One of the activities that we spend a lot of time doing in our home is playing board games. In fact, my home office has turned into bookshelves filled with children’s books and children’s board games – which honestly isn’t a bad thing.
We thought it would be a great idea to compile some of the really fun board games that we have played over the years into our list of the Best Board Games for Young Children.
Now honestly, there are thousands of great games out there – so we haven’t been able to play them all, and the term “best” really comes down to what your child likes to do. But we do hope this list of games that have been a big success in our household will help you get the wheels turning, and hopefully you will find a game or two that you will want to try!
So, here it is – our list of the best board games for young children.
Quick List of the Best Board Games For Young Children
Here is a quick list of the best board games for young children. We would encourage you to check out the section below this list of the best board games for youngsters if you want a more detailed review of each one.
|Board Game Name
|Board Game Picture
|Lucky Ducks Game
|The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Board Game
|Sequence for Kids
|Chutes & Ladders
|Peaceable Kingdom Feed The Woozle
|Top Trumps Match Board Game
|Dog Man Attack of the Fleas Board Game
|The Ladybug Game
|Pop the Pig Game
|Let's Go Fishin' Game
|Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game
|Don't Break the Ice
|Peaceable Island Mermaid Kingdom Board Game
|Bluey Bingo's Bingo Game
|Briarpatch Pete The Cat The Missing Cupcakes Game
|Don't Make Me Laugh!
|The Floor is Lava
Quick Review of the Best Board Games for Young Children
Here is that quick review and list of the best board games for young children that we promised!
1.) Candy Land – Yeah, not much of a surprise that this game is listed at the top. I know I could be more original and pick something a little different – but it seems like every household has this game (most of us parents even had this game as kids), and it really is a simple enough game to introduce kids into the world of board games – and overtime introduce them to games that are a little more complicated.
So, instead of telling you about the rules, and how you pick a card and follow the road to the castle at the end – Did you know that Candy Land was created in the 1940’s by Eleanor Abbott? She was a victim of Polio and was on a mission to create ways for children recovering from the disease to pass the time.
Other fun Candy Land facts include its introduction to the Toy Hall of Fame in 2005, and as of 2012, about 40 million copies of Candy Land have been sold and an estimated 1 million new copies are sold every year! With stats like that, how can I put any other game at the top of the list!
It is for 2 – 4 players and recommended for children ages 3+, can you think of a better game to introduce young children to? There is no reading, everyone loves colors and sweets, and the gameplay is so simple to learn.
2.) Lucky Ducks Game – One of the best choices for introducing young children to board games would be this Lucky Ducks game. It is rated for children ages 3+ and can be played by 2 to 4 players.
Why it is such a good choice for youngsters is because the rules are very simple – find the 3 ducks that match the shape you need – but the game also keeps children engaged at the same time. The fun board is designed like a pond and you get to push a button that gets the ducks spinning around that pond.
Children must use their memory to try and remember which spinning duck matches the shape they need – and parents can play with kids or the game is easy enough for kids to play by themselves.
The maker of this game says they have sold over 10 MILLION units – and a game wouldn’t be that popular if children and parents didn’t love it! For more information about this game, you can read our full review on this game here: Lucky Ducks Game Review.
3.) Zingo – Zingo is another of the games we own that my youngest child love to play. He is in the 4-year-old range – which is right at the games recommended age range of 4+. This game is also for 2 to 6 players making it a great choice for any family game night with young children!
Zingo is a fun twist on the common Bingo game – with every player getting their own Zingo Card which will have 9 pictures on it. Players take turns sliding tiles from the Zingo tile holder thing – it probably has an official name I’m not familiar with – and if you have the matching tile picture on your card, you say the name of the picture and the first one to do that gets the tile. If you get all 9 tiles first, you win!
The only downside to this game is older kids can shout out the picture faster than 4-year-olds, so we always keep a watchful eye on that. We also added the rule that if you shout out the tile name, but you don’t have that picture on your card – you have to give one of your tiles back. We were getting into the habit of just yelling out the picture name if it was on our card or note.
Overall, this game is a lot of fun, easy to learn, and like we said already, a great game for family game night that involve young children!
