Children’s Board Games
Children’s games are designed with kids in mind, but the best ones will have the big kids engaged too. Children’s games are easy to learn and teach, with a light complexity level and age-appropriate content they are a great introduction to board games for budding gamers aged 3 and upwards.
Children’s Games are a subsection of Family games and are designed specifically to include the younger members of the family that many Family Games may leave behind. For Children 8 and up looking for a slightly higher complexity, we recommend starting here, but for anyone younger or those looking for a lighter game experience, the Children’s game genre is the perfect place to start where everyone can join in.
Below is a selection of Children’s games that we believe exemplify the genre. Whether buying for a gift or looking for something to play with the small ones in your life, you can’t go wrong with these tried and tested favourites.
For those after a classic roll dice and move board game experience, Enchanted Forest is the perfect pick. A Magical Treasure Hunt in the Land of Fairy Tales. Cinderella's glass slipper, Rumpelstiltskin's spinning wheel, Jack's magical beanstalk beans, and other once-upon-a-time treasures are hidden under the trees of the Enchanted Forest! This is the updated version of Ravensburger's highly acclaimed Enchanted Forest Family Game that has enchanted families for decades. New graphics, new fairy tales and updated game play instructions now make this game suitable for ages 4 +.
2-6 players, age 4+, scenario playing time 20-60 min. Complexity 1.5/5
Let’s work together! Co-operative games are a great way to introduce kids to teamwork and open communication in a fun setting, newcomer Outfoxed! does all this in a visually stunning board game that begs to be played. In Outfoxed, Mrs. Plumpert's prized pot pie has gone missing, and you will have to work together to crack the case! To Play, you move around the board to gather clues, then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects. You will have to work 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?
2-4 players, age 5+, scenario playing time 15+min. Complexity 1/5
Sometimes a game comes along that is equal parts affordable, easy to teach and infinitely fun and it becomes a pretty unbeatable classic, Spot-it (previously known as Dobble) is one of those games. With a small size that can be taken anywhere and a broad player count that will suit most situations, Spot-it is a must in any family game collection. Spot it! is a simple pattern recognition game in which players try to find an image shown on two cards. Each card in original Spot it! features eight different symbols, with the symbols varying in size from one card to the next. Any two cards have exactly one symbol in common. For the basic Spot it! game, reveal one card, then another. Whoever spots the symbol in common on both cards claims the first card, then another card is revealed for players to search, and so on. Whoever has collected the most cards when the 55-card deck runs out wins!
2-8 players, age 7+, scenario playing time 15+min. Complexity 1/5
A game of suspense, strategy, and anticipation. Get rid of the high cards (rats) and go for the low cards (cats). Sneak a peek, draw two, or swap cards for an added twist. Low score wins the game. (A poker face helps!) As children play Rat-a-tat Cat, they develop a sense of timing and an understanding of basic, but essential, mathematical concepts. They learn ways to remember their cards and strategies to figure out what cards other players might have. They also begin to develop an intuitive sense of probability. Rat-a-tat Cat requires skill, strategy, and awareness, challenging both young children and adults.
2-6 players, age 6+, scenario playing time 10+min. Complexity 1.5/5
Orchard Toys' bestseller! In this fun and simple memory game, players must race to be the first to fill their trolley or basket by matching all the items on their shopping list. As they play, children age 3-6 years will develop matching and memory skills and personal and social skills. This award-winning game is a firm favourite with parents and children alike, having captured imaginations for over 20 years.
2-4 players, age 3+, scenario playing time 15+min. Complexity 1/5
Think Fun, the makers of Rush Hour, are the masters of making educational games that kids will love. As a single-player game, Rush Hour is the perfect game to engage kids when their favourite game partner is occupied. In Rush Hour, a sliding block logic game, you have to battle the gridlock as you slide the blocking vehicles out of the way for the red car to exit. With 40 all-new challenges, ranging in difficulty. Players can progress at their own speed, making it the perfect fit for all levels of gamer. The original starts at 8 and up, with Rush Hour Jnr letting those 5 and up join in on the fun.
Rush Hour original: 1 player, age 8+, Complexity 2/5
Rush Hour Jnr: 1 player, age 5+, complexity 1/5
Animal upon animal is a simple stacking game, with 29 cute wooden animals to try and stack upon each other it’s the perfect entry level dexterity game for those who prefer a more tactile gaming experience. The animals want to show how good they are at making tall pyramids! They must be skilfully careful: Who will position the penguin on top of the crocodile, the sheep on top of the penguin, the serpent on the sheep? The hedgehog wants to stand on top of the pyramid but the height is making him dizzy. Each turn a player rolls the die and either places one or two animals on to the stack of animals, passes one of his or her animals to another player for them to place, or places an animal on the table, extending the base for other players to build upon. Of course, if any pieces fall off whilst you are building, you get up to two of them back. The first player to have used all their animals wins. This game, intended for children, is equally popular with adults.
2-4 players, age 4+, scenario playing time 15+min. Complexity 1/5
The Risk Junior board game is a great way to introduce kids to the strategy gameplay of the classic Risk game. The Risk Jr. board game features easy-to-get gameplay, an engaging pirate theme, and bold, colourful artwork. Kids move their boat token around the game board in search of buried treasure as they battle for control of the islands, aiming to collect the most loot to win. The game requires no reading, is quick to set up, and can be played in less than 30 minutes.
2-4 players, age 5+, scenario playing time 15-60 min, Complexity 1/5
- Gumnut Team