Top Board Games for 1 to 15 Year Olds
Board games are a classic type of game you should introduce to your children as early as you can. They offer a fun way to learn new things and it’s also a good bonding experience for the whole family.
Know more about the different board games you can play, depending on how old your kids are now, by reading the extensive list below:
Top Board Games for 1 Year Olds
One year olds are still developing most of their fine motor skills. They are more concerned about learning to walk and talk rather than learning anything else. That being said, you might find that most one year olds couldn’t appreciate the concept of board games yet.
It’s far better to give one year olds toys that don’t have any structured rules. Things that has different sounds, different looks, different feels, and the like are toys that they can appreciate. Take this time to let them experience the capabilities of their senses first.
Top Board Games for 2 Year Olds
|1||Lucky Ducks Game|
|2||Roll & Play|
|3||The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel|
Review: Lucky Ducks is a super easy game to play and while it says on the box that it’s for 3 year olds and above, a two year old can easily play the game as well. Since my kids are fairly young, this is a board game that the family enjoys playing.
The rotating lake and the adorable ducklings make everything 100 times more fun. My kids love catching the ducks, that’s for sure! It also helps them remember their basic shapes and colors, and the game even introduces the idea of matching similar items together.
All in all, it’s a game you definitely need to get!
Roll & Play
Review: Another fun and easy game to play with your toddlers! Roll & play introduces the concept of dices and is a great beginner game to prepare them for other board games when their a bit older.
Plus, the die itself helps your kids identify colors since that’s how you determine what card you need to get. The cards themselves offer good exercises as well!
My kids love doing the actions and it’s a fun and silly way to pass the time as a family. Plus, this game also teaches them how to wait their turn (which is extremely important!).
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel
Review: Absolutely adorable! This board game is a definite hit in our household. Your kids get to act as a squirrel with the Squirrel Squeezer and get the color-coded acorns with the tiny squirrel hands.
They also loved the game spinner as well and get a little too excited when it’s their turn! There are many skills that can be developed with this game like color matching, fine motor skills, and responding to winning or losing (nobody likes a sore loser!).
The only downside is the acorns themselves are quite small so keep a watchful eye on your kids especially if they’re still in the ‘put everything in my mouth’ stage.
Top Board Games for 3 Year Olds
|1||Hi Ho Cherry-O|
|2||Count Your Chickens|
Hi Ho Cherry-o
Review: At three years old, your kid can now understand the basics of math which is counting. He might be able to count up to 10 now (good for you!). So why not take it a step further and begin to introduce other math skills?
With this amazingly designed classic, you can teach your kids simple addition and subtraction. They don’t even need to read anything! The game spinner and the act of picking the cherries are fun in itself and I’m sure you and your little one will enjoy yourself immensely!
Just be careful since the small cherries are still choking hazards.
Count Your Chickens
Review: This is a game that helps teach your kids counting (obviously stated from the name). But it also helps refine the social skills since it’s cooperative. Everyone wins or loses together!
It can help kids see that you can lose gracefully and you can just try harder the next time. Count your chickens is a fun and innovative game where you help Mama Hen get all her 40 chicks back in the coop.
The only downside is that it’s not very challenging. Get this game while your kids are still very young to get a lot of use from it. The lack of a challenge may bore them after a while.
Review: Candy Land is a classic that should be put in the top board games of all time! Some parents (and past players) may disagree on its merit but the fact that kids today still play it should earn it a spot at the top!
Candy Land is a visually stunning board game filled with lots of fun colors, beautiful locations, and unforgettable characters. Not only does this board game help children remember their colors, but it also provides them a chance to practice their imagination!
Sure, it’s not that challenging but it can help kids exercise their artsy side so I still think Candy Land is worth getting.
Top Board Games for 4 Year Olds
|1||Cat in the Hat: I Can Do That!|
|2||Hoot Owl Hoot|
|3||Sequence for Kids|
Cat in the Hat: I Can Do That
Review: Can the game get any better than being Cat in the Hat-themed? Yes, it can! Not only are the game pieces adorable, but the game itself is also worth praising. If you have a rambunctious four year old in the house, this game can help channel his energy into something more productive.
