10 Best Board Games for Kids 2021

10 Best Board Games for Kids 2021

Family time is an amazing way to bring people together, get to know each other, and nurture the relationship between family members. It is common to make an event out of family time, with movie nights and game nights being popular options.

Game nights are an interactive option that gets everyone having fun, from parents to kids, and maybe other family members or friends. The games played may include charades, cards, and of course, board games.

Board games have been around for a long time, and they are loved by every generation. Despite the rise of technology, board games are still played with by many families and can even be fun educational tools.

What to Watch Out for When Buying a Board Game for Kids

There are many benefits of playing board games, from increased brain function to happier kids, so you might want to have a look at the wide array of available games and pick one that your child may benefit from. But they’re not all created equal.

When choosing the right board game, there are things you need to take into account. You don’t want to end up with a game that no one likes or that no one understands. So to avoid ruining game night, here are four features to consider.

Ease of Playing

Some games involve too many rules, and you may end up spending the majority of the time reading rules rather than actually playing. Even worse, if your child is too young to understand complex games, they will end up not enjoying themselves and feel pressured to get things right.

On the other end, if a game is too easy it becomes boring. Simple rules are desirable, but a game with barely any rules takes away the challenge and your child is likely to lose interest in the middle of a game, or simply never want to play it again after the first time.

The secret is to find a balance. The game must be relaxed yet challenging.

Number of Players

Most board games can be played by two people or more. But usually, there is an upper limit. Some games allow a maximum of four players, others five or six. If you have a big family and usually game nights are busy, you need to take into account the number of players allowed, so no one is left out of the fun.

Just like too many people may constitute a barrier, too few is also an issue. If your child is interested in interactive board games but there may be times when no one is available to play with them, you may want to find a game that the child can play alone. Think Fun Zingo Bingo is one of the few games that a child can play on their own, making it great if the whole family won’t be joining in every game night.

Fun for Both Parents and Kids

The goal is for the child to have fun, but that doesn’t mean that parents don’t need to enjoy themselves too. If the parent is having fun the child will have a better time too, as everyone will get more immersed in the game.

With that in mind, the game must be challenging enough to keep the parent engrossed, without being too difficult for the child. A game like Monopoly is likely to be thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family as the competitive nature of it is fun for people of all ages.

Varied Gameplay

Variety avoids monotony. If a game always has a similar outcome, and there is a predictability aspect to the gameplay, everyone will grow bored of it quickly, including your child.

Games that allow you to follow different paths and have control over what happens are more likely to incite the child to want to play again. But repetitive games, including games that involve questions and answers, are more prone to end up forgotten in a box.

Keeping these four aspects in mind, here is a list of ten great board game options to consider.

Top 10 Best Board Games for Kids 2021

1. Candy Land

Candy Land

For Ages 3-6
Why it made the list It’s suitable for very young kids and each match lasts approximately 15 minutes. It’s a good introduction to family game night.

Number of Players: 2-4

Candy Land has been around for a long time, and most of us can even recall playing it as kids. The original game was designed in 1948 but only bought by Hasbro in 1984. Since then, this game has undergone various updates, and the current version has a much brighter design and colors than the original, and not only that, there have been a few changes to the rules.

What Is Candy Land?

Candy Land is a simple racing board game—the keyword being simple. This game requires no reading, and would only require minimal counting skills, so it’s perfect for small children. Even if the child can’t count yet someone can lead their piece for them, or even use it as a way to teach them to count.

This version of the game also gets rid of the need to use strategy to win. There are no hard choices to be made, only simple instructions to be followed. Not only is the game very simple to play, but it’s also really fun to look at with its bright colors, lively characters, and cute gingerbread pawns.

Objective and Rules of the Game

The point of the game is to travel through the colores path and be the first to reach the Candy Castle by landing on the multi-colored space at the end of the path. The gameplay is quite simple – on your turn, you must draw a card and move your pawn where the card leads you.

