What Are Some Good Games for Kids?

A co-worker of mine asked me over dinner tonight what would be some good
boardgames to introduce to younger kids (5-7). I have my own ideas, which I’ll
share in a bit, but first its a good idea to see what other folks have already
said on this topic. To that end, let’s head over to
BoardGameGeek to check out some of the
relevant
GeekLists.

The other lists out there are geared towards older / more advanced kids, but
I’ll mention a couple of the better ones:

  • Games My Kids and I Love to Play! – I like this list because it hits on something I’ve learned with my boys – theme is critical! Do they like playing Settlers of Catan and Samurai? Yes, but I’ll tell you it is a LOT easier to get them to play Age of Mythology or Star Wars: Epic Duels.
  • Games Non-Competitive Kids Enjoy Playing with Adults – Some great titles here that my kids have really taken to – Matthew and I played a lot of Balloon Cup this summer.

I’ve already posted Jacob’s current list of favorite games – I hope to
post Matthew’s soon. Here’s my list of some great games to get kids steered
away from the standard roll & move games:

  • Apples to Apples – More of a party game than anything else, it is still a great way to ease kids into this hobby.
  • Fluxx – Many adults hate this card game with a passion, but kids tend to like the chaos and lack of skill required to win the game.
  • Balloon Cup – A great little card game – easy to learn, quick to play, but with some nice strategy. A great counting game for kids.
  • Capt’n Clever – I don’t like this game very much, but Matthew does. It is very simple, easy to learn, and has a cute theme.
  • Star Wars – Epic Duels – A fantastic game and amazing value. Can you say theme? If you have boys that like Star Wars, get this game.
  • Dragon Delta – A great game to move to once your kids are ready for something a bit more advanced. A cool theme and a nice “programming” mechanic that gets kids thinking ahead.
  • Lord of the Rings – The Confrontation – Another nice two-player game with a great theme. Similar to Stratego, but more subtle strategy.
  • Carcassonne – This is an easy game to play, but can take some time to learn how to score it properly if you are learning from the rules. Kids love laying the tiles and building castles.

Finally, it is probably worth mentioning how to find these games. I think the
best place to start is always a local game store. Maybe you have a local
Wizards of the Coast or Gamekeeper store. If your
searches fail, then try one of the fantastic online stores like
Funagain or
GameSurplus. Funagain is my favorite because the
are in Oregon and ground shipping only takes one day.