The game is easy to understand and is perfect for kids who get easily frustrated. All the action cards are doable for kids and it can be a lot of fun for them to see that parents can’t do everything.
I don’t fit in the trick-a-ma-stick but they aren’t!
Hoot Owl Hoot
Review: If your kids loved Count Your Chickens and is up for a more challenging versuin, Hoot Owl Hoot is the game you’re looking for!
This time, you and your kids need to get all the owls in their nest before the sun rises. The great thing about this game is that it offers you the chance to play at three different levels.
It’s also cooperative so your kids can learn how to work together in order to win. It can also enhance their strategizing skills since all the cards being played are face up.
Sequence For Kids
Review: Sequence for Kids is a joy for parents who are fans of the classic game and want their children to try out the junior version. It can teach your kids a lot valuable lessons like decision-making and strategizing on top of counting and identifying animals.
It has a lot of layers unlike the previous games I’ve mentioned so far but kids as young as three or four can get it so I highly recommend getting this board game!
Top Board Games for 5 Year Olds
|1||My First Carcassone|
My First Carcassone
Review: Carcassone is a board game classic that many love so it’s not at all surprising when they introduced a junior version. This version definitely has a more straightforward gameplay and can easily be understood by young kids.
It’s a great way to introduce your child to the franchise and to the concept of strategic thinking!
Plus, the beautiful artwork present in Carcassone board games can also be enjoyed with this set. The actual tiles are thick and sturdy while the Meeples were made of wood so the whole set won’t succumb easily to clumsy hands.
Review: A similar game to Carcassone, Kingdomino is also a tile laying board game. However, it uses much older and a more universally known set of game rules. It is, after all, inspired by the classic game of dominoes.
If you want to teach your kids how to play dominoes but find it hard to keep them engaged, Kingdomino is a great tool to use. It has a beautiful pieces made to look like the top view of a whole medieval kingdom.
You can make up stories about the place as you play with your kids. Plus, this provides more of a challenge than My First Carcassone since it has more rules.
Review: Zingo is like the classic bingo inasmuch as you’d have to fill up your card. But the similarities end there. Zingo is a great game to play if you’re looking for something quick and easy.
It teaches your kids pre-reading skills since the visuals have words under them. It also trains their memory since they have to continually check what things they have on the card.
But one drawback with Zingo is that it can lead to fighting (competitiveness does that sometimes). Just a heads up for you parents, the age-old argument of ‘who said it first’ can be trying at times.
Top Board Games for 6 Year Olds
Review: Ahh, Connect 4! This has been around for a long time and it’s a very easy game to understand. But since it’s so common, not many people find it as interesting as newer, more modern board games.
After all, Connect 4 doesn’t have a story to tell. It’s all about strategy which I think has its own merits. Your kids wouldn’t get distracted with all the characters and background stories because there are none! They could concentrate solely on thinking about strategies and how to win against you!
Review: Jenga is another classic game that’s fun to play with just about anyone! I personally love playing this with friends after getting a bit tipsy. It adds excitement!
But the same excitement goes when you have young hands trying to remove blocks from the middle of a wobbly tower, so playing it with kids is also an awesome way to do it.
Not only can Jenga teach your kids patience, but it also develops their dexterity since they have to ensure that the tower doesn’t fall. Plus, who doesn’t get a little bit more excited when the loud crash happens, right?
Review: If you loved Pictionary, Googly Eyes would up the level of that for you and make it a very enjoyable experience for your kids as well.
You’d get the chance to wear an awesome pair of vision-altering glasses and be forced to draw things (even when you can’t see it clearly!) It’s an easy guessing game to play that provides your family with a laugh out loud bonding experience.
You could even play it with your friends and I’m telling you now, they’ll have as much fun as the kids!
Top Board Games for 7 Year Olds
Review: Guess Who! is a great game to play if you want to improve your child’s visual perception, verbal communication skills, as well as social interaction skills.
This board game relies heavily on asking questions so you can practice talking and different sentence structures while having fun.
Plus, it’s a mystery game! Who doesn’t love a good mystery, right? I think that it’s good to have variety in your games.