If you draw a card with one color block, you move your pawn toward the next space on the path that matches the color of your card. And if you draw a card with two color blocks, you move your pawn toward the second space that matches the color of your card. You can also draw picture cards, and if you do, you must move forward or backward towards a space on the board with an image matching the one on your card.

There are other features on the map such as shortcuts and licorice spaces, which will help you move forward faster, or be stuck in place for one turn.

How to Make This Game Work for Your Family

You can adapt the rules as follows to make the game easier and more pleasant for young kids, for example, picture cards will only send players forward, and not back, to avoid frustration. If you land on a picture card that would send you back, discard the card and draw again.

This game could be a great bonding opportunity for you and your child. You can use it to teach basic counting skills, colors, and memory skills. But this game isn’t only good for cognitive skills, your child can learn basic life skills too such as sharing, turn-taking, and learning how to cope with losing or winning.

2. Monopoly Junior

Monopoly Junior

For Ages 5-8
Why it made the list It offers all the fun and competitiveness of Monopoly in a simplified way so kids can also enjoy and fully understand the gameplay.

Players: 2-4

Hasbro’s Monopoly Junior is a kid-friendly take on the classic game that has brought generations together with strategy-filled hours of fun. What makes it kid-friendly are the simplified rules and gameplay, so if you were yearning to play Monopoly on game night but thought it was too complicated for your kids, this version is a suitable alternative.

What Makes This Version Different From the Original

In this version of Monopoly, you automatically buy the unoccupied properties you land on, and it’s a one-off payment. There are no houses and hotels like in the original version. This takes away the complex parts of the strategy and makes the game more relaxing for everyone.

The property names were changed too, so even though you still get classics like Boardwalk and Park Place, all the other tiles contain places that are easily recognizable for kids such as the Zoo, the Movie Theatre, and the Candy Store.

This edition doesn’t feature any railroads—in their place, there are regular properties that can be bought. If your child has played the original version previously, they may be a little disappointed to find out that there are no “roll again” places.

Why This Version Is Better for Kids

One of the biggest downsides of the classic Monopoly game is how long matches can last. Starting a game can turn into a big commitment and leave us tied to the table for hours. This version completely eradicates that issue. Every time a player lands on a property they either buy it or pay rent for it. This brings the average match time down to around half an hour, which helps keep kids focused.

Thinking especially of young kids who can do basic counting but aren’t knowledgeable in basic math, this version of Monopoly only includes $1 bills so even the little ones can manage their own “money”.

The tokens look adorable and kids will surely love them all. There are four tokens in total, Little Scottie, Little Hazel, Toy Car, and Mr. Monopoly’s Top Hat, so up to four people can play.

The last big change Hasbro has made on this version is the removal of the Free Parking space, or Mr. Monopoly’s Loose Change on another version. This iconic space has sparked controversy over generations as people believe it is a rule to collect the money accumulated there. Hasbro has never made this an official rule, and for this version, they completely removed the space to avoid the confusion.

Overall, this version of the game is a lot easier to grasp by young minds, but it may be a bit too simple as they grow and develop, so look at it as an introduction to the classic version of Monopoly.

3. Sorry!

Sorry!

For Ages 6+
Why it made the list It’s a modified version of the classic game “Sorry!” that is more kid-friendly and has kinder rules than its original counterpart.

Players: 2-4

Hasbro’s Sorry! has been a part of American families for generations. And if you’ve ever played it, you know how this game can bring out the best – and worst – in people. This version of the game Sorry! aims to soften the competitiveness, challenge, and excitement found in the original version, without spoiling the fun.

Rules of the Game

The rules of the game are simple. The cards are shuffled and placed at the center of the board, and each player gets to draw a card on their turn. If you draw a 1 or a 2, you get to move one of your pawns from the START area onto the board. If you don’t get a 1 or a 2, you don’t get to move and it’s the next player’s turn. If you already have pawns on the board, you can move them by what the card you draw tells you.

