22 Best Board Games for Kids (Classic & Modern)

Hi! So there are tons of board games for kids these days. In this article, I cover the classic board games that I played as a kid, and the more modern board games with a lot of commercial success (for good reason) for a very comprehensive list of the 22 best board games for kids. I think this is a really well rounded list, so I hope you enjoy these recommendations!

Let’s jump in with traditional boards games first – here we go!

1. Memory

While I know this isn’t a jaw dropping recommendation, this was one of my favorite games growing up (talk about nostalgia) – the ‘memory’ of the red dotted cardboard square, and feel of it in my hands… and of course winning the game as a young one.

It is good for your memory and creating mnemonics to remember where the each card (and the graphic) is placed in the grid. This game will not disappoint. It takes 5 minutes to learn and 5 to set up, and you’ll enjoy playing it too. Check Price – Memory

Memory Kid's Game

  • Ages 3+, 2-6 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Uncredited
  • Publisher – Public Domain

2. Clue

Now I know you KNOW what the game is, but my bet is that you haven’t played in over a decade, and forgot how much fun this game really is, especially for families playing together.

Was it Mrs. Peacock with the dagger in the Library? Keep your accusations and deductions going until you get all 3 pieces correct (who, where, and how did they do it?) Check Price – Clue

Clue board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-6 Players
  • Playing Time: 45 minutes
  • Designer – Anthony E. Pratt
  • Publisher – Hasbro

3. Trouble

I love the tactile feel of the bubble pop or pop-die roller on this game. It’s just a must play for kids and can be endless hours of fun.. it definitely keeps you occupied. It’s super fun to “roll” and you’re always hoping to get a ‘6’ as that’s required to get your pieces out of your HOME area. The first player to get all of their pieces around the board and back to their starting area wins! Check Price – Trouble

Trouble board game

  • Ages 4+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 45 minutes
  • Designer – Frank Kohner, Paul Kohner, Fred Kroll
  • Publisher – Amuze

4. Candy Land

This is perhaps for a younger crowd than most of these other board games, however it’s such a nostalgic, simple, fast — yet enjoyable board game that I had to add it to the list. Check Price – Candy Land

Candy Land kid's game

  • Ages 3+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Eleanor Abbott
  • Publisher – Hasbro

5. Monopoly

I actually, very guiltily, feel that I have to admit that this – this is only the second time I have included Monopoly in my board game lists! It is certainly a classic board game, however I feel that it needs to be awarded with major accolades – because the main take away and lesson from this game is a good one.. which is that you should buy property instead of renting. Check Price – Monopoly

Monopoly board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-8 Players
  • Playing Time: 60-180 minutes
  • Designer – Charles Darrow, Elizabeth J. Magie
  • Publisher – Hasbro

6. Battleship

This is another classic game that every kid has great memories of, and technically you could argue that it’s not really a board game because the components more like 2 plastic boards slapped together with pegs so you can place your battleships but in my mind this still counts as a board game. The different sized ships (some require more hits than others) add a fun layer of challenge to the game as it’s a race to see who can find and sink their opponents ships the fastest! Check Price – Battleship

Battleship board game

  • Ages 8+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Clifford Von Wickler
  • Publisher – 3M

7. Connect4

This is a fun game, and easy to set up and bring along anywhere – the park, a vacation, in a long car ride. Win if you get 4 red or black checkers in a row in a 7×6 grid, where kids alternate turns. It’s always fun to win by almost having Connect4 in 2 places, thereby guaranteeing your win! Check Price – Connect4

Connect4 board game

  • Ages 6+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Ned Strongin, Howard Wexler
  • Publisher – Hasbro

8. Guess Who?

I enjoyed playing this game as a kid, and watching a short clip on how to play, which definitely makes me want to play as an adult. Surely, I along with another adult would be able to eliminate and “Guess Who?” much more quickly and efficiently, right? I look forward to testing this..and back to why it’s perfect for kids – a bright, and colorful game for kids to begin learning the differences in the way the people look, and deduce which person to Guess Who! Check Price – Guess Who?

Guess Who? board game

  • Ages 6+, 2 Players
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes
  • Designer – Theo Coster, Ora Coster, Theora Design
  • Publisher – Cartamundi

9. Operation

I played this game so long ago that I was wondering if it still needs batteries, and the answer is yes! Some things actually stay the same…this is a MUST PLAY as you try to remove all of Cavity Sam’s ailments without touching the edge of the where the ailment is placed.. e.g. remove his funny bone, bread basket, and charlie horse – and avoid setting the buzzer off as you play surgeon! Check Price – Operation

Operation game

  • Ages 6+, 1-6 Players
  • Playing Time: 10 minutes
  • Designer – Marvin Glass, John Spinello
  • Publisher – Hasbro

10. SORRY!

A SUPER fun game to play, this board game does not have dice. Instead, draw a card on your turn to move your 4 pieces around the board. What makes this game so fun? There are many ways to turn to your friends to your right or left and say “Sorry!” as the game provides many opportunities to bump other players pieces back to their “Home” bubble where they have to start all over from the beginning again! While it’s not a complicated game, there are some rules to learn.

