Board Games for Kids

My husband and I love playing board games! I love anything from Sorry! to Settlers on the nerd scale and Austin's somewhere around Settlers to games that take up to 6 hours (aka: super nerdy). We often play board games together after the kids go to bed, especially quick two player games (Boggle or Lost Cities are two favorites!). We're both excited for the days when our kids can play more complex games, but for now we're doing our best to introduce them to a variety of games! 

I always look for games at the thrift store when I go, they're almost always under $5 and I've found a few really great games (and quite a few duds!) that way. I don't mind donating them back a couple weeks later if they don't work out for us. 

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I've noticed that so many kids' games are essentially Memory or Go Fish in some form, so I do my best to stay away from those. I really want to build a small collection of games that we all enjoy playing! I love that games give us a chance to focus on each other, chat while we play and it's fun to see the kids (mostly Lulu!) really pick up on the concepts! 

Here are a few of our favorites:

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- Gobblet Jr. 

I picked this one up recently and I'm really impressed with it! The concept is simple: Tic Tac Toe. BUT each player has two sets of pegs: big, medium and small. Big can gobble up medium or small and medium can gobble small. On your turn you can place a new peg, gobble up your opponent's peg or move a peg on the board. It's a really good intro to strategy (which peg should you use first? What happens if you move a peg? How can you block your opponent?). We've talked through it a lot with Lulu and she's surprisingly good! It's also a pretty quick play, which helps ease the sting if you lose a round!

 

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- Up The River

This is a clever, simple game that both Lulu and Abram enjoy. You place tiles on the table (the river) and move your boat from tile to tile as you roll the die. The strategy comes into play when you have to decide which of your three boats to move! The tiles move on as play goes around the table and several of the tiles involve special actions. There's also a fun "ill wind" component that the kids LOVE (bumping Dad back 3 spaces? Yes please!). 

Wig Out

Wig Out is pretty much as simple as it gets. We've been playing this game with Lulu for over a year and she's almost past it. It's a simple matching game that requires no skill (making it a good game for a 2-3 year old!). The illustrations are fun and it's a good game to start with. 

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Camp

Camp is a game that we all enjoy, it's a nature trivia game with different questions for each age group. Austin and I are both trivia fans and the kids are able to answer many of the questions in their age range, so they enjoy it too! It's a nice heavy duty game with a secret decoder that the kids are obsessed with!

Connect 4

Classic, simple. I'll admit, Lulu isn't very good at this game, but she tries and we often end up playing both sides together, discussing the best moves and recognizing patterns and options. While it's not necessarily my first pick, she really enjoys it and I know someday soon she won't need my help! 

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Spin Me a Rainbow

This is our kids' current favorite game, and mine too because I don't have to play it with them. It's painfully simple: spin the wheel and see which color you can add to your rainbow. Be the first to fill your rainbow card and you win! They enjoy it and it's a pretty game, perfect! 

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We don't have a lot of space for games (obviously!) but it's fun to have a small collection of favorites and a few rotating options as well. Do you play board games with your kids? I'd love to know what your favorites are so I can look out for them!