Best Board Games for Kids
It is of course the age of technology. Every child has 4 video game consoles, 3 tablets, 2 phones, and a partridge in a pear tree, or something along those lines. Anyway, the fact of the matter is that nowadays, kids are so absorbed in the online world that some of them may have forgotten what it’s liked to live in the real world. Sure, blasting aliens away in a first person shooter game, or better yet, watching a YouTube video of someone else blasting away at the aliens, might be appealing to kids, but let’s face it, educational it is not.
The fact of the matter is that when most of us, the people reading this, were kids, we played board games. You know, they come in a box, they have a board that folds out, and game pieces to play with, at least before they go missing. Kids nowadays are all in their own worlds, disconnected from reality, not learning social skills, and really not learning much at all, unless stealing a car in Grand Theft Auto counts as education.
It’s a sad reality, but just because it’s the standard doesn’t mean that you can’t deviate from that standard. If you want your kids to have fun and learn something, maybe some basic reading, writing, counting, colors, and strategy, instead of just shooting bad guys on the PS4, it might be a good idea to bring back family game night, or just get your kids a few board games and see what they think. To help give you some neat ideas, we have a list of the best board games for kids that might just teach them something, yet are more than fun enough so they won’t even notice that they are learning.
Hands down, one of the best board games of all times for kids to play is Monopoly. Monopoly has been around for countless decades, and as it’s looking now, it will continue to be around for much longer. Monopoly is one of those staple board games for family game night, and although it has been known to cause a bit of healthy competition, even some controversy, it’s a whole lot of fun to play.
Nobody likes paying rent and taxes, but if you’re the one getting the money, things look a whole lot different. When it comes to kids, Monopoly is a great board game because it’s actually quite educational in nature. For one, it can help teach kids with basic reading skills, as well as basic math too, actually some pretty advanced math where kids are concerned. It will even start teaching kids about property ownership, taxes, and financial responsibility.
Something else which makes Monopoly ideal for kids is the fact that it comes in so many different versions. If there’s a popular TV show or movie out there, chances are there is a Monopoly version of it, and that’s something that really appeals to kids. Let’s not forget the fact that a single game of Monopoly can last literally for hours, making it a great way to keep your kids occupied when you need a break from the stress that is life.
Alright, so we probably all know what Scrabble is, you know, that game where you get tiles with letters on them, and then have to create words out of those tiles. It is more or less a massive crossword where points are scored for the creation of words, and the larger or more complex the word, the more points are awarded. In theory, Scrabble is actually a very simple game to play, and there’s not much for kids to get the hang of.
Something that really stands out about Scrabble is its ability to teach kids how to spell and read. It might be a bit too difficult or advanced for very young children to play, as you do require some basic literacy skills to begin playing, as well as a bit of critical thought. That said, any child who has basic reading skills should be able to play. They might not know all of the possible word combinations, but it’s also a great way to learn new words.
For young children it is recommended to play with an adult that can help when it comes to building words, but other than that, it’s a great game for youths who want to increase their reading skills and have some fun at the same time. Simply put, it’s a great game for anybody who loves word games, puzzles, and a good combination of competition and education. It’s rated for ages 8 and up, but we suppose that child geniuses could get started earlier.
A fan favorite now as well as 30 years ago, Candyland is a simple game that is more than ideal for kids to play. This game is rated ages 3 to 6, so no, it’s not very complicated, making it perfect for young children just picking up on basic counting and reading skills. More or less, this game involves rolling a dice, moving spaces, and collecting candy treats along the way. The whole point of the game is to make it to the end with as many treats as possible.
The fact that it’s such a simple game makes it more than ideal for children who aren’t too advanced in reading yet. Candyland is actually a great game for kids to play to help teach them colors, as the candies are more or less represented by different colors.
So, in essence, this game is lightly educational, just enough to learn about some basic counting, colors, and numbers, but not quite so educational that it’s no longer fun to play or ideal for young children. Something which makes Candyland so appealing to young kids is because it involves candy, and all kids love candy, not to mention that the game as a whole is very bright and colorful too.
