Looking for Some Good Board-type Games for Young Kids

Updated on January 09, 2013
J.C. asks from Blacksburg, VA
29 answers

I am looking for some good games for my 4 1/2 and 2 YOs to play with me. I know the 2 YO probably won't be able to do much yet. We have Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly (way too old but for some reason my 4 YO loves it). I have been sick for the past 2 months and have been letting them get away with way too much tv, and now I need to break that habit. I get out toys for them and sit down to play, but they keep asking for tv. So I thought I would try some games that kept them busy, but I don't know which ones are good. All suggestions welcome! Thanks!

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answers from Dallas on

We love Uno Moo, Zingo and Cariboo Island. They are probably a big for the two year old. (Uno Moo might be doable if the she knows her colors well).

For games that the two year old may be able to participate in, try Elefun or Don't Break the Ice, Gone Fishin', or Lucky Ducks.

ANd I haven't played it, but someone recently mentioned snail Pace Race game as a fun one for little kids.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

That age is great for Hullaballoo (not s board game though )!
Ants in the Pants?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My 4 and 6 year olds like:

Don't Break the Ice
Go Fish
Mexican Train (a domino game)....the 4 year old cant add up the points yet but understands the matching the colors

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answers from Honolulu on

The brand "Think Fun" has GREAT games.
It is for any age and even adults.
It is fun and creative and is fun problem solving.
My kids love games from this brand and even we do.
Barnes and Nobel has many, and Amazon.
Many to choose from, and it can be played just by themselves or together.

When my kids were that age, they liked the "Rush Hour" game by Think Fun. Even we did. For example.

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answers from Green Bay on

There are so many games out there! Memory, Hi Ho CherryO, Cootie, Don't Break the Ice, Ants in my Pants, and many "junior" versions of popular adult games - sequence, monopoly, scrabble, etc.

One fun game that I know of is Hullabaloo and it is by the makers of Cranium. It is hard to explain, but it involves kids being active/moving around too. I know lots of kids who LOVE that game!

Another fun "active" game is Elefun. The elephant shoots butterflies out of its trunk and the kids run around to catch them with nets.

Other ideas are Bingo - easy to make your own with different skills - just pictures, colors, numbers, letters, etc. Go Fish, Slap Jack, etc.

Or what about "I Spy" - not a board game, but fun just the same!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Pengaloo and the Richard Scarry board game and Hi Ho Cherry-O are all games my 3 year old LOVES! She also can keep busy for quite a while doing play doh (easy to make yourself) or painting. She loves both water colors and washable acrylic paints. Sometimes I give her a toy car to dip in the paint and then roll on the paper to make wheel tracks. I used to do this with my son when he was little too. When he was that age he loved to make forts in the house (with my help) and then he would pretend away in them. He also loved it when I made obstacle courses for him.

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answers from Albuquerque on

Monopoly Junior Party is a fantastic game for your four year old. My five year old girls got it for Christmas and we all love it. Not too painful for adults to play, and it is probably appropriate for a four year old too.

(and if you're looking for an idea on how to get rid of the TV... just say no for two weeks, every single time they ask, and they'll stop asking!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

My five year-old loves:

Connect Four
Yahtzee Jr.
Spot It

Some of them, like Zimbbos, would work for a younger child as well.

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answers from Philadelphia on

We got I Spy board game for christmas and my two cant stop playing!

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answers from Cleveland on

Zingo! We still love that game. 2 year old might be able to do it a little.

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answers from Dallas on

Connect Four (or connect four launchers)
Feed the pig
chess (my son was 4.5 when he learned to play and came home and taught us - LOL - if you know how, your 4.5 yo will love it)
The hand slap games, like Ms. Sue or a modified version of categories (you know where you slap your knees, then clap and snap in time with the topic - great dexterity development!)
Hope this helped a bit!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


This might be a repeat... Elefun! The 2 yo will love it too. it makes your kids move too which is a nice aspect.



answers from Champaign on

Don't spill the beans, Hungry Hippos, Trouble, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and of course memory games, puzzles are always a favorite in my house. We also just bought hot potatoe - it's a stuffed potatoe that plays music, my 5 year old and his two cousins (4 & 3) had a blast for a long time. We play it at home with him too - it's a good, active 30 mins at least - game.



answers from San Francisco on

Good games have been mentioned already, but my kids also liked Uno Choo Choo, Hoot Owl Hoot, and Thomas Making Tracks Game.

The Uno Choo Choo is really a color/animal matching game and we slightly modified the rules to make it less about winning or losing. Plus they like to press on the train to eject the card.

The Hoot Owl Hoot game is a cooperative one where the players are trying to get the owls to the nest before the sun rises. It uses colors to play (similar in to the way Candyland uses colors for movement). You can change the difficulty by changing the number of owls you play with. I have 4 year olds that started playing the game at 3. They mostly decide which owl to move based on which color they like at the time so it's a little helpful to have an adult play to get the owls home. But it's still fun and sometimes I rig it a little by removing some of the cards that makes the sun move. :-)

The Thomas Making Tracks Games has 2 parts. First you use a spinner to determine what pieces you use to build up your track. Then you use the spinner for colors to affect your movement.

