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What do summer vacations, lazy Saturdays, and long weekends away have in common? Bored kids, of course!

As much as time off is appreciated, your kids can quickly become restless if they’re not occupied. 

Well, I know the perfect solution, especially if you want them to do an activity that doesn’t revolve around screens.

If your kids are bored, perhaps the best remedy is board games! Yes, I know. I should probably leave the puns to my kids. But, sometimes, I can’t help but crack a dad joke now and again.

Best Board Games for KidsBest Board Games for Kids

What to Expect in This Buyer’s Guide:

  • Do I Really Need to Buy Board Games?
  • The Different Types of Board Games for Kids
  • The Age Suitability of Board Games
  • Tips to Buy The Best Board Games For Kids
  • Our Top Ten Best Board Games For Kids

In this buyer’s guide, I’ll cover all the aspects of selecting the perfect board game for your kids.  Plus, I’ll review ten of the best board games for kids.

Do I Really Need to Buy Board Games?

As far as necessities go, a board game may not be the first thing that springs to mind. But, it’s a vital component to any getaway, holiday seasons, or day off at home, to me.

Plus, board games are multitaskers, just like us. They offer plenty of entertainment and distraction for the kids when you want some time to relax. 

Then, when you want some quality family time, they’re there for you, too! So, there’s no good reason I can think not to add them to the shopping or holiday gift list.

Boredom Busters

Board games are the perfect activity to play to pass the time. Therefore, they’re ideal for packing for that camping trip, skiing vacations, or the summer resort. 

Or, just use them at home to entertain the kids. They’re perfect for any free time – weekends, days off, and quiet hours of the day.

Quality Time Activity

One of the best reasons to make board games a part of your life is the unforgettable memories. You’ll definitely forget the night you spent staring at your TV or phone screen.

But, you’re unlikely to forget the special time spent playing games and bonding. Yes, even if that memory happens to be a classic Monopoly family disagreement!

Board games provide quality time that engages all the family in competition and communication. This alone is a great reason to buy a few for your game cabinet.

They’re Educational, Too!

I find that each board game teaches or encourages some development of skills and learning. Skills vary per game, but each game definitely has something to offer in this department.

Perhaps the game includes strategy, socialization skills, or encourages them to use their imagination. Plus, games teach in a social, person-to-person setting that requires interpersonal skills.

So, by engaging your kids in board games, you’re helping them develop critical social skills. In our digital age, developing these skills is more important than ever before.

The Different Types of Board Games for Kids

Now you know all the great reasons why you should include board games in your family time, you’re probably wondering which types are the best board games for kids?

Best Board Games for KidsBest Board Games for Kids

There are quite a few types of board games to choose from.

As long as the game is suitable for your child’s age and development, they should be able to play it. But, remember to also factor in their likes and interests when selecting a good board game. 

The Main Types of Board Games

Broadly, board games fit into two main categories – Eurogames and Amerigames. From there, games in these two categories fall into one of many types of games, depending on their rules.

Eurogame

Otherwise known as German-style games, Eurogames are more strategy-based than Amerigames. This is because Eurogames prioritize strategy over luck.

As such, Eurogames are the best board games for kids who’re older or more advanced. They usually consist of longer sessions, which you can break up into smaller ones.

Amerigame

Amerigames usually prioritize the game theme over strategy. Hence why they are also called “thematic” games. They’re usually more luck-based than Eurogames, as well.

As such, thematic games are best for younger children who have a limited concentration span. If you’re not feeling in the mood for a serious game, they’re a good option.

Worker Placement

Worker-placement board games usually involve the use of pawns on the game’s board. The pawn then gets used to take unique actions on your turn.

Area Control

In area control games, the object is to place pawns, buildings, or other pieces on a map. You do this in order to compete with other players to control territory and resources.

Resource Management

In resource-management board games, you gain resources to use and manage during the game. You usually do this in order to build a city or something similar.

