Best Board Games For Kids Feat

There was a time when the greatest new games could not be bought with a click from the App Store. There was a time when gaming was not a pursuit of lone children with poor posture, tired thumbs and illuminated brows. In fact, there was even a time when families of all ages would sit down together and play games in some kind of strange ‘bonding’ ritual. It’s name – the board game.

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Well it turns out that ‘that time’ is back. Back with a modern, collaborative, and exciting vengeance! There has been a huge board game resurgence in recent years, so now is the time to get your children out from behind the screen and get them involved in some real face-to-face fun with the whole family! Here are our reviews of seventeen of the best board games for kids from toddlers to teens to get you started!

Best Board Games For Kids and Families

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Robot Turtles GameGame for little programmers
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Hoot Owl Hoot!An award winning color-coded cooperative matching game
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ElementosA good short game for kids
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Sagrada by Floodgate GamesOne of the more innovative games to hit it’s stride in 2017
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PandemicGreat fit for children with busy lifestyles
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Spot ItOne of the most simple yet popular games for all ages

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SplendorOne of the more mysterious board games for kids
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JengaThe classic wood block game
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7 WondersGreat strategy game
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TelestrationsOne of the most hilarious and unpredictable board games for kids
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1. Robot Turtles Board Game

Robot Turtles

Robot Turtles Game is a top board game for little programmers  – it’s a very fun way to learn to code! The most backed board game in Kickstarter history sneakily teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of programming, from coding to functions, while making silly turtle noises! Before you know it, your little one will be writing computer games rather than just playing them!

In this turn-based game, you move your turtles around the tiles following the cards that are played.  While the instructions are easy, there are gameplay tricks to making every turn count. Your goal: get your jewel!

Promotes: Programming Skills, Logic, Problem Solving

Ages: 4+

2.  Hoot Owl Hoot!

Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot! Cooperative Board Game

Hoot Owl Hoot! is an award-winning color-coded cooperative game where players must help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Children don’t compete with each other in this family game – rather they work together teaching teamwork .  Play a color card and fly to that tile. Draw a sun card and you’re one step closer to daylight. The common opponent is oncoming daylight.  Help all the owls get home before the sun rises and everyone wins! Two levels of play allow this game to grow with your kid.

Promotes: Collaboration, Problem Solving

Ages: 4+

3. Elementos

elementos

Elementos was originally created as a Kickstarter campaign that exploded in popularity. A good short turn based strategy game for kids, each match lasts around fifteen minutes.  Children will be able to get playing without too much timing learning the rules.  It’s based on the simple game mechanics of Rock/Paper/Scissors, Elementos uses the concept of three elements (fire, water, tree) overcoming each other to create an intriguing, exciting and thoughtful head to head challenge.

Promotes: Strategy, Thinking, Planning

Ages: 7+

4. Sagrada by Floodgate Games

Sagrada-Box-Cover

Sagrada is a great game for children and adults alike who enjoy problem solving and puzzles. I think it’s one of the more innovative games to hit it’s stride in 2017. Players take on the role of master artisans designing their most ambitious work yet – a stained glass window for the Sagrada Familia. Colored dice represent the stained-glass material, and must be placed on the game board according to the needs of the window. The artist that ends up completing the window successfully with the highest score wins.

Easy to describe with simple instructions and rules, but requiring some forethought on exactly what color and number should go where, this turn game is a relatively quick play at 30 mins. We’ve found there’s a high replay value as the game changes each round.  It’s a great family game for kids and adults alike.  The colors involved might keep younger children entertained even if they can’t play by themselves.

Promotes: Creativity, Strategy, Problem-solving

Ages: 9+

5. Pandemic

Pandemic Board Game

The original Pandemic is a worldwide best seller – probably because it’s a great game for family fun. With an average game length of about an hour, it’s a great way to play a quick match for children with busy lifestyles. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 allows you to both play the original game, and once you are comfortable up the difficulty a notch. This is a truly cooperative board game where you all win or you all lose. Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. And with loads of great expansion packs, the game never gets old!

Promotes: Collaboration, Strategy

Ages: 13+

6. Spot It

Spot It

Spot It is one of the most simple yet popular games for all ages. Played with 55 circular cards, each decorated with eight symbols varying in size and orientation, the aim of the game is to be the first to spot the one symbol in common between two or more cards. The cards change with every match made, so you have to stay focused to keep up. Don’t be fooled! It’s not as simple as it sounds. Perfect for travel, family game night and playing on the go.

Promotes: Visual Perception, Observation Skills

Ages: 6+

7. Splendor

Splendor

Splendor is one of the more mysterious board games for kids where players play a wealthy renaissance merchant, acquiring mines and transportation and creating the most fantastic jewelry to become the best-known merchant. Acquire precious stones to trade them for development cards. Use development cards to acquire more gem stones. Use your gems and gold to create the most fantastic jewelry, and appeal to the nobles to gain the prestige you need to win.

Promotes: Strategy, Planning

Ages: 10+

8. Jenga

Jenga

Jenga is absolutely one of my favorite games in the world! Young or old, the nerves and thrill of manipulating the teetering tower of blocks is like no other game. Make sure you have a nice steady table, or a place on the floor cleared out before tackling this classic game.

Stack the wooden blocks in a sturdy tower, then take turns pulling out blocks one by one until the whole stack crashes down. Is your hand steady enough to pull out the last block before the tower collapses?  Younger kids will really love when someone else knocks down the tower, though their fine motor skills might not be developed enough to remove blocks reliably.

Promotes: Hand-Eye Coordination, Strategy, Patience

Ages: 5+

9. 7 Wonders

7 Wonders

In 7 Wonders you lead an ancient civilization as it rises from its barbaric roots to become a world power. Lead your troops to a military victory or create a nation of artisans and philosophers. Establish a powerful merchant state or master the mysteries of science and technology. Build an architectural wonder that will fascinate for eons to come, and rule the most powerful civilization on Earth!

