Board games and card games are our go-to family activity. We love encouraging our kids to play games because they promote problem-solving, encourage strategic thinking, and they are a ton of fun! Plus it helps us adults keep our cognitive functions, well, functioning. Here are a few of the games we love playing with our kids right now. Perhaps this list will provide inspiration for your gift giving this holiday season!
Sushi Go Party is an expanded version of the best-selling card game Sushi Go. The objective is to earn points by picking winning sushi combos. This game goes up to 8 players, so it’s awesome for a big crowd. But it works with just 2 players. Because there are tons of different sushi combos, Sushi Go Party is one of those games that is endlessly re-playable. It’s a great family game and doesn’t require a huge time investment to play – just 15 minutes to half an hour depending on the size and abilities of the group. Best suited for kids 8 and up. Find Sushi Go Party! at Chapters.
Feed the Kitty is a really simple game to learn. Roll the picture dice and follow the actions. You put a mouse in the kitty dish, pass a mouse to your neighbour, or take a mouse from the kitty dish. The winner is the last one left with mice. We love this game because it’s something kids can play on their own without parent involvement. Which is sometimes helpful when dinner needs to be made or laundry has to get folded! Great for kids 3+. Find Feed the Kitty at Chapters.
Match colours, match shapes, match both! An engaging game with easy-to-follow rules, Qwirkle is awesome. The rules of the game are basic: simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points for doing so. As kids play more and more they’ll try to build more complex combinations – keeping everyone interested and engaged. It’s a great game to hone spatial recognition, planning, and problem-solving skills. It’s designed for ages 6 and up, but our 3.5-year-old loves to play with a little adult help. Find Qwirkle at Chapters.
We bet you’ve got a box of Jenga blocks hiding in the back of a closet or cupboard somewhere. Go get it and dust it off. Jenga is a classic for a reason – it’s such a fun game to play with kids. It’s got simple rules, it’s great for all ages and fine motor skill development, and the game ends in a spectacular crash, what more could you want? You could always kick it up a notch – we’ve got our eye on a Giant Jenga version for the summer. What a fun backyard game! Find Jenga at Amazon.
The goal of Keys to the Castle is to get your knight across to the other side of the board before anyone else. Sounds simple enough, but with padlocks, hacksaws and other knights racing against you, you’ll be surprised at how complex and interesting the game can get! This is a great introductory strategy game. The game provides lots of fun variety – instead of a static board the tiles are shuffled and laid out for each time so every game is different. The game box recommends age 8+ but we’ve played with 6-year-olds who enjoy it. Find Keys to the Castle at Amazon.
This card game is loud and hilarious. The goal is to be the first to run out of cards in your hand. To do this you have to shout and try and match with another player and act out an action (like switch places). It’s fast-paced that will draw even non-gamers into the action. Great for kids 7+ (requires some quick reading). Find Happy Salmon at Cabelas.
The best part about Garbage is you only need a few decks of cards – no fancy board game or pieces necessary. The rules are simple; each player gets dealt 10 cards that they lay in front of them, face down. Players take turns drawing from a deck. The object of the game is to be the first player to line up your cards in a sequence from Ace to 10. The next round, the players who got ‘out’ then take 9 cards, and so on, all the way down to 1 card. Click here for full rules and instructions. Our 7-year-old LOVES this game, and so does everyone we’ve taught it to!
We hope you enjoy this list of games for kids! What’s your favourite game? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to add more awesome games to our collection.