Try Your Luck

These luck-based board games require you to try your luck to win. In these games, there’s little strategy involved. 

Instead, you rely on your intuition to make a good gamble and your luck to win.

Deck Building

A deck-building board game is similar to a collectible card game. Each player gets their own deck of cards for the game. Then, you can use these cards to buy other cards during the game.

Card Drafting

Card-drafting games focus on the random selection of cards from a limited deck. You get to select cards from a deck to form your hand to use immediately or during the game.

Roll and Move

Roll-and-move board games usually involve the throw of a dice or the movement of a similar random apparatus. Then, according to the random moves it assigns, you’ll move or win tokens. These games are some of the best board games for kids who’re quite young.

Dexterity

Dexterity board games require you to manually flip game pieces into place in order to win. These games aren’t based on strategy, just on your own luck and dexterity.

Engine Building

In engine-building board games, you use your resources to build something – an “engine.” The “engine” will then create more resources for you to use during the game.

The Age Suitable for Board Games

Just like many kids’ toys, board games come with age guides. You can easily find these and pick an age-suitable game using them.

Best Board Games for KidsBest Board Games for Kids

What makes picking a game tricky is the fact that each child is on their own development level. So, what may fit one child won’t necessarily suit another.

Consider Their Development

One child may easily understand a game that’s suitable for an older age group. On the other hand, another child might struggle with a game that’s supposed to be age-appropriate. 

So, be sure to consider your own child’s current developmental level when selecting a suitable game.

Consider Their Interests

One fantastic, age-suitable game may fall flat because your child is not interested in the theme. That being said, board games can be an excellent way to introduce something new.

So, do take these factors into account when selecting an interest-appropriate game for your kids.

Consider Their Ability to Concentrate

Some children can sit for hours, but some can’t. Some board games require longer game sessions, which may not be suitable for those with short attention spans.

This applies even if one of these seems like the a good board game for kids. Luckily, games come with estimated guides on how long each game session lasts. 

If your child is prone to have ants-in-their-pants, perhaps skip the longer games. Or, try to break the game into smaller sessions.

Tips to Buy The Best Board Games For Kids

Choosing the best board games for kids isn’t an easy job. You need to decide on which are development and age-appropriate. 

Then you have to consider their interest as well as the rest of the family before you buy. 

Board Game Shopping Tips

Here are some shopping buying do’s and don’ts:

  • Choose a board game that’s suitable for all the kids to play together.
  • Check beforehand to ensure that a game fits your beliefs and morals.
  • If in doubt, buy more than one; with board games, more is more.
  • Check for game expansions. They’re perfect for playing during longer vacations or spice up an old board game you already own.
  • Take their interests, passions, and hobbies into account when choosing the best board games for the kids.
  • If you’re out of ideas, just ask your kids what games they’d like.
  • Double-check the details like age suitability, content suitability, and amount of players.
  • Don’t be afraid to try out something new.
  • Check for variations of popular board games.
  • Don’t be afraid to go against the crowd and select a board game that you feel is right.

Now that we’ve covered all the important board game buying tips let’s get into the reviews. I’ve chosen ten of the best board games for kids, according to existing board game owners.

Each of these games has received rave reviews by parents everywhere. But, I’ve broken down the most important features, pros, cons of each game to give you more information.

So, you can pick the perfect one (or more) games for the kids, you, and your friends and family. 

Our Top Ten Best Board Games For Kids

#1 Monopoly Coraline Board Game

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 8 years +
  • Suits 2-6 players
  • Monopoly featuring the Coraline movie as its theme
  • Thematic, roll-and-move game
  • 10-180 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Monopoly is one of the most well-known board games, and certainly one of the best board games for kids to play. It’s also suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.

This version is played much like the regular Monopoly game but features some Coraline twists. For example, it includes Coraline-themed tokens instead of the standard Monopoly tokens. 

