Sorry! is an almost century-old game that’s still fun for kids of all ages today. The new version of the game doesn’t require a special card to start off, making it a little easier on the youngest players.
Each player has four pawns they need to get from Start to Home, with the help or hindrance of a set of cards that can send you all over the board, even to switch places with another player!
Sorry! gives little ones the chance to practice patience, counting to move their pieces and can help them learn a little about luck and dealing with setbacks. There’s a good reason this simple, inexpensive game is a classic.
Best Educational Game
The original Ticket to Ride series of games have enjoyed widespread success among adults, and now little adventurers can ride too!
In this game, players explore the United States by building transcontinental railroad tracks and trying to win half a dozen train tickets before other players. They’ll have a blast while learning about the geography and important landmarks of the US.
This is a fun game for any youngsters interested in trains or US history. It’s fairly quick for a couple players, but long enough to occupy kids for a while.
Best Imaginative Game
Charades is the classic rainy day activity. Silently acting out clues for other players to guess gets kids up and moving and sets their brains working, all while having fun!
The cards contained in this game give wonderful clues for little ones, simple enough for their limited life experience, but perfect for using their imaginations and being silly, while helping the other players guess the clues.
It’s perfect for just a few players or a big group. The game has three different difficulty levels so it grows with your children and is sure to be a family favorite for years.
Clack! is a great game for a group with mixed ages, simple enough for young children, but still fun for the grown-ups, too. It’s quick to learn and easy to start without a lot of set-up time.
Clack! is played with colorful magnetic discs and two dice. The roll of the die determines the shape and color combinations everyone has to search for. Move fast, but don’t grab the wrong discs or you’ll have to return them to the table, along with another as a penalty!
This is a simple, entertaining game for a game night or a rainy afternoon.
Mouse Trap is a silly game that the nineties kids now parenting their own little ones are sure to remember fondly. Players work to simultaneously collect wedges of cheese while escaping the wild Rube-Goldberg contraption trying to capture their mouse playing pieces.
The suspense builds as you construct the elaborate mousetrap during play. After the mousetrap is finished, players can attempt to capture their opponents in it. The laughs start when you turn the crank and watch whether the device works or fails. The last mouse free is the winner.
Mouse Trap is fun for big and little kids alike and will get the whole family giggling.
Just like the grown-up version of Settlers of Catan, young explorers will search for gold and journey through tropical islands, but instead of playing settlers, in their version of the game, kids get to be pirates and build pirate’s lairs!
As they build their lairs, kids can collect and trade resources with fellow players, as well as deal with the Ghost Captain, who blocks resource production. Unlike the adult game, kids don’t have to hold a hand of cards, but can place their resource tiles on the play surface in front of them. Even though it’s simplified for children, this is still a great Catan game, fun for the whole family!
Best Cooperative Game
Work together with your friends to create just the right potion to break the wizard’s spell and save the kingdom. The wizard will try to stop you as you search for colorful hidden potion ingredient tokens and try to get them into the cauldron.
This fun and exciting game allows kids to practice communicating, working together, planning ahead, and solving problems while having a blast on a magical adventure. The round board and gorgeous colors gives it a different feel than a lot of traditional board games.
Connect 4 is a quick, simple game that never gets old. Drop your colored tiles into the upright game board to get four in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, but your opponent on the other side is trying to accomplish the same goal–and stop you from connecting four first!
Kids will practice planning their moves a couple steps ahead and watch as their pieces stack up! Fun for youngsters and adults alike, Connect 4 is a classic favorite to pull out while you’re waiting for supper to be ready or on a quiet afternoon and is sure to be requested again and again!
Teaches Kids Spacial Recognition & Planning
Blokus is quick and simple to learn for even young players, but can be a challenging game even for the grown-ups. This game of strategy has kids taking turns placing colored tetris-shaped pieces on the board, ensuring that they touch another piece of the same color, but only on the corners. Block your opponents from being able to play their pieces and play until no one can place another piece. The winner is the person with the fewest pieces left!
Wildcraft is a great cooperative game for family game nights or long, rainy afternoons. It comes with a story to tell as the players hike up the mountain to pick huckleberries for Grandma.
Contend with stinging plants, mosquito bites, and slippery rocks and help each other with healing plants you find along the way. Gather your huckleberries at the top of the mountain, then race the sun to get back to Grandma and Grandpa’s cottage before dark and keep your eyes open–you just might spot a fairy!
Wildcraft is definitely on the longer side, so skip this one if your kid prefers quick games, although if you skip the story component, the game can go a good bit faster. The lovely art and wholesome nature of the game keep parents happy and the adventure of hiking the mountain alone and meeting fairies keeps kids coming back for more!
Best Active Game
Twister is the classic game to get everyone up and moving, beat cabin fever, and inspire lots of laughs. Stretch, bend, twist and tangle your way into fits of giggles as you try to follow the simple–but not so easy–instructions and match your hands and feet to the colored spots.
