The Very Best Board Games for Every Age & Stage

Stuck at home more than you thought you’d be this year? We searched through the hundreds of games out there and came up with the very best for tots to tweens. Read on to see them all.

Games for Babies & Toddlers

Movement, matching and color/number/letter trifecta games are all the rage with kids this age. Our picks are surprisingly simple to learn but oh-so-much-fun to play!

BeginAgain Balance Boat

Kids will stack the animals without sinking the ship when they play BeginAgain’s popular balance game. The playing pieces are carved from sustainable rubberwood and are durable enough for everything from sticky baby hands to excited toddler fingers. See how many animals you can stack before the boat tips over!

Ages: 3 months-5 years.

Buy it on Amazon, $24.88.


In this get-up-and-move game, kids peek under “Seek Me” cards and then try to match requests under the “Find Me” cards. They’ll put their memory and matching skills to the test as they remember where they last saw a banana, a dog, or even something blue. The included parent guide lays out different ways to play, so that older sibs can get in on the action too, and still feel challenged. That’s a winner in our book!

Ages: 18 months & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.95.

Roll & Play

Kids as young as 18 months can roll the die in this game. It’s big and colorful, and each side includes a simple action they can do all by themselves. Like “Make a happy face” or “Roar like a lion.” Parents, you’ll need to help them figure out the action once they’ve cast their lot. But when it comes to the “doing,” they’ve totally got this.

Ages: 18 months & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.99.

My Very First Games: First Orchard

In this classic Haba game, kids race against a ravenous raven to pick colorful wooden fruit pieces from the trees. With each roll of the dice, they either match the color they rolled with the fruit in the trees, or move the raven forward in an attempt to steal the fruit. Kids can play this one by themselves, or with up to three of their buddies cooperatively. Pick them while you can!

Ages: 2 & up.

Buy it at Amazon, $25.99.

Three Little Piggies

Kids use big chunky pieces to build solid houses for three little piggies in this game based on the popular children’s tale. 48 challenge cards mean your little builder will have plenty of opportunities to keep the piggies safe, whether inside or out, as they avoid the big bad wolf. This quick-play game is not only fun, but it helps kids develop their spatial reasoning skills. 

Ages: 2 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $24.88. 

Games for Preschoolers

These big-kids-in-the-making need a little challenge. Give them what they’re looking for with these proven picks.

photo: Huoy Chen Photography

Share a Berry

Share a Berry is one of SimplyFun's most popular games and once you play, it's not surprising why. Take turns turning your cards over and adding berries to your string (this action helps with patience and fine motor skills). You then either share a berry or receive one from a fellow player. The player with the most berries wins. We love that this game helps with hand-eye coordination and teaching kids to take turns. The game does include small pieces so if you have a baby crawling around you will want to ensure the pieces stay out of reach.

Ages: 3 & up

Buy it at SimplyFun, $26

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

It’s totally legit to sneak in this game, and that’s one of the reasons your kids will love it. They get to play the part of the squirrel, quietly pilfering colorful acorns from the tree and stashing them in a log. But watch out! Your collection can be raided too, or you might lose an acorn on a spin. This award-winning game is for 2-4 players.

Ages: 3 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $14.81.

Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It

Richard Scarry’s amazingly detailed Busytown books come to life in this detective game. Break out the six-foot-long playing board, and then get to work finding hidden objects like balloons, street cones, ladders and more around this busy, busy town. On each turn, players move forward, solve a Goldbug mystery or take away one of the delish food items waiting for them on Picnic Island. This is where all the players are headed, hopefully before the pigs eat their spread. 

Ages: 3 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $18.87.

Press Here, The Game

Fans of Herve Tullet’s stunningly creative Press Here books will swoon over this artistic, open-ended game based on his art. Kids work to complete his pictures by placing punched-out primary colored circles in just the right spot on any one of the 25 playing boards. It’s a chance to work through patterns and logic while creating an artistic design worthy of framing.

