Motherhood

Which Board Games Do You Like For Kids?

Board Games for Kids

This summer, Toby, Anton and I have been getting really into playing games together. We’ve always liked Zingo and Perfection (makes your heart race). And when Toby and I visited my mom this weekend, we played Memory on her coffee table every evening. Toby liked to peek at each card before officially choosing one, but the game helped teach him to play fairly. I’m also excited to try Guess Who with the boys — a flashback to my own childhood!

Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to hear…

P.S. Slamdunk birthday presents for kids.

(Photo of Chris Evert with her siblings in 1971.)

  1. Rebecca says...

    I am returning to this post to say thank you to those who recommended Outfoxed – I bought it after seeing it here, and my 4.5 year old twins love it, and friends and cousins from 5-9 have also happily played it with them. And I like playing it with them so much more than Candyland!

  2. Shauna says...

    We currently have Memory and Trouble. My daughter (3) is such a cheat when it comes to Memory looking at all the cards to find the match she wants (We have the Frozen edition – she wants Olaf and Anna cards hahaha).
    As for trouble. It’s great for teaching counting on. But she doesn’t get the you only get one colour thing just yet and is constantly trying to steal my colours.
    I would love to get a lady beetle game where you have to build the lady beetle, but you have to spin the spinner to see what you can use.

    Always on the look out for more games.

  3. amy gates says...

    Spot it, Pengaloo, Uno, Sequence for kids, and Memory are our favorites right now!! our kids are 4 & 6!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i remember that game so well! we used to bike to the town library to play it :)

  4. Joanna says...

    Have you come across Orchard games? I’m in the UK so not sure if it’s available in the US but you can get anything on Amazon ;-)
    They have tonnes of games aimed at young kids, from 3 up really – we have the shopping list game, the rocket game, lunch box game, bus stop game, and dinosaur race, my almost-5-year-old’s favourite!

  5. Theresa says...

    Don’t Break the Ice!

  6. Headbandz is such a fun game for kids and adults! And of course all the classic card games (War, Old Maid, Rummy, Go Fish…).

  7. It’s a game called Likewise!

  8. My 6-year-old loves card games right now! Crazy 8s and Go Fish are regular events in our house.

  9. Meg says...

    Exploding Kittens (by The Oatmeal)! Super hit with 8- and 12-year old boys. Expansion pack – Imploding Kittens – comes out this fall. Very easy to learn, quick game and really fun.

  10. Cindy says...

    I play the Modern Art Memory Game purchased at MOMA with my five year old grandson. We then took some of the cards with us to our own museum, The Nelson -Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City (I knew which ones would work), and he matched the card with a work of art by the same artist. The works themselves did not match of course, but he correctly recognized the artists’ style for every single card. This is a great treasure hunt style game for museum visits. You could also purchase double post cards of the art from your local museum and make up your own game.

    • Rachel says...

      This is so smart!

  11. Colleen says...

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but Outfoxed is a great game. It’s like a kid version of Clue, with a fox who stole a pie, instead of someone getting murdered…I like it because we’re all on the same team, trying to beat the fox. My 4yo gets REALLY upset when he loses games, so it’s nice to not be competitive with this one. We also love Operation, Jenga, and Rat-a-tat-cat.

  12. celeste says...

    this summer, the four year old i nanny taught me how to play chess! (his eight year old brother taught him)
    we’ve been playing loads of chess, parcheesi, and more recently risk.. the eight year old also LOVES to design his own games! it’s so much fun to troubleshoot them with him.

  13. Catan Jr.! As adults my husband and I play Settlers of Catan in the winter months when its rainy and gloomy here in Seattle. We got our niece and nephew (9 and 6) totally addicted! Normally I am not a board game person, but this game keeps my attention because there is strategy involved. The kids picked it up so quickly.

  14. molly says...

    I am 28, but growing up as an only child my parents used to play tons of board games with me. I loved memory, bandu, candy land, trouble, uno, chutes and ladders, outburst, go fish, old maid, and sorry! those are just off the top of my head, but I am sure i could come up with a ton more :)

  15. Andrea S says...

    Shelby’s snack shack- tons of fun and also good for fine motor development and hand muscle/handwriting practice

    • ASH says...

      Oh my gosh! I’ve never heard of anyone else who knew this game…I always loved finding the tree with the slipper

  16. This game (https://thelittlewoodpecker.com/chicken-game-jigsaw-puzzle-games.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwt-G8BRDktsvwpPTn1PkBEiQA-MRsBdR-X2gpQTUIqdEVh8b1TF_-DVbtTxY5Og2GPW14u-gaAkMx8P8HAQ) is incredible for teaching kids patience and how to deal with frustration. The goal is to reach the end first, but based on the role of the dice you can be sent all the way back to the beginning at any point during the game. While it’s not a game you can rush it’s definitely worth the lessons it teaches.

