Ideas for Board Games: Board Games for Kids and Adults

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I haven’t always been a board game lover. I pretty much only played the eye-stabbingly boring Monopoly and Candyland growing up, so I was never super into them. But it turns out when you have good ideas for board games, there are actually a lot that are super fun!

Once I started buying some board games for kids and adults that are actually fun, our family started loving them and my older two are especially into them. Here are some of our favorites – they’re perfect for birthday and holiday gifts, or just for some wonderful family entertainment. I hope these board games ideas are helpful to you, too!

ideas for board games

This post about ideas for board games contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. That means I earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, but doesn’t change your price.

Ideas for Board Games for Toddlers

  • Zingo
    • This is my very favorite game for really young kids. Great for word and image matching and pre-literacy!
  • Hoot Owl Hoot
    • I love all the Peaceable Kingdom games since they’re cooperative instead of competitive, but this one is my favorite of all.
  • Hanna Honeybee
    • This is a newer one to us and is so cute!
  • Sneaky Snacky Squirrel
    • This is one I’d like to add to our collection at some point. Great for color recognition and matching!
  • Eric Carle Memory
    • A fun take on a classic!
  • Hi Ho Cherry-O
    • Another really fun one from childhood!
  • Spot It Jr.
    • I love that this one is fun for a variety of ages!
  • First Orchard
    • Another cooperative game that’s sweet and fun!
  • The Ladybug Game
    • This one is perfect for counting practice for little ones and is just so sweet as you help them get home.

Board Games for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

  • Camelot Jr.
    • This is my number one favorite game for preschoolers and up. It’s kind of like a 3D puzzle with various spatial challenges. It’s so fun, and some of the challenges at the end are difficult even for adults!
  • Sleeping Queens
    • This card game is enormously popular in our house and is a little bit addictive.
  • Zingo Sight Words
    • Another version of Zingo focused on older children!
  • Qwirkle
    • Another long-time family favorite, Qwirkle is great for color and pattern matching. Fun to use it for that alone with younger children, without even playing the games.
  • Set
    • While this one is accessible to young kids with pattern matching, it’s also fun for older kids and adults!
  • Yeti in My Spaghetti
    • Kind of like a newer version of pick up sticks, this is a fun and clever new take on an old favorite.
  • Operation
    • Great for fine motor skills and learning about the body!

Ideas for Board Games for Elementary Schoolers

  • Cover Your Assets
    • This card game is super popular around these parts and also gets pretty addictive!
  • Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
    • One of our all-time favorite family games, this one is hilarious, super fun, and good for a variety of ages.
  • Qwixx
    • Super fun and fast dice game!
  • Guess in 10
    • There are a bunch of different versions of these Guess in 10 learning games, but my favorite is the Cities one. You have 10 questions to try to figure out which city it is!
  • Snap Circuits
    • This is one of my very favorite STEM toys. Such a great opportunity to build engineering skills.
  • Labyrinth
    • I played this game about 10,000 times as a kid. There’s something so fun about a moving maze to get to all the treasures.
  • Exploding Kittens
    • A friend gifted me this game a few years ago and it’s just darn fun. Great for a variety of ages.
  • Ticket to Ride
    • This is a fun and fast-paced strategy game where you create train routes. We don’t own this one but I think my older kids would love it so I’m planning to add it to our Christmas list (I may do the Europe version)!
  • Hedbanz
    • Fun picture guessing game that’s sort of like reverse Catchphrase, where lots of people share clues and one person guesses.
  • Guess Who?
    • I appreciate that the updated version of this includes some more skin tones and women. Though games could still be more diverse, I’m hoping they’ll continue to improve!
  • Sequence
    • This game is great for strategy building skills, and is fun to play even with a short amount of time.
  • Catan Family Edition
  • Carcassonne
    • I’ve been hearing about this one for a while, and am considering giving it to my kiddo who is about to turn 6!
  • Rummikub
    • I love that this classic incorporates sequencing and pattern recognition.
  • Uno
    • This is one my kids always seem to come back to. Perfect for taking on road trips!
  • Clue
    • This one was so fun to play when I was a kid, and it’s still a fun one to play as an adult.
  • Simon
    • I love this classic electronic memory game!
  • Yahtzee
    • Another quick classic to play a few rounds while passing a few moments.
  • Bop It
    • Another classic that has a bunch of fun movement challenges!
  • Quiddler
    • Short and quick and great for building literacy skills. Even short words work so early readers can contribute!
  • Telestrations
    • Basically like a visual game of telephone. Fun and funny!

Board Games for Kids and Adults: Older Children, Teens, and Grown Ups

  • Codenames
    • This one is a perennial favorite to give clues. My 8 and 10 year olds actually really enjoy it, as well, although it will be more fun as their vocabulary continues to develop.
  • Splendor
    • This has been the winner in our home lately. Players try to accumulate points by strategically spending coins. Super fun!
  • 7 Wonders
    • We love travel and ancient history, and I love that this game is only 30 minutes per round. This one is definitely going under our Christmas tree this year!
  • Catchphrase
    • A perennial favorite where one person tries to get the team to guess a word without saying it.
  • Pandemic
    • This is another one I’ve been hearing about that’s supposed to be super fun!
  • Curses
    • I’ve hardly laughed so hard as when we played this game with my brother- and sister-in-law. Players are “cursed” with different and hilarious ailments through the game and have to play through!
  • Taboo
    • I’ve loved this game for ages and ages. It’s just so fun and fast-paced!
  • Scrabble
    • How could I not put this on this list?
  • Azul
    • I love that this one incorporates elements of Moorish tiles.
  • HerStory
    • We haven’t had a chance to pull out this game yet, but I’m so excited to dive in. I love that it gameifies learning about amazing women in history in a fun way.

Best Educational Games

You can find all our favorite educational math games for kids right here!

board games for kids and adults




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