17 Best Board Games for Kids 2017

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One of the most enduring games for all ages is a board game. From chess and checkers to scrabble and monopoly and a whole lot more, there are simply a lot of board games to choose from. In fact, many families all around the world make it a point to have a board game in home either for family use or for some games during weekend parties. Many individuals consider board games as one of the best gifts they can give not only to children but also to the entire family.

Our 17 Top Board Games for Kids

PictureBoard GameBrandAges
Sequence for KidsJax4 -7 years
Educational Insights The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel GameEducational Insights3-7 years
Melissa & Doug Suspend GameMelissa & Doug8-15 years
Wonder Forge Richard Scarry's Busytown, Eye Found ItWonder Forge3-8 years
Hasbro Pie Face GameHasbro5 years +
Classic Operation GameHasbro6 years +
Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Award Winning Cooperative Game for KidsPeaceable Kingdom5-8 years
Hasbro Connect 4 GameHasbro6 years +
Monopoly Junior Board GameHasbro5-8 years
Hasbro Mousetrap GameHasbro6-10 years

1Sequence for Kids by Jax

Age Range: 4 to 7 years old

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In the 1970s, Douglas Reuter invented the game that is considered one of the most instrumental board games to help enhance strategic thinking skills of individuals. The board game comes with 42 playing cards and a total of 84 playing chips divided into red, yellow, green, and blue. The objective is quite simple – form rows of the differently colored chips on the game board space corresponding to the card that the kid has on his or her hand.

What We Like about It – It’s a very nice way to relive the past while at the same time help encourage kids to think strategically. It can be a great tool for strengthening family ties as Sequence can also be played in teams. 

2The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game by Educational Insights

Age Range: 3 to 7 years old

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The objective of the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is to collect matching acorns in the fastest time possible. Whoever collects all 5 acorns first wins the game. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel comes complete with a very colorful game board that has been shaped like a tree. It also includes a spinner, 20 colorful acorns, and 4 logs.

What We Like about It – The game is excellent for reinforcing young kids’ color recognition, pre-handwriting skills, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. It also helps in the development of children’s matching skills, organizational or sorting skills, and strategic thinking skills. Perhaps more importantly is that the board game teaches kids about the value of waiting for one’s turn.

3Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It by Wonder Forge

Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

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Folded, it’s only about 16 inches long. Once spread, however, the Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It becomes a full 6-foot long board game where kids can literally race around trying to solve the different mysteries of the game. The entire board game has a collection of city districts that is filled with so many fun activities. Playing is as easy as advancing the ferry through the different tiles depending on what the spinner will tell the kids how far they can advance.

What We Like about It – It’s a great board game for cooperative play as the whole 6-foot board game will have different sections that require strategic coordination. It can accommodate up to 4 players at a time so this should be great for fostering strategic thinking.

4Hedbanz Game by Spin Master Games

Age Range: 8 to 12 years old

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Guessing games of the “What am I?” fame are so much fun to play especially when done with friends. With the Hedbanz Game, kids can now have a blast trying to guess the objects, things, or items printed on the card that is attached to the band on their head. The game comes with 74 colorful cards, 6 headbands, and 24 chips. It also comes with an hourglass to make the guessing game more interesting and challenging.

What We Like about It – It’s all about kids’ depth of vocabulary. The more things and objects he or she knows, including their descriptions, the better the kid is in winning the game. It can be a great addition to any kids’ party.

5Pie Face Game by Hasbro

Age Range: At least 5 years old

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Imagine a pie-throwing contest and a Russian roulette rolled into one. That is how hilariously fun the Pie Face Game is. Players take turns slotting their heads through the mask, operate the spinner, and crank the device in exactly the number of times depicted by the spinner. Kids get a point if they crank the device without setting it off – meaning, they don’t get a pie splatted on their faces. First person to get 25 points wins. The toy comes with the pie thrower, 2 handles, a throwing arm, a spinner, a chin rest, and a splash guard mask.

What We Like about It – It’s great family fun. Can teach kids about numbers and helps as well in the reinforcement of motor skills.

6Classic Operation Game by Hasbro

Age Range: At least 6 years old

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Kids will need steady hands to play the Classic Operation Game. The objective is quite simple – remove the different ailments inside Cavity Sam’s body. But there’s a catch. The tweezers must never touch the side of the holes where Sam’s ailments have to pass through. Otherwise, the “surgeon” will buzz. The toy comes with the colorful Cavity Sam game board, a guide, tweezers, and 12 “ailments”.

What We Like about It – Kids will need excellent hand-eye coordination, steady nerves, and excellent control of their fine motor skills. They also need concentration and focus. In fact, even adults will find the game very interesting.

