective Yeti. On this page he discusses games for non-gamers, and also for kids as young as toddlers.
    He only has one kid, though, so the reviews may not consider the problem of an age gap.

  15. Harmzie says

    Thanks for the tip! I see you’ve discovered Apples to Apples, too. It’s a *big* hit in our house, especially since the grownups can play (big ratio of grownups to kids in my family – so far!) AND have fun. We even got the adult version – just a little more complicated

    So I’m going to try this one too.

  16. CodeCrafter says

    I LOVE Fluxx and apples to apples! My son is still way to young for these but we will definitely play when he is older.

    A game company I have generally liked the games from is Cheapass Games.

    Their games are Cheap as the name of the company implies. Lot’s of fun games. Not all are kid appropriate though it kind of depends how you feel about zombies…