Ages: 4-6.

Buy it on Amazon, $13.71.

Yeti in My Spaghetti

Hey kids! There’s a Yeti in your spaghetti, and it’s up to you to keep him there in this fast-paced game. Once you’ve got your spaghetti noodles in place, set the pasta-loving yeti on top. Then it’s time to show off your skills as you remove the noodles, one-by-one, without letting the yeti fall in. He can’t wait to eat your dinner; it’s up to you to keep him out.

Ages: 4 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.40.

Hoot Owl Hoot

Uh oh! The sun’s about to come up and the owls need to get home before it does. Using their matching and memory skills, kids work their way around the game board to do just that. If they work together, there’s a good chance the owls will be safely nestled into bed before the day begins. No reading required for this one!

Ages: 4 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $27.06.

photo: Yulu Toys

King of the Ring

Do you have what it takes to be king of the ring? This quick game is simple fun and can be played with kids as young as four, plus, it's exciting enough to keep adults engaged too! Players attempt to spin their game piece to the middle of the ring, and push other players out of the way to take the top spot before time runs out!

Ages: 4 and up

Available at Target, $15.99.

Games for Grade Schoolers

These big kids have got game. And we’ve got the ones they’ll play over and over again.

Mixed Emojis

Hoyle is known for their card games and we're fans of all of them, but lately we've really been feelin' Mixed Emojis. It's a card game that actually helps kids learn about and express their feelings, something that can be handy in turbulent times. It's easy to learn, takes only about 15-minutes of playtime and is worth every penny. 

Check it out here, $5.99


photo: SimplyFun

Bee Alert

According to SimplyFun, this game takes 15-20 minutes, which makes it the perfect activity when your kiddo may not like to sit still for long stretches or you need some brief entertainment. In Bee Alert you'll find the matching color bee under the hive. Your kids will like that the game taps into their memory skills, but in a way that's different than most typical memory games for kids. While the age range is 5+, we think that it's a great one to introduce to younger kids as young as 3 or 4 years old. 

Ages: 5 & Up

Buy it at SimplyFun, $30

Cheeky Butts

Kiddos as young as five can enjoy Bananagram's new Cheeky Butts game. The hot potato-style game is all about spotting and matching before the timer goes off. Make sure you find the most derrieres, get a ton of tokens and take home the prize for the most cheeky butts!

Ages: 5 and up

Available at ($14.99)

photo: Booty Dash Game

Booty Dash

Don't let this little deck fool you: it's a quick game to learn but a very tricky one to win. One player uses cards to create a "map" to the treasure (aka booty) and the other player must then navigate the map. Battles are done via a Rock, Paper, Scissors model. It's fun, fast-paced and challenging. Plus, the art on the cards is attractive and entertaining. 

Buy online at, $13 

Race to the Treasure

Work with your player teammates to beat the ogre to the treasure in this cooperative game, designed by Peaceable Kingdom. It’s easy when you know the right path to take. Kids map it out, avoiding the pitfalls of the fantasy forest along the way and if they do it right, there’s a big reward waiting for them at the end. No reading required for this logic game!

Ages: 5 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $15.99.

Ticket to Ride, First Journey

A scaled-down version of Worlds of Wonder’s award-winning board game for adults, Ticket to Ride, First Journey is as fun as the original. Using their planning and problem-solving skills, players work their way from coast to coast, completing train routes through cities all over the United States to get to their final destination. All it takes is five routes to win. Now that’s the ticket!

Ages: 6 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $43.52.


Put on your thinking cap to figure out who stole Mrs. Plumpert’s pie in this cooperative, who-done-it game. Players work together to compile clues and use the handy evidence scanner to rule out suspects. Time is of the essence because the there is making his way toward the exit, while you and your fellow detective decipher all the clues.

Ages: 5 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $16.80.