Of course, there is more to the game than just moving forward. You get to slide forward if you land at the beginning of a Slide Area, and there’s a Safety Zone for each player. What gives this board game its name is the ability to bump someone off the board and send them right back to their Start position.

What Makes This Version of the Game Different

Things are a little different on this version of the game. The biggest changes Hasbro made are:

  • The board looks slightly different than the original;
  • Each player gets 3 pawns instead of 4;
  • Sorry cards can be used to move four spaces forward;
  • Any card can take you out of the Start, no need to wait for a 1 or a 2.

What Makes This Game Good for Kids

There isn’t much reading involved, but there is quite a bit of counting. If your child is just starting to learn how to count, this game presents the perfect opportunity for them to practice and perfect their counting skills, as it only involves very basic maths.

Not only is this game great to improve cognitive skills, but there is also some character building involved. The whole premise of the game is that players can knock each other off the board, effectively hindering their progress. This may be upsetting for young kids at first, but it will eventually teach them to deal with it and not get frustrated when things don’t go their way.

4. Guess Who?

Guess Who?

For Ages 6+
Why it made the list This modern version of the “Guess Who?” game includes more variety in the character’s appearance than the previous versions making this fun activity an opportunity to learn about diversity.

Players: 2

Many of the board games you find nowadays are either going to be the same or updated versions of games that have been around for decades. In truth, some board games are just so good that they cannot easily be replaced. Hasbro’s Guess Who? is another example of a board game that has been with us for generations and is likely to stay for a long time.

Contents

This edition includes 2 tabletop boards, 24 mystery cards, and 48 face cards. The characters features have changed compared to previous versions, but the concept of the game is very much the same.

Rules of the Game

In Guess Who?, players pick a character to be their mystery person and then take turns asking questions to their opponent to find out who their pick is. Each player gets to ask one question per turn, these must be objective and it must be possible to answer them with “yes” or “no”.

If a player asks, for instance, if the other person’s mystery person is wearing a hat, and the answer is “yes”, the player must exclude all characters who are not wearing a hat. Similarly, if the answer is “no”, the player must exclude the characters who are wearing a hat.

This process of elimination will bring the player closer to the answer until they’re ready to take a guess. If they guess correctly, they win the game. If they guess incorrectly, they lose.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

Playing Guess Who? may seem mindless, perhaps even too simple, but as your child plays it they will improve their observational skills, logical thinking, and learn how to ask questions effectively to achieve a goal.

This updated version of the original game has diversity in mind, and whereas previously there were only white characters and 20% women, this version has more people of color than white characters, and almost half are women.

How to Make the Game More Challenging

The only downside of this game is that it can become repetitive and boring after only a few matches. So if you want to mix things up and add your own twist, you can add all kinds of images to the game. It can be animals, household items, or even members of the family. The cards are 1 inch by 2 inches, so all you need is a printer and a computer to make the game more interesting.

Something else that can add some challenge to the game is to change the rules a bit and have two mystery people instead of one. The questions must then be asked for “both” or “either”. This will make the process of elimination trickier, and the questions must be well-thought-out and memorized. This method does add a lot of challenge, but it may be a bit too hard to grasp for young kids.

5. Think Fun Zingo Bingo

Think Fun Zingo Bingo

For Ages 4-10
Why it made the list It offers a great teaching opportunity for new readers to learn new words and image association.

Players: 2-6

Think Fun is a world-recognized brand with over 50 million games sold, and are known for their fantastic range of didactic games for kids. Zingo Bingo is just one of their many fabulous creations and should be an option to consider if you’re looking for educational value.

Contents

Think Fun has partnered with Amazon to bring you this exclusive version of Zingo Bingo that comes with seven different cards so up to seven people can play. It also includes a Zinger device where all the image tokens go. The players need to slide the device to dispense two tokens that may or may not match one of the images in their cards.

