Hi everyone! We’re a gaming family. Not just video games, but board, card and dice games. I loved playing Monopoly, Sorry and Life as a kid so I love to invest in board games for my own children – something I can play with them. Here’s the top 10 list of board, card and dice games for kids right now. After the list, I’ll also share a few of our favorites with you!
#1 – Hedbanz Game
This is a game that we own and love. I have an 8 year old, a 13 year old and a 20 year old and all of us love playing it because it’s silly. You put a plastic head band around your head (it has different settings so you can select one that’s comfortable for you. Then you put a card with an image on it that faces out to all of the other players. You don’t look at it yourself. You go around the circle asking questions about your card, such as, “Am I something you eat?”
The funny thing is, it could be something like an octopus – not something YOU would eat, but someone does. So the answers can sometimes be tricky. When you narrow down your guess and figure it out, you replace your card. Warning: Our daughter always conveniently has to go to the restroom once she’s tried about 2-3 times and hasn’t guessed it right. You see, there’s a mirror in the restroom – but she SWEARS she doesn’t look. Mhm. LOL! Hedbanz is a great, fun game that every age will enjoy. It’s under $12 too.
#2 – Qwirkle Board Game
We don’t own this one but it looks like lots of fun! The Qwirkleboard game is under $17 and is for ages 6 and up. So basically, it’s a strategy game – and although they say ages 6 and up, I’ve found that for that age, it has to be a really mature 6 year old to want to sit there and strategize. Otherwise they’ll want to toss anything up on the board and get flustered when they lose.
There are 108 pieces made of wood. Each one has one of the 6 shapes and 6 colors the game consists of. So you have to figure out how to match the most shapes or colors in a line to score the most points. This is definitely one we’re going to invest in as a family. I love the idea of it.
#3 – Spot It
A little boy in my daughter’s class got this for their Christmas present exchange. I’d seen it online but hadn’t played it yet. The Spot It game comes in a little round tin and the cards are the same shape. There are four different games you can play using the cards.
So one game called The Well is where the players have their cards and one card is laid out in the center. You flip your card up and each person tries to be the first one to find the matching symbol on their card to the center card. (Each card has several symbols on it).
The game is under $12. It says ages 6 and up. They say each game takes 10-20 minutes to play. That’s good for the younger kids.
#4 – Rory’s Story Cubes
I hadn’t heard of this game but it looks awesome! We’ll definitely be getting this one. Rory’s Story Cubes looks almost like Yahtzee – only instead of regular dice there are images on the cubes. I love that this game can be for ONE player or more. So if you’re bored, you could play this by yourself.
It takes about 15 minutes and is good for ages 8 and up. There are 9 cubes that you roll and then you pick a starting point for your story. You try to build a story that relates to a theme or something like a setting. If there’s more than just one player, then all participants build on the story as they get their turn.
I’ve always made up stories with my kids at bedtime, so I already know this would be great for mine. But as a writer, I also like the idea for brainstorming my fiction creations. Just even to use as a fun exercise. I think teachers should have this in their classrooms! It’s under $10 too!
#5 – The Settlers of Catan
This game is a little more expensive (just over $40). But it’s so popular and there are many expansion packs that can help you keep the game fresh and new for the whole family. This is a game for kids between 12-14 years and older.
This sounds like a strategy game that could easily be like Civilization – only it’s a board and card game. You collect resources in the game and use them to build roads and cities. It’s complex, so you’ll have to click through on the Settlers of Catan link to see the board in action and read how it works.
But it’s highly rated and seems like a great addition to any family.
#6 – Apples to Apples
Our family owns this. It’s really for teens and up. We’ve sort of tried playing it with our younger daughter but the topics are sometimes too complex for her to grasp, so it’s better with older kids and adults.