Plus, Monopoly is one of those games that can carry on for ages until someone wins. So, your family is sure to enjoy plenty of quality time together as you play.

Pros:

  • Each Monopoly game last longer than the average board game
  • Suitable for most of the family from young to old
  • Many other variations of Monopoly are available

Cons:

Overall Thoughts

Yes, my list had to begin with this family classic. But, instead of the original Monopoly board game, why not try this exciting Coraline variation?

In fact, if your kids aren’t fans of Coraline, there are tons more Monopoly options. There are so many variations of this popular board game that you’re sure to find a family winner!

These include 90s Warner Brothers, Disney Animation, and Baby Yoda Monopoly games. Plus, there are even Junior Monopoly games like Trolls World Tour for younger children five years and up.

#2 Hasbro ClueThe Classic Mystery Board Game

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 8 years +
  • Suits 2-6 players
  • The classic murder mystery game
  • Thematic, roll-and-move game
  • 10-60 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Clue is the original, and still one of the best, murder mystery board games. As such, it’s sure to be a winner in your game collection.

In it, they need to figure out who is the murder, in what room, and with what weapon.

I love that this game encourages kids to use their brainpower and imagination to solve the murder.

Pros:

  • Short game sessions provide a nice amount of family time
  • Develops problem-solving skills and encourages them to use their imagination

Cons:

  • It introduces your children to different types of weapons.

Overall Thoughts

If your family has never played this game, or aren’t familiar with murder mystery games, why not switch things up? After all, no one wants to do one summer activity all vacation long, right?

All that aside, both the original and refreshed games are top-rated and highly recommended. Just be sure to read the game rules to decide which version you’d prefer.

#3 Hasbro Scrabble Deluxe Edition (Amazon Exclusive)

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 8+ years
  • Suits 2-4 players
  • English word-building game
  • Unique, thematic, strategy and luck-based game
  • 50-60 minutes of play per game

Things We Love!

Scrabble is another family classic that is well-known for its unique, word-building gameplay. It’s definitely one of the best board games for kids to learn words and practice their spelling.

Instead of going for the Original Scrabble, though, why not try out this deluxe version? The game board is built into a folding carry-case with drawers to store the tiles and curved tile racks. 

Yes, it comes with special, curved racks to stop sneaky, straying eyes from looking where they shouldn’t! Plus, the case has little wheels for easy board rotation during games. 

If you’re thinking of giving Scrabble as a gift, then do consider this gorgeous Deluxe Wooden Scrabble Set, too. It also has a rotating game board; however, it moves like lazy-susan instead.

Pros:

  • Deluxe case with built-in game board and drawers for game pieces
  • The case features wheels for easy board rotation during games
  • Includes four exclusive, cheat-proof, curved tile racks
  • Scrabble Junior also available for kids aged 5+ years
  • Unique Scrabble variants like the Harry Potter Scrabble are also available

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a scorepad

Overall Thoughts

If you’re looking to play plenty of Scrabble games, you might want to consider this deluxe version. It has some added extras that are well worth your attention.

I think it’s excellent value for money as the case won’t get dog-eared over time like the cardboard box will. Plus, its rugged, portable case design is perfect for traveling, too.

#4 Lords of Waterdeep: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 12 years +
  • Suits 2-5 players
  • Fantasy-themed strategy game inspired by the classic D&D role-playing game
  • Eurogame, worker-placement game
  • Around 60 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

This worker placement game encourages strategy to gather victory points and win the game. 

Even though it’s inspired by the classic D&D, this board game offers a completely different experience.

In it, players become one of the secret, masked rulers of Waterdeep. Then, they need to acquire heroes to go on quests for them and build up the city.

I love that this game is a little easier to learn compared to some other strategy games. So, it’s perfect for exciting and challenging older teens and adults who’re not familiar with Eurogames.