Ice Cool

This award-winning 3-D board game is pretty fantastic if you ask us. To play, kids use their fingers to flick colorful penguins through doors, over walls, and around corners as they make their way around the icy board. It’s amazing how far these little guys can travel, and with a little bit of practice, your kids will be chipping penguins up and over obstacles in no time flat. Watch out below! 

Ages: 6 & up

Buy it on Amazon, $25.99.

photo: FoxMind Games

Bermuda Pirates

What's the next best thing to sailing the tropical seas? Pretending to! Pirates will be called upon to use observation skills, memory and manual dexterity to win this adventurous game that has 256 possible board setups! You'll need to carefully "steer" your boat with just one finger and avoid the whirlpools hidden in the modular game board. It's harder than it looks! 

Ages: 7 and up

Get it here. $35 

Exploding Kittens

Parents will love this game because Matthew Inman (he draws The Oatmeal) developed it. Kids will love it because … exploding kittens! The object is a simple one—avoid drawing the exploding kitten card from the deck. If you do, you’re kablooey and out of the game. It takes a bit of strategy mixed with luck to avoid detonation. But using cards like exploding back hair and rubbing the belly of a pig-a-corn, in addition to playing diffuser cards like the kitten therapy card, players work to stay in the game as long as they can.

Ages: 7 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $19.99.

Harry Potter Labyrinth

The Harry Potter Labyrinth version of Ravensburger's classic game is a great way to incorporate your love for the gamed wizard into a game night––no magic necessary. Try and reach all your targets and treasures as you move through the labyrinth, and enjoy this easy-to-play game with the whole family.

Ages: 7 and up

Available at, $28.67.

photo: FoxMind Games

Speedy Words

This fast-paced game is easy to learn and hard to win! The principle is simple: cards are turned over to reveal a letter and a category and you must be the first person to name a word for that category. For example, the category might be city and the letter might be P...if you shout Paris (or Panama City or Pacific Grove, etc.) you get to keep the card. It comes in a small tin and makes a great travel game, too! 

Ages: 8 and up but if you take the pace slower you can play with younger kids. 

Buy it here, $11.95

photo: Who’s the G.O.A.T.?

Who’s the G.O.A.T.?

If you've always wanted to throw a goat at your family and friends, this is the game for you. One-part prediction, one-part competition, and all parts fun, Who’s the G.O.A. T? asks players to pick which competitor they think will be the best at a challenge, then vote by tossing a squishy goat at them. Try your luck at goat bowling, find out who can name the most fruits and which person has the best cartwheel skills. 

Ages: 8 & up

Buy it at Target, $24.99. 

Kids Against Maturity

If you're looking for something with word play and snark ala Cards Against Humanity but with a super kid-friendly, albeit frequently fart-based humor, meet Kids Against Maturity. We played this game with two nine-year-olds and could barely get through a round without side-splitting laughs. Play is simple to learn; each player gets 10 white answer cards and takes turns asking the blue question cards. Everyone answers each question with their funniest white card choice and places it face down. The player who asked the question chooses what they think is the funniest answer, and the person who placed down that card wins the hand. The player with the highest number of most amusing responses wins the game.

Ages: 8 & up 

Available now, $29.99



In Hasbro’s updated version of this family classic, Dr. Orchid joins your favorite colorful characters from generations past. To play, you and the kids use your sleuthing skills to determine which of Mr. Boddy guests killed him while staying at his mansion. Was it Miss Scarlett with the rope in the Conservatory? Or how about Professor Plum, in the library with the candlestick? Your guess is as good as ours in this deductive reasoning detective game.

Psst … want more classic games for your crew? We’ve got the goods here.

Ages: 8 & up

Buy it on Amazon, $11.26.

Sushi Go!

This fast-paced, pick-and-pass card game will have you heading out for sushi when you’re done. Players keep cards moving, like on a sushi conveyer belt, while deciding which ones to keep and which ones to pass. Pair cards to score points as you race to beat your opponents … but not too many, as dessert is a must in this delish game.