7Race to the Treasure! By Peaceable Kingdom

Age Range: 5 to 8 years old

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The objective of the game is simple enough – create a path leading to the treasure beating the Ogre in the process. It involves strategic thinking as well as cooperative play as each player will have to work hand in hand to beat the Ogre. The set already comes with the game board, 37 game cards, an Ogre snack, a pair of dice, and 4 key tokens.

What We Like about It – The board game is excellent for developing and enhancing problem solving skills, strategic thinking skills, and shared decision making skills in kids. It’s also ideal for introducing concepts in math grids as well as help encourage cooperation.

8Hangman by Patch

Age Range: 5 to 10 years old

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If you love playing Hangaroo in your computer, your kids will surely love the physical version of it. The Hangman is a Take ‘N Play Anywhere type of game that is designed to enhance kids’ vocabulary and language skills. The game comes with 62 letter magnets in a beautiful tin case. It also includes 8 blank magnets, a duly magnetize game board, and of course, 6 body parts of the Hangman. Kids take turns guessing letters that form a word. For each wrong letter, a body part is added to the Hangman.

What We Like about It – It’s small and lightweight enough to be brought anywhere you and your kid will go. It’s ideal for killing boredom while encouraging kids to widen their vocabulary.

9Hoot Owl Hoot! By Peaceable Kingdom

Age Range: 4 to 7 years old

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The Hoot Owl Hoot! board game provides a very interesting take on the classic race-to-the-finish kind of board game. Kids have to help the owls fly as fast as they possibly can back to their nest. This should be completed before the sun rises. Players draw cards which can move their owls either closer to their nest or closer to the sun. The set comes with the colorful game board, a sun token, owl tokens, color cards, and sun cards.

What We Like about It – The board game teaches kids about the value of taking turns, strategizing, and following directions. It can also help foster cooperation, group strategy, and social development.

10The Kingdom of Sweets Board Game by Candy Land

Age Range: 3 to 6 years old

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When King Candy of Candy Land mysteriously disappeared, candy characters took it upon themselves to search for the mighty king. Children play the candy characters of The Kingdom of Sweets as they advance through the color-coded paths across the kingdom. Cards are drawn which can either advance the sweet pawn or hinder its advance by creating a diversion or a challenging activity that needs to be accomplished first. Each section of the kingdom provides a unique adventure.

What We Like about It – It’s a classic board game made more fun by the storyline. It’s thus great for stimulating kids’ imagination as well as teaching them about following the rules and taking turns.

11Connect 4 Game by Hasbro

Age Range: At least 6 years old

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It’s like playing tic-tac-toe but with a very colorful twist. Instead of crossing Xs and Os, kids will be dropping colorful discs onto the grid to attempt to get 4 same-colored discs in a row while at the same time blocking any efforts by the opponent to create his or her own row of 4. The set already includes the grid which can be propped using the accompanying legs, a slider bar, and 21 pieces each of yellow and red discs.

What We Like about It – It’s all about strategy. Kids will surely have their cognitive processes cut out for them as they try to outwit one another to become the first person to complete a row of 4 similarly-colored discs.

12Monopoly Junior Board Game by Hasbro

Age Range: 5 to 8 years old

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Who doesn’t know how to play Monopoly? Ask any businessman today and they will tell you, they have played with Monopoly at least once in their lifetime. The Monopoly Junior Board Game is the kids’ version of the classic Monopoly game. Instead of high-rise buildings and commercial establishments, properties at stake in the Junior include a skating rink and park and an ice cream parlor, just to name a couple.

What We Like about It – It looks and plays like the classic Monopoly, only a little easier for children. It’s a great way to enhance strategic thinking. It can also help in the development of critical thinking skills.

13Battleship: The Classic Naval Combat Game by Hasbro

Age Range: At least 7 years old

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They made a movie that is loosely based on the Battleship board game in 2012. For the many fans of the classic board game, it was quite interesting to see how the grid-based strategic warfare can be made so real. Kids can now direct their own naval fleet against each other in this classic game. The set comes with a unique Battleship Salvo to launch multiple strikes all at the same time. It’s also available in a portable battle case so it can be played anywhere.

What We Like about It – It helps stimulate logic and critical thinking. Contrary to what you might believe, it’s never about guessing but more about predicting based on facts on hand.

14Suspend Game by Melissa & Doug

Age Range: 8 to 15 years old

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If you want an entirely different kind of game yet equally fun and enjoyable for the whole family, then you need to get the Suspend Game. It comes with 4 frame rods and 24 pieces of game rods which kids will have to balance. It can be likened to the Jenga with the only exception being kid will be adding rods while maintaining balance. It’s an intriguing and quite a challenging game to play.

What We Like about It – It’s great for stimulating balance, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. It’s great fun for the whole family, too.

15Mousetrap Game by Hasbro

Age Range: 6 to 10 years old

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Expect so much fun with the Mousetrap Game as the classic race-to-the-finish has just gotten a lot more interesting. With 25 playful mousetrap accessories designed to trap your mouse, or your opponent’s mouse, so you won’t progress, the whole game is a complete playground. It’s got metal balls, 4 lovable plastic mice, and cheese pieces.

