It’s game night. You’ve dusted off the old Monopoly box and you’re ready for an evening of fun with your family. Fast forward about an hour and you’re looking at a frustrated bunch of kids who have lost all interest. Sound familiar? Finding the right board games for kids can be a real challenge. Except it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you discover the absolute best board games for kids.
Board Games for Kids… More Than Monopoly
There’s a reason why Monopoly still sits in the company of some of the highest selling and best reviewed games of all time. It brilliantly combines elements of strategy and luck while also leaving quite a lot of room for flexibility. Players can easily create and adapt their own rules for the game. Have you ever read the official Monopoly rules? You might be surprised to find they are a lot different from how you are used to playing. This has definitely helped make Monopoly a part of our culture and the game itself has become a bit of a monopoly. I’m sure almost every family out there has a copy in their game collection.
Monopoly is a great classic game, but let’s face it, most kids just aren’t that interested in buying property or paying rent. Have you ever tried to discuss property taxes with your kids? Boring! Of course disagreements in the game are inevitable, and because of the way most people play, the game can last for hours. This leaves most children reaching for their phones or other electronic devices. For a game that was first created in 1934 it has aged amazingly well, but the board game world has come a long way in the last 84 years! So, lets take a look at what we consider to be some of the best board games for kids.
First Orchard by HABA is a specially designed version of the popular game Orchard. The premise of First Orchard is simple. Everyone works together to collect all the fruit they can before the Raven shows up. Apart of the “My Very First Games” series, First Orchard teaches kids basic fundamentals like learning to wait their turn, how to follow directions, teamwork, color matching, and counting. This cooperative game comes with a basket and wooden fruit that double as free play toys. This enables the set to be used as a board game or as a fun pretend play set. First Orchard is a great introduction to the world of board games for toddlers ages 2 and up.
Feed The Woozle is a cooperative game from Peaceable Kingdom. In this game kids work together to feed a monster called the woozle before all the snacks run out. This game is great for building self esteem and helping kids experience shared decision making. Feed The Woozle encourages kids to work together, play together and to help each other. There are instructions for 3 different levels of game play which helps keep the game play fun and exciting. Recommended for ages 3+, Feed The Woozle won ASTRA’s Best Toy 2012 award for game play ages 3 -7.
Ages 4 – 6
Cha-Cha Chihuahua is the game of dancing doggies from Gamewright. This is a game that promotes silliness. What’s sillier than a dancing Chihuahua? Players draw cards and try to get as many dancing dogs to join their pack. You can distract another players pups with some delicious treats, but watch our for the siesta card which will send you straight to the nap shack. End the party with the most Chihuahuas and you’re the champ! Recommended for ages 4 and up this game reinforces fine motor skills and visual discrimination.
Go Go Gelato by Blue Orange is one of our favorite games for kids 6 and up. Using 4 scoops, 3 cones, 2 hands and 1 challenge card, you’ll attempt to fill your customers orders as quick as you can. Work quickly to figure out the best way to satisfy your customer before your opponents do. Fill the order exactly like it looks on the card, or you’ll lose the race and disappoint your customer. A tasty and engaging dexterity race that’s fun for everyone! This game is great at reinforcing fine motor skills.
Outfoxed! is another great title from Gamewright. In this game Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing and it’s now a chicken chase to crack the case! Move around the board to gather clues and then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects. You’ll have to work together quickly because the guilty fox is high-tailing it towards the exit! Will you halt the hungry hooligan before it flies the coop… or will you be Outfoxed? This is a great game for honing in deductive reasoning skills in a noncompetitive environment. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Calliope Games know a thing or two about board games. With their amazing selection of “gateway games” it’s no wonder they’ve won so many awards. Tsuro: the Game of the Path is just one of many great titles Calliope offers. In this game players take turns placing tiles and sliding their stone along the path created, but take care because other players’ paths can lead you in the wrong direction or off the board entirely! Paths will cross and connect, and the choices you make affect all the journeys across the board. The last remaining player on the board wins!
I just simply can not say enough good things about Calliope Games. They have so many great selections and are my top recommendation when looking for board games for kids for ages 8 and up. Come in and check out all the great Calliope titles we carry.
There is no shortage of Blue Orange games here at Fairhaven Toy Garden. The “green strategy” board game Photosynthesis is one of the most unique games available for ages 8 and up. In this game players plant and shape the ever-changing forest as they cultivate seeds and strategy. Take your trees through their life-cycle, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth. You’ll earn points as the leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays. Carefully pick where you sow and when you grow, as trees in the shadows are blocked from light, and from points. This game features realistic game play and beautiful graphics. This is a great family game featuring abstract strategy and environmental consciousness.
Ready, Set, Play!
I hope this blog helps you discover more great board games for kids. We have so many amazing options (too many for one blog post) that finding the right one can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Stop by the store and let us know you’re looking for good board games for kids. We will gladly demo any available games for you to help aid you in your search for the perfect game.