Ages: 8 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.39.

Sleeping Queens

The object of this game is a simple one—the kings need to wake one of the twelve sleeping queens so they can live happily ever after. But upon closer examination, players soon find out they’ve got spells and wands and dragons and knights to contend with in their quest to find eternal bliss. Two to five players are all it takes to hold this royal court.

Ages: 8 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $9.99.


Have you ever wanted to create your own world? With Blue Orange Games' new game, Planet, you can! Players will work to create the most populated planet in the universe by selecting tiles for things like deserts, oceans and mountains and placing on a 12-sided 3-dimensional planet core. A 2019 Mensa select winner, Planet is here for hours of family fun.

Ages: 8 and up

Available at, $31.56.

Games for Middle Schoolers

Once you try out these games, you just might want to steal them for your next adult game night (and we don’t blame you).

photo: Big G Games


GHOSTED is the newest launch this summer and is a classic “whodunnit” game with a hilarious supernatural twist. The first player to solve the mystery of their own demise wins! 

Ages: 10 and up

Buy it at Target, $19.99. 

photo: Underdog Games

Trekking the World

Fans of Trekking the National Parks are in luck! The latest game from Underdog Games takes players out of the parks and into the world. Go globetrotting as you race around learning about new destinations and gathering cards to up your score. The perfect multigenerational, armchair traveler game! The recommended age is 10 and up but we found we could play with younger kids if we teamed up or helped them along with the rules here and there. It's a little spendier than your average board game but we think it's worth every penny! 

Ages: 10 and up 

Get it here. $50

Break In Alcatraz

This relatively challenging game is full of puzzles and clues to solve in order to break in to island prison of Alcatraz. Great for ages 10 & up and younger kids with some assistance. Can be played by as few as 1 player and as many as 6, too, which makes it a versatile gift. 

Ages: 10 & Up 

Shop here, $14.99

5 Second Rule 10th Anniversary Edition

It's not often you find a game that can easily be played by young and old alike. The 10th Anniversary edition of this easy-to-learn game includes new cards updated for 2020. The object is simple: name three things before the five-second timer ends. Each card contains a three-things prompt (Name three kinds of sushi; three canceled television shows; three types of Girl Scout cookies) but it only gets harder from there. The recommended age is 10 and up but we think if you remove the timer and occasionally swap out a confusing card, you can let younger kids enjoy this game, too! Teens and tweens will love it. 

Find it here, $27.50


Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City

This next iteration of the original Machi Koro dice-rolling, city building game turns the original sleepy village into a bustling metro area. Anywhere from 2-5 players engage in head-to-head competition, working to strategically complete landmark building before anyone else does. There’s a whole lot of dice, money to exchange and over 180 cards, which means each time you, play, you’re building a different cityscape. 

Ages: 10 & up.

Buy it on Amazon, $17.49. 

photo: Big G Creative

Bye, Felicia!

Great minds think alike in this quick play party game! Mind meld with friends and family for big laughs and wild word associations. But don’t delay, you’ve only got 30 seconds to list what other players are thinking and match their answers to yours. The topics are random and the fun is fast and furious. One wrong guess and it’s BYE, FELICIA!

Ages: 12 & up

Buy it at Target, $17.99. 


Great for families with older kids, Doubles! is a fast-paced game where players use a spinner to pick a letter, then quickly try to complete their categories before their opponent rolls a double and steals the board. Have younger kids in the fam? The game makers have made it easy to tone done for littles, too.

Ages: 12 and up

Available at, $19.99.

Cashflow for Kids

There is no such thing as being too young to learn about financial literacy. CASHFLOW for kids is a great game to play and teach kids in an interesting way about financial lessons. Learn core principles of income, debt, cash flow and capital gains as well as assets and liabilities in a fun, easy-to-understand way. 

Get it here, $69.99. 

—Allison Sutcliffe

Editor’s Note: Prices are current at the time of publication.

Images courtesy of manufacturers.



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