Although it’d be great if we could stay outside and play with our kids, any parent will tell you that we simply can’t always do that. And while we take our kids to playgrounds and parks to play with their outdoor toys as frequently as possible, there are other factors beyond our control that might keep them inside. Whether it be a rainy day, cold weather, or you simply have other things to do around the house, there’s nothing wrong with getting a few board games for the kids to play with. (and for more indoor fun, check out our list of the best Nerf guns for sale).
In fact, there are plenty of fun kids board games available right now to keep them amused on those rainy days (as I’m writing this, amusingly enough, it’s pouring rain outside). So whether you’re looking for some quiet time or you want a new family board game for game night, the list below has you covered. Here are the top 20 best board games for kids:
1. Melissa & Doug Suspend
If you follow Heavy, you probably already know that I love just about all Melissa & Doug toys (in fact, we have a few of their games on our list of the best gifts for boys as well). They’re always of the highest quality, and don’t include any nasty chemicals. The Melissa & Doug Suspend game is a game about balancing. It’s great for 1 to 4 players, as players try to balance rods on a wooden base without it falling. It’s great for developing hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills.
Price: $14.65 (14 percent off MSRP)
2. Hoot Owl Hoot
Hoot Owl Hoot! is our favorite board game for ages 4-7. It’s an award-winning color-coded cooperative matching game that has two different play levels. So, when your child gets a little older and the original game becomes too easy for them, they’re able to re-challenge themselves with a different take on it. In the game, players work together to help a band of owls fly back to their nest before sunrise. The goal of the game is for EVERYONE to win, not just one player, and to do that, all owls must make it back in-time. It’s currently my favorite board game by Peaceable Kingdom (who happens to have a slew of great innovative and fun kids board games).
3. Pirate vs. Pirate
What better way to fight over treasure than to do so with pirates! If your little one has a fascination with Blackbeard and John Silver, Pirates vs. Pirates is a great board game for them. It’s a strategy game made for the younger crowd that takes just a few minutes to learn, and roughly 30 minutes to play. It’s by the creators of Apples to Apples (which we’ll discuss later on down this list), and it has a fast pace that parents will love.
Ages: 8 and up
A good game of Hedbanz will have your children laughing for hours. It’s incredibly goofy, and it’s incredibly fun. Basically, players strap a card to their head with a headband (included). On the card, it shows what your child is supposed to be. Through questions and process of elimination, their goal is to be able to guess what they are before the timer runs out. It’s a classic game of What Am I? but with a fun, always child-appropriate twist.
Price: $12.74 (25 percent off MSRP)
5. Sorry Game (2013 Edition w/ Fire & Ice Power-ups)
Hasbro’s Sorry game has always been popular with kids, mostly because they love knocking other players off of the board and snottily saying, “Sorrryyyyy.” But the new 2013 edition added fire and ice power-ups that give the Sorry tokens special powers when acquired, adding a new twist to the classic board game.
Price: $7.99 (38 percent off MSRP)
Another treasure game from Peaceable Kingdom, Race to the Treasure has players teaming up against the Ogre by creating their own path from start to finish. In this game, if the Orge is beaten, everyone wins. It’s an award-winning game that is rated a full 5 stars on Amazon with over 334 reviewers praising the game. The art is beautifully drawn, and the fact that the creators squeezed fantasy elements into a kids board game is commendable.
7. Chutes and Ladders
There’s a lot to love about Hasbro’s classic Chutes and Ladders game. First, it’s under $6, which any parent can appreciate. Secondly, it’s so easy to play, that even 3 year-olds are able to play it and understand it. Of course, the goal of the game is to be the first to reach the 100 square, avoiding ladders and finding slides.
Price: $5.92 (46 percent off MSRP)
8. Hasbro Connect 4
Get four of the same color in a row; we’ve all played Connect 4. Of course, we all loved Connect 4 as kids ourselves, and the fun translates nicely to the new crowd of youngsters. For under $10, you and your kids can battle it out — yellow vs. red — in an epic match of Connect 4.
Price: $9.85 (24 percent off MSRP)
9. Candy Land
Candy Land is also a classic board game for kids that stands the test of time. And, like other classic board games, the newer editions are typically under $15. This board game is perfect for a rainy day, as they’ll uncover all sorts of delicious surprises on their journey to reach the castle of the Kingdom of Sweet Adventures before their friends.
