Fun Board Games: Good Games for Kids
I may not have kids of my own, but I do have a young niece and nephew who are very vocal about what they like to play. So I listened, and lo and behold, the majority of the games were made for adults. Hey, whatever works. And if there's a game I can play with them that holds my attention too, everyone wins!
This hub focuses on four fun games for kids aged five to ten that could even be classified as (shh!) "educational". Enjoy!
Blokus is an interesting game because it forces the player to think differently. Players place unusually shaped game pieces (think Tetris, but with 21 shapes) on the gridded board, but they can only touch at the corner, never alongside another piece of the same color.
Gameplay ends when a player is blocked completely and can no longer add to the board. Unblocked players continue until no one can place any more pieces.
Supposedly this game is for people aged 5+, but I played this with my dad and he just didn't get it. He kept trying to match up long lines instead of playing pieces on the corner. My eight-year-old niece, on the other hand, had no trouble.
I think this appeals to children because:
- the game pieces are brightly colored and fun to touch
- it encourages spatial thinking
- it doesn't take a long time to set up or put away.
You, a feudal lord (or lady) are trying to increase your land holdings while protecting your assets from other merciless lords and ladies. What are we playing? It's Dominion!
In short, Dominion is a deck-building game. In order to win, you will have developed a deck that holds the most victory points of any player. Dominion is also customizable, with numerous expansions that make the replay-ability of the game very high.
Although recommended for 13+ on the box, I think this is a good game for youngsters for the following reasons:
- it helps teach strategy
- the kids can imagine themselves in different situations
- it's fairly short (about 45 minutes to one hour).
For an in-depth game review, please check out Brainy Bunny's hub on how to play Dominion.
It may specify "adult" players on the box (they mean 12+), but this game is definitely playable with younger kids, especially if you play in pairs.
The object of the game is to name items in 12 categories that all begin with the same letter. The trick is to not match another player's answer. Each round lasts three minutes, and then players share their answers.
Kids and parents will all like this game because:
- it moves along quickly -- three rounds can be played in about 15 minutes
- it encourages players to think uniquely
- it helps practice spelling
- it assists in developing a sense of humor
- the cymbal sound at the end of each round will remind kids of a toilet flushing and cause them to giggle incessantly. Adults will laugh, too.
Apples to Apples
This is another game that can be played in pairs with one adult and little one, or with savvy eight-year-olds.
All you do in this game is compare one thing to other things, and choose the best one. For example, which is the most Magical? Choose from: A Tree House, Albert Einstein, Babies, Jupiter, or Baked Beans. I know which my nephew would choose... what about your young buddy?
The only thing I would suggest if kids will be playing with you is to perhaps remove several of the cards (i.e. Hitler, Stalin, anything war-related) unless you want to have to explain it to them at their tender ages. Apples to Apples also comes in a Junior style game (I assume there are no war-related cards in that version!) Also, children may not be familiar with a lot of the responses involving pop culture.
Even still, party games like these are fun because:
- everyone can be included
- humor is valued
- no skills are required.