Most parents have a memory of playing a board game with their friends or family — a memory that has stayed with them all through their lives. Passing those memories onto our own little ones can be a very fulfilling feeling, much like passing down a tradition to the next generation. Playing board games at all stages of youth can help teach children reading skills, appropriate speech, sharing and taking turns, and simple math or arithmetic.
Family game night is a wonderful way to gather and make lasting memories, no matter what your kiddo’s age. There is something exceptionally special about gathering around the table for an evening of laughs and a sense of togetherness. We have put a lot of thought into researching and building a list of five fun board games that boys and girls of all ages will love — and hopefully ask to play over and over. Some are classics and others are new games to the table, but all are engaging and downright fun to play. Choosing just five games to showcase was a challenging task, so feel free to take our recommendations and run with them. There are many more quality all-ages games on the market, and these are just a few of our favorites.
First designed by Hermann Wernhard and originally published by Whitman Publishers, this classic preschooler-friendly counting game has brought smiles and laughter to families for over 60 years. While it is considered a math game, engaging kids to add and subtract fruit from their baskets, it does not give the feeling of a “learning game.” This helps subtly teach young ones the fundamentals of adding or subtracting their game pieces, building up the concepts without feeling like “school.” Pass the love for this timeless game onto your little ones and bring smiles to their faces for game nights to come.
Ages: 3 and up
Following directions, taking turns, working together, and creative problem solving are all important skills your littles will work on while playing this darling game. The color-matching game by Peaceable Kingdom is ideal for ages 4-8, but it can also be played between older and younger children, parents, or grandparents and kids. The object of the game is to get all the owls on the board home before sunrise, so everyone wins! Hoot Owl Hoot is a more relaxed game and less competitive, focusing on a group winning versus individual achievements — this allows kiddos to work together to get all the little owls home together as a team. Consider picking up this award-winning, cooperative game and start building confidence in your little ones.
Ages: 4 and up
As parents, have you ever noticed how certain animated characters seem to have a magical spell over your kiddos? Sometimes, movies and shows with those characters in them seem to entrance our little ones almost instantly — drawing them in for deeper engagement. Get the same entrancement totally screen-free while still incorporating beloved Disney characters with Ravensburger’s board game, World of Disney Eye Found it! In addition to being a super-fun game for adults and children alike, this game also helps teach young players skills in focus, memory, object identification, and emphasizes teamwork. Join Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mickey Mouse, Elsa, and many more favorite characters for a quick-playing game sure to please any animated-character lover in your home.
Ages: 4 and up
Guess in 10 by Skillmatics is the ultimate version of a child’s guessing game. This one puts little minds to work — encouraging them to think critically about how best to extract the information needed to form an educated guess on which animal is on the game card. This game features 52 different animals and their characteristics. Using question/answer-style speech, players will ask questions to identify the animal, all while subtly teaching its young players basic biology and natural science information, in addition to those critical-thinking skills. The game boasts that it’s perfect for ages 6-99, so grab some chairs and your family members of all ages for a fun and inquisitive game of Guess in 10!
Ages: 6 and up
This quirky and brain-teasing game by National Geographic — yes, that National Geographic! — really encourages your elementary to preteen-age children to use their noggins in order to progress across the game board while working together in groups. Because of this, it reinforces teamwork and togetherness. In addition to teamwork, this game unlocks players’ brains by showing them how teasers and benders work. Thinking outside the box is the theme to this game. It can also bolster critical-thinking skills. The game’s subtle clues compels players to put complex clues together quickly, helping kids to be observant and alert during play to pick up on any clues to unlock the secrets of our amazing brains!
Ages: 8 and up
There’s no better time to initiate a family game night in your home. While these listed board games certainly are not the best or the only ones available, they are some that we felt appealed to little ones of all ages. Making new traditions to spend together as a family is a wonderful and heartfelt moment that not many things can top. Instill some giggles, cheers, high fives, and smiles in your home immediately while building life skills and teamwork.
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