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Monday, April 24, 2017

Top Games for Young Kids the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Family game night is a great way to spend quality time together having fun as a family, but finding games that the youngest family members can enjoy, without boring the rest of the family, can be a challenge! I've found some gems over the last couple of years that will keep everyone happy though, so if you have young children at home like me (ages 3 and up), grab a couple of these and get playing! :)

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I'm listing these in order from the games accessible to the youngest kids (from around age 2 or 3 depending on the child) to those that are best for preschool age and up.

1. Busytown

This board game is awesome because nobody is playing against each other but it's still competitive- all of the players work together to try to race the pigs! It's also a game where, if they have a keen eye and a little patience, the younger kids can often outperform the grownups ;) And of course it doesn't hurt to have Richard Scarry's illustrations and characters! You can get it here on Amazon. 

2. Old Maid

This classic is a great first card game for little ones. I bought my deck of Old Maid cards at the Target dollar spot last year, but you can find them in lots of stores or get a deck online here

3. Go Fish

I found this card game was a little bit harder than Old Maid for my girls at first, but once they got the hang of it they loved it! You can use a regular deck of cards to play (just take out some of the numbers to limit the number of cards each player starts with), or get a deck here.

5. Uno

I was surprised at how quickly my girls picked up this game, and how much they love it! When we first started playing, we all put our cards out on the floor instead of hiding them so I could help them figure out what to play. When they were younger I had to remind them what the special cards did (reverse, draw two, skip etc) but they still figured out pretty quickly how to find a card to play next by matching the color or symbol (great practice in identification!). This is another game available pretty readily, but here's the classic card deck on Amazon if you want to buy online.


These card holders are SUPER helpful when you're playing card games with young kids! It makes it so much easier for kids to hold a set of cards without showing everyone else what they have. My parents bought these for the girls, but I've seen them at Walmart, Walgreens, and a few other places. Here's the same thing on Amazon.

6. Dominoes

There are so many games you can play with dominoes, but when we first started playing (when the girls were 3.5 years old I think?) we would just split up all of the dominoes amongst the players and then take turns adding onto the starting domino in the middle by matching the numbers (another great way to practice identification!), adding on to any open side on any domino. Once the got the hang of it, we started playing more standard domino games, which they love too! This set on Amazon has colored dominoes like mine, which I found was really helpful in the beginning when the girls were first learning how to match the numbers.

7. Quirkle

This one works the same way as my made-up domino game by matching shapes and colors, but requires a little more strategy! This is a great game because young kids can get the hang of the rules pretty quickly but older players can enjoy the strategy that goes into getting a high score. Here's where I got ours.

8. Bananagrams

I know what you're thinking- this can't possibly work with young kids! But trust me, if they are starting to work on beginning CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant), they will love this (simplified) game! Basically we use the letter tiles to take turns making words. We each start with 7 tiles and lay them out so everyone can see, then on each person's turn they try to spell the best word they can think of. Usually I will tell them a word they can spell and they try to figure out how to spell it with their tiles. When they're a little older, we'll start working on connecting the words together like the traditional game. Here it is on Amazon, but this is another game I see in stores a lot.

9. Whoonu

This one is fun to play with the whole family because it reinforces everyone's unique personality. The only adaptation for pre-readers is that you'll obviously have to read the cards for them, but otherwise it's easy to learn and fun to play for any age! Here it is on Amazon, but check around and see if you can find it used somewhere. 

I hope you find some new games to enjoy with the whole family on this list! Have fun!

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