If you haven’t noticed we play a lot of games. We LOVE games of all kinds! My son and I decided to come up with a list of some of our favorites in case anyone wants suggestions for the holidays or birthday presents. The Diva has a few favorites for the 2-3 crowd too and I even have a few for the older kids.
I can’t include every game we like so I am listing only those that are our top picks and the games we play a LOT. I even included the price (prices are suggested retail and may vary on amazon) and a link to purchase on Amazon! If I have done a review on the game (which honestly is mostly the case here) there is a link for that too. Everything you need in one post!
I’m grouping them by the youngest age that you CAN play with. Not the recommended age. The game companies have to list a recommended age based on the youngest that they play test and safety test from. That doesn’t mean that age is THE youngest. You can adapt ANY game for younger kids.
I’m not going to go into great detail on how to play the games or anything. Just going to tell you a little about each but the links will help with explanation and how to adapt to younger kids in most cases. Enjoy!
The games listed here are great for any age but you can start around 2-3 years old. In most cases you don’t have to modify the game much either. Usually just taking out the speed and competition element are enough. There a TOO many games that would work but these are the ones we chose for our Game Guide.
Bug Out is a fantastic game you can play anywhere. You can play a run around version of it by scattering the bugs on the floor or you can play a more calm version on a table. It comes in a card size plastic case making it easy to keep with you so you can play anywhere. For 2 year olds you might just cut the pairs down to a 6 for a start and focus on finding matches.
Bunny Peek A Boo
Bunny Peek a Boo is a puzzle designed for the toddler age that features four big, high quality wooden blocks. With Bunny Peek a Boo children attempt to put the Bunny and blocks together in order to match one of 60 challenges included! Bunny Peek-A-Boo is a fantastic and fun introduction to concepts such as logic, problem solving, and spatial dynamics.
Spot It Jr! – Animals and Spot It Alphabet
Spot it Jr.! is a fun way to sharpen kids’ cognitive speed and visual perception skills. My kids both love this game! We discovered Spot It when the Gentleman was 3 but since it is a matching game you can work with your 2-3 year old so they can play too. You would simply make it a slow paced turn taking matching game or you could just focus on finding the match.
This is a great starter logic puzzle game for 2 to 3 year olds. You will have to show them that the tower parts can go in the blocks sideways too and when you set up the puzzles you might start with the blocks in the correct position and maybe even already stacked until they get the hang of it. Then they can just put the tower parts in to start. Even if they simply play their own way to start this game will have them solving puzzles in no time.
These games are better for 3-5 years old. 2 year olds can play on some level but you will have to adjust for 3 years in some cases as it is. In my reviews I try to show how to play normally and how to adjust for younger kids. If I don’t have a review on a game I will try to briefly explain how I would adjust the game.
LEGO The Hobbit Game
Purchase $19.99 (Price varies greatly)
This game is a new twist on Memory. I would say even 2 years old could play except for the tiny piece element. If your child puts things in his mouth do not try this game yet. You will have to either pre-build or help your child build the game first. After that it becomes a simple memory game. Adjust by taking turns moving and selecting a house to find matches only. The game will be fun for years!
This game is amazingly fun and easy to learn. I would even say 2 year olds could play with help but 3 – 5 can easily play with no or very little help. The players take turns drawing and placing tiles, either adding to their own monsters or to other player’s monsters. The player who has created the biggest monster wins the game! The rules for where tiles can be placed is where the help will come in but the game is made up of ONLY tiles so you can throw them in a little bag and take it with you everywhere.
7 ate 9
This game is more meant for kids learning to add and subtract and designed for kids ages 8+. I taught my 5 year old how to play using counting bears and an alternate method. Players add, or subtract, 1, 2, or 3 to the number on the top card on the pile to determine if they have a card that can be played next. I even adjusted for 3-5 assuming they can count to 13 and identify numbers 1 – 10. If not this is a great way to help with that too! My review explains further on how to adjust for 3/4 and 4-6 ages.
The games listed here are once again my recommended age they CAN start to play. The games themselves have different recommended ages but my recommendation is based on bringing the games down to my kids level of understanding and patience. You know your kid best so keep that in mind and adjust the games how you need too. Some of the games listed in the 3-5+ group also fit here of course. 4 is just the youngest I would try to play these games with.
Got Em! is recommend for ages 8+ but I am pretty sure that is because of the reading factor. However, kids around 4/5 can play this game easily and do not need to know how to read. You might teach them a couple words or adjust the game play so they only use the color and move one space. Playing at that level any child can play if they know their colors. VERY fun game! Bonus the other side is solid white and teens and adults LOVE it too!
