Here in Oklahoma, Spring has come with an extra dose of quarantining and rainy weather. It’s time to get creative and find some fun things to do as a family! At our house, we are dusting off some old board games that we inherited when my parents moved, and making sure our board game supply is fully stocked. This has been a great opportunity to teach our kids gracious winning and losing, playing as a team, and practicing patience while waiting for our turn. I will be the first to admit that playing games with little kids aren’t always fun. Some of these lessons are hard to learn, especially combined with 4-year-olds making up their own rules to a game they have never played. But, I hope you find this list useful and that your time together is a positive experience.
For younger kids:
I know. Toddler games make me want to poke my own eyes out too. But, in my opinion, these aren’t too bad!
Count Your Chickens: This is a cooperative game that is great for learning to play as a team. Practice counting as you collect all the chickens who have escaped from their pen. The recommended age is 3 and up.
Woot Owl Hoot: Another cooperative game that has two different levels of play. The goal of this game is to get the owls back to their nest before sunrise using color matching. The recommended age is 4-8.
Candy Land: Playing Candy Land is a great way to learn counting and colors! Our 2-year-old daughter can even point to the purple spaces even though she doesn’t understand the game. The recommended age is 3 and up.
Hi-Ho Cheerio: I remember playing this game when I was a child. The goal is to fill your bucket up with cherries, but if you spin a bird or a dog, they will steal some and you have to put them back up in the tree. Great game to practice counting, as well as fine motor skills! The recommended age is 3 and up. There are some small pieces in this game so keep that in mind if you are playing with younger kids.
For the Whole Family:
Charades: Get creative and do different themes with what you have to act out! Look online for ideas.
Twister: Get some wiggles out with a game of Twister! Teach young kids their right and left. As a parent, be prepared for the realization that you used to be a lot more flexible.
Yahtzee: Despite not having a knack for numbers the majority of my life, I have always really enjoyed Yahtzee. While a lot of the game is up to chance, there is some strategy involved. Of course, all of our kids love shaking the dice cup for us!
Jenga: Great to play by yourself or with others!
Ticket to Ride: This is a fun game for older kids and adults. Try to get to your 3 destinations, while blocking your opponent from getting to theirs. Our son loves it when we play this because he gets to line up our trains for us on the board!
Uno: We can’t forget the classic card game, Uno. Truly a game the entire family can play. Play on a team with a younger child and teach them matching, numbers, and colors.
Phase 10: If you are getting bored of Uno, Phase 10 is another fun card game. There are 10 rounds you are trying to complete before the other players by drawing and discarding cards, until you get the sequence required for that round. Since each round your goal is a different set-up of cards, it keeps the game interesting. The more people playing, the longer the game can take to play.
Sorry: I feel like no board game list is complete without Sorry. While simple for an adult, it is still enjoyable. Young kids can help and learn number recognition and counting. There is enough strategy involved to keep older kids and adults interested.
Other fun games suggested by polled contributors:
Sequence (there’s a kid’s version, too)
Monopoly (you’ll actually have time to finish the game!)
Hungry Hungry Hippo
What games would you add to this list?