Game Night: Taboo

Taboo, available on

Taboo is hands down my family’s favorite game. That is saying something because we are a family of game nights! Taboo was a great game when we were kids and it’s still very fun and a regular standby at our grownup game nights. That’s the great thing about the game – with a few modifications, nearly any age can play and enjoy the game.

The purpose of Taboo is to get your team to guess a word on a card you’ve selected, without saying a bunch of other closely related words. This is great for developing quick, flexible thinking strategies. Children learn how to play by a set of rules and contribute to a team. Taboo is also a fabulous vocabulary builder.

My family’s favorite child-friendly modification to the rules involves Taboo’s penalty on skipping cards. Normally, if you skip a card, the other team gets a point. This is to discourage fishing for the easy words which tend to rack up points more quickly. Instead, allow children to skip without penalty either words they don’t know or can’t read, and historical and/or popular figures they haven’t heard of. Set these cards aside for a quick vocabulary or history lesson during a break in the game. The best way for children to feel in over their heads with Taboo is to get stuck trying to convey something they’ve never, ever heard of. But, with some modifications tailored to your child’s age and abilities, the whole family can play. I’m sure you’ll also come up with your own family favorite modifications as well.

Taboo is available on Amazon and ships for free in two days with Amazon Prime. I’ve long been of the opinion that board games are overpriced, but at $32, Taboo still falls solidly in the middle of the family board game pack. As this game has family-wide appeal, is gender-fair in packaging and game contents, and easily available, Fair Play gives it 5 pinwheels.

This is the first post in a series about gender-fair family games. Watch Fair Play for future posts! Leave on comment on our Request a Review page if you’re looking for a particular type of game.

4 thoughts on “Game Night: Taboo

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