Here’s how it works – you get a set of red cards that have nouns on them. Whoever’s turn it is draws a green card, which has an adjective on it. So let’s say the green card says “ugly.” You then look through your nouns and pick one that you think fits best – but you have to consider the person whose turn it is, because they’ll be the judge of which one is the best match.
If you put down a noun that has a celebrity’s name on it – and the judge LOVES that celebrity, then they probably won’t pick your answer as a match to the word “ugly.” Apples to Apples is a fun game and creates lots of laughs in our family. It’s under $30 so it’s a good buy.
#7 – Dominion
This is a strategic card game. It looks similar to Settlers of Catan but it’s not. Dominion is for 2-4 players. Like Catan, there are expansion packs.
Game play is about half an hour.
The game costs just over $30.
This is also like the Civilization game. You’re building an empire and fending off the attackers during this game.
My boys love games like this on the XBox, so I think I’lll invest in either this or Settlers of Catan to see if I can get them playing more face to face games instead of video games.
#8 – Blokus
We do own this game and we’ve had it for awhile now. Blokus is fun (if you make sure you keep all the parts!). It’s a little bit Tetris, which I loved.
It says it’s for ages 5 and up. You each pick a color and try to be the first one to get rid of your pieces. You have to touch at the corners of your pieces (same colors) to be able to build, so another player can strategically block you if they want to.
I loved the game. My kids can beat me. But it’s fun and every game is unique. The game is under $17 and it’s a good buy.
#9 – Bananagrams
This is a Scrabble type game called Banangrams that comes in a fun little pouch shaped like a banana. You build a crossword puzzle out of the letter pieces.
It’s good for ages 7 and up and anywhere from one to 8 players. (Another one you can play solitaire – I like that!).
It’s a speed game where you try to use up all of your letters first, building the crossword pieces of words. This game is under $15 and it’s a perfect on-the-go game if you happen to be traveling somewhere. I used to travel with my Dad and I know I would have loved this.
#10 – Ticket to Ride
The Ticket to Ride game is another one similar to Settlers of Catan and Dominion. It’s just over $45 with expansion packs, like the others.
You have 2-5 players in a game that lasts up to about an hour. This one is perfect for ages 8-12 years.
It’s a setting in the early 1900s and depicts a bet about traveling around the world in 80 days. Consumers say that the game is easy to play, but challenging at the same time.
I think if you have younger kids, it’d be best to start them on this game and then up the ante to Dominion or Settlers of Catan.
Okay I want to share a couple more you should consider – and one you should avoid.
- Say Anything – our family loves this one. You get a card that you can write on and erase. The person whose turn it is picks a question off of the card they draw and read it aloud. You tailor your answer to the person who is judging and choosing the winner. So let’s say a child asks the question, “What’s the best movie ever?” You wouldn’t write “Gone With the Wind” because a 6-year old probably wouldn’t pick that. You might write, “Cinderella” to win.
- Whoonu is another one we love. It says ages 8 and up but it can go younger. We don’t play by the rules with this. We just deal cards and take turns. So let’s say it’s my turn and my kids have the cards. They will pick one card they think I like best. When I get the cards, I choose which one I really do like best. So for example, my son might choose “sleeping in” and my daughter might pick “scary movies” and my husband might pick “cotton candy.” I would look at the three and choose which was my favorite (cotton candy). You can reverse it too – where you pick the worst one. It’s funny when you play it.
- Fibber – pass on this stinker! We thought it’d be fun – it looks silly. But it’s the most boring and non functional game we’ve ever bought. You put on these plastic glasses with a protruding nose. There are fake noses surrounding the circular board. The board has 4 sections – each one with a different image (witch, alien, big foot, etc). You are dealt a hand of cards and when it’s your turn, let’s say you’re on big foot, you look at your deck and put down however many bigfoot cards you have (or more) and if someone thinks you’re lying they call Fibber. If you did fib, you pick up a nose and put it on (it won’t stay – falls every time) and you have to pick up the discarded cards and keep them. Boring and a waste of money.