Their other favorites from the ones mentioned already are Zingo, Don't Break the Ice, Connect 4, and Don't Wake Daddy.

If I were going to be 3 games that have been their most favorite, I'd pick Hoot Owl Hoot, Zingo Bingo, and Thomas Making Tracks.

You could also do some puzzles. We have a few of the large floor puzzles that are around 40 pieces or so. The puzzles may be a bit tough for the 2 year old, but you can help out by directing which piece and where.

Also, you could do some playdoh activities if they are into that kind of stuff. I have one kid that is more into than the other so it's hit or miss for us.



answers from Abilene on

We have family game night every other Friday at my house and my daughter loves Barnyard Uno, Sequence, and matching games. She also enjoys her angry birds game. We love Zingo too.


answers from Grand Forks on

Some of our favourites were Monopoly Jr, Don't Break the Ice, Don't Spill the Beans, Pop-Up Pirate, Operation, Connect-4, Yahtzee Jr, Whack-a-Mole, Candyland and Snakes and Ladders (3D).


answers from Seattle on

Puzzles. The big ones! We have a couple that are about 4 feet long, 2 or 3 feet wide. Big puzzle pieces. My boys loved them when they were younger.
I don't remember the name of it, but there's one where you can catch fish. You have a fishing pole and the fish are going around in a circle with their mouths opening and closing and you try to "catch" them with your pole.
Piranha Panic was a favorite with my boys.
Guess Who?
Go Fish
I taught my son Yahtzee when he was 5 (because I LOVE that game and wanted someone to play with!)
Dominos - We have a great kid one with pictures on them, big pieces (about 8 inches by 2 inches). Kids loved that too.


answers from Los Angeles on

All of the ones you mentioned are great. You can play Monopoly you will just have to play banker and control the game, they will have fun rolling the dice, moving their markers and counting and pulling the cards.

I also like Hi-Ho Cheerio and ANY wooden puzzles. As a kid we used to dump all the wooden puzzles in a pile, shuffle & stack up the empty puzzle boards and then 'race' to see who could finish more. 'Puzzle Races' with all the cousins is one of my shinning childhood memories.

~It really doesn't matter what you play, as as long as your all on the floor or huddled around a table, completely engaged!!



answers from Pittsburgh on

We Loved the game Brown Bear - Panda Bear, What do you see? It is based on those books by Eric Carle. My son was an Eric Carle fan from an early age, but this game can be played by any age group. Story Cubes is another good one. You roll a bunch of cubes with pictures on them and then you have to make up the story to go along with the pictures. It is really cute.


answers from Minneapolis on

Disney Yahtzee was a big hit when my kids were that age - easy and fun!
Also, Sorry
Chicken Coop Dominos
UNO attack
Go Fish
Don't Spill the Beans
Operation Jr.
Monopoly Jr.

Have fun!



answers from Albuquerque on

You already got a lot of fantastic game ideas, we love to play some of the ones already listed. Since YOU'RE the one not feeling well, I think you should come up with things for THEM to do that require minimal input/supervision. My dd loves her play-doh, stickers, coloring, building things out of cardboard boxes, cutting & gluing papers, painting (washable), and playing dress up (I take pics of her different outfits).
If you want more "together" activities that include you, paint things (ceramics, wood, etc), make a scrapbook, make collages from magazines, bake/cook, have a pamper day where you do each other's hair, hand/feet soak/massage, mani/pedi.
I wish I had more time in the day to do these activities with my dd! It's so much fun to see the interesting & creative things she comes up with!



answers from Washington DC on

My son loves monopoly. At age 4 he got the jr edition and loved it. I think it centers around a party and was easy to follow. He also loves the Memory game. There is a ABC Letter Game that he also liked.



answers from Savannah on

A great game for those ages is Hullabaloo! It isn't a board game, but a game that gets them active. It can be played indoors or outdoors and with 1 person or with multiple players! It focuses on colors shapes and categories like food, animals, and instruments. So great for them.



answers from Columbia on

Not sure about the 2yo. Maybe she could play as your partner. Either way, in our house we love Uno and Apples to Apples Junior.



answers from New York on

How about some card games...
Old Maid
Go Fish

Other games...
Zooreaka by Cranium

I also recommend puzzles, books, and coloring/drawing.



answers from Chicago on

get some card games
go fish
old maids

hi ho cherryo
don't break the ice
don't wake the daddy



answers from Cleveland on

We love Lucky Ducks (good for very young), Chutes & Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Elefun.



answers from Syracuse on

We just got Richard Scarry's Busytown Cars & Trucks card game, it's fun and the kids really like it. It's a game I can actually play with the 3 and 4 1/2 year old together.

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