Also, there is a variation for Adults!! Instead of drawing 1 card on your turn, the adult version allows you to draw 5 cards, and play 1. Also, you with start 1 piece out of the Home area. After I give Guess Who? a whirl, I am definitely playing the adult version of Sorry! Check Price – SORRY!

Sorry! board game

  • Ages 6+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Paul T. Haskell, Jr., William Henry Storey
  • Publisher – Hasbro

And now to round out the list with the latest and greatest MODERN kids board games..

11. Sushi Go!

This is a TOP game for kids of all ages (and adults) to play. It’s sort of like spoons in the way that you pick cards and then send them to the right or left for the next person; choose wisely over 3 rounds as the player with the most points, by gathering cards including maki rolls, tempura, nigiri, pudding and more wins. Check Price – Sushi Go!

Sushi Go! game

  • Ages 8+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 15 minutes
  • Designer – Phil Walker-Harding
  • Publisher – Adventureland Games

12. Dixit

I write about Dixit in my list of best family board games and it is #1 on this list. This is a really fun game for all ages that WILL be played many times over. This will be a family favorite as it’s easy to learn and so much fun to play. Check Price – Dixit

Dixit board game

  • Ages 8+, 3-6 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Jean-Louis Roubira
  • Publisher – Libellud

13. Azul

This is one of the MOST popular new board games – it has literally blown up, and been one of the most successful mass produced board games in the last few years. This is a tile drafting game,  where you select tiles and place them on your board strategically for points each round, and can result in hours of fun and healthy competition. Check Price – Azul

Azul board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Designer – Michael Kiesling
  • Publisher – Next Move Games

14. Qwirkle

This is an easy to learn, hours of fun, tile laying game. It’s simple yet the mechanics really keep the game fresh and repeatable. Sometimes, the simpler the better. Check Price – Qwirkle

Qwirkle game

  • Ages 6+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 45 minutes
  • Designer – Susan McKinley Ross
  • Publisher – MindWare

15. Catan Junior

Settlers of Catan put board games back on the map in the US. So obviously, there would be a Settlers of Catan Jr. for young kids, with a slightly simpler and less difficult mechanics and game board. The perfect starter game for a strategy game..or more like a gateway drug. Check Price – Catan Junior

Catan Junior kid's board game

  • Ages 6+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Klaus Teuber
  • Publisher – 999 Games

16. Codenames

You have probably heard of or played this game, and if you haven’t then you need to play this game at least once! A great game for families (or adults) you will definitely learn how your friends and family members think, and get into their head, perhaps more than you would prefer. Check Price – Codenames

Codenames board game

  • Ages 14+, 2-8 Players
  • Playing Time: 15 minutes
  • Designer – Vlaada Chvátil
  • Publisher – Czech Games Edition

17. Labyrinth

This is a fun and lighter strategic game, and is a maze that moves, a moving maze! Move the pieces of the maze around by shifting the pieces and collecting treasures on your way to reaching your secret goal before all the other players! Check Price – Labyrinth

Labyrinth board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 20 minutes
  • Designer – Max J. Kobbert
  • Publisher – Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH

18. Kingdomino

**Best Game of the Year for Children – Winner 2017**

A really fun tile drafting game, this is a fantastic game that is not overly complicated but also involves Giants trampling all over your land, and was also a recent winner of the Spiel de Jahres, the most coveted board game award out there..this one is a sure thing, and not to be missed! Check Price – Kingdomino

kingdomino box cover with castle, sky, and tower

  • Ages 8+, 2-4 Players
  • Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Designer – Bruno Cathala
  • Publisher – Blue Orange Games

19. Ticket to Ride

A must play for kids if you like trains and strategy; this isn’t as “light” as some of the other games on this list, however it’s a lot of fun, and is definitely a modern board game class, with tons of other cool editions, and Ticket to Ride Jr. Check Price – Ticket to Ride

Ticket To Ride board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 60 minutes
  • Designer – Alan R. Moon
  • Publisher – Days of Wonder

20. Camel Up

Do you want to bet on camels traveling through the desert? With no real way to determine who will win, and where camels can jump on each other’s backs as they meander? Then this game is for you. One of the best game components is the temple that you shake for a die. Check Price – Camel Up

Camel Up board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-8 Players
  • Playing Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Designer – Steffen Bogen
  • Publisher – Pegasus Spiele

21. Niagara

**Best Game of the Year – Winner 2005**

You could really purchase this game just for the game board and pieces and artwork. It really simulates rushing down Niagara Falls in a canoe nonetheless and is a really fun and strategic game where you can acquire gems and steal gems from other players, and also fall over the edge and lose your gems..all while navigating the weather so be careful! Check Price – Niagara

Niagara board game

  • Ages 8+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Designer – Thomas Liesching
  • Publisher – Rio Grande Games

22. Coloretto

I love this game, and can play for hours upon hours. This is a card game where players try to collect the same colored cards. You can either draw a card and place it on a row or pick up a row of cards; and win by collecting the most of each color that you can, however positive points are awarded for only 3 colors; the rest of the colors/cards are negative. OODLES and OODLES OF FUN! Check Price – Coloretto

Coloretto card game

  • Ages 8+, 2-5 Players
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • Designer – Michael Schacht
  • Publisher – Rio Grande Games
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