Pros:

  • No knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons is needed to play
  • More streamlined than some other Eurogames

Cons:

  • This complex game suits older children
  • Doesn’t feature much role-playing and may be repetitive

Overall Thoughts

Though not the perfect game to include young siblings, this one definitely suits young adults. You and other adults in the family will even feel challenged and engaged when you join in, too.

As such, it’s the best board games for kids in older families without young siblings. Plus, you can buy the Lords of Skullport expansion to take the original game to the next level.

#5 Hasbro Guess Who?

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Features

  • Suitable for kids years 6+
  • Suits 2 players
  • Mystery face game
  • Thematic, card drafting game
  • 15-30 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Guess Who? is another classic family game from Hasbro. It’s an easy-to-play game that requires a little bit of brainpower, logic, and rationalization to win.

In this game, each player draws a character card and has a further 24 possible opponent character cards. Then, each player asks their opponent questions to narrow down who theirs is.

I love that it’s simple to understand and features short game sessions. It’s a great option if you want to get a game that you can leave them to play by themselves.

If you have fond memories of the old version, you can even opt for this Retro 1988 Guess Who?. It’s inspired by the original game, so it’s sure to take you back to those times.

Pros:

  • Suitable for young kids
  • Not just luck-based – it encourages creative thinking and questioning
  • Easy to play and simple to understand
  • Wallet and pocket-friendly Guess Who? Card Game is also available

Cons:

  • Is only suitable for two players, not the whole family, unless you want to play backseat driver

Overall Thoughts

Are you looking for a game to get them out of your hair and give you some peace and quiet? If so, then this classic is a good choice.

It’s one of the best board games for kids who’re on the younger side. Plus, it won’t burn the board game budget, leaving room for some other fun titles.

#6 Ravensburger  Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It Board Game

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 4 years +
  • Suits 2-4 players
  • A cute board game based on Richard Scarry characters
  • Thematic, roll-and-move game
  • 15-20 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Do you remember the characters from Richard Scarry’s adorable Busytown children’s books? If so, then this adorable board game is one to try.

The aim of this game is to get to Picnic Island before the pigs eat the food. I think it’s great because all players are a team instead of competing against each other.

It’s especially good for small children, due to its size, short game sessions, and gameplay. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce your kids to these classic books.

Pros:

  • A simple, fun game that young and old alike will enjoy playing
  • Short play sessions
  • Available in a Disney version, too
  • Requires teamwork skills

Cons:

  • Requires a read of the instructions to understand how to play

Overall Thoughts

The cute board game features a huge, multicolored 6-foot long game board. So, it’s sure to catch children’s eyes and capture their attention.

This board game isn’t just for young ones; it’s fun for the whole family, too. Plus, there’s a Disney version available for die-hard Disney fans that’s equally as cute.

#7 Hasbro Battleship With Planes Strategy Board Game (Amazon Exclusive)

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Features

  • Suitable for kids years 7+
  • Suits 2 players
  • Naval combat game
  • Thematic, luck-based game
  • Around 60 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the Original Battleship, right? This is surely one of the best board games for kids and adults alike in terms of battle-themed games.

But, did you know that you can now enjoy this exciting game with an updated twist? You see, this new Amazon-exclusive comes with planes, too!

In it, you get five ships and planes to position randomly on your private grid-board. Otherwise, it features exactly the same gameplay and parts as the original Battleship version.

Though ideal for only two players, this classic board game is sure to entertain. The captains can even lug their top-secret boards around when they want to relocate to a new battleground!

Pros:

  • Includes two portable cases that can get moved around during games
  • A new twist on the original Battleship game

Cons:

Overall Thoughts

Do you have some energetic kids in the house bent on creating a bit of havoc? If so, why not redirect their attention to making harmless strikes on each other’s mini battleships, instead?

I think that Battleship is a very affordable game to add to your collection. So, it’s great value for money, and it definitely won’t break the bank!

