The Best Kids Games

The Best Kids Games for Family Fun, Connection & Learning

The Best Kids Games

A couple of years ago I shared our favorite board games and card games in what has become one of my most popular blog posts.

We still play and love many of those games but we have also discovered many new games since, both on our own and from your recommendations. And also, as my kids have gotten older (they are 7 and 11 now), their preferences have changed. So it’s time for a new post about our favorite games.

The Best Kids Games, Round Two

I grew up in a game-playing family.

I have so many wonderful memories of playing game after game at home and also when we visited our grandparents. And that’s what I want my children to experience. A powerful feeling of connection through fun, shared experiences as they play and learn through game playing.

Because—let’s be honest—many games are quite educational and help us develop strategy, spatial skills, deduction, cooperation, literacy, and more.

Starting off the day with some bird bingo…

A photo posted by Jean Van’t Hul | Artful Parent (@jeanvanthul) on

This post contains affiliate links.So that’s all to say that I love games and I am so glad that my kids love them to and are growing up in another game-playing family.

And here are our current favorites…

The Best Kids Games

Our top 3 most played games (besides Catan Junior which is on my other post of favorite games for kids).

The Best Kids Games - Qwirkle

Qwirkle :: Qwirkle is as simple as matching colors and shapes, but this game also requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Earn points by building rows and columns of tiles that share a common color or shape without allowing duplicates.

Or try Travel Qwirkle!

The Best Kids Games - DiXit

DiXit :: Every picture tells a story—but what story will your picture tell? Dixit is the lovingly illustrated game of creative guesswork, where your imagination unlocks the tale. In this award-winning board game, players will use the beautiful imagery on their cards to bluff their opponents and guess which image matches the story.

Plus, they now have expansion sets! I just ordered this one for my kids.

The Best Kids Games - Rat a Tat Cat

Rat-a-tat Cat :: A game of suspense, strategy, and anticipation. Get rid of the high cards (rats) and go for the low cards (cats). Sneak a peek, draw two, or swap cards for an added twist. (A poker face helps!)

This is our most-played game ever. It is enjoyed by all ages (even me, at 39) and you can play a round in a short amount of time. We squeeze a game or two in before school or take this with us to the coffee shop.

More of The Best Kids Games

These are all awesome, too!

The Best Kids Games - Press Here

Press Here Game :: Hervé Tullet has reimagined his groundbreaking book in an entirely new dimension. Players take turns completing color sequences by placing red, blue, and yellow playing pieces on one of twenty-five fabulously designed game boards.

I should note that my 7-year-old loves this game but that my 11-year-old is not so into it.

The Best Kids Games - Shut the Box

Shut-the-Box :: Young children will enjoy this as a counting game, while older ones will enjoy it for the strategy.

This is another good one for bringing along to a coffee shop.

The Best Kids Games - Telestrations

Telestrations :: Telestrations is the visual version of the classic “telephone game” where you draw what you see, then guess what you saw to reveal hilarious outcomes!

This is a new one for us, but already a favorite!

The Best Kids Games - Bird Bingo

Bird Bingo :: This beautifully illustrated bingo game features 64 species of birds from around the world. Spot all kinds of birds—from the robin to the puffin and the kookaburra to the splendid fairywren—mark them off on your card and bingo!

There’s also bug bingo and dog bingo. I may order the bug bingo for my kids…

The Best Kids Games - Dominoes

Dominoes :: We use these solid color dot dominoes to play two of our favorite domino games—Mexican Trains and Chicken Foot. There are instructions for other games, too!

The Best Kids Games - Clue

Clue :: Was it Plum with the wrench in the library? Or Green with the candlestick in the study? Eliminate information throughout the game in this classic whodunit. The player who correctly accuses Who, What, and Where wins!

Note :: I was sceptical about this updated version of the classic I knew from childhood, but it’s already a family favorite!

The Best Kids Games - The Scrambled States of America

The Scrambled States of America :: Players learn the names, capitals, nicknames, shapes and positions of the states through a myriad of visual teasers, language riddles and geography challenges. After playing, you’ll see that there’s more to the 50 States than meets the eye!

Not all educational games are fun, but this one definitely is! My kids ask to play it often.

How about you? What are the best kids games in your opinion? Which ones are your family’s favorites?

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The Best Kids Games for Family Fun Connection & Learning

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    kt
    November 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

    my oldest is only 4, so our family games definitely favor the younger end of the spectrum. For his birthday we got him Outfoxed, which we all love. He was a bit young when he got it, but we’ve played it dozens of times since. It’s cooperative, which is also really nice. We’ve played it with kids up to 11, and everyone enjoys it!

    Splendor is the other family favorite. It’s meant for older kids (maybe 8 and up?), but with help my 4 year old can play. It’s competitive, but very fun.`

  • Reply
    Anna Cole
    November 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    An addition for the school-aged kids and up: Codenames. Played it for the first time last weekend and now I want to buy it for myself! Easy to learn, quick, and fun.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      December 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I’ll have to look that one up, Anna. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kaytee
    November 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    We’ve got young kiddos, so we like to get out Eye Found It (Disney version, but the other ones look fun too!). My boys 6 and 3 can play that one well! Especially when mommy and daddy play with them.

    For classic options, we’ll do candy land or dominoes for all of us.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      December 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

      We have the Richard Scarry version, but haven’t tried the Disney version, Kaytee.

      Forgot about Candy Land. My little one loves that one. :)

  • Reply
    Lisa K
    November 30, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Sushi Go and Sleeping Queens both get the most play in my house (I have a 7 year old boy and 10 year old girl). Recently we received Timeline History and Cardline Animals as a gift—they are both a lot of fun, though the Animals version is a much better match for my 7 year old. We also love Mancala, Tenzi, Spot It, Eye Spy Eagle Eye, Apples to Apples Jr, and Scattergories (the kids team up with grown-ups for this one).

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      December 2, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Sushi Go looks awesome, Lisa! I just ordered a set for a Christmas gift. Thank you!

      We love Sleeping Queens, too!

  • Reply
    Louise Parker
    July 31, 2017 at 3:36 am

    We have a 14 yr old and a family of game players. Current favourites include Banagrams, Double for quick and easy to travel with games (acceptable to introduce newbie to at parties). Also, Scotland Yard for the inner sleuth, which now each sibling has, so can’t be avoided when we get together-although secretly we all like wearing the visor.

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    July 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Connection is at the heart of A Penny For Your a Thoughts! Would love for you to check it out. :) http://www.apennyforyourthoughtscards.com

  • Reply
    Linnae
    October 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Tsuro Ticket to ride, and king of Tokyo are all great.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      October 25, 2017 at 5:16 am

      We like Ticket to Ride, too! I’m not familiar with the other two, though. THanks for the recommendations!

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