What We Like about It – The different mousetraps add a new dimension to the word “boardgame” as it literally transforms the game board into a beautiful playground for plastic mice to scurry around. It’s perfect for imaginative play as well as for developing problem solving skills building the mousetraps.

16Let’s Go Fishin’ by Pressman Toys

Age Range: 4 to 7 years old

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What better way to teach kids to fish without getting your feet wet than with the Let’s Go Fishin’ board game? The set comes with a game board that spins randomly popping fish heads with their mouths wide open before shutting close again. The set comes with 4 colorful fishing rods and lines with which to hook any one of the 21 fishes off the rotating disk.

What We Like about It – It’s great for reinforcing color recognition among younger kids. Also helps strengthen hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as well as quick reflexes. It’s small enough to carry around wherever you go.

17Sorry 2013 Edition Game by Hasbro

Age Range: 6 to 11 years old

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Bet you didn’t know that the Sorry! game is actually based on a 16th century Indian game called Pachisi; although it is largely believed that it could very well be as old as the 6th or 7th century. Now, you and your kids can enjoy this classic game with the Sorry! 2013 Edition. Like any board game, the rules are simple – bump your opponents’ pawns, move your pawns towards your home, or take refuge in your Safety Zone. The set comes with the classic Sorry! game board, 12 pawns in 4 different colors, 2 power-up tokens, and 44 cards.

What We Like about It – The game teaches kids about strategic thinking as well as logical reasoning. It can also help facilitate the development of critical thinking skills.

How We Chose the Most Popular In Our List

Board games maybe very popular to all members of the family but choosing the right kind of board game for your kids may not necessarily be that easy. You really have to make sure that the degree of complexity of the board game is just right for the cognitive level of children. As such, we have done our part to bring to you the 17 best and most popular board games for kids you will ever find in the market today.

We have assigned our team of researchers to scrutinize every bit of board game today making sure that these games are at par with the developmental requirements of children across different stages. We had to make sure that the board game will be able to help further enhance children’s psychomotor and cognitive development as well as help foster beginning emotional and social skills. We also had to look at what other consumers, parents, who have already bought the board game for their respective children and identify any concerns or issues that they may have regarding the board game. Lastly, we also had to consider the board game manufacturer’s credibility and trustworthiness as an organization.

Coming up with a credible list of the 17 most popular and highly rated board games for kids is not easy; but we did it anyway. We hope you will find something in our list that will merit your attention and consideration as a suitable gift to your children.

Board Games and Kids – It’s More than Just Brain Power

Whenever you think of a board game, you will automatically think of intelligence, wit, and strategic thinking. While it is true that board games have been utilized by many professionals to get an idea into the cognitive abilities of individuals and not only children, board games do provide additional benefits other than cognitive.

For starters, on the physical side of things, many board games allow young children to master the control of their fine motor skills. This requires absolute coordination of the different small groups of muscles of the hands and fingers to move board pieces. Rolling a die may seem benign but this requires coordination of the muscles and tendons of the hand plus the strength and balance coming from the forearm and the writs. Additionally, some board games also help reinforce hand-eye coordination and the development and enhancement of their spatial intelligence.

Many board games are best played with another individual. This helps children to exercise their language and communication skills. And since board games have rules, they will have to learn to voice their agreement to these rules. In fact, they have to show understanding of these rules first before they can learn whether to agree to them or not. Now, here’s the most interesting part. If you play with your kids, you have to make sure that you are a good role model to them. In order for them to appreciate the value of rules, you should show them how to follow and obey the rules. You also need to teach them good manners especially when they lose the board game. You have to rejoice with them when they win and you have to support them should they lose. This is very crucial because kids need to understand it is perfectly alright to lose but what is more important is how to accept the loss in a graceful and more constructive manner. This helps kids develop their emotional and social skills.

Of course, board games are for the mind. In fact, many board games help children to detect patterns, strategize or plan well ahead, make more accurate predictions about the possible outcomes of alternative moves, and learn from these experience. Some games have been well-documented to be useful in the development and enhancement of specific cognitive processes such as numerical and mathematical skills, critical thinking skills, and logical reasoning skills. Board games for younger kids can teach them about letters and words as well as spelling which can help enhance vocabulary and language. There are also board games that help enhance color and shape recognition and quick thinking.

Board games are one of the most useful gifts you can ever give to a child. Best of all, it never goes out of style. The board game you choose today will still be used by your kids when they grow up and have kids of their own. Such is the enduring benefit of board games.

Hopefully, you have chosen one or two, if not all, of our 17 best-selling and most popular board games for kids. At the very least, you only have 17 to choose from and not thousands.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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