4.) The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Board Game – One of the best games for teaching young children a little bit of strategy and giving them a game that is a little more complex than Candy Land would be this Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Board Game.
The purpose of the game is to get one acorn of each color while navigating the spinner and doing the appropriate action for what you spun.
For example, you may lose a turn or get to choose an acorn of a certain color, or even steal an acorn from a different player! And you get to see a kid become instantly sad when they spin the lose all your acorns option!
Like we said, it is a great game to start teaching kids a little bit about strategy, and it is for 2 to 4 players – making it a great game for family game night! The gameplay will take 5 – 10 minutes normally, depending on what everyone spins – which is another reason it is great for family time.
You can see our full review of The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game by clicking on the linked review!
5.) Sequence for Kids – Sequence for Kids is for 2 – 4 players and is for kids in that 3 to 6 range. I love this game because it starts to teach kids about strategy and makes them really use their mind – but is simple enough for 3 and 4-year-olds to follow right along and enjoy.
If you aren’t familiar with the gameplay you are basically going to play a card from your hand, and place your chip on the corresponding character on the board. The first player to get four chips in a row is the winner. Sequence for kids is that simple and that fun.
There is no reading required to play this game, and the gameplay takes some time – making it another great option for a family game night. The fun pictures and easy game play will make kids comfortable playing it, and soon they will find their favorite card that they want to claim every time!
I really don’t have anything negative to say about this board game!
6.) Chutes and Ladders – Okay, Chutes and Ladders should probably be in the top 2 for best board games for young children, but I just didn’t like playing this game all that much as a child. Maybe I’m I was weird, but I just think there are some games that are just a little more fun out there!
However, even I can admit this game does a really nice job of teaching young children about the basic rules and gameplay style of board games – and the fact that it doesn’t require reading and preschoolers get to practice numbers does make it a very educational game for children!
Plus, the entire concept of climbing up ladders and falling down chutes is nice (the game is so classic we call them chutes instead of slide). I can’t promise you that your child will stay engaged for long periods of time with this game – I know I didn’t – but it is a classic for a reason, and it has been around for a very long time for a reason!
7.) Peaceable Kingdom Feed The Woozle – This game is for children ages 3+ and is for 2 to 5 players. The point of the game is for all of the players to work together to feed the Woozle. The nice thing is no reading is required so 3 and 4-year-olds will have no problem being part of the team.
What I really like about this cooperative game is that there are different difficulty levels. There are 3-different levels so you can start with the easiest levels when the youngest children are playing with you and grow with the difficulty levels based on who is playing with you and how well they are doing playing the game.
If you are looking for a new board game for a family game night and you have young children, this is a great option. Especially since the average game play is right around 15-minutes and since it is a cooperative game you don’t have to worry about one of your children ruining the game night because they keep losing! Although, that is an important skill for them to learn as well!
8.) Top Trumps Match Board Game – Recommended for ages 4+, these Top Trumps Match Games are a lot of fun. We bought the Mario Brothers Themed Top Trumps game for our household due to our children’s obsessions with the Mario Brothers. If your children don’t love the Mario brothers, no big deal – there are so many different themes of this game to pick from ranging from WWE Superstars, to Trolls, to Harry Potter.
This has been one of the most popular games in our household and is basically a mixture of bingo and matching game rules. You are going to draw cards and your goal is to get 5 blocks in a row of the necessary characters from your card selection.
The first person to complete the goal and collect 5-cards is the winner. Children will love pushing out blocks and trying to collect their favorite characters. It is also a simple enough game for our 4-year-old to play without issue.
The only downside is it is a 2-player game, so not perfect for family game night! If you want to learn even more about it, you can read our full review here: Top Trump Mario Brothers Game Review.
9.) Dog Man Attack of the Fleas Board Game – This Dog Man Attack of the Fleas Board Game is based on the popular kids book series Dog Man by Dav Pilkey. My kids happen to love this book series, so this board game ended up being a gift for my son’s birthday.
The game is fun – you work together as a team to collect tools and to defeat the Fleas before they take over the city. The rules are easy to understand so even younger children can play along. I also love how everyone is playing together as a team to stop the villain. Working together as a team seems to help eliminate those hissy fits that get thrown when somebody loses!
