When you have kids, keeping them entertained becomes something you think about all the time, so having a variety of board games on hand is pretty important. No matter what age kids are, they all love to play games, especially if Mom and Dad play too. Not only are they entertaining, but playing games also teaches kids stuff, even if they don’t know they’re gaining knowledge. Sneaky, right? Check out my list of must-have board games, then let the good times roll.
Candy Land tops my list of board games for several reasons. It doesn’t require reading so even toddlers can play. As long as your child can match colors and sit still, you’re good to go. I also love Candy Land because it doesn’t take too long to finish a round, so little ones won’t get bored before someone wins. Plus, you can always rig the game so your kid is the winner to prevent meltdowns. I’ve done it!
Again, this game requires no reading skills. It is a bit more advanced than other games, but my kids picked it up pretty quickly. It basically involves moving marbles among several small holes in the board. At each end is one player’s cache where the marbles are collected. There are actually several ways to play Mancala, but each engages the mind and helps your child map out his next move. The player with the most marbles is the winner.
Uno is so addicting and my family has been known to play for hours. Matching colors and numbers is great for little brains, but racing to see who can get rid of their cards is exciting too. Once your kids get the hang of Uno, there are several variations to the game that serve up twists and new rules to make the game that much more fun.
My kids aren’t quite ready for Scrabble yet, but the junior version is just their level. One side of the board has words printed on and players take turn building on those words, winning tokens for completing a word. The other side of the board is blank so kids can play a modified version of the real thing by creating their own short words. This game is perfect for kids learning to read.
What kid doesn’t love solving a mystery and saving the day? For kids who can read and love deducing information, Clue is the best way to spend an afternoon. Players use information gleaned during the course of the game to make a guess on who committed the crime, with what weapon and in which room. It’s all pretty PG though. There are several versions of this game so you can even find it featuring your child’s favorite television characters.
This is probably my all-time favorite game from my childhood. When else is being a complete know-it-all totally appropriate? If your child suddenly thinks he knows everything, whip this game out and challenge him. Each round involves coming up with the answer to a list of items starting with the letter rolled on the dice. Each original answer is worth a point and the winner is the one with the most points. I’ll admit, my kids don’t like to play this game with me because I usually win, but it’s a great way for them to learn new things.
I love Chutes and Ladders because it’s a game of luck rather than skill. That means everyone has an equal chance of winning, so kids don’t have to feel like they aren’t good at the game if they don’t win. Plus it’s fun to see just how far you can move over the board by going up and down.
What’s your favorite board game? We love a board game marathon at my house! Have I inspired you to do the same at your house?
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