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Board Games for Young Children

Updated on February 5, 2014

Fun Board Games for Young Children

Board games for young children are a great way to spend time with your kids and teach them valuable skills. Plus, many of these games are designed as junior editions of classic games, so they can grow into more adult games as they progress. Board games make a wonderful Christmas or birthday gift.

The games on this page include the recommended starting age that the manufacturer provides. While these may vary depending on the specific child, they are a good way to gauge whether a board game would be a great gift. Many of these board games are for children as young as three or five, so they can help teach skills like counting, reading, sportsmanship, and taking turns.

Featured Image: Chutes and Ladders Game

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Candy Land

Candy Land is a great first board game for young children because it doesn't require them to be able to read, or even to know their numbers. Colors and shapes guide players through the sweet kingdom. Players draw colored cards and move their tokens to the next space of that color. This is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of board games while they are still very young.

Candy Land The World of Sweets Game (Amazon Exclusive)
Candy Land The World of Sweets Game (Amazon Exclusive)

Because this game is designed for young players, the recommended age is as young as 3 years on this game. While kids will probably grow out of it in a couple of years, that is the point when they can be introduced to more complex board games that require other skills.


Chutes & Ladders

Chutes & Ladders is another great board game for young children that are just learning to play and take turns. It will help introduce kids to higher numbers, but doesn't require reading skills. The spinner uses single digit numbers, but players try to get their game pieces to 100 without taking too many stumbles down the chutes.

Chutes and Ladders Game (Amazon Exclusive)
Chutes and Ladders Game (Amazon Exclusive)

Board games like this one can be a good introduction to sportsmanship for young children. After all, it's frustrating when you are about to win the game and land on the last chute, falling back down the board!


Children's Editions of Classic Games

There are many board games for young children that are based on classic board games. These are a great way to introduce your kids to games that your family already loves. Monopoly, Boggle, and Scrabble all have junior editions, to name a few.

All of these games have a recommended starting age under eight years old, so you can introduce your kids to classic board games and then progress to other editions as they get older. Your five and six year olds can start participating in family games night right away!

Boggle Junior Game
Boggle Junior Game

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Pictionary Jr
Pictionary Jr

Recommended for ages 7 and up.


Monopoly Cars Racetrack Game

Like the previous games, this board game takes the classic Monopoly game and puts a spin on it. If you have a child (ages five and up) who loves the movie Cars, this is a great way to introduce them to Monopoly.

Monopoly Cars 2 Race Track Game
Monopoly Cars 2 Race Track Game

According to reviewers with the game, one of the benefits of this version of Monopoly is that it is much faster to play. The classic version can take a long time when you are playing with young children, so speeding up the pace is a good advantage for the whole family.


Original Memory

The game of Memory is about matching two pictures together, so it is one that young children of all ages can play. This is a fun game choice because it can be played alone or with other people. Start off your children by teaching them to play the game on their own. Once they have gotten better at remembering where the pictures are, add in another player for more challenge.

Original Memory
Original Memory

Although the game is recommended for kids as young as three years, there are a lot of cards that come in this set (72 total). You may want to start off a child that young with fewer cards while they are developing and getting the hang of the game.


More Board Games for Young Children on eBay

There are tons of board games for sale on eBay, in new and used conditions. Not only can you use the auction site to get a great deal, but you might find a game that is no longer made. Many specialty editions of board games are made in limited runs, so these collector's items are tougher to track down. Check out these current board games for sale.

Do your kids have a favorite game that they always ask to play? Have you tried the junior editions of popular games, or do you start out with the classic edition? Share your thoughts here!

What are your favorite board games for young children?

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 5 years ago

      I love Monopoly, but my boys are too young for that. - I might try the Junior version

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I like Memory. It's fun to watch little kids try to remember where that other one is!

    • MelissaRodgz profile image

      MelissaRodgz 5 years ago

      I love monopoly but the kids love monopoly junior. Snakes and ladders is also a big hit.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I loved playing all of these games with my kids. They used to have Yahtzee junior games that were a lot of fun - no clue if they still make them.

    • Petzard profile image

      Petzard 5 years ago

      My favorite is still (old school) monopoly;)