We did a big review on this toy that you can read about here if you want to get even more details on how this game plays!
10.) Kanoodle – Another board game on this list that we personally own is Kanoodle. Kanoodle is a puzzle game where you need to fit 12-pieces together to recreate a certain puzzle. All of these puzzles are given to you in a booklet, and they range from beginner where all you got to do is place one or two pieces, to Genius Difficulty where you need to find the correct position for six different pieces!
There is something like 160 different puzzles in the booklet, and this game is basically a 1-person game where a child works through solving puzzles. It is great for independent playtime – and we like to make it a competition in our household. We decide which puzzle our kids are going to solve, and we time them to see how long it takes them to beat the puzzle!
There are a number of different variations of this game, so I would encourage you to check out the full review we did on this game – plus check out the list of other variations that is included in it.
11.) The Ladybug Game – If you are looking for a very educational game for children in that preschool/ 3-6 age range – this The Ladybug Board Game will be a great choice for you. It is for two to four players and the colorful, vibrant gameboard is sure to catch the attention of kids!
Here is the description of the gameplay from Zobmondo – the makers of the game, “HELP THE LADYBUGS FIND THEIR WAY HOME! Children lead their Ladybug home to the Rose Garden while avoiding the Praying Mantis and collecting aphids to feed the Lazy Ants!”
If that doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, I don’t know what to tell you!
The game is for 2 – 4 players, average gameplay time is about 20 minutes – which is perfect for most younger children, the game has won some great awards, and it was even created by a first grader. All of these factors make this game a real winner!
12.) Pop the Pig Game – Pop the Pig is a classic board game that is great for young children to play independently and is also great for family time as well.
It is a very simple board game where you have 24 little burger pieces that you feed to the pig – and eventually he will eat too much and Pop. The winner of the game is whomever gets the pig to pop – and children will delight in seeing the belly of the pig grow and grow before eventually exploding!
The rules are very simple where you just take turns rolling a die and sometimes losing your turn. This game is for 2 – 6 players; and even my 4-year-old and 6-year-old can set it up and play it with no parent help at all!
Overall, this is a good game – and should be a lot of fun for younger children. You can read the full review we did on it here: Pop The Pig Board Game Review.
13.) Let’s Go Fishin’ Game – As a dad who has spent a lot of time on the water catching fish – I really like this game. It is an action-packed game that has a board that is blue – like a pond – that rotates. Inside the pond is 21 slots you get to put fish into. The fish will open and shut their mouths while the pond is rotating – making it difficult for your young children to time it just right to catch a fish! We should probably mention that the game does come with 4 little fishing rods to aid in the fish catching process.
The game is for 1 to 4 players and is rated for children 4+ – but I could see a three-year-old really liking this one as well. The winner of the game is whomever has caught the most fish by the time they are all caught from the board.
We should also note that they have created a Let’s Go Fishin’ XL Version of the game that has a couple different speeds, 42 fish to catch instead of 21, and some different scoring options. This is the version I would recommend in most cases just because it does give you more playing flexibility.
Overall, this is a solid game that can be played as a big group or independently without any parental help. You can read about our experiences with the game here: Let’s Go Fishin’ Review.
14.) Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game – Hasbro’s Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game is a great option for 3-year-olds and preschoolers. It is for 2 to 3 players and officially rated for ages 3+.
This game comes with the gameboard, a spinner, 10 cherries, 10 apples, and 10 blueberries, and a basket. The purpose of this game if for children to pick all the fruit from their tree and put it in their basket. This is accomplished by spinning the spinner and doing the appropriate action of picking fruit off of your tree or by putting fruit back onto your tree. The first person to get all of that fruit picked from their tree is the winner.
Like we said, this is a pretty simple board game and kids really enjoy picking fruit from their trees. It does really good targeting that preschool and 3-6 age range.
It might not be a game played very often once children get a little older, but it is a very good entry level board game for young children!
15.) Don’t Break the Ice – Don’t Break the Ice is one of the games that my child requests I play with him the most. I think it is the excitement they feel when there is only a couple of bricks remaining on the board, and they aren’t sure if they are going to hammer the penguin down or not.