If you have something that exercises your kid’s mathematical and strategical skills, you should also have one that’s more geared towards communication! And this game is great for that!
Review: Who hasn’t heard of Monopoly, right? It’s a universal favorite (unless you’re losing then it’s the most hated game!).
Monopoly Junior is a good way to start your kids with the franchise. It uses a very relatable and enjoyable Amusement Park theme rather than the city building we all know and love.
You can also teach your kids the concept of money and change as they will need to pay ticket fees while playing the game. Plus, they can also start learning how to double amounts since ticket prices can double during gameplay.
Review: Alright, Blokus is a bit of a challenge to learn, I’ll admit. But once your kids get a hang of it, they’ll be asking for it again and again.
It’s a simple (if I can call it that) game of placing as many of your tiles in the board as you can. All you have to do is to ensure that each new tile is connected to the corner of a previous block you’ve already put them.
Aside from the visually stunning look of the transparently colored blocks, the actual gameplay of Blokus is engaging and competitive!
Top Board Games for 8 Year Olds
Review: It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of UNO before. This all-time favorite board game is a cool and visually more appealing version of Crazy Eights.
The rules are immensely easy to pick up so you could even introduce this game to your kids younger (provided that you trust them with not damaging the cards already!).
Since UNO is a deck of cards, you can even buy expansions to make the game more exciting. Plus, it’s easily portable so you can even bring it with you on vacation!
Review: Battleship is another fantastic classic game to teach your kids. It’s all about strategic thinking, and having a cool battle theme engages your kids all the more!
Plus, the game hasn’t changed all that much from when I played it as a kid so it’s also a good way to reminisce and share something from my childhood with my kids.
Battleship is relatively easy to get hang of, and there’s also an element of luck in it which gives your child equal opportunity to win against you (which is a good boost for his confidence!).
Review: With all the mobile applications and computer programs readily accessible to kids nowadays, the simple paper and pen method of gaming is becoming less and less popular. So why not introduce them to a classic game of Yahtzee?
While this multi-dice game does require a little strategic thinking, rolling the dice needs more of luck! So your kids definitely have equal chances of winning against you.
It’s also a good game to help them think on their toes and manually write out their scores than relying on automatic computer responses.
Top Board Games for 9 Year Olds
Review: Telestrations is an amazing group activity that gets more fun as more people join in. You basically line up and take turns drawing pictures and writing words to guess what word the first person got. It’s hilarious when you’re not artistically inclined since guessing can go any way!
It really challenges everyone’s imagination (especially your kids!) and will tickle all your funny bones as well. I recommend playing this when you have other kids in the house to make it all the more exciting because the more is definitely the merrier for this game!
Review: Challenge your children’s growing vocabulary with a little game of Taboo. Not only is it a fun bonding experience for the whole family, but it also allows your kids to exercise their language skills.
Making people realize a certain word without using a group of words can be frustrating and challenging, but succeeding will feel all the more sweet after. You can even invite all the aunts, uncles, and cousins to the fun!
Review: If there ever is a Top 1 Board Game For All Time, it would probably be Monopoly for me. This game is iconic! It’s easy to play, visually engaging, and it can be brutal. Friendships have been broken over Monopoly (but that’s part of the fun!).
Teach your kid’s great strategies. Hone their bargaining and money-handling skills as well! There’s so many things to learn while playing Monopoly. One downside though is that it takes quite a long time to finish a round, so I hope you’re kids are patient enough for it already!
Top Board Games for 10 Year Olds
|3||Game of Life|
Review: Who doesn’t love a good mystery, right? If you’re kids are budding Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys, this is a game they would truly appreciate.
Not only will they be moving their pieces around a beautifully-made mansion board but they will also need to solve a murder case. Intense deductive reasoning and logic will be put to the test when all of you in the family are competing against learning who Mr. Black’s killer is.
Review: Risk is a good game to play with your kid who loves strategizing battle plans. If you’re kids are interested in epic fights like the World War or Inter-Galactic battles, then risk will definitely keep them engaged.
Moving the amazing pieces around the board to attack and defend your cause can make them feel like generals or supreme leaders commanding their armies to attain their goals.
It teaches to be patient and to think very hard about each decision they make (since it can have dire consequences!).