Objective and Rules of the Game

The objective of the game is, as you might have assumed already, the same as in a regular Bingo game. The first player to cover all nine spaces on their card and shout “Zingo!” wins the match. You could even come up with a rewards system to make it more interesting.

This game requires a dealer, someone who will operate the Zinger to keep the game going. The role can be taken by one of the players, someone who’s not playing and just wants to deal, or players can take turns dealing so everyone has a chance to play with the device. Operating it is easy: you just need to slide it forward and back, and two tiles will be automatically dispensed.

If one of the tiles matches an image from a player’s card, they just need to call the name of the image out loud, take the tile, and place it on the matching image. The tiles that go unclaimed can be put back inside the device.

If two players want to claim the same tile, the one who calls its name first gets to keep it. If the players claim it at the same time, the tile goes back into the device to avoid conflict.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

Playing “Zingo Bingo” is just as easy as playing Bingo, and even though it’s a relaxing game that doesn’t require strategy or much thinking, kids can really benefit from playing as they will develop their image recognition and association skills.

You could even make a fun little challenge and grab a tile and cover the image or the word, and ask your child to identify what the image or word would be. This game can be played alone, so your kid won’t depend on someone else to have a go at it, but it is much more fun to play with opponents.

Although the recommended age is from 4 to 10 years old, you may find that some kids around the age of 7 or above may seek more complicated games and not be as intrigued by this one.

6. Skillmatics Guess in 10 Animal Planet

Skillmatics Guess in 10 Animal Planet

For Ages 6+
Why it made the list It’s fun for the entire family and it introduces a general knowledge component to game night.

Players: 2-6

Skillmatics Guess in 10 is a simple game that will get the entire family thinking and obtaining new knowledge. This particular edition will encourage learning about animals, from their habits and behaviors to other exciting facts.

Kids as young as 6 might enjoy this game, especially if they’re interested in animals and know a few facts themselves. And it is just as enjoyable and challenging for adults.

The box is pocket-sized, so you can carry the game around with you to keep your kid entertained in a waiting room, plane, or car.

Rules of the Game

Guess in 10 is quite similar to Hasbro’s Guess Who? Each player gets a Game Card, and the goal is to guess other people’s cards by asking them questions.

Each player gets to ask 10 questions, hence the Guess in 10, and that’s where knowledge comes into play. You could ask about their eating habits, their geographical location, their coloring, coat, or anything else that may lead you closer to the answer.

Once someone guesses a card correctly, they get to keep it. The first to have 7 of them wins the game.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

Unlike Guess Who?, players don’t have a board with all the options so they can visualize and exclude the ones they don’t need. In this game, your child will work on their memory, logic, and association skills.

This game may not be for everyone, but if your kid loves a challenge and prefers intellectual games rather than strategy games, they will certainly love this one. This game might even be too challenging at times, so even though a kid who can’t read yet could play it with the assistance of an adult, they are unlikely to know the answers to many of the questions.

This game comes with something else to assist with the facts – Clue cards. Their sole purpose is to assist a player who does not know the answer to what was asked by their opponent. For instance, if a player asks if an animal eats meat but you don’t know the answer, just refer to the Clue card.

Clue cards only provide four facts: where the animal lived, what it eats, how many legs it has, and if it can be domesticated.

Other Guess in 10 Themes

Skillmatics didn’t just create Guess in 10 Animal Planet, and you can find other editions with different themes such as Guess in 10 States of America and Guess in 10 Cities Around the World.

7. Disney Eye Found It Board Game

Disney Eye Found It Board Game

For Ages 5-15
Why it made the list It’s very easy to learn how to play, and it includes everyone’s favorite Disney characters.

Players: 1-6

Disney is a world-recognized brand, and if you get anything from them you know you’ll be getting a top-quality product. Eye Found It includes many of the classic and modern Disney realms from Never Land and Wonderland to Arendelle and will prompt your child to search for various objects to advance in the map and win the game.