The game play is fun – you basically take turns knocking out a square of ice – in hopes of not being the person that knocks the penguin off of the big square in the middle. The game play can become a little repetitive for parents – but children do not seem to mind that at all!
This game is for 2 – 4 players and it doesn’t require and rolling of dice or spinning of wheels – it really is as simple as taking turns knocking out a block of ice. The setup can be a little tricky for youngsters – inserting the last few blocks into the board gets is a little tight – so you will probably need to help them get it setup.
This is a fun game, and if you want more information about it you can read our full review right here: Don’t Break the Ice Reviewed.
16.) Thin Ice – We have to put another ice themed game on the list – and Thin Ice just happens to be one of my all-time favorite kids’ games. That stems from me playing this game with my younger sister about 25-year ago – and now being able to share this fun game with my sons.
The concept and original and fun. You basically set up a board so that there is a thin tissue on the top of the igloo playing surface. There is a little channel at the bottom of the board that you are going to place marble and water into. The wet marbles are placed on the tissue – causing the tissue to slowly weaken. The last one with the tweezers in their hand loses that round. You can also do some slightly different variations, but it is all fun!
Thin Ice is a game for 2 – 4 players and is rated for ages 5+ (4-year-olds will probably be able to play this game with no problem, but since it includes marbles and those are a choking hazard, the game has a slightly higher age rating).
If you have never played this game, you need to try it – and you can read about our full review right here: Thin Ice Reviewed.
17.) Peaceable Island Mermaid Kingdom Board Game – Similar to the Dog Man Attack of the Fleas Board Game listed above, one of the big reasons why I like this Peaceable Island Mermaid Kingdom Board Game is because it is a cooperative play game!
It is for 2 – 6 players and rated for children that are five and older. The gameplay lasts about 15 minutes which makes it a great option for a family game night – especially since you will all win or lose together (yes parents, you won’t have to break up a fight between your kids because one won and the other didn’t!).
The point of the game is to help the mermaids swim to Mermaid Island before the witch gets there. Now of course, if the witch gets there before you, you are all losers.
I love the development of cooperative play board games, and honestly wish we had more games like this when I was a kid growing up! Working together as a team is always a lot of fun for a family.
18.) Bluey Bingo’s Bingo Game – There are a lot of great Bingo games you can pick from – literally hundreds of them ranging from your traditional Bingo Games to themed games. The one that we play in our household is this Bluey Bingo’s Bingo Game because our children are huge fans of that cartoon!
This themed version comes with everything you need to play Bingo- with my children preferring the rapid-fire pace of black-out Bingo.
The nice thing about Bingo games is you can play and finish a round in a couple of minutes – making it a quick game that children won’t lose interest in right away.
There really isn’t anything to complicated about this version, but we did do a complete review of this board game here: Bluey Bingo’s Bingo Game Review.
19.) Classic Mouse Trap Board Game – This game is on the slightly older side for our best board games for young children recommendations – with the recommended age of this one coming in at 6+.
However, this was the game I always wish we owned as a child, and the game I always ended up playing when I was at a friend’s house who did own it!
The game hasn’t changed since we were kids and you move around the gameboard collecting cheese and stealing cheese from other players – and this quote from the game description from Hasbro has to convince you this is a good game, “When they play the Mouse Trap board game, kids can practice skills such as construction, cause and effect, and decision-making.”
We all hope our kids will have as much fun playing this game as we did when we were kids!
20.) Banana Blast – Banana Blast is a quick, action-packed game that young children really enjoy. This is a very easy game to describe – you basically have a circle tree-top game “board” that is holding 12 bananas. Right in the middle of the circle is a smiling monkey.
Kids are going to take turns rolling a die and doing the appropriate action. This usually involves pulling out one of the bananas. At some point, the monkey in the middle is going to pop up into the air and children need to try and catch him! If the monkey is caught, the child that catches him gets a two-banana bonus.
The point of the game is to end the game with the most bananas. The gameplay is quick – painfully quick sometimes – with games being completed in under a minute. However, kids love catching the monkey.