One thing to note though is that Risk takes a long time to finish. You can play it for about 2 hours if you’re lucky, but it can also last for days!
Game of Life
Review: If your kids loved Chutes and Ladders, then they’ll adore this board game as well. The path of the board game is straightforward and easy to follow.
But what makes it amazing is that you get to choose how your character’s life goes! It’s like playing dolls but in a board game set-up. Your kid can have the choice whether he starts the game as a college graduate or as someone who gets a job directly after high school.
The game of life can teach kids that chance and certain decisions can affect what happens in someone’s life. Sure, it’s not a very accurate simulation of real life. But it does have great entertainment value!
Top Board Games for 11 Year Olds
Review: Pandemic is a fantastic and thrilling game to play for any budding doctor. The theme of the game is hyper-realistic.
You know that it’s super possible to happen any minute of any day, and that makes it a whole lot more engaging! Plus, it’s co-op which isn’t something that you encounter as games become more and more for adults (so it’s a good change as well).
You all have to work together to win. Being old enough, your kid can learn the value of speaking out and listening to hear someone else’s opinion. A word of warning, though. Pandemic is relentless and it’s one of the hardest games to win!
Review: Forbidden Island is another co-op game that’s designed by the creator of Pandemic. It also offers you and your kids the chance to make decisions under extreme pressure as well have actual discussions on what to do next.
It doesn’t offer as much of a challenge as Pandemic so you might want to try this out first. Plus, it’s all about treasure hunting, and I know I love that! Forbidden Island has less pieces than Pandemic but sometimes, less is more.
In this case, I think both Forbidden Island and Pandemic are just about the same: thrilling and thought-invoking!
Review: If there’s a board game that I dislike with every bone in my body, it would probably be Chess. It might be an unpopular opinion, for the most part, but I just find it boring to play.
However! I can see the merit of learning how to play this age-old strategic game. It has a simple board and a simple number of pieces, and simple moves (if you’re interested enough to learn and remember them all).
I personally prefer not playing but watching other people in my family play it can be a treat. It teaches your kids to think up of ways to beat whoever their playing (which can be difficult when your opponent is much more experienced than you!). If you add in a timer, you can also keep them thinking on their feet!
Top Board Games for 12 Year Olds
|2||Betrayal at House on the Hill|
Review: Ahh, Twister! Time to exercise your bones and stretch your muscles. Twister is a really taxing and hilarious game to play with friends back in the day, and it can still be as fun with your kids.
Plus, it’s a game that they might even win from you hands down! They’re still more flexible and nimble, after all. It’s also a good chance to incorporate physical activity in their schedules since most games nowadays can be played in TV screens and computers.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Review: Betrayal is a great game especially if your kids love the horror genre. It’s another game with not a multitude of pieces but trust me, you wouldn’t need a lot to feel the chill that comes with this game naturally.
There’s so many things that could happen in this game! I’ve read somewhere that it has 50 different end scenarios which makes sense since we’ve played this a couple of times now and it’s always different! But does it teach anything to your kids?
Well, as the name of the game suggests, someone will betray you at some point. The game also relies a lot on secrecy. You should teach your kids why keeping secrets can sometimes be important (but not if it’s real-life threatening!) and that sometimes people will double-cross them.
Review: As you might have picked up by now, board games allow for your children to hone their strategic skills the most. It’s the same for Catan, but what’s interesting about this classic game is its theme.
We’ve been through the Middle Ages and more modern settings like haunted mansions and world domination. But Catan takes it even further back by ‘settling’ [pun intended] on creating settlements.
You can turn this game into a history lesson of what it must have been like for early people trying their hand at building a permanent settlement for the first time.
All the hard work, community building, and strategies they had to think of and do can be appreciated as you play this game!
Top Board Games for 13 Year Olds
|2||One Night Werewolf|
Review: Scattergories is a board game that’s fairly easy to understand. In fact, it’s so easy that you can probably teach it to someone less than 10 years old.
The only reason I’m putting it in this category is so that your kids are given the chance to actually win. Scattergories relies heavily on having a workable vocabulary since having the same answers nullifies those words giving you no scores.