SET Junior is one of those grow with your kid games. The board has two sides which is fantastic! Start on one side until they master creating Sets on their own and then flip the board for a whole new game! My 3 year old is using the board to find matches right now and we are learning about patterns with it, but 4/5 can play this one easily.
Single player puzzle fun! You will have to show younger kids how to play and then a few tips like turning the stair ones horizontal sometimes but other than that they will be able to do the puzzles or just play with the blocks on their own. It is a great game for 4+ and the challenges of course get tougher so again it grows with your kid! I haven’t reviewed this one yet but we own it and LOVE it!
Explore the Seas! Catan: Junior™ introduces a modified playing style of the classic game giving younger players the opportunity to experience the world of Catan! Designed for players as young as 5 and is a perfect introduction to the Catan series of games for kids and families. My son (and my husband and I) LOVE this game! Pirates! You play as pirates with little ships and skull lairs and they have parrot cards! Seriously a whole lot of fun and it is designed for 5 year olds! (4 year old children can also play with a little help)
Also single player but this one is fantastic because it helps encourage creativity, design skills and logic skills. The puzzles are challenging enough for older kids but the first few are great for younger kids. They can also come up with their own combinations of shapes layered on top of each other to create new and fabulous designs!
Zombie Pox is an awesome game where you have to try to save people. Well little pictures of people from a zombie outbreak. My son played at 4 with NO problems! Just a quick tutorial for him and he had it down and was even teaching others! They don’t have to know how to read to play but watch out for small parts.
Heroica Lego Games
Purchase $16.99 – $34.99
These games are fabulous! Not sure where you can find them besides Amazon now though. Kids will need help building the board or you can pre-build it easily with no kid help =D. After it’s built it is a simple roll the die, move spaces fight bad guys and collect things. Very simple but very fun and you can combine them all to create a HUGE game! Kids as young as 4 can play and kids as old as me love playing too!
Ages 6 – Teen
These games can be played by 5 year olds with help or adjustment but perfect for 6 and up! One is meant for adults but my son can play though strategy isn’t his strongest ability yet. It does help with that though. Any of the Lego games listed above also work great here as well as pretty much any game I have already mentioned except this group can probably play any of those normally.
Pirate versus Pirate
Three bands of pirates have discovered an island brimming with treasure. Conquer the island by capturing the gold and silver, or by eliminating the enemy pirates. Position your pirates carefully, enemies are all around and they are hungry for treasure! My son has played this game since he was 3 but without the stealing aspect or much structure. But he has a great time!
Create your own journey with Tsuro…the Game of the Path.
Place a tile and slide your stone along the path created, but take
care! Other players’ paths can lead you in the wrong direction—or off the board entirely! Find your way wisely to succeed. Again my son has played since he was 3 but he doesn’t understand the strategy part so he placed a tile and followed the path but I would let him try the path first. My husband and I love this game and it is great for just about any age.
These games are great for teenagers. Teens might like a few of the games listed above but they will LOVE these games. These games aren’t meant for kids much younger than 12 though you can adjust 1 or 2 for younger. I wouldn’t recommend most of them for younger though. Also, adults love almost all of the games listed on here!
FURT is a befuzzling eruption of laughter in a box. It is a party game that defies logic and a reasonable explanation. You have to play to understand and when you do, you’ll laugh until your sides ache. This is a fairly accurate description of the game and it is hilarious and so so randomly ridiculous. Teens will LOVE it! Adults too but I would not recommend kids under 12 playing this one.
Back 2 Back
A unique spin on the grid puzzle…you use both sides! This game is a challenging single player puzzle that is great for kids and adults. I adapted it for my 5 year old but it works better for 8+ and it travels really well in its case which transforms (sort of) into the game board!
Purchase $79.99 (Usually discounted on Amazon)
So the game is a tad pricey but it comes with a ton of stuff for a board game. You get 8 figures that have a great deal of detail, parts for building trees, boxes and bushes for the board, coin pieces and tons of other elements for the game. It is a tactical fighting game basically and can be a 2 or 4 player game. The board has two sides for different levels of game play so you never play the same game twice! Teens will LOVE this game and most adults too.
One of the greatest LEGO games out there. This game encourages and in fact requires imagination! It gives you everything else you need. Lego bricks and pieces and even a micro figure for scale! Pick a card and use the pieces to create something that looks like what is on the card enough so others can guess! Tricky when you have to create a banana! My son is too young but who doesn’t love LEGOs? Pre-teens, teens and adults will all love playing this game.
Those are all of our top picks for games you should own. I have done reviews on some of them and some I haven’t had a chance to yet but all are amazing games. There are a ton more games you should own but I think the list is long enough already…I tend to get carried away.
If you have any suggestions or have any questions please email me. Also please contact me with games you would like to see adapted for younger kids or just reviewed on here. Enjoy! Happy Holidays!