It makes this a good independent play game for 2-to-3 kids. You can read our full review about it here: Banana Blast Board Game Review.
21.) Briarpatch Pete The Cat The Missing Cupcakes Game – If you have a youngster or preschooler that loves Pete the Cat (either the books or the show on Amazon) as much as my youngest does, then they are going to love this Pete The Cat The Missing Cupcakes Game from Briarpatch.
This is another great cooperative game that is for 2 – 4 players and is rated for children ages 3+. The game includes 14 cupcakes, 20 birthday present cards, game board, spinner, 4 game pieces, Grumpy Toad & Cupcake tray and instructions.
The point of the game is to get the missing cupcakes back from Grumpy Toad, and there are a bunch of fun things that children have to do along the way like sing songs, act out physical activities, and so much more.
The fun design of this game plus how it keeps children engaged make it a real winner. Plus, the fact that it is Pete the Cat is only going to excite all of those young Pete the Cat fans!
22.) Don’t Make Me Laugh! from Zobmondo – If you are looking for the ultimate game for a family fun night that requires everyone to be involved and interact, this Don’t Make Me Laugh! game from Zobmondo is going to be the perfect choice for you.
It does a great job of encouraging kids to be brave and to be creative – and the entire family gets to act out different scenes that are on the cards. You can act out these scenes in a number of different ways. For example, you can do solo play where everyone acts out a scene on a card individually, or you can do all play where everyone acts out the scene on the card together.
This way of playing is great for children that get a little nervous, and you want to try and instill a little bit more self-confidence in them! Normally, once they see everyone laughing everyone starts having fun!
This game won a lot of different awards in the children’s games circuit – and will bring the fun and interaction to a game night!
23.) Shark Bite – If you like sharks, and you like action-packed games that kids can play independently, you will probably like Shark Bite.
This game involves loading up a giant shark with 12-sea creatures, then taking turns catching those sea creatures with the small fishing rod that comes with the game. But watch out – at some point that giant shark is going to snap up at you while you are trying to pull out a sea creature.
This will usually shock children and get them to squeal in delight – even if they have seen the shark snap 50 times already!
The game really is that simple. And really is that quick – often the game play might only last a minute. So, this game really is designed for quick game play to keep young children engaged – and hopefully getting them to jump for joy when the shark snaps at them!
For a full review of this game and to read about our personal experiences with it, check out this review: Shark Bite Reviewed.
24.) Floor is Lava Game – All right, so technically this game doesn’t have a board or anything that resembles a board, but if this Floor is Lava game can save one parent from having their possession jumped on and abused by their kids, I’m glad I put it on this list!
If you couldn’t guess by this game’s name, it is based on the classic floor is lava scenario that every single kid ever created. This version comes with 25 foam tiles and an organized method to the madness in that attempt to keep kids from jumping on furniture.
The gameplay involves spinning a spinner and jumping to the appropriate colored tile. Of course, if you touch the floor at any point when you are getting to the correct tile, you burn up and lose…well, maybe you don’t really burn up, but you do lose!
There are some cool rules that keep this game fresh and fun, and if you want to learn more about it, please click on the full review we did on it here: The Floor is Lava Game Review.
Other Toy Reviews of Interest
That was a lot of great Board Game Reviews! Hopefully, that will give you some ideas on what to play with younger children at your next board game night!
If you want some other great toy ideas, we would encourage you to check out some of these lists we put together:
- A List of the Best KidKraft Kitchens
- A List of the Best Hot Wheels City Tracks
- A List of the Best KidKraft Toys
- A List of the Best Cars Color Changers
- A List of the Best Lion Guard Toys
- A List of the Best PJ Masks Toys
- A List of the Best Bluey Toys
- A List of the Best KidKraft Train Tables
- A List of the Best Hot Wheels Color Shifters
- A List of the Best Pirate Toys
- A List of the Best Scooby-Doo Toys
- A List of the Best Muppet Babies Toys
- A List of the Best Little People Toys
- A List of the Best T.O.T.S. Toys
- A List of the Best Mega Bloks Toys
- A List of Great Toy Ideas for 2021
Between these great board games and these lists of great toy options – you are sure to find something that is going to be exciting for any child!