All Twister requires is the colorful playmat and spinner to provide loads of fun for all ages and will be sure to liven up your next rainy afternoon.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Spot It! Is good fun for kids and grown-ups alike. This inexpensive set of round cards comes in a handy tin to carry with you, perfect for entertaining bored and impatient kids in waiting rooms, at restaurants or while traveling. Simple to learn, but challenging to master, Spot It! is a simple, versatile game that will test your dexterity and keep kids coming back for more!
Best for Wide Age Range
Qwirkle is a silly name for a fun game! With easy-to-understand rules and no gimmicky characters this one really does span all age ranges. Mix and match the colorful tiles in rows or columns of six to win. It’s easy enough for really young kids to enjoy, but the strategic planning and tactics can even keep adults engaged. The longer gameplay of Qwirkle and mass appeal make it a great choice for family game night.
Best for Animal Lovers
Similar to the classic Twenty Questions, Animal Planet–Guess in 10 can be played by two players or in two teams. One team has a card with an animal on it and the other asks yes or no questions to guess the animal correctly. Collect the most animal cards for your team to win!
The game even includes helpful clue cards in case you get stumped. You can’t beat a good educational game that gets the little animal lover in your home involved and learning the critical thinking skills required to ask useful questions, but after you’ve played enough times to learn the animals, the game loses replayability.
This twist on the classic marble drop game Kerplunk is an adorable reimagining of a fun game. The game base is tree-shaped and instead of marbles, your sticks hold up sloths. This version also includes a die indicating which color plastic stick you have to pull. Although this game is heavy on setup time, it’s lots of fun for kids, as well as developing their spatial reasoning and strategy skills. Pull out as many sticks as you can, but choose carefully; you don’t want the sloths to go “kerplunk!”
Best Memory Game
Move around the game board by answering questions based on a card you got to stare at for 30 seconds. When you get a question wrong, your opponent gets a turn. Develop concentration, focus, pattern recognition, and attention to detail, all while having a blast!
If you’re playing with the whole family, expect it to take a good bit longer, so it could be a great choice for family game night! The Junior edition of this award-winning game features bigger cards that are easier for little hands to hold, 160 cards, and almost a thousand questions, so you can play over and over again!
Kids will have so much fun guessing who their opponent’s person is, they won’t even realize all the useful skills they’re learning. From process of elimination and attention to detail to descriptive language and turn taking, the two boards full of colorful faces will keep kids guessing who their opponent is hiding for hours.
This quick, fun game has remained a favorite for decades and is still one of the best board games for 6 year olds. Kids love coming up with new questions to solve the mystery and trying to guess before their opponent.
This is not quite the classic Scrabble game you know, but it’s perfect for developing readers! It comes with fun and colorful playing pieces and the board is set up with a side for early readers and a side for more accomplished readers, making this game perfect for young kids since it grows with them. Play this kids’ word-building game with your little wordsmiths and soon they’ll be joining you for grown-up Scrabble on family game night.
Take turns listing three things in a topic without reusing any answers from previous players. And do it all in five seconds! 5 Second Rule Jr. will have you in stitches with the hilarious answers people will come up with to try to beat the clock.
Even though the topics in the junior version of this game are designed for younger kids, you may have to give the littlest players a little more time to come up with their answers. The fact that the game is so open-ended means endless replayability and fun for all ages. The whole family will be laughing with this fun, fast-paced game!
Set up a maze for a hex bug to follow and keep it from getting through the kitchen. Just roll the die and blockits path by moving spoons, knives, and forks in the hex bug’s way. Kids will practice logic, strategy, and planning skills while having a great time with this quick and simple game. If you kids already love hex bugs, this game becomes even more fun, because they can replace the bug that comes with the game with any other hex bug!
This fun and goofy game based on the beloved My Weird School books by Dan Gutman allows kids to stretch their creative muscles by building wacky sentences with a set of cards. Whether or not your kids are already fans of the book series, they’re sure to enjoy playing Miss Bernard is a Wild Card! The whole family can have a great time while the kids learn strategy, math, reading, and more with this silly educational game.
Keep a cool head and a steady hand while you try to relieve your patient of thirteen illnesses. Pluck the offending elements from your patient’s body with a pair of tweezers, but watch out when the buzzer sounds and the patient’s nose lights up! If you aren’t careful to touch the sides of the part you’re operating on your turn is over.
This classic game is even a fun introduction to several common idioms and is sure to bring a chuckle with ailments like “brain freeze,” imagined as ice cream in the patient’s brain and “Charlie horse,” as a horse in the patient’s calf. Operation is great for family game nights, playtime with siblings or friends, or as a solo challenge, so you can’t beat the versatility of this long-adored game.
If your kids have trouble slowing down and thinking before they speak, this game is a fun way to get them doing just that. With Stop, Relax & Think, kids can practice fine motor control, work on problem solving, and learn relaxation skills and how to express their feelings better. Even therapists and counselors use Stop, Relax & Think to get their young clients talking about how they feel, so you know it works! Since the game can be played with up to six people, the whole family can sit down and play and kids get the benefit of seeing you modeling how to talk about feelings.
