With everyone sticking closer to home and parents desperate to limit screen time, board games are making a big comeback. We round up the best board games for kids of all ages.
Thanks to Coronavirus we’re all spending a whole lot more time at home these days. While it can be stressful making sure the kiddos have enough learning resources and that parents are able to successfully work from home, one silver lining to the #StayHome movement is that it encourages family bonding. Because we can only stare at our iPads and binge Netflix for so many hours of the day, why not come together for a fun family board game?
We’ve rounded up both our favourite board games for kids (because if we’re being honest, games for 2-year-olds probably won’t be that stimulating for adults) as well as our fave family board games that will appeal to all ages. We’ve also noted some great cooperative board games which, if you’re not familiar with the term, stress cooperation over competition and encourage players to work toward achieving a common goal, rather than just one person being the winner. These games are particularly wonderful for younger kids who don’t handle winning and losing so well. And pssst! Most of these board games for kids can be ordered online and delivered right to your doorstep!
Candyland: This is a great game for littles who can’t read yet as it simply requires rolling the dice and counting spaces as they move across a tantalizing board filled with colorful, inviting illustrations and sweets like cupcakes and candy canes.
For ages 3 and up. Find it on Amazon.sg from $27
Chutes & Ladders: Also known as Snakes & Ladders, this classic board game for young children actually originated in the 2nd Century AD in India. The modern day version is a simple race to the finish line that appeals to kiddos with its playful slides and ladders that simulate a playground.
Hoot Owl Hoot: This fabbo cooperative board game encourages kiddos to help the owls fly back to their nests in time for sunrise! It incorporates matching and doesn’t require an ability to read, though it can also be modified to become more challenging for older kids.
For ages 4 and up. Find it at The Elly Store for $37.30.
Jenga: The tumbling tower game works on multiple levels (our 2-year-old just loves knocking the tower over), but helps kiddos work on concentration and fine motor skills from about the age of 4.
Race to the Treasure: Both my 2-year-old and my 5-year-old love this cooperative board game that encourages strategic movements and features random card drawing (my son somehow thinks the point of the game is to draw as many ogre cards as possible – in fact the opposite of what you’re supposed to do!). – Kate
For ages 2 and up. Find it at Friendly Giant Books from $35.
Zingo: Inspired by Bingo, this is a great game for pre-readers that encourages them to match randomly drawn picture tiles to the images on their own card. My 5-year-old gets very competitive about it. –Kate
For ages 3 and up. Find it at MyToyShop.sg from $30.
Blokus: This is an abstract strategy game with Tetris-shaped colored pieces that players are trying to place on the board. It is pretty easy to understand and can be quite addictive. It aids in developing future planning and strategy skills.
For ages 7 and up. Find it at Toys ‘R’ Us from $15.
Clue Junior: The classic murder mystery CLUE has been modified so younger kids can play. You move the characters from room to room trying to land on a white or yellow space so you can take a peek under one of the pieces and figure out who at the cake, at what time, and with which drink. It’s fun to see how everyone creates their own system of keeping track of their clues. Super fun for the kids and still challenging and interesting enough for all ages.
For ages 5 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $29.
Connect4: This isn’t a board game, but a super fun variation on tic-tac-toe where kids try to line up four checker pieces in a row while preventing their opponent from doing the same. There’s something so satisfying about dropping a piece into the slot!
For ages 5 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $20.
Cranium Cadoo: Inspired by the original adult Cranium (one of our all-time favorite party games) this kids’ version employs the same silly and creative channels, including drawing, charades, sculpting and word puzzles. And this version is still super fun for grown-ups, too!
For ages 7 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $37.
Exploding Kittens: A card game “for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats,” this strategic party game is sort of like Russian roulette, except with kittens in precarious situations and some truly hilarious illustrations that will have your kiddos cackling.
For ages 7+. Find it at Amazon.sg from $32.
Guess Who: Does anyone else who grew up in the 80s recall being totally disappointed when you opened up this game and realized that the people didn’t actually talk? Or was that just me? Anyway, even so this is a fun memory game where you ask questions to try to figure out who your opponent is. –Kate
Operation: The perfect game for aspiring future surgeons, Operation encourages kids to carefully remove pieces from a patient’s body without hitting the sizes and causing the buzzer to go off.
