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Top 10 Games for Children of All Ages!

I have been playing card games and board games all my life. One of the things I loved about working with kids was being able to play games with them. Over the years, I have acquired a list of my top 10 games for children of all ages. I know soon it will be cold and the holidays are coming up. It has always been a dream to have a fire going, pulling out the hot chocolate, and sitting down for a family game night. Here are my top 10 games that all the children I have worked with over the years have loved, with a snippet on how to play/why I love them. I have linked them to amazon because people are from all over reading this but I want to encourage you to shop at your local game stores to purchase these. I am all about supporting local businesses.

1. Seek- a- Boo

This game is for ages 18 month+. I love this game for learning colors, matching, and working on vocabulary. This is a memory game that comes with four different categories. The images are large and comfortable to see. There are small square cards that correlate to the large circle cards. You can do so much with this game. Play hide the circles and ask your children to find the right one, to only having the circle face up and teaching them to discover the cat picture. You can make the game as fast and easy as you want. I had a few children who would play with this for a few minutes and some for a few hours.

2. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

For ages 3+ years. Very similar to Hi-ho Cherry O’s, but instead, you are using a square to gather different colored acorns. This is really good for building motor skills, teaching colors, and counting. You can also tailor this game for the younger ones who are still learning to sit still through a game. It is also easy for multiple children to play together on their own.

3. Spot It Jr.

Ages 4+ years. Great for just two or multiply players. This game has different cards with a few other pictured items on them. Whoever spots a match on two of the cards gets to keep those cards. It is a great memory game and helps with a learning focus and building memory. It is small and easy to take with you, and you can end the game at any time, making it great for when you have to wait and don’t want them on your phone.

4. Mancala

Ages 6+ years. I loved this game as a child. I was an only child, so this one was great to play with my parents. We played it a ton at school too. It helps with learning numbers and working on fine motor skills. The game is simple. Collect all the gems into your home spot before the other person. You pick up a pile and have to place one gem in each pile till you run out. Very simple and easy to learn. My friends and I would play for hours in our fort with this game. I had a lot of children who ask for me to bring this game too.

5. Set

Ages 6+ years. There is no set age, but I think any younger, and it won’t be fun. This card game is similar to spot it but has a few new elements. You must create sets of three cards, which have to have something in common, like all red and all different shapes. All threes and all filled in shapes. As your child learns the game and gets older, you can add in speed. During the game, you keep adding in new cards each time a new set is found. It can go really fast. We would wiz through this game in fifth grade, and it was a blast. If you are worried about sibling rivalry, I recommend talking about beating your best score. Instead of whoever has the most matches wins, try to beat your old score idea.

6. Labyrinth

Ages 7+ years. This is an ALL TIME FAVORITE! Every child who I have introduced to this game has ended up getting it to have at home. The board is set up to be a maze. Some pieces move while others are permanently fixed to the board—your goal is to find all your treasures before everyone else. Again, I say that I will tell them to find all your treasure and leave winning out of it for sibling rivalry. Each player must move the board game to get their person to their next prize. The catch is the board will change each time because everyone must move the maze on their turn. It helps with problem-solving, planning, building, and learning to stay flexible.

7. Catan Junior

Age 6+ but I would say a little bit older, like 7 or 8+. Up to you and your family, but I have noticed the older they are, the more fun they have playing it. This game was introduced to me by one of the families I used to work with. I love it. You are building ships and collecting resources to help you. This is also great for when they are older; you can play the real Catan game. Also, played with teens. They really enjoyed it.

8. Snake Oil

Ages 10+ years. Great for parties or large families. A similar concept of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanities. Here is the main difference and why I love it so much. You have one person who is the buyer, which changes each round. They have a persona like, for instance, a ninja. They are looking to buy a new item, and everyone is trying to sell them their item. Whoever’s item is purchased that round wins. Now, you might think big deal. You are given a set of random cards with different words like cheese, squeaky, blanket, gun, etc. You have to choose two to create your item to sell. So I am selling this ninja a cheese gun. It squirts out cheese so you can better get away from your opponent, or you can use it for a snack on long ninja jobs. Funny concepts are created. There is so much laughter and creativity that happen. Each person is given a time limit on how long they can pitch their item. After all the things have been presented, the ninja chooses the best item. Again great for parties and easy to end whenever you want. NOTE: If your child struggles with reading, this could be a fun game for them, but it could also be stressful. I know I would have loved and hated this game when I was in grade school because I struggled with reading.

9. Skip-Bo

Ages 7+. Great as a two-person game or for more. I like it because you are building piles while trying to run out of your deck first. It has a good strategy, and it is not too complicated to teach and learn to play. No tutorials will be needed to learn to play this game. Simple and great to play with grandparents.

10. Five Crowns

Ages 8+. A five suite rummy game. It is a fun game for families with older children. We played it a lot in 6th grade. I will pull it out for a family get-together, and the adults will join in. You can play with up to seven players, making it an excellent catch-all game—another great game to play with your older relatives.

I would love to know which games your family loves to play or which ones you loved playing as a child! Get out there, make memories, and laugh till your sides hurt. Play is sometimes the best medicine.

As Miss Frizzle always says, "take chance, make mistakes, and get messy!"

Till next time,

Feel free to follow and tag me on Facebook and Instagram @intuitivedesignsmc. I am so pleased to be able to create a community with you all. If you have not signed up for my newsletter The Permission Slip jump on in! It will be a great time!

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