It’s a word game that becomes really challenging and satisfying because your kids know that they have to think of an uncommon word in order to win.
One Night Werewolf
Review: To be very honest, I suck at One Night Werewolf! Here is a game that relies heavily on deception and I am a completely open book.
But it does make for a fun game to play with a lot of people, even with kids. Sure, it teaches them to lie through their teeth and whatnot but let’s face it, sometimes it’s a useful skill to have. We live in a gray world where white-and-black ideas like lying is bad become highly relative.
Honing their deception and reasoning skills is a relevant endeavor to do! Case in point, people much younger than me win over me at One Night Werewolf because I honestly can’t lie to save myself (bummer!).
Review: Escape Rooms are a type of physical game that’s getting a lot of attention right now. I’ve been to one or two and it’s absolutely nerve-wracking and fun! But you can’t really go to one every single time.
Exit is a board game you and your kids can put on your table top to experience that wonderful, chilling experience that escape rooms give. There are so many puzzles to solve and the time aspect of the game makes it all the more exciting!
The only downside is, Exit is a one-time only game since you’d be destroying some the pieces. If you want to play again, you’d have to buy another set.
Top Board Games for 14 Year Olds
Review: I absolutely adore Codenames! It’s another word game that needs a lot of thinking and teamwork to win.
Think of it as a sort of verbal minesweeper where your teammates need to guess the right words in a grid and not get the deadly one! It can get frustrating sometimes for the leader since you’re the one handing out one word clues but it’s super exciting especially to word buffs like me!
If you want to strengthen your kids’ vocabulary, get this! Get this! Get this!
Review: Scythe is massive! And it has a lot of little pieces that you need to keep track of. If you’ve played video games like Age of Empires, you will totally appreciate this board game. It’s all about strategizing for a multiple of facets.
You’re not just charging into battle. You have to think about your resources and your workers or fights will end quickly with you as a loser. It’s a great game to introduce to kids who show an interest in strategy games like this since you can get an over-all fun experience.
However, I must be honest and say that it’s probably not for everyone.
Review: 7 Wonders is another great city-building gem that your kids might love. It also pushes them to think more strategically than ever before since this game has a rule that you have to pass a card you have on hand to the player sitting beside you.
It means that you have to think two times as much (keep in mind which cards you absolutely want to play and which cards you’re okay for your opponents to have). It doesn’t have an actual board but 7 Wonders makes up for that with its decks of cards.
Top Board Games for 15 Year Olds
|1||Dungeons and Dragons|
|2||The Game of THINGS|
Dungeons and Dragons
Review: When it comes to board games, I don’t think one is as well-mentioned as Dungeons and Dragons in pop culture. I’m not a huge fan, just to be clear.
But I think there’s some merit in introducing this iconic game to your kids, especially if your family is big on gaming.
There are lots of game versions to try out and you can definitely play it multiple times. It’s a great role playing game that can exercise strategic thinking as well as teamwork, so I say go for it!
The Game of THINGS
Review: The reason I’m putting this at the end of the list is because it’s a fun game to play with your friends.
Some cards here might be a little bit too scandalous or outrageous for parents to want to know the answers their kids might say (and it can get awkward from both sides really fast!).
But it’s such a hilarious game to play and I just can’t pass up the opportunity not to put it here. It’s definitely a game that your kids can appreciate better among their friends.
Review: For triva buffs around the world, this is the game made for you! To be frank, the gameplay of this board game is so simple that you can probably teach it to a young kid.
But it does require a bit of extensive background when it comes to general knowledge so older kids might appreciate it more.
Chronology is simple and easy to play but don’t think it’s not exciting! The best thing about it is that you get to play while learning something new or re-learning something you already forgot!
Board games are definitely a fun pastime that you should keep alive in your family. They’re not even in the slightest obsolete!
Sure, kids can get more interactive and visually stunning games in their devices nowadays. But board games offer a much better chance of honing their social skills as well.
You actually need to play and interact with people face to face. There’s so much you and your kids can learn from playing board games so keep playing!
Written By Barbara Jenkins
Proud Mother of Two Awesome Kids. When not looking after them, she likes to blog here.