If you aren’t familiar with a game known as Twister, chances are you are most likely an alien not born on planet earth. However, if you have been around for the last 30 years, you’ve probably encountered this game before. If you haven’t it’s a really simple game, which is already something that makes it ideal for kids.
It involves a large plastic sheet laid out on the ground which contains colored circles — green, yellow, red, and blue. There is a spinner which will land on a number and an extremity, so maybe left hand green for instance, and the player whose turn it is then has to put their left hand on a green circle. It keeps going like this until bodies are so twisted and tangled up that your kids will qualify for Cirque du Soleil, that or they just lose the game!
When somebody can no longer hold their position, the game is over. Now, it might not be the most educationally heavy game, but it does at least teach the difference between hands and feet, left and right, and 4 colors too. The best part about twister is that it’s quite fast-paced, it’s fun, competitive, and when people end up contorted like a New York soft pretzel, it provides for a good laugh.
5. Chutes and Ladders
Yes, we all know Chutes and Ladders, and if you don’t, it’s probably because up until quite recently it was called Snakes and Ladders. Whatever name you happen to know this game by, it’s a time-tested classic and a whole lot of fun. It’s a really simple game; you start at the bottom, roll the dice, and try to work your way to the top. If you hit a chute, you are forced to go back, and if you hit a ladder you get to advance past others.
It might be a very simple game, but it’s quite fun, and it does teach some basic counting skills. Yes, Chutes and Ladders, if you’re unlucky, can take a long time for somebody to win, but you could see this as a good thing, mainly because kids need to learn to be patient, and that life doesn’t always go the way they want it to go. It’s a great game that can eat through hours and hours, letting parents get some work done around the home.
Ok, so chess might not exactly be a game for your 3-year-old to play, but it makes for a great game for kids and youths, nonetheless. It’s ideal for kids over the ages of 8 or 10, depending on how advanced your children are. Chess requires players to know how every piece moves, and it’s all about learning strategy, being able to think rationally, and being able to think ahead.
This is not a game that will teach kids how to write, read, or count, and in all reality, if they are playing chess, they probably know how to do those things already. Simply put, if you have kids who could do with some mental stimulation, some hardcore rational thinking, and some strategizing, chess is the game to play. Not all kids are going to find chess fun, and it’s certainly not fast-paced or flashy, but in terms of educational benefits, it’s one of the best.
Going back to a more simpler board game, Sorry is always a fan favorite for younger kids. It’s one of those games that is simple in nature. You get 4 pawns, you draw cards to advance, and if you get the card that says “Sorry” on it, you have to go back to the start. The one and only point of this game is to get all 4 pieces from the start to the finish.
The fact that this game is so simple makes it ideal for younger kids. Moreover, although it is not the most educational game, it still teaches basic counting, reading, and color identification skills. It’s a great time-passing game that can eat through countless hours before you know it.
Yet another great board game for kids to play is Clue. Now, be aware that Clue is a fairly difficult game, and while it is rated for ages 9 and up, even some adults have a hard time figuring out how to really play it. That said, if you read the instructions closely and play a few practice rounds, it is more than possible to get the hang of it.
If you are not familiar with Clue, this is a murder mystery game where players have to ask questions and eliminate possible suspects, with of course the goal of the game being to figure out who the murderer is.
This is a great game to teach kids how to think rationally and logically, and in this sense it is very educational. However, your kids will already have to know how to read, and quite well at that, or else the game might not make any sense. That said, when it comes to ‘who done it’ kind of games, Clue is often seen as the best.
At the end of the day, there are dozens, if not hundreds of awesome board games which are ideal for kids to play. Of course, which games you choose for your kids will depend on their age and how advanced they are, and what their interests are, but that said, the selection is so huge that there is something for everybody. As long as your kids learn something and have fun in the process, it can be considered a win.