These board games for kids are sure to be a winner the next time you need a perfect game for a game night or for a fun activity with kids.
Games are a staple in our house, and I first became addicted to them while I was a teacher. I learned that they have many purposes!
Not only are games fun, but they help children practice important skills too. Board games help kids:
- Increase their focus and attention to details
- Learn turn-taking and cooperation
- Practice self-regulation and impulse control
- Increase memory and use critical thinking
- Follow directions and remember rules
- Learn to think ahead and form strategies
With so many board games out there, I have three main rules for buying a new board game.
1) It has to be enjoyable and a game that we want to play over and over.
2) There needs to be some sort of learning aspect or life skill without it being overly educational or boring.
3) It needs to be a game that several of my friends have said their kids have loved too.
We’ve put together our absolute favorites that meet my 3 rules so that you always have an awesome board game.
They are sorted into three categories of board games:
- Board Games for the Family
- Board Games for Preschoolers
- Classic Board Games
Board Games for Kids
These are the best board games for kids that adults love too!
Games for the Family
These board games are perfect for a family game night! These are the games we as adults hope for when our kids say they want to play. If you want to see our entire selection of games for the family, head over to our post with 20+ of the best family board games.
My kids call this “the train game,” and it is a blast! If you love the original Ticket to Ride board game, you’ll definitely enjoy playing this with your kids too! The goal is to get your six tickets before the rest of the players. Children are also learning about geography and strategy while they play!
Qwirkle is a game that can be as simple or complex as you like. That’s the beauty of it. When playing this game with three-year-olds and four-year-olds, they’ll catch on quickest to colors, shapes, and sorting. It’s a perfect board game for kids to practice math skills. However, it’s also one of those games that you could play with the entire family and see who has the best strategy to get six across.
This is one of my favorite board games for kids and the whole family!! The instructions are easy and short and learning to play is very straightforward. Find the simplest path through the ever-changing labyrinth to pick up your prescribed objects and then get back to the start. It can be a little difficult for younger kids – my 6-year-old sometimes needs help finding a path. But it’s easy to adapt the rules to her and other younger players by giving her fewer objects, or allowing her to choose which object to get next.
This board game is perfect for kids and adults who love games where you hunt and find things! Each person gets a board that has tons of pictures of different objects and then you try to find an object from the card that is on your board. What we love most about this is that it so easy to grab and play, and you can play for as little or as long as you like!
Catan Junior is a ton of fun for the whole family! While similar to the adult version, Catan Junior is pirate-themed and each player tries to get the resources like wood, gold, and sabers that they need to build their ships and bases. We love how this game teaches strategy and resource management in a kid-friendly way.
This is a fun adaptation of classic Dominoes. Instead of matching numbers next to each other, you match environments to make your own territory. It’s really simple to learn, quick to play and has a nice balance of strategy and luck. I love that I can actually compete against my kids, instead of spending the whole game trying to let them win! As a bonus, there are tons of math skills involved.
Snowstorm is one of the best cooperative board games for kids! Players help the families in the town complete errands by driving their cars, going to the places on their list, and returning safely home. Road conditions deteriorate, so we help by plowing and spreading sand. The weather keeps changing, so we have to adapt as we go. Each game is a new fun challenge!
I’ve been intimidated by this board game for a while, but I finally worked up the courage to try it and I can’t believe I was scared! Draw a tile, place it on the board, and place one of your “meeple.” That’s basically it! Of course, you can take it to a much more strategic level once you (or your kids) are ready. There’s also a simpler version, My First Carcassone, with a smaller playing area and much bigger tiles, if you can’t wait to get your younger kids involved.
I’ve loved the value of cooperative board games in my kids’ lives and am thrilled to find a cooperative family game! It’s for ages 10 and up, but we’ve had success with our early elementary kids, too. Since you’re all on the same team, it’s pretty easy to explain a strategy that 7-year old doesn’t get right away. And sometimes the 7-year old explains to us! Hint – figure out the rules and gameplay yourself first, and then bring in the kids. The instructions may be too lengthy for them to sit through!
Board Games for Preschoolers
Here are our favorite board games for preschoolers, and if you’re looking for even more preschool games, check out our favorite preschool games that teach.
Zingo! is a super fun learning game that children of all ages love, but it is especially easy for preschoolers to learn. It’s our very favorite game right now! Children don’t even need to read to play, but it absolutely helps with important reading skills like visual discrimination. The concept is much like Bingo, where players have to fill their card with the matching item the “Zinger” spits out, but it’s pictures and words instead of numbers.
Another favorite family board game that’s perfect for preschool! We started playing this when my youngest was two-years-old, and my kids still love it. Everyone works together to build a block tower before the nefarious stack smasher comes along. There are three different levels of play, so it truly grows with your kids.
Classic Board Games
These classic board games might be a favorite from your childhood and now they are still around for even more game nights to enjoy!
Monopoly JuniorThis is the best-loved version of Monopoly for kids and families, and it’s simple to clean up afterward. There are even fun properties that kids love like the zoo! If you’ve been burned by Monopoly in the past or want a simple version, try this one!
The box says that it’s for ages 6+, but younger kids can grasp the concept too! I love how simple the game is, that it’s ready to play right out the box, and that gameplay can vary – you can play for minutes or an hour! There’s a reason Connect 4 is one the family board games that’s still a classic!
Sorry!…or am I?! This version is slightly updated, with shorter playing time and some gentler consequences for opponents. But still a very competitive board game for kids and lots of fun! Be the first to get all your game pawns back to home base.
We hope these board games for kids will help you spark some extra fun and learning!