Most Fun Board Games for Kids! Best Games for Kids from Tots to Tweens
These are our favorite board games for kids that are fun for the whole family to play together!
I love the way a fun board game can bring together a family. When the game is right, everyone can have fun and you make the kind of memories that kids think back on the rest of their lives. We have board games that everyone from the toddler to the grown ups can play in our game cupboard. Here are our favorites.
The following board games are favorites in my family or were recommended by readers. You’ll find them listed in sections, along with links to further recommendations for games for each age group:
- Board Games for Toddlers
- Board Games for Preschoolers
- Board Games for Younger Kids
- Board Games for Big Kids and Grown Ups
The ages listed come from personal experience as well as looking through reviews for each game, so they may not be the same as what the manufacturer recommends, but they’ll work for most people.
Links to games are Amazon affiliate links.
Roll, it’s your turn!
Best Board Games for Toddlers:
(Games good for approximately ages 1, 2 & 3)
The most successful board games for toddlers involves action and movement. Toddlers over age 2 or so may begin to be able to play board games with simple rules of play. Top recommendation in this list for long lasting play value is Snails Pace Race.
Ravensburger Snail’s Pace Race – Age: 2 – 5, Players: 1-6, Cooperative: It doesn’t feel very competitive if you don’t present it that way.
I recommend this board game because my kids have all enjoyed it and played it both together and on their own. The older kids can help the toddler with the board game and the snails and dice are pretty wooden pieces. As they roll the colors to move the snails it can create happy conversation about, “What snail do you think will win the game? Go blue go! Only ___ more spaces!”.
Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game – Age: 18 months+ Parents and older siblings can play this game with the toddler, Players: 2+, Cooperative: yes
Toddlers get to roll the soft die and the cards prompt fun interactions and movement ideas that a parent or older sibling can do with the youngster. Easy to involve the whole family, because who can resist making a toddler smile? Now they’ve come out with a dance version too: The Move and Groove Game – cute!
Haba – My First Orchard – Age: 2+, Players: 1-4, Cooperative: yes
My First Orchard is the younger version of Haba’s extremely popular Orchard game. In the toddler version of this board game the pieces are larger and the play is simple. The wooden fruits are beautiful and everyone can work together to save them from the hungry crow. Haba also has one of the biggest selections of board games for toddlers with their “My First Games Series“.
Not a game exactly, but good for prompting lots of pretend play with your toddler like, “Can you chomp like an alligator?!” These animal flashcards come on a ring so you don’t lose them and are illustrated with cute pictures your toddler will recognize.
Find more of our favorites: Best Board Games for Two and Three Year Olds.
Best Board Games for Preschoolers:
(Games good for approximately ages 4-6 with some good for 3 year olds)
Richard Scarry Busy Town Age: 3-8, Players: 2-4, Cooperative: yes
This game for preschoolers comes recommended by readers as well as parenting bloggers. It is the most popular preschool game on our list. The game comes with a large map of Busytown for a game board and players get to work together to find items and get to the the ferry to go have a picnic. One reader said her kids favorite games are this one and the Richard Scarry Airport Game which is similar and her kids love it because it comes with little airplanes.
Hisss Age: 3+, Players: 2-5, Cooperative: no
Hisss has remained a well loved game for two years for my boys. It’s simple enough that after a few games younger kids can play it together on their own. It’s not thrilling for adults, but I don’t mind playing with them either, and it isn’t one of those never-ending kid games. You are matching snake cards according to color to try and create entire snakes. We all have fun going HISSSSS when we pick up a snake we’ve completed.
The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game – Age: 3-7, Players: 2-4, Cooperative: no
Players have to use little tongs to pick, steal or put back an acorn, depending on what the spinner lands on. The action of using tongs is great for coordination. Recommended by readers as a new favorite, this is one I’m leaning towards getting for my five year old.
Gobblet Gobblers – Age: 4+, Players: 2, Cooperative: no
A great game that is fun for parents too. It’s played almost just like tic-tac-toe (so, VERY easy to learn) but you have the fun of being able to “gobble” pieces, making it so sometimes your four year old catches you off guard and wins. The pieces are high quality wood, the game play is quick, and kids begin learning strategy – highly recommended.
Catch Me! Tin Game by Haba– Age: 3-7, Players: 2-4, Cooperative: no
Players try to snatch their mice away to safety and save them from the cat in this cute game. Lots and lots of laughter as players try to save the mice.
Find more of our favorites here:
Best Board Games for Preschoolers
Best Younger Kid Board Games:
(Board Games good for approximately ages 5, 6, 7, 8+)
Chickyboom – Age: 4+, Players: 2, Cooperative: It can be if you decide to work together to “save the chickens!”
