Inside: Looking for the best board games for kids? Here’s my list of the very best games for kids under age 10 – don’t miss this chance for some good ol’ family fun!
What are the best board games for kids?
Sign me up for a good game night: I love board games. But kids…. hmmm… it gets a little trickier trying to find games for kids that are still fun for adults or older siblings.
RELATED: Looking for more toy ideas for kids? Check out my list of 100+ ideas broken down by age!
Why are games so awesome for kids?
Thanks for asking: board games are amazing.
I give my kids a new game for every birthday or Christmas – we have grown quite a collection over the past years and I am here for that!
I truly think of board games as a “write off” for toys: you can’t have too many.
Board games teach our kids so many amazing skills and we need these powerful tools in our lives:
- Communication skills
- Taking turns
- Winning AND losing graciously
- Rule following
- Math skill (most board games have a math element to them when you really think about it…)
RELATED: Need some more gift ideas? Try my guide to the best puzzles for kids!
When should we start our collection?
How young is too young? How early is too early?
For my kids, age 3 was the golden ticket number for each kiddo with “entry level” game play. These are games like Candy Land and Memory – simple to understand and limited rules to follow.
Around age 3 is when I started helping my kids amass their board game collection and board game repertoire.
Let’s hear it for the game: HERE ARE THE BEST BOARD GAMES FOR KIDS
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I’ve separated this list into age categories by WHEN a child may first be interested in this game. This does NOT mean this is the only age group that will enjoy the game, as these games are fun for many many many years.
A cooperative play game where everyone works together to win (or lose together). These games are fun for little ones to learn basic game play skills (like taking turns).
This game gets 10k reviews on Amazon, and I can add 3 more five-star reviews from my kids. It’s a sweet little game with cute pieces.
This is the perfect charades game for kids – it’s just so well done. If you have drama-loving kids, acting it out here will be the best.
Need a travel game? A car game? A diaper bag game? You need Spot it! It’s part matching, part Where’s Waldo and really just about the best “toy” to always have on you. Fun for all ages of kids.
What a perfect game for toddlers on up to elementary school – this game awesome. Don’t let the Yeti fall into the bowl… a steady hand is needed here!
It’s a little bit memory, a little bit carnival game. The ducks move on a rotating track and my kids LOVE it. This 36 year old happens to really enjoy this one too.
This “eye spy” style game is really fun and enjoyable – it’s one that you will really like playing with your toddler or preschooler (and my big kids love it still).
An absolute whole family favorite and works from age two to 92. It’s a lot about luck in this game of building color matching snakes. Games that are luck based are great for toddlers who don’t quite have their skills up yet. This game is not listed on Amazon or Target right now, but it is too good to remove from my list. Check local stores.
Another game of total luck: you “fish” for the prey inside the sharks mouth but one will trigger the giant mouth to snap shut. Makes the kids giggle every single time.
Do you remember this one? The fish spin and you try to reel them in. I love this one because kids can play alone OR in a group.
It’s a classic for a reason. Everyone should own Hungry Hungry Hippos. The End.
This is a just-right-for-kids BINGO!!! This is the best little game for kids and parents – a fun alternative to traditional BINGO.
A cooperative play game – Outfoxed is a team game (there’s no winner – everyone works together to catch the fox). It’s a bit like clue for kids with some really cool elements that make it even fun for adults. THIS GAME COULD EASILY BE FOR EARLY ELEMENTARY TOO, BUT KIDS WILL START TO ENJOY IT AROUND AGE 4.
This is a really fun game for the older kids (the box says 8+, I’d say 5+). The goal is to wake up as many queens as possible… but it takes a little skill and a little luck to win. Side note: I would play this one with adults too. It’s that fun.
Hello to the favorite of my neighborhood for all of last winter. Ages 4.5+ on this one and have the best time trying to avoid the rat and find the cats. This one plays in fast rounds, best with 3+ players (IMO).
A true classic – there’s something so adorable about kids playing such an old fashioned game. My 3 absolutely love this one.
Do you remember this game? You need to add all the pieces back into the puzzle before the timer pops them all loose. It’s fun for kids with the pressure and without – and it’s all about spatial awareness…
Ok technically not a board game but this is the best. It’s not easy but trying to follow the verbal directions of the game with a physical motion is hilarious. Perfect for littles, bigs, and adults (not to toot my own horn, but I do have the neighborhood record right now…)
Think slap jack meets sandwiches. This is a fun game for siblings – we just got it for our son’s 5th birthday.
You had it as a kid and guess what? It’s still fun as an adult. It’s simple for little ones but still challenging for adults (I’ve still yet to complete a full operation without the buzzer)…
This is another cooperative play game – but the 5-6+ crowd. It’s a maze based game and my kids always grab for it at the neighbor’s house.
Don’t forget about this classic – it’s an easy one to overlook. As kindergarteners work on counting to 100, this board game (with 100 spaces) is perfect for counting skills.
A game that teaches children to ask questions. SIGN ME UP. This is a tricky one for preschoolers and up but once they grasp the game, it’s the best.
Who doesn’t love playing Connect 4? The ultimate game of thinking skills – every house should have it.
One of the first truly great card games that kindergarteners can play. This one is easy to learn and a great introduction into the world of cards.
This really is Monopoly for kids – it’s so good, such a great first step, and so perfectly done. My son latched onto this game at age 4 and spent most of the year obsessing over it.
I love having a multi-set like this one (it’s a great gift for stockings too). The set comes with six different card games with simple photo cards for kids.
This game both simple and incredibly challenging (it’s definitely both a kid game AND an adult game). It’s all about visual discrimination and seeing groupings of shapes.
This is an easy one to forget about in the shuffle of fancy new games – but there’s so much good that comes from yahtzee… so much math goodness.
Do you have a child interested in Chess? This is a GREAT way to start them off. Players flip cards over that tell them what to do each turn. While it does take the logic out of Chess, it teaches children the moves of Chess and lays a great foundation.
We love this. By we, I mean, my kids AND my husband and me. In fact, my husband and I regularly play this without the kids. It’s like a game of Tetris against someone else. So much strategy and critical thinking.
Did you play Mancala as a kid? I did. Then as a K-1 teacher, I watched my students fall in love with this… and I’m getting ready to teach it to my kids. I CAN’T WAIT.
Direct from my 8-year-old: “This is a very fun game, but hard at first. You’ll get the hang of it. This game is fun and I just beat my dad twice.” This game is awesome but definitely 8+.
This solo play logic game is so much fun – we actually have 3 total games that are similar. My 8-year-old says this one is the most complicated.
You can’t go wrong with having just some decks on cards lying around. There’s a lot kids can learn just from playing with a standard set.