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It’s that time of year where board games regain their popularity. The weather is a bit rubbish and with Christmas coming up, the good old board game comes into it’s own. Video games and IPads can be great, but they’re predominantly a solo activity whereas board games are a great way of getting the family together and having fun.
By the way, I’m using the phrase board games loosely here. They don’t necessarily have an actual board; I’m basically referring to any game that is played together indoors and isn’t electronic!
I grew up playing board games, not just with my sister and parents, but with my grandparents too and I’ve never really lost my love for them. I have to admit I enjoy playing most of them as much as the kids! There’s something quite old school and retro about sitting around the dining table with our battered old Monopoly board and I just adore it.
Playing games is not only fun for the kids (and adults too, depending on the game!), it can also have great educational benefits. It teaches the children patience while they are waiting for their turn to come back around. There are games that can help with number recognition, counting and reading. We have games that teach them about animals and world geography and history. Most importantly it teaches them to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. They learn that while they can’t win at everything, a little healthy competition can be a good thing.
Most of the classic games are aimed at children aged 8 years and over but what about younger children? Why should they miss out on the fun?
Here’s a list of our favourite board games for younger children.
The boys love this game for obvious reasons. There’s nothing they love more than ganging up against us poor old grown ups! This game basically does as it says on the tin: it pits the kids against the adults in a series of questions. When questions are answered correctly the pieces can be moved along the board until one team reaches the finishing line.
The kids are asked questions that are mostly general knowledge, whilst the adults are asked questions that children are more likely to know. My husband and I failed spectacularly last time we played and the kids won in style!
It’s aimed at children aged 6 years and over and my both my 6 and 8 year old love it!
Not technically a board game but great family fun. The cards dictate what the players have to act out but rather than being films or books like you get in the adult games, they are things easily recognisable to children. For example one may ask the player to pretend to be a duck, while another will ask you to act out cleaning your teeth.
On each card you have 3 options to choose from: a picture (fab for those who can’t yet read), a single word (great for kids who able readers) and a trickier third option which is great for adults.
The game is aimed at children aged 4 years and upwards and I’d say that’s a perfect recommendation. It takes into consideration a child’s reading ability which is a massive plus. A must have for Christmas!
You can’t go wrong with Orchard Toys in my opinion. This is a great game for those kids who love playing shop! It encourages children to learn to handle money and give change as they go around the board buying products with play money they are given at the start. It’s age appropriate and holds both of our boys’ attention. It’s great for teaching them about coins and also improves their adding and subtracting skills.
This was hugely popular last Christmas and is sure to be a hit again this year. It was a surprise to no one that my boys loved this game! The rules are pretty simple. Players take it in turns to put their face in the hole, and after spinning for a number, you turn the handle the corresponding number of times. You score a point for every time the handle is turned and the first to hit 25 points wins. However the handle could go up at any point and splat the player in the face! You can either wet the sponge provided or add a little squirty cream as we do. The boys find it hilarious to watch Dad with cream all over his face!
Aimed at children aged 5 years and up, this is a game that the kids will love.
A classic! I used to love this game as a child and the kids are following in my footsteps. It’s so simple to play. You simply push the pirate into the top of the barrel and take it in turns to insert the plastic swords until the Pirate pops up. Whoever it pops up on, is the loser!
They recommend this for children age 4 years and up and my children were enjoying this even before age that due to the simplicity of the rules.
They now do a Star Wars version with a pop up Darth Vader which looks brilliant! A must have for any young Jedi.
What are your favourite board games? Let me know in the comments!