We love our board games here. I enjoyed them as a child and that has stayed with me to this day. It’s a rare few months that go by here without a new board game arriving. Now for the purposes of this post, I’m calling them board games, though strictly speaking, they don’t all have a ‘board’, but I’m assuming you catch my drift. These are not apps or PS4 games.
I firmly believe that playing board games is good for children. It teaches them so many things whilst they are having fun. The need to take it in turns and be patient, and of course, the art of losing gracefully. My 6 year old loses well now, though I have to say that my 3 year old is still not a fan – we are working on it! I ensure that the kids play fairly and that they do lose from time to time, as they have to accept that as a part of life. Then there are many other learns depending on the game, so it may be that they are developing their literacy, their numeracy, their imagination, their observational skills – there are so many ways in which they can learn whilst playing games, and with every game, comes more opportunities.
Then there is the quality time that it brings. I’m actually writing this post after we’ve spent an afternoon getting all of our favourite games out and playing them one by one. It’s hours of screen-free fun where we were all chatting and playing together, enjoying spending time together. As the kids get older, I hope to do this more and more as their concentration spans and understanding improve, and believe me, I have a whole other cupboard full of board games that they can play when they are older – I am telling you, I LOVE games!
So I thought it would be useful to put together a list of our top 10 board games at the moment. Some of them are more geared towards my daughter, aged 6, though several of them my 3 year old can also play or he may just need some help from me to do so.
There are two different levels within this game, one where you search out picture patterns and then the other where you look for actual words. You can read my full review of Wordsearch Junior here for all of the details, and I find that this is a good one that both of the kids can play well and play together.
An old classic. I played this one when I was little. My son loves this one and really delights in landing on one of my pieces! It’s a good one for turn-taking and counting as they have to move forward according to the die each time. The novelty factor of having the die in the popper is a hit and I like it in there as they invariably end up on the floor otherwise!
A great game for all ages. This one is as simple as the name suggests, as you play with a big game board and try to find one of 500 images scattered all over it before the other players do. I shared more details and our thoughts on Who Finds it First? a few weeks ago and I think what makes it a real winner for me is its ease of set-up, how you can play for as long or as little as you like, and we can all play this one equally well.
As with Who Finds it First? Dobble is a great one for any age as it’s a who can spot it first game. I love how compact this game is, making it perfect for popping in my bag and a handy little travel game. On every card there will always be one symbol that matches one on another card, always. So it’s a case of finding which symbol you have that matches one on the centre pile. You’ll be amazed by how many times you just can’t see it!
This game has us all trying to guess the titles of Disney films from small glimpses of film scenes. There are lots of different scenes that slot into the grid, and then on every turn a little more of the scene is revealed by opening up doors, whilst you have to guess what film is featured. The kids are very good at this one!
This one, I think, is a little old for them, but they both absolutely insisted that this was one of their very favourite games and that it had to be on the list. They can play it, but this one needs adults involved to ensure it runs smoothly. It’s a picture-based quiz about all things Disney, so they are actually pretty good at it, as they are very familiar with so many of the films. I talked more about Disney Pictopia here.
The rules are straightforward, it is easy to set up and fast to play. Neither of them have mastered the tactics yet, and as you can see, my son gets excited when he beats his big sister!
This one is my daughter’s favourite game. Which is just lovely as the adults version is one of my very favourite games. To play this, kids need to be able to read, though my son tries to join in by guessing the answers. It’s great for getting kids to think outside the box, as they have to describe a word without saying the word. It’s an insight into just how their mind works and can serve as an introduction to other words and subjects. I shared all about Articulate for Kids here.
I have so many happy memories of playing this game as a child. My brother and I can still name and describe all of the original characters off the top of our heads! The current game has two versions, one of people to guess and the other of pets to guess, and my two prefer the latter. I tend to help my son with this one, though he’s getting better at understanding it all the time, and my daughter is able to play this without support.
OK, this last one is a bit above my 3 year old’s ability at the moment, but I just had to mention this one as every family should have this game. It’s one of my personal favourites, I’ve spent many happy Sunday mornings playing this with my daughter and it comes in use to have all of the letter tiles for learning words and spelling tests, too. It’s a game that simply gets better as her ability to write and spell improves, as she perfectly grasps the rules. If you’ve not heard of this one, do check it out as it’s a good one for all ages and nice and small so easy to store and travel with, too.
Tempted? I’ve shared them here for you so you can find out more. What games do your kids love?
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