Promotes: Strategy, Geography

Ages: 10+

10. Best Board Game For Families:  Telestrations

Telestrations

In the unique game Telestrations, each player starts with their own erasable sketchbook, marker and word card. A roll of the die determines each player’s secret word. The timer gets turned and everyone draws their word. After 60 seconds, everyone passes their book to the player on their left. Then each player takes a few seconds to guess in words what they see, and passes again. One of the most hilarious and unpredictable board games for kids, it’s miscommunication at its best.

This has become a family favorite in our household since our recent buy in New Year’s 2020.  We’ve given it a top spot in our game closet – while some of our children are artists and others (and myself) aren’t – being a basic drawer doesn’t hurt the game play.  In our house version of the game rules, we don’t use a timer. Different skill levels in lateral thinking can make up for stick-person art skills.  It’s nice that you can get 30 minutes of family fun through a quick game – or play on for a couple of hours if you have the time.

highly recommend adding it to your game collection in 2022.

Promotes: Drawing, Communication, Creativity

Ages: 8+

11. The Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan is one of the most popular strategy board games for kids there is. Players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements, and cities on their way to victory. The board itself is variable, making each game a little different from the next. Each round of The Settlers of Catan will keep three or four players engaged for a good ninety minutes.  There is an expansion edition available as well if you find you love the base game.  I’d say give this game a try first – you’ll know pretty soon if Catan is a game for your kid.

Promotes: Strategy, Planning

Ages: 10+

12. Clue – Classic Edition

Clue Board Game

The classic board game Clue is still a top board game for kids and adults alike. One of the six legendary suspects has done away with Mr Boddy, but in which of the nine rooms? And which of the six weapons was used to commit this dastardly dead? Collect the right clues, make the right deductions, to determine who? where? which weapon? and you will solve the mystery and win the game.

Promotes: Strategy, Mystery, Deduction

Ages: 8+

13. Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island

In Forbidden Island you will join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!

Promotes: Collaboration, Strategy

Ages: 10+

14. Best Thinking Board Game:  Chess

Best Board Games for Kids - Chess

It may not be the flashiest game on the list but there is no doubt that Chess is definitely one of the best board games for kids. Not only is it a pathway to deeper thinking, it’s also one of the most widely played board games around the world. Encourage your kids to quit the Chess app on their iPad and try the more social option and start playing the real thing!

The game board can be made of cardboard, paper or wood, and the chess piece can be simple or elegant – no matter what your materials, Chess is fun for a wide age range of players.   Our recommended purchase would make a great family board.  It’s sturdy and good looking.

Promotes: Strategy, Thinking, Focus

Ages: 5+ years old

15. Dominion

Dominion

In Dominion you are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait. It must be something in the air, several other monarchs have had the exact same idea.  Use your playing cards to win! You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way.

Promotes: Strategy, Planning

Ages: 13+

16. Scattergories

Scattergories

Play Scattergories individually or as teams in this exciting and fast-paced board game for kids and adults. Gameplay is exactly as you’d expect from family board games – fast and hectic!

Each team or player takes 1 of 32 category cards and writes down words that fit the categories on the card. Words have to begin with the letter rolled on the oversized letter die- younger players love playing just to roll the die.  Start the timer and the challenge of being different begins!

Promotes: Vocabulary, Word Play, Creativity

Ages: 8+

17. Best Board Game For 10-12 Year Olds:  Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is the wild, award-winning card game that provides instant fun for 4 to 10 players right out of the box.  Some have called it Scrabble for a new generation – I’m not sure about that.  There are a lot of differences – no points being one of many – but it certainly is fun.

Players are dealt red cards which have a noun printed on them, and the judge (a different player in each turn) draws a green card on which an adjective is printed and places it for all players to see. Each player then chooses a red card they are holding that they think best describes the green card. The judge is the “finish line” – they decide which adjective wins!  A great word game with something for all players.

Promotes: Creativity, Literacy, Objectivity

Ages: 10+

[BONUS] – Monopoly

Monopoly

It just had to be mentioned. If there was ever a ‘best classic’ family board game it has to be Monopoly. With pretty much every possible variation of the popular game, you can now play themed edition Monopoly with your kids including Monopoly Junior, Adventure Time, Despicable Me and of course, Frozen. The rules are slightly different, but the main gameplay elements are the same. These kids board game selections can be matched to your child’s appropriate difficulty level.

Pick one of your favorite game pieces (I like the top hat) and make your way around the board as you and other players try to scoop up properties.

Promotes: Strategy, Finance, Patience

Ages: 5+

What are your picks for the better board games for kids? What’s on top of your list of family games?  Are you mad we didn’t include Scrabble, Connect 4, the Game of Life, First Orchard and Candy Land? Let us know your picks in the comments below!

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Wolfgang Lonien.

8 Comments

  1. Colocaria el Ajedrez como N° 1 por ser deporte, ciencia, la antigüedad, juego y todo lo que aporta a nivel de diversion y pedagogicamente a los niños.
    Incluir el juego QUARTO de Gigamic.

  2. Sushi Go is like a lighter/easier 7 Wonders. Perfect for kids and adults. I’m thinking of giving board games as Christmas gifts for entire families. One gift, costing less than $10, that they could play and enjoy together!

  3. My kids (9, 10 & 11) still like Payday, Life, Aggravation, Clue, Herd Your Horses, and Masterpiece (okay I really like Masterpiece). They play the card games Rat-a-Tat Cat, Sushi Go, and Uno frequently. And they like dice games like Zombie Dice, Farkle, and variations of Tenzi.

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