Price: $11.99 (8 percent off MSRP)
10. Sequence for Kids
Jax’s Sequence for Kids game holds a full 5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon from over 460 reviewers, making it one of the highest-rated kids board games for sale. It’s perfect for 2 to 4 children ages 3 through 6. It’s challenging for the younger kids. All they need to do is play a card from their hand, place a chip on a corresponding game board space, and when you earn 4 in a row, you’ve created a sequence and have won the game. Super easy, and reading isn’t required to play the game.
11. Operation Game
Sure, surgery is no joke, but that doesn’t stop us from laughing when that classic buzzer goes off in Operation. There are 13 plastic pieces that have to be removed from the patient, and your child takes on the role of the doctor, removing each piece one by one without hitting anything. When you touch the sides, the nose lights up and the buzzer sounds, and everyone laughs hysterically.
Price: $14.82 (26 percent off MSRP)
12. Charades for Kids
Charades for Kids is the perfect family board game for game nights. It’s great for ages 4 and up, and it includes over 150 charade cards that have over 450 charades on them. It comes with the sand timer and the rules (although, who isn’t familiar with the rules of Charades by now), and it’s one of the best board games for families with youngsters.
13. Guess Who
Guess Who has been around for quite some time (like a few of the other board games on this list), but it still holds up today. It’s a guessing game that aims to solve a mystery, with four exciting character sets. It comes with two game trays (one for each player), and players will take turn making guesses and asking questions about who or what they’re trying to guess. Through process of elimination, they’ll be left with one option, declaring them the winner.
14. Beat the Parents Board Game
Taking your parents on head-to-head is always fun for kids, and Beat the Parents is one of the most fun family game night board games. Kids will team up against their parents in a trivia game, with parents answering questions about kids stuff, and kids answering questions their parents should know. The game includes wild cards that could send players reeling back to the start of the game or skipping ahead to the finish, adding a nice element of chance into the game. Whichever team crosses the finish line first with both of their pieces wins the game.
15. Apples to Apples Junior
Apples to Apples brings together hilarious comparisons that adults love, but now there’s an Apples to Apples Junior that has family friendly content that kids will find hilarious. It’s best-played with 4-10 players, and it has a playtime of roughly 30 minutes on average. Players take turns being the judge, putting out a Green Apple card that has a one-word characteristic like goofy, cool or smelly. Players will then play a red apple card from their hand that best fits that description, and the judge chooses which is best (typically, the funniest).
16. Treasure Trove
Simply Addictive Games has created one of the best family board games we’ve ever played, and it goes by the name of Treasure Trove. It’s a game that takes anywhere between 20-40 minutes (dependent on whether you’re playing with 2 or 6 players), and it’s great for ages 7 and up. In the game, players are on the hunt for treasure. It’s mostly a game of chance and luck like Monopoly, but there’s also an element of strategy. What’s great about it is that first time players have the same chance of winning as someone who plays it often. If treasure hunting with your kids sounds fun, Treasure Trove is definitely a game worth playing.
17. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Game is a fun board game for preschoolers that helps to teach them social skills. The pigeon is looking to take control of your bus to drive it, and it’s your child’s job to stop him from doing so. If the pigeon lands on the same space as the player, the player has to go back to start and try again. It’s playable with up to 4 characters.
Qwirkle is a fun board game of tactical strategy, as players have a ton of in-game choices, with 36 possible color/symbol combinations. It promotes strategical planning and forward thinking, as players are tasked with building lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, scoring points along the way. Obviously, the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. It comes with 108 wooden Qwirkle tiles, a rule book, and a drawstring bag to hold all of the tiles.
Price: $24.95 (29 percent off MSRP)
19. Count Your Chickens Game
Count Your Chickens hails from Peaceable Kingdom, and it also holds a high 4.5 out of 5 star rating from over 280 reviewers on Amazon. It’s another award-winning cooperative game, with players working together to help Mother Hen collect all of her chicks and bring them back to the coop. If Mother Hen is successful, everyone wins. It’s perfect for two to four players and ages 3 years or older.
Blokus is a board game that’s great for kids and adults alike, as anyone over 7 years of age should be able to play it and understand what’s going on. It’s a great strategy game that takes less than a minute to learn. Players take turns placing their 21 pieces on the board, with players only being able to place new tiles next to their color. The goal is to place as many pieces on the board as you can while simultaneously trying to block your opponent from doing so. Games last for between 25 and 40 minutes.
Price: $17.60 (12 percent off MSRP)