Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

My Favorite Board Games for Kids

IMG_4321I LOVE playing games, and I think I might be a bit addicted to buying games that I can play with my boys. Games can be a great tool for learning, and they make great ideas for Christmas and birthday gifts, too! We love to play games as a family, and I particularly enjoy playing games with my oldest during my toddler’s nap time.

Here are a list of 7 games we have and love around our home, plus 10 more that are on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas! (A couple more of our favorites are listed in this post: “My Favorite Toys for Boys 5 & Under.”)

7 Games We Love

#1 Zingo!

You guessed it! Zingo! is like Bingo but for kids! You can buy different versions based on your child’s age. Some options include sight words, numbers, and pictures.

#2 Uno

Okay, this is a classic; but my boys have loved playing it over and over since Grandma gave them a Spiderman set last year for Christmas. We play with our cards face-up when my 3-year-old plays.

#3 Rivers, Roads, & Rails

This game is never the same twice. It is great for matching and planning ahead. (Suggested Ages: 5-12.)

#4 Guess Who?

Yes, I remember this game when it first came out. I found this version for $1 at a garage sale this summer! We LOVE it! My 3-year-old can play with a bit of help. My boys attempt to play alone but sometimes need a bit of help. This version has six different cards you can choose from. My boys happen to love the animal card and the monster card. (Suggested Ages: 8-12. [My oldest was 5 when I bought this and he could play it just fine.])

#5 Catan Junior

My hubby is a huge fan of the strategy game Settlers of Catan. I had been eyeing the junior version for a while for my 6-year-old. One day I just happened to look at the games in Target and saw it on clearance, so I grabbed it to save for a gift for him. We all enjoy playing this version (except my 3-year-old), and it is perfect for some one-on-one time my oldest. (Suggested Ages: 6-10.)

#6 Spot it Jr.! Animals

All four of us love playing this game. The directions have several different variations you can play. I love it when my 3-year-old “spots it” before us! (Suggested Ages: 4-15. [My 3-year-old can play with minimal help/coaching.])

#7 Hiss

This game is a similar concept the Rivers, Roads, & Rails but more basic and better for younger children. We played this at a friend’s home and had a lot of fun. Great game to help reinforce colors. (Suggested Ages: 3-15 years.)

10 Games on My WishlistIMG_4104

  1. Qwirkle – (Ages: 6 & up)
  2. Zoologic – (Ages: 5-15)
  3. Camelot Jr. – (Ages: 4-9)
  4. IQ Twist – Great for independent play. (Ages: 6-8)
  5. Hide and Seek Pirates – Single-player logic game. (Ages: 5 & up)
  6. Farming Games Kids – (Ages: 3-8)
  7. Richard Scarry’s Busytown – One of a few different games based on Richard Scarry’s characters. (Ages: 3-8)
  8. Hoot Owl Hoot! – This is a cooperative game. According to the description on Amazon, “Players work together to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up.” (Ages: 4 & up)
  9. Ruckus Family Edition – (Ages: 8 & up)
  10. Pix Mix! – A friend told me about this game. She said younger children can play because the game doesn’t require reading skills. (Ages: 8 & up)

I could go on, but I think I better stop! (Thanks to Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought…” feature, I just added several more items to my wishlist….)

So, tell me! What are YOUR favorite games to play with your children, and what are their ages?


6 Responses to My Favorite Board Games for Kids

  1. Avatar
    haverlee October 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Thanks for this list! Its always a bit of a challenge to find great games for young kids that aren’t annoying for mom & dad to play 🙂 My three favorites are The Busytown Eye Found It! game (awesome for even three year olds and its a team concept- you all win or all lose together!), Pop o matic Trouble (5+) and Scrabble Junior (5+). I love Scrabble Junior but it takes a while to play.

  2. Avatar
    JodiZeaPeterson October 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    haverlee Thanks I better hope on amazon and add those to my wishlist.  I haven’t seen scrabble jr.  that sounds like a great game for my oldest to work on spelling and reading skills!

  3. Avatar
    Traci October 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Fun list. I was born and raised in Perry, IA not far from Des Moines. I live in Texas now. My kids are 9 and 12 and we love Telestrations which is a cross between Pictionary and the old Telephone game and it leads to A LOT of laughter. Great for a group of 8 or fewer. Some words are too hard for my then 8 year old.

    • Avatar
      Jodi Peterson October 24, 2013 at 2:01 am #

      Thanks for the comments! I have been to Perry a few times. I love their Tea Room! Telestrations sounds like a good family game and maybe a great Christmas gift idea!

  4. Avatar
    Laura October 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Stopping over from the Madison Moms Blog. We love board games in our family, too. You’ve just reminded me that I bought Qwirkle at a consignment sale and hid it somewhere for when it was time to give it to my son… Ahhh. Now where did I hide it? I think Rivers, Roads, and Rails might be on the Christmas present list! I think I have to wait a year for Catan, Jr. I have an original (German) Catan, so I love Catan and other such games. Thanks for the post.

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