Chickyboom is another game that’s fun for kids and grown ups. It relies on steady hands so younger players may be at a disadvantage, but your 3 or 4 year old could join in if the other players are willing. We usually play it as one team trying to save the chickens, so this isn’t a problem. My kids love to do pretend play with the nice wooden pieces. We all shout chickyBOOM!!! when the board falls. – highly recommended.
Labyrinth – Age: 8+, Players: 1-4, Cooperative: no
In this game with sliding maze pieces players have to find treasures and get back home. You have to visualize how the maze will change taking a turn, making it very engaging. We used to have this game when I was a kid and my brother and I both agree that it really sparked our imaginations. Finding treasures in the maze is an enchanting experience.
eeBoo Obstacles Game – Age: 5+, Players: 2-5, Cooperative: yes
Comes recommended as a fun game for stimulating creative thinking. Everyone works together to come up with solution to the obstacles and make their way to the finish.
Spot It – Age: 5+, Players: 2-8, Cooperative: no
After having this game recommended to us over and over we got it as a Christmas present. Players try to be the first to spot the only two similarities between two cards. This game travels well due to size and there are multiple ways to play, as well as multiple different versions such as Disney Frozen Versions, and Educational Sets.
Find more fun games for young kids here:
Board Games for Big Kids and Grown-Ups
(These are games you’ll want to play even without kids.)
The following are board games for families that are great for a family game night, but also you might find yourself choosing these games even if you’re not playing with the kids. When we get together with the extended family on holidays, we wait until the kids are asleep so all the grown ups can play these.
Ticket To Ride – Age: 8+, Players: 2-5, Cooperative: no
It involves strategy as you try to claim the most train routes. This is a fun game for adults and kids. You can read the in-depth reviews to find out more about how this is played. My only warning would be, this is a difficult game to play with toddlers around – lots of little train pieces. When my oldest son was little he loved looking at the game board and lining up the little trains, but that isn’t as easy to supervise with more than one kid.
Qwirkle – Age: 5+, Players: 2-4, Cooperative: no
This game of colors, shapes, and strategy can be played by kids as young as 5, but we stayed up late on Thanksgiving playing as kids slept. The tiles are beautiful, shiny wooden pieces, and the game play is simple yet strategic. I don’t see our kids “outgrowing” this game.
Morphology– Age: 13+ or 8+ for the Jr. version; younger kids had fun being on a team, Players: 4+, Cooperative: no
This game is hilarious. My stomach hurt from laughing so much. It’s like Pictionary with objects and somehow elicits the most ridiculous and funny guesses. There’s also Morphology Junior for kids 8 and up, which might be a good choice for families with all young kids. The junior edition is played very similarly to the regular version; it’s fun for grown ups too. Kids do need to be able to read or team up with readers. The cards in the Jr. version include an optional hint and they might be considered “easier” than the regular game version, also the Jr. game pieces are slightly larger. Either game is a ton of creative fun.
Settler of Catan – Ages: 10+ (8 or 9 year olds may enjoy playing, depending on patience level), Players: 3-4 unless you buy an 5-6 player expansion, Cooperative: no
This is such a classic board game. Kids as young as 8 years old or so can learn to play it, and it is a favorite family board game for everyone. Once you get the hang of the original version you’ll probably want to get one of the expansions (note that you do need the original version to play the expansions). We have enjoyed the Sea Farrers expansion, and next on our wishlist is Cities and Knights.
Do you have any favorite fun games for kids I should take a look at? What is your favorite board game for families? I’d love to hear your suggestions!
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Great! Thanks for sharing your information. They are really useful games. I have just come across an article, which says they are brain child award winner. You can give it a read to the link. https://logicroots.com/MathBlog/tillywig-brain-child-award-winner-2019/
You have opened my eyes with your many suggestions. My own kids are in their late 20’s so I’m out of the loop. Recently I’ve begun babysitting for a variety of younger children and I will definitely pick up a few of your game suggestions and bring them out when the kids tire of the classic play doh and legos. Thank you !!!
My husband is a huge gamer, so we’re always on the lookout for good games to play with our almost 6 year old. She really likes Monopoly Jr and Doodle Dice. We like to play Castle Panic together, since it’s cooperative and we can help her out with strategy.
Thanks for letting us know about Castle Panic – we’ve been into cooperative games lately. Nice to know you’re able to include your 6 year old in that one. It definitely looks like something my older two kids (9 & 12) would be interested in.
