• Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids in 2021 (Game Development Group, Gamewright, and More)

Board games are a great way to combine critical thinking and fun for your young ones. That’s why we’ve decided to look into what makes a great board game for kids.

We came to the conclusion that the best games encourage learning, are age-appropriate, and can be enjoyed by the whole family. While some games only work for a narrow age range, others will have parents continuing to play long after the kids have gone to bed. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites, with Gamewright's Dragonwood taking first place.
  • Last updated: 01-04-2021
  • 1,030 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids

The best game for your family is going to depend on who’s playing and their preferences (as well as patience levels). So take your own circumstances into consideration before making your pick.
1

GamewrightDragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring

$14.99

TypeStrategy, probability, math
ComplexityMedium
Ages8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)
Number of Players2-4
Play Time20 minutes
2

Blue Orange GamesKingdomino

$19.99

TypeStrategy
ComplexityMedium
Ages8+ (appropriate for the right 5-year-olds)
Number of Players2-4
Play Time15 minutes
2
TypeCards, math, luck
ComplexityMedium
Ages8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)
Number of Players2-8
Play Time30 minutes
4

Game Development GroupWordplay For Kids

$30.00

TypeSpelling, vocabulary
ComplexityEasy
Ages6+
Number of Players2+
Play Time
5

Peaceable KingdomRace to the Treasure!

$14.25

TypeStrategy, cooperation
ComplexityEasy
Ages5+
Number of Players2-4
Play Time20 minutes
6
TypeSpatial reasoning, memory
ComplexityMedium
Ages8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)
Number of Players2-4
Play Time
7

HABAFirst Orchard

$29.99

TypeColors and shapes, cooperation
ComplexityEasy
Ages2+
Number of Players1-4
Play Time10 minutes
8

Zobmondo!!The Ladybug Game

$19.99

TypeMath, reading
ComplexityMedium
Ages3+
Number of Players2-4
Play Time20 minutes
9

Buffalo GamesSilly Street

$23.94

TypeCommunication, creativity
ComplexityEasy
Ages4+
Number of Players2+
Play Time15 minutes
10

Kids Against MaturityKids Against Maturity

$29.99

TypeHumor, creativity
ComplexityEasy
Ages8+
Number of Players4+
Play Time45 minutes

Compare the Best Board Games for Kids

Image
1
Gamewright Dragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring 1

Gamewright

2
Blue Orange Games Kingdomino 1

Blue Orange Games

2
Magilano Skyjo 1

Magilano

4
Game Development Group Wordplay For Kids 1

Game Development Group

5
Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! 1

Peaceable Kingdom

6
Mindware Q-bitz 1

Mindware

7
HABA First Orchard 1

HABA

8
Zobmondo!! The Ladybug Game 1

Zobmondo!!

9
Buffalo Games Silly Street 1

Buffalo Games

10
Kids Against Maturity Kids Against Maturity 1

Kids Against Maturity

Name

Dragonwood: A Game of Dice & Daring

Kingdomino

Skyjo

Wordplay For Kids

Race to the Treasure!

Q-bitz

First Orchard

The Ladybug Game

Silly Street

Kids Against Maturity

Features

Best Game for the Whole Family (Parents, too!)

Learn Strategy With This Beginner's Game

Math-Based and Highly Addictive Gameplay

Teaches Your Child Spelling and Vocab

Lower Elementary Students Cooperate to Get Treasure

A Versatile, Spatial Reasoning and Pattern Building Game

Even Toddlers Can Learn to Work With Others

Simple Math and Reading for Preschoolers

Raise Your Child's Confidence and Creativity

All Ages Humor Perfect for Parties

Price$14.99$19.99$22.30$30.00$14.25$29.95$29.99$19.99$23.94$29.99
TypeStrategy, probability, mathStrategyCards, math, luckSpelling, vocabularyStrategy, cooperationSpatial reasoning, memoryColors and shapes, cooperationMath, readingCommunication, creativityHumor, creativity
ComplexityMediumMediumMediumEasyEasyMediumEasyMediumEasyEasy
Ages8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)8+ (appropriate for the right 5-year-olds)8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)6+5+8+ (appropriate for the right 6-year-olds)2+3+4+8+
Number of Players2-42-42-82+2-42-41-42-42+4+
Play Time20 minutes15 minutes30 minutes20 minutes10 minutes20 minutes15 minutes45 minutes
Link

How to Choose a Board Game for Kids – Buying Guide

Remember that a game that sounds good on paper may not work for your children. So be sure to consider the following factors when it’s time to buy.

Look for a Theme Your Child Loves

Look for a Theme Your Child Loves

There are a great many different board games out there, with each created based on a particular theme or purpose. Some games are based on TV shows or have been created with pieces that resemble popular cartoon characters. 


If your child has specific likes and dislikes or has a character that they love, then, to keep them engaged, it might be best to purchase a game with the character in it. If you do, your child will have an interest in playing the board game from the very start.

Pick a Type of Game Depending on Goals and Complexity

Sure, board games are a fun way to pass the time, but they can also be a sneaky way to help kids learn and get them using their analytical skills. For games that get brains pumping, consider strategy games, trivia games, or games that promote literacy. For a more leisurely experience, feel free to look for more luck-based games.