Best for Girls
This classic has been produced in many themes and with the renewed popularity of the Trolls franchise, this one is sure to be a hit! The pieces are even adorable trolls figures, although unfortunately, you can’t style their hair.
The classic pop-O-matic popper means no dice to lose and certainly makes it more fun for little kids to roll. There’s a reason this game has stuck around in so many different formats; it’s simple to learn, usually quick to play, and doesn’t try to force any lessons. It’s just basic turn-taking and fun!
Best for Boys
Naval Battle, an exciting version of the classic battleship game, is definitely one of the best board games for 6 year olds. It comes with a beautifully illustrated, two-sided board and six colorful ship pieces (three for each player) that come with little sails you can use to personalize your ships.
Each ship has its own movement and firing rules, making the game extra fun while kids practice strategy and logic and even learn a little about naval history. Players sail the seas and try to ambush their opponent while hiding behind islands to avoid being hit with their opponent’s cannons. Naval Battle is a straightforward introduction to strategic games that kids are sure to enjoy.
This adorable little cooperative game has kids working to put together the information they need to move the magnetic gnome through the maze and gather Queen Benevolence’s stolen treasure before time runs out!
Each player has their own side of the game board and can’t peek at the other player’s maze, but they must work together to win, so Gnomes at Night is wonderful for developing teamwork and communication. The game comes with four different boards, each progressively more challenging, so the game can be exciting even for older players.
The rules to this ancient game are easy to learn, but people have been playing since at least the 7th century, so there’s plenty of strategy to keep kids and adults playing Mancala over and over. This beautiful wooden board comes with 48 animal shaped “gemstone” playing pieces. Players must count the beads they use each turn, dropping one in each divot around the board, and try to end the game with the largest collection of stones.
If your child has ever said, “I want to make video games when I grow up,” this is the game for them.With three different difficulty levels, Mastermind for Kids has staying power. It’s a little complicated, but kids will be able to enjoy the game for years to come. Kids get to learn non-digital coding with a fun and complex jungle-themed game. Mastermind for Kids will have them practicing their logic and deductive reasoning skills to become the ultimate code master.
This fast-paced trivia game is perfect for family game nights. Although the game can be played with only two players, it’s way better with a crowd. Give the kids the chance to team up and see which generation knows more about the other. The first team to get all of their pieces across their side of the board wins. Although Beat the Parents has the same drawback as most trivia games, that its shelf-life is limited by how quickly your family learns the facts on the cards, this is a relatively inexpensive game that is a great time for the whole family.
If your family loved Beat the Parents or are diehard Disney fans, Disney’s special edition of Beat the Parents will be a huge hit in your house! The playing pieces are colorful mouse ears and the board is decked out with Disney characters, so it’s easy to get into the spirit of the game.
The questions are less trivia and more of a parent/child “dating game” where you have to guess what your opponents would answer. It tends to be a little pricier than the original, but Disney buffs will have a great time going head to head in this epic battle of the generations!
No board game review would be complete without some version of Monopoly and Monopoly Junior must be included among the best board games for 6 year olds because of its enduring appeal. There are loads of versions of Monopoly Junior out there, but the classic amusement park themed game is accessible and fun for most every kid. Sell tickets for rides and on the boardwalk in easier-to-manage quantities than the original game and vie with your friends to earn the most money.
Taco Tuesday and family game night? Si, por favor! This frantically fast game will have kids cooking up delicious tacos in record time. Hurry to stuff your taco shell with the correct fillings, but don’t grab a cockroach or you’ll have to start over! Complete your secret recipe first to earn a point and try to collect Antacid cards to slow your opponents down. Be the first to earn three points and you are crowned the Taco Champion. Ole!
Choose your challenge and get your ice cream truck through the traffic jam! The kids’ version of this classic brain teaser comes with its own carrying bag and a space to store the set of forty challenge cards for maximum portability. This is one of the best board games for 6 years to bring along in the car or wherever they might need to sit and wait. Keep young minds active and get those logic gears turning as they move the cars in just the right order to get the ice cream truck through before the ice cream can melt.
First, make sure you know what you’re looking for! Tabletop gaming can be pricey, so do your research before you buy. Reading reviews is helpful so you know what games are more likely to suit your child’s style. Extremely competitive kids may struggle with games like Trouble that can have lots of unlucky setbacks. Quieter kids may not like games that require a lot of chatter or tend to get very noisy or active.
Fortunately, there are a couple ways to make sure a game will work for your child. If you have a local game library, you can try games before you buy and quite a few games have online or print & play versions you can try before you shell out the cash for a physical copy.
Make sure your game is in your language and printed by the game’s publisher. A counterfeit is likely to be far lower quality.
Board games are often produced in small batches, so prices can fluctuate wildly based on scarcity. When games hit a popularity surge, they will often sell for double the RRP (recommended retail price). If there’s a game you really want that tends toward the more expensive side, keep an eye on it for a while and see if you can buy it when a new run is produced to take advantage of the lower prices. Waiting for a reprint can also mean you may get a game where any printing errors in earlier releases have been corrected.