How old must the average child be to learn chess?Carol Carlton
Hi Carol – When my daughter was 4 she would come to chess club with her older brothers and enjoyed learning simple games to understand how the pieces move. I think whenever a child begins to get interested, if you have the patience you can start teaching.
No Stress Chess gets high reviews for teaching kids Chess: https://amzn.to/2nF69TW And we have this book and really like the fun approachable ways it has of teaching chess: https://amzn.to/2ns9mVR
Shriram School Indore
Really important to remember when choosing a game for child is that it’s first and foremost FUN. I appreciate your work which you made to write this beautiful article. Nice to Read it. Thanks
Thanks RK! Yes, I included the Kids Carcassonne in my Preschool Games list here: http://bouncebackparenting.com/board-games-for-preschoolers/. I’ll take a look at the Jamaica board game.
Agreed on losing gracefully. In our family what’s really helped with that is that my kids have been in Chess Club, so they now will simply shake hands after a game and say “Good game.” It’s cute to see them doing this after something like Labyrinth instead of Chess 🙂
We’ve been playing Ticket to Ride with my oldest since she was 5. She loves it. We recently got a board game as a gift called “Jamaica”, and while it was a gift for us (the parents), we found that it was perfect for my 6yo to play with us. We find the biggest challenge with board games at the younger ages is learning to lose gracefully. There is also a kids’ version of Carcassonne that we started with at age 4. Always looking for more ideas, thanks!
Preschool: Madeleine (think it’s ravensburger)
Elementary: spot it and rack-o!
We love Doodle Quest, Go Ape, Guess Who, Octopus’ Garden, Quelf Jr to name a a few!
Nicole Morkert Hashimoto
We still like Candyland, have added in Trouble, Chutes n Ladders, and UNO.
Don’t Break the Ice and Ants in the Pants are classics!
Chutes and Ladders too!
Samantha Uglem Bowes
Blokus is also good – the strategy is slightly above her head, but she loves the colorful pieces, and it’s great for teaching turn-taking and spatial relations.
Samantha Uglem Bowes
Spot It has definitely been a favorite of ours; our 5yo also loves Kids of Catan, Count Your Chickens, Feed The Kitty, and Uno.
Following. My son just turned 4 too 🙂 we’ve played “sorry” with him before and he like it. I forgot about hungry hippos, have to look for that one!
Creative With Kids
I remember having that when I was a kid Callie Zerr 🙂
Hungry hippo is a great classic that can be played without assistance from adults and can be enjoyed by a variety of ages.
We play the Uno card game, which works as a simple snap or matching game with tinies too. Also Uno Stacko, and some of the new Lego games which can end with a Lego building session. Or we cooperate to build a humungous town layout using train tracks, wood blocks and Fisher Price cars and people.
wits n wagers is a great multiplayer multiage game since everyone writes their own guesses but can ‘bet/vote’ on someone else’s…this way if uncle henry is a history buff and you know he probably knows the answer to ‘what year was the president’s house first located in Washington DC’, then you can place your chip on his answer and win! And you’d be surprised at how frequently the ‘outrageous’ guesses of a child can turn out to be much closer than a logical thinking adult’s.
We have Spot It! and JDaniel loves it. We take it on trips and to restaurants.
Kristalyn (Learning is Messy)
my 3 yr old and 5 yr old and friends love to play, “I Can Do That Curious George Hide and Seek Zoo” Game. they get to wear animal masks and help out the animals in the zoo. at random points in the game the animals go wild and all the participants go hide and one is left to be the seeker. they love it when they hear the sounds that signals it is time to hide. lots of fun!
We love Sherlock!! It’s a game we play with our 6 & 8 Year old, and also on “poker” night with our friends… You have all the cards placed face down in a circle and you have to remember which card is where. The hard part is once you get back to a card already face up, you get to keep it and it gets replaced. It’s a great memory game! And it is easier for the kids if you get the Deluxe edition or use something to keep your place while you work through it. We got the deluxe edition because it was the same price at the time, but a friend has the regular and just uses a spare Sorry! piece to keep place. Sherlock Deluxe
That sounds neat, thanks for the recommendation Kelly, I’ll take a look at it!
I have played a very simplified version of Ticket to Ride with my 3 year old. It worked ok but it wasn’t like we ever finished a game. We would play until he got bored then put it away. We just focused on collecting colour sets and then picking a track to build. Still fun though.
Another adult game that can be ok for little kids to play is Carcassone. If you don’t worry about putting down the men or scoring points you can have a nice time collaboratively trying to build the biggest town or the longest road or largest forest.
With all those neat little trains, I’ve always thought there would be some fun simplified ways to play Ticket to Ride, and I have yet to play Carcassonne, but it’s on my wish list, thanks!