Look for a Board Game That Teaches Your Child

Look for a Board Game That Teaches Your Child

Board games aren't all just fun and games. They can actually teach your kids about strategy, cooperation, math, color and pattern recognition, concentration, and various other hard and soft skills. And, in general, almost all board games can teach your kids how to take turns, though.


Some games are more cooperative with others, where you work in teams to solve a problem or fight against other players. These types of games teach your children teamwork and communication. Games like First Orchard or Hoot Owl Hoot! are great for this.

Look for a Board Game That Teaches Your Child

Then there are games where your children can compete with others to finish an objective. Here, they may employ strategies where they try to outthink their opponents. Strategy games are more likely to keep everyone in the family engaged, as they do require more in-depth thought to complete.


The payoff in strategy games is in how it teaches your children complex thinking, like anticipating others' actions, negotiation, probability, and adaptation. They can even teach your children to accept failure and take more risks. Some games within this genre include Settlers of Catan and Battleship.


However, do note that learning games are often more complex and might not make the best party games due to longer explanation times.

Understand the Different Types of Strategy

Understand the Different Types of Strategy

If you've decided on a strategy board game, then what you need to know now is the type of strategies that can be used in a game. Some examples are resource optimization, risk and reward, and control. Note that games don't have to stick to one strategy, and many use a combination of many different kinds.


In resource optimization, you try to gain as many items as they can, in a bid to use them in the future to thwart your fellow players (or if the game's objective is to collect items). In some cases, this might mean investing in pieces to multiply your resources in the future. 


Monopoly can be considered a resource optimization game, as you're collecting and buying buildings, making an initial investment to get more money than everyone else.

Understand the Different Types of Strategy

In risk and reward strategies, luck is in play. You either choose to risk a big chunk of your resources in hopes of receiving a big reward or you choose to risk small bits at a time, hoping your opponents run out of luck.


In control, you actively work to try and prevent your opponents' next move. In some cases, this can involve eliminating a player, limiting their choices in actions (such as constantly attacking them and having them on the defense), intervening on their strategy, or taking control of more of the game pieces.


After understanding the different types of strategies, you can generally infer what kind of concepts your children will learn from board games and choose according to what you would like them to try out. You can read more in-depth about these strategy types here

Consider Age Appropriateness and Number of Players

Even if a game is objectively fun, if it’s not the right game for the players involved, it won’t work out.

Find a Game that Works for the Whole Family

Find a Game that Works for the Whole Family
Generally speaking, a game that’s appropriate for the youngest player is still pretty fun for the older players. So to make sure the whole family can play along, it might make sense to cater the game to the youngest player.
On the other hand, if your kids are growing out of an old game and want more of a challenge, look for a more difficult game aimed at slightly older players. You can look towards strategy games, as we went over in the above section.

Find Games Playable by a Wide Amount of Players

Find Games Playable by a Wide Amount of Players
Some games are definitely easier with less players while others are infinitely more fun with more players. For a game that you can whip out both at a party or on a rainy night in, look for a wider range of possible players. However, if you know you’ll only be playing with a certain number of people every time, feel free to pick one up that works well for your group.

Find a Length That Keeps Kids Entertained but Not Bored

Find a Length That Keeps Kids Entertained but Not Bored
When looking for a board game for kids, it’s important to strike a balance between keeping them engaged for a decent amount of time and ensuring they don’t lose interest with a game that takes too long.
While there are some outliers that are just so fun that no one wants to stop, you should be aware that younger kids tend to have shorter attention spans and may get frustrated if they’re not winning.
In that case, it’s best to look for a game with a shorter play time (up to 20 minutes) that you can play a couple of times over. For older kids, feel free to find games that push up to an hour or more.

Make Sure You Have Enough Space for Setup

Make Sure You Have Enough Space for Setup

Games can come in many different shapes and sizes; plus, some can take longer to play through than others! If the game has a complex setup, or if you simply don't want to have to reposition all the pieces when you resume the game next time, then you'll want to find something that suits your play preferences.


Did you know that some games take 30 minutes to setup? The complexity of setting up a game board can feel like a huge mountain you have to overcome before you can start enjoying yourself with the actual gameplay. In young children, this can be confusing or too intimidating, so the best thing to do is buy a game with an easy setup


Naturally, the number of pieces can be part of what makes a game seem complex to setup. In general, the less the number of parts, the easier setup will likely be. And if you want to know how complicated a game is, then it's always best to scroll through the reviews for more details. And don't forget that bigger, easier to handle pieces are best for younger children, as well.

More Games to Keep Them Satisfied

More Games to Keep Them Satisfied

The world of games is a vast one, that's not even contained to just physical board games. There are ways to play on your smartphone and computer, amongst various other options. Here are some of our other suggestions to keep your little ones busy.

Summary

Games are a great way to encourage critical thinking, improve rule-following, and sharpen math and reading skills. And as long as you think carefully about who will be playing, you’re sure to find a great game for your family.
Author: Jacqueline Oshiro

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