  17. Goblet gobblers!! So much fun to play with your kids. My daughter is almost 5 and I just love to see her wheels turning when we play. It’s a tic tac toe strategy game that is also transportable. Great for airplane or restaurant. It’s a hoot!

  18. Kelley says...

    Doodle Dice is a great game for families. The goal is to build doodles from symbols on the dice. A round of it can take as little as 20 minutes, so it isn’t one of those games that takes hours and hours to play. And adults seem to like it almost as much as kids. Our family also loves Sequence. There is a version for kids and one for older children and adults.

  19. Ahhh Perfection! My heart started racing just thinking about it. :) I have 4 and 6 year old boys and we love Sleeping Queens and Exploding Kittens! But lately we have been playing Settlers (open handed) and Sorry. I love when my little guy says, “Sorry!” with batted eyes. So cute! What memories you are building. Keep it up.

  20. Paige says...

    Connect 4! I taught my three year old the song from the commercial in the 90s so he proudly shouts it every time either of us gets 4 in a row. GO FOR IT; CONNECT 4! Ha. (Easy clean up too ;)

  21. I got Rory’s Story Cubes for camping this year for our kids – preschool and grade 1. It’s just telling a story based on the pictures on the dice, no competition or anything, and they love it so much! Also, it takes a couple of minutes so it doesn’t make you contemplate horrible acts like Candyland does.

  22. Michelle says...

    My son loved Busytown the game! A collaborative game that has everyone looking for pictures on the game board — it’s been a fun game for all of us!

  23. We LOVE Sleeping Queens (more fun than Uno for my story-centric 5 year old) and Animal Upon Animal (like Jenga but with animals!). So fun!

  24. sophie says...

    try Doodle (round cards) game which is cheap and does not require lot of space to play, this is a great game for youngs and olders . it requires eyes, attention, speed and fun. each party is different and help anyone to improve skills! try it with Toby, Anton, you and hubby and tell me! by the way Hi from France, i like your blog ;-)

    • Nicola says...

      Do you mean Dobble? this has round cards and is a great game. I think it is called “Spot It” in America

  25. My boys (12 and 14) both love Monopoly – living in Scotland we have the Edinburgh version and an electronic version of the original, which means you use credit cards instead of notes – doesn’t’ stop the cheating or the ‘knocking the board over’ and storming out of the room strop – ahh family fun!

  26. sarah says...

    Goldieblox games!! They teach building and engineering to young ones using a fun interactive storyline. Our daughter (4) and nephew (5) love them, and they are fun for parents too. They involve of positive interaction, and collaboration, rather than competition win/lose.

  27. We’re all about the Game of LIFE, one of my childhood faves. We’ve also been playing Forbidden Island a lot, a fun cooperative game that my 6 and 10 year old were both able to pick up fairly quickly but is complex enough that my husband doesn’t get bored of it.

  28. Katie says...

    Have you ever played “hoot owl hoot”? It’s a kids cooperative game by peacable kingdom. They have other games too. We were just playing it last night with our daughters. Kind of like pandemic but for kids.

  29. guess who is a classic. the kids are too young now, obviously, but i guess it must have been middle school when my dad would play boggle with my brother and i . to this day, it’s still my favorite.
    b

  30. Monica says...

    My son is 12 and he always has loved games…now he is into battleship and monopoly!

  31. Meg says...

    I’d recommend Doodle Dice. I got it for my stepdaughter when she was ~6 years old. We still play it though not as often. When we first started playing, we removed the more difficult purple cards from the deck before starting which makes the game easier and shorter. I will warn that it is a bit loud since you are rolling dice.

  32. Kirstin says...

    Telestrations.

  33. Alexandra Brown says...

    SUSPEND is a great game for both kids and adults alike. There is a Junior version. We have the regular version and I actually leave the “sculpture” out on a table for any one who wishes to spend a minute or two playing with it.

  34. laetitia says...

    I have 3 and 5 year old boys: it’s a bit hard to find games that they can both play, but they love Zingo, Pengaloo, Farm dominoes (from Djeco) and memory games.

    Everynight after we put his little brother to bed, we play board games with our 5 year old – he loves the one on one time, and board games a bit more advances. He loves Funny bunny (https://www.amazon.com/Ravensburger-Funny-Bunny-Childrens-Game/dp/B00005JS7E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1469556734&sr=8-3&keywords=carrot+board+game), Hoot Owl Hoot (cooperative game), the Press Here game (from the book) and Reversi!

  35. I’m au-pairing in Toulouse this summer and brought along a couple of games from the US to play with the little girl I’m nannying. After debating which ones to select while in the states, I eventually went with Candy Land (my all time fave as a kid) and Headbandz. Candy Land was a TOTAL hit with her, but her level of English isn’t quite on par with that of an American 8 year old, so Headbandz wasn’t as popular hahah. Uno is also always so fun to play with children, whatever their age. :)