We are board game geeks around here. We have a closet-full, quite literally, and you won’t find Monopoly or Sorry or Uno in there.
I’ve grouped these games by the youngest ages that can play them capably, but all of these are engaging and enjoyable for adults as well – no Candyland boredom here!
Board Games for Kids Ages 12+
Bohnanza is a card game built on collecting different sets of bean types. Younger ages can play it, but the strategy is a little too subtle for those under 12. This is a great game for a big group and is easy to learn.
Small World is a board game with mix-and-match creatures that become quite entertaining. It involves light-hearted conflict and lends itself to laughable situations.
Agricola is a Euro-game classic. Build the prettiest farm and feed (and grow!) the fam to win!
Board Games for Kids Ages 10+
Viktory II is a hex-based game with a new board to discover and create every time. The detailed plastic pieces and WWII theme is a boy-pleaser for sure, but even my 8-year-old daughter enjoys playing.
Drakon is a build-the-board-as-you-go dungeon crawl game that is fun and full of mess-up-your-friends’-plans conflict. He with the most gold – kept safe from the dragon – wins.
Nexus Ops is a board game with neon plastic alien creatures who have to collect resources and battle the other teams to win.
Board Games for Kids Ages 8+
The next level up from matching games, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game. Build towns, roads, and farms by matching tiles and claiming them with your “meeples” to win.
Ticket to Ride is a fun railroad board game where you lay down track to connect your secretly held destinations. Collect cards, pay them to lay the track, and try not to get cut off along the way!
Settlers of Catan is a solid pick for entry-level board gamers. Settle a new board every game and trade resources with your neighbors.
Stratego is an old two-player board game similar to Capture the Flag, but with secret army guys.
Board Games for Kids Ages 5+
Spot It is a fun card-based matching game that comes with multiple ways to play it. This game is always a go-to for us as a birthday party gift, also.
Viva Topo is a board game all about getting the most cheese without getting caught by the cat. Simple, cute, and fun.
Chateau Roquefort is a memory-testing board game – he who collects the most cheese, wins.