For ages 6 and up. Find it at Shopee from $37.
Phase 10: This card game is like a level up from the original UNO. In fact it combines Rummy and Uno as you complete 10 separate phases with different requirements, trying to keep the lowest score. It can even be played by a single person, but the more people you have, the more fun (and longer it will last).
For ages 7 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $25.
Scrabble Junior: Even if kiddos are still learning how to spell, this introductory version of the classic crossword game for word nerds features pictures and wacky characters, along with a more advanced game board for slightly older kids on the flip side.
For ages 5 and up. Find it at Toys ‘R’ Us from $40.
Sequence: This game is a mix of strategy and luck that can be played in teams. We love switching up teams, like parents vs kids or girls vs boys. –Emilie
For ages 7 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $46.
Sorry! This simple, silly game delights kids, who love to yell “SORRY!” when they bump opponents off the board as they race to the finish line.
For ages 7 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $23
Twister: If your kids are stuck at home off school, this is a great way to sneak in some physical activity (and laughs). Twister also encourages listening and following instructions; an all-time classic party game.
Apples to Apples: Best for older kids, this game encourages players to creatively match the opposites of adjectives described in the green apple card. This game is totally hilarious and forces you to think on your feet. It’s super fun whether played with kids or with adults (think of it as a cleaner version of Cards Against Humanity)!
For ages 10+. Find it at Amazon.sg from $24.
Catan (aka Settlers of Catan): This is a strategy game that’s all about world-building. It has a hexagonal board that is constructed together like a jigsaw, which essentially means that the game never feels stale. It can also be played online, which makes it a fun way to connect with friends and family who are also staying in.
For ages 8+. Find it at Amazon.sg from $65.
Forbidden Island: Another great cooperative game, Forbidden Island encourages strategic thinking, problem solving and cooperation as you join together on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of a perilous paradise.
For ages 10+. Find it at Amazon.sg from $35.
Monopoly: This old-school board game comes in a million different iterations – including a Junior version for younger kids and even multiple Singapore versions – but the classic one works for us: make your way around the board buying up real estate and collecting profits on your properties, but be careful not to land in jail! This is a great game for teaching kids about banking, money and negotiations.
For ages 8 and up. Find it at Amazon.sg from $33.
Pay Day: Pay Day is one our favorites. You roll the dice through the month and hope that your salary, the occasional windfall, and taking the chance on some good deals will keep you in the black as you accumulate bills and unexpected expenses (like a car repair, dental bill, or unlucky poker game!).
For ages 8+. Find it at Amazon.sg from $25.
Scattergories: A word game that rewards creative thinking, the object of Scattergories is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit. Think fast, think uniquely. Fights will break out as you learn how strict or open you and your fellow players are to interpretation.
For ages 12+. Find it at Lazada from $40.
Sushi Go! This game is really fun! Once you get the hang of it, the pick and pass style mimics a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. The artwork on the cards is really cute and in no time your kids will learn sushi terms and be and calling out “Ichi, ni, san!” before revealing their card. Read more here.
For ages 8+. Find it on Amazon.sg from $25.
Taboo: Families with older kids will have lots of fun playing Taboo, which is a great team game. See how creative your kids get when describing words without using the taboo terms on the card, all under pressure from a ticking clock and the other team watching over your shoulder waiting to buzz in.
For ages 12+. Find it on Amazon.sg from $30.
Ticket to Ride: In this strategy game for 2 to 5 players, you collect cards of various types of train cars to claim railway routes. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. It is available in a few variations as well as with extensions. It has enough action and tension to keep all players involved, and is similar to Monopoly. It’s also billed as the world’s most popular online train game.
For ages 8+. Find it on Amazon.sg from $65.
Trivial Pursuit: The all-time classic trivia game that can be played in teams or as individuals, Trivial Pursuit comes in all sorts of themed versions that can be tailored to your family’s knowledge base.
For ages 12+. Find it on Amazon.sg from $68.
Want even more family board game fun? Check out these new quirky favourite board games for kids!