Some of the characters included are Mickey Mouse, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Elsa from Frozen, amongst others.

Rules of the Game

This game is suitable for very young kids, so it’s quite simple to play. Players take turn turning the spinner, and three things can happen:

  • It will tell you to move a certain number of spaces.
  • It will tell make you remove food from the pigs’ picnic blanket. When and if all the food is removed, the game ends.
  • It will prompt you to turn around a Goldbug Card. Each of these cards has a picture and a corresponding word illustrated on it. Once you turn one of the cards and have a look at the item pictured, you have one minute to find as many of them on the board as you can.

Once the time is up, everyone moves forward the number of however many items were found. If a player finds 3 ice cream cones, everyone must move forward 3 spaces.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

Each game lasts around 15 minutes, so kids are likely to stay focused the entire time, and adults can have some fun without getting bored too.

When your child is growing it is desirable to incorporate educational value and skill development into everything. And if you can disguise it as fun playtime, even better. This board game is highly entertaining and it also improves focus, memory, image, and word recognition.

Things You Should Be Aware of Before Purchasing

The game board is 6 feet long, so you’ll most likely need to set it up on the floor unless you have a very long table. This can be a downside, but it can also be a positive as a bigger board means there’s more to interact with—which can make it more fun.

The main problem with this game is that your child is likely to end up memorizing the board and know by heart where all the objects are, so it will not be as fun as the thrill of finding the objects is gone.

8. Clue Junior

Clue Junior

For Ages 5+
Why it made the list It’s a kid-friendly version of the classic “Clue” game, where instead of murder the crimes being investigated are much more lighthearted.

Players: 2-6

In Hasbro’s original Clue game, players must conduct an investigation to find the culprit of a murder. But in this Junior version, players need to find out who broke a toy, which toy they broke, and when they broke it, or they must find out who ate the last piece of cake, when, and with what beverage.

Rules of the Game

The goal is simple, find out who committed a crime. Or who did something naughty, in this case. Throughout the game players will unravel clues, and through the process of elimination they will close in on suspects until they find who’s guilty.

If the mystery is who broke the toy, when, and which toy they broke, the first player to know the answer to all three questions wins the game.

Each player rolls the die once. If they get yellow they can look under any furniture token, and if they get white they can look under any character pawn.

If you roll a number you can move any number of spaces up to that number along the footprints on the game board. If you land on a yellow footprint you can look under any piece of furniture of the room you’re in, if you land on a white footprint you can look under the character pawn you moved, and if you land on a black footprint your turn ends—you don’t get to look for any clues.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

Clue Junior, unlike the original Clue, is a collaborative game where everyone works towards the same goal instead of against each other. Any player can move any piece to try and find out the clues. But each player still needs to secretly record their conclusions, so there is a bit of autonomous play there.

Kids can get bored easily, which is why it’s so difficult sometimes for us to find something that they will want to play with more than once. Well, Clue Junior can be played multiple times as the culprit changes from match to match, and it’s not repetitive.

Things You Should Be Aware of Before Purchasing

Although this game is suitable for kids as young as 5, if they can’t read yet it may be a little confusing to tell which character is which. This can be remedied in two ways: you can teach your kid the names of the characters, or you can color code the clue pads and characters with stickers or markers so they recognize them by color and not by name.

The clue pads eventually run out too, but this can also be fixed if you print more or just take some copies before you use up all of them.

9. Pop-O-MaticTrouble

Pop-O-MaticTrouble

For Ages 5-15
Why it made the list It’s fun for the entire family and it has a “bubble” you can press to roll the die which is fun to press and keeps it from getting lost.

Players: 2-4

Trouble is an iconic game offered to you by Hasbro, and it’s fun for the entire family. It’s the kind of game that isn’t too complicated for kids to enjoy, and it’s also enjoyable for adults as it involves healthy competitiveness.