#8 Catan The Board Game, Multicolor

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Features

  • Suitable for kids 10 years +
  • Suits 3-4 players
  • Strategic, civilization-building board game
  • Eurogame, resource-management game
  • Around 60 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Strategic board games are great to entertain older kids while still being suitable for us parents. Plus, Catan is a bit easier to play than some other strategy games as it suits younger kids.

This board game requires players to strategize and build their civilization. As such, it requires a bit of brainpower and planning from you and your kids.

I love that it features bright colors and eye-catching illustrated cards. Plus, you can buy one of the many expansions, including the Seafarers Catan expansion, to keep things exciting.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy other stand-alone versions of Catan that don’t build on to the original game

Overall Thoughts

There are quite a few expansions and versions of this game. So, if you really like the original game, you can add these to your collection, too.

Plus, if you really love Catan, there’s a special 25th Anniversary Catan available. Overall, I think that this is a great, strategic, family-friendly Eurogame for all ages. 

#9 The Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel Game & Board Book Combo 

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Features

  • Suitable for kids years 3+
  • Suits 2-4 players
  • Cheery and colorful animal-themed game
  • Thematic, roll-and-move game
  • Around 30 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

This cute game is definitely one of the best board games for kids in preschool. It’s educational, too, as it introduces colors and counting to kids.

In it, your kids have to spin the wheel to choose, lose, or steal specific colored acorns. The game object is to fill in the color-coded spaces in their tree stump with all five matching acorns.

This particular set also comes with a board book to introduce reading. So the little ones can get their imaginations fired up by the story before playing the game!

I love that kids need to practice their hand-eye coordination when they pick up the acorns with Sneaky the Squirrel.

Pros:

  • Short game sessions
  • The game requires no reading to play
  • Features lovely illustrations and adorable game pieces
  • Comes with a board book that will surely ignite their imagination
  • An educational game that also builds hand-eye coordination

Cons:

  • Maybe monotonous or simple for older adults
  • Best for two or more kids to play and enjoy

Overall Thoughts

If you’re looking for a game to enthrall, teach, and build hand-eye coordination all at the same time, this is perfect. It’s an all-rounder that offers educational value and entertainment.

I think that this set is a good value for the price as it also comes with the matching board book. This book might offer a welcome break (for you) in-between game sessions.

Don’t despair if you’ve already got this game! There are plenty more lovely games from Educational Insights for 3+-year-olds. 

These games include Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt, Frida’s Fruit Fiesta, Shelby’s Snack Shack, Sophie’s Seashell Scramble, and Frankie’s Food Truck.

#10 ThinkFun Zingo 1-2-3 Number Bingo Game

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Features

  • Suitable for kids years 4+
  • Suits 2-6 players
  • Number bingo game
  • Thematic, luck-based game
  • Around 30-60 minutes of playtime per game

Things We Love!

Bingo is a very popular game. But did you know that the kids can play it, too? With Zingo, bingo becomes a kid-friendly, educational game for those aged four and up.

In it, a player acts as the dealer, shooting out number-tiles from the Zinger on each turn. Your kids need to match the tile and its number with all nine spaces on their bingo card to win.

I love that the double-sided Zingo cards in this game feature a number of items or addition sums. So, your kids will have to use their maths skills to match their cards quickly.

Plus, there are three other versions of Zingo available – Original Zingo, Sight Words Zingo, and Zingo Word Builder. Pop them in your cart too to bring some educational variety to game night!

Pros:

  • Suitable for a big group of six kids
  • Teaches sums, number words, and counting
  • Double-sided cards with two levels of play
  • A fast-paced, competitive game that keeps little ones entertained

Cons:

  • Little ones need to compete to grab the tiles first, which may cause disagreements

Overall Thoughts

This is surely one of the best board games for kids learning maths, sums, and counting. It encourages all these skills in a fun, interactive environment.

I think that the rest of the family will also have fun playing, too! The Zingo games are also great value since they aren’t too pricey either.

There you have it, the very best games! What are your family favorites? Share in the comments!

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