Age Appropriate Kids Board Games

In a previous blog I talked about the Million Family Challenge and its goal of encouraging families to play board games together. Tyler and I signed up for the challenge and have had fun playing games and logging our minutes. Although we play games all the time, I’ve had to find new games to keep things interesting.

One of the biggest challenges when selecting games is choosing the right game for your child’s age. In the February/March 2005 issue of Scholastic Parent and Child, some of the guesswork has been done for you. They offer a list of some of their favorite games, arranged by age, along with a listing of what skills are taught or reinforced.

For the 3s and 4s they suggest Candyland which teaches color recognition, and counting and also promotes thinking, patience and turn-taking. Chutes and Ladders is another favorite, building on your child’s recognition of numbers and reinforcing their counting skills. Still another favorite is I Spy Preschool which strengthens observation and memory skills, builds object, shape and color recognition.

For the 5s and 6s they recommend, Scrabble Junior which builds vocabulary and language skills. They also recommend Monopoly Junior a great way to develop math, reading and reasoning skills.

If you’re like me with one child, it’s easy to select a game to play even if I have to modify the rules. But when you have more than one child, all falling within different age groups, how do you choose which games to play? In the article they offer these tips:

Play games with each child separately.

Pick games that are simple enough where all kids can play using the same rules.

For games like Monopoly divide the family into teams and give each child a job he can do well.

Which games you ultimately decide to select is not half as important as the fact that you are playing the games to begin with.

What are your favorite board games to play with your kids?