This game is suitable for kids 5 years old or older, and unlike Hasbro’s Monopoly Junior and Clue Junior, Trouble can be played in one of two ways. You can play the original Trouble game, or you can alter the rules slightly to make it more kid-friendly.

Rules of the Game

On each player’s turn, they get to press the Pop-o-Matic die roller and move their peg or pegs – each player has 4. And if they get a 6, they can press and move again.

To move for the first time you must get a 6. Only then can you get one of your pegs from Home onto the board. If you don’t get a 6, your turn ends and you need to wait until all the other players have rolled to try again.

If your peg lands where your opponent’s peg is, they must go back Home and start all over again. The same rule applies if they land on your peg.

The goal is to get all your pegs onto the finish area. To do so, all of them must go around the board once, and once they’re on the finish line you must get the exact number required to reach the finish area.

If you land on the XX space, you get another turn. Additional turns aren’t stackable so if you get a 6 and land on XX, you only go one more time and not two.

There are also warps on the board, which are basically shortcuts. If you land on one you won’t need to go around the board completely.

To make the game more kid-friendly, you can remove the rule to bump opponents of the board as young kids can get really frustrated by this. But if your child likes the strategy and competitiveness, this rule does make the game more fun.

Things You Should Be Aware of Before Purchasing

The game board is plastic, but the actual graphics are designed onto a thin cardboard sheet that sits on top of the plastic base. To avoid it separating and becoming unstable, you just need to install the board correctly. On the extremities of the plastic base you will find tiny plastic lips: you just need to secure the sheet underneath them and you won’t have any issues.

10. Battleship

Battleship

For Ages 7+
Why it made the list It comes in a handy portable case that your kid can take anywhere and keeps the pieces in place if you need to pause a game and come back to it later.

Players: 2

Hasbro’s Battleship is known worldwide for its entertainment value and strategy-filled gameplay. This one is an exclusive version brought to you by Amazon which includes both the classic ships and airplanes.

Although this game is advertised and recommended for two players only, four people could play if they made teams and take turns operating the board and calling space coordinates.

Contents

The game comes with two portable cases/game boards, and each case has storage space on the side for the ships, planes, and pegs.

It comes with ships and planes, and many, many tiny pegs. These can get everywhere if your child isn’t careful, and are also the reason why it’s only suitable for kids 7 or above—they’re a choking hazard.

Rules of the Game

Playing Battleship is very simple. Players take turns firing shots at the opponent by calling out a grid coordinate, the objective being to hit their ships or planes. Each row is identified by a letter, and columns are identified by numbers, so each space will have a specific coordinate such as A5, D7, E1, and so on.

If the coordinate you call doesn’t hit any targets, your opponent will say “miss”, and if you hit them they must say “hit”. The same thing applies to you: when your opponent hits you have to say “hit” and insert a red peg where you were hit. Then, once your entire boat or plane has sunk you need to say “You sunk my battleship” (or plane, in this version).

The first player to successfully sink the other player’s ships and planes wins the game.

Why This Game Is Good for Kids

This version of the game comes with two separate boards so there is no need for the opponents to be sitting close together which can make the experience more relaxing.

Battleship is all about strategy, which helps with brain function, memory skills, and logical thinking. Your child will be having fun and exercising their brain while they’re at it.

Things You Should Be Aware of Before Purchasing

There are some minor inconveniences, such as one of the planes being shaped in a way that it blocks a spot in front of it. The letters and numbers can be hard to read without proper lighting, and the pegs and pawns fit a bit loosely, so it’s not convenient to play on a car trip.

Although you can leave in the middle of a game and come back to it later, you cannot close the case unless you remove all the pegs.

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

Playing board games isn’t just a mindless activity: in fact, there are multiple benefits to it. And nothing is better than a fun activity that also provides health benefits. One of the many benefits of playing board games is the book of maths, language, and logical skills, so you can even count game night as study night.

There is no doubt that board games are immensely fun and beneficial, so you should waste no time and set up a game night for the whole family if you haven’t already.