Boardgames for children


My daughter (turning 7) has expressed interest in boardgames. We’ve bought the children’s versions of Ticket to Ride and Carcassone and she seems to be enjoying them (ticket more than carcassone but she generally likes a go. We’ve also got a Co-op called Cauldron Quest.

What are your best recommendations for a kid just beginning to get into boardgames, above and beyond the basis roll and move games (or learning maths/spelling games that Orchard Games specialise in).

Can’t recommend personally, but people I know with children say that anything by HABA is the gold standard.


7 might be a bit old for it, but Outfoxed! has gone down well for our 5, now 6 year old.

My daughter is 7 but they are all different. Most Haba stuff is a bit young for her (although Rhino hero) is still a hit.

Click clack lumberjack hasn’t been played in a long time. UNO extreme is very popular. King of Tokyo is a good level of complexity and decision making. DropMix is fun but used mostly as a toy rather than a game. I have beasts of balance but she is averse to it falling over so it’s not a massive hit and the rules are a bit footery.

YEah I’ve heard Outfoxed! recommended a few times. I don’t think she’ll be too old for it (and we have a 5 year old as well so he may be able to join in) as she’s only really just getting into boardgames

We gave Tuki to my nephew last time we visited… nearly two years ago. I learned my first trick taking games at that age.

Maybe Azul?

We played quite a bit of Azul with my husband’s children when the youngest was 6 or 7. Depending on how much focus they have it could be a winner. In our case, not enough for a whole game, so we would play with youngest + husband as a team.

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Quacks could be a decent shout too, maybe too much for the 5 year old.

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We found co-ops to be good - Forbidden Island probably the best. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle if she likes the theme

Full Ticket to Ride was great with ours, although we used scrabble boards to hold the cards for my youngest.

King of Tokyo was fun; Rampage/ Terror in Meeple City is silly nonsense. Dexterity games like Pitch Car. Survive:Escape from Atlantis (or Operation Pick on Dad to give it the full title)

I’m trying to remember, but I think we were playing Terraforming Mars and Great Western Trail when our youngest was 7.

The things we avoided were take that mechanisms and themes that were too old.


Oh yeah, Forbidden Desert still works for us.


Haven’t tried it but also potion explosion could be good, although it may be out of print at the moment.

Well that isn’t going to happen!


If you want something a little silly, Yum Yum Island comes highly recommended. Loot from Knizia is probably a decent pick too.

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I’ll throw another vote for Outfoxed , it is a really fun game, with a neat gimmick and good, light, decision making.

My first Stone age is also really fun, a bit of a mix between memory and set collection, we enjoy playing it quite a bit.

Also, Kingdomino is not hard to play, she may only needs some help with scoring at the end.

Stuff my five and eight year old can play and enjoy to varying degrees (usually dependent of their perception of who’s winning):

  • Abandon All Artichokes
  • Qwinto
  • Kingdomino
  • Marshmallow Test
  • 6Nimmt!
  • Babylonia
  • Blokus
  • Rallyman (simplified)
  • Junk Art
  • Noch Mal
  • For Sale
  • Ticket to Ride (My First and full version)
  • Pickomino
  • Sushi Go Party
  • Hey! That’s my Fish
  • No Thanks
  • Red7
  • Cockroach Poker
  • Wavelength (not all the cards though!)
  • Patchwork
  • Dobble
  • Whowasit?

As with all kids though, YMMV


Monstdrawcity is a massive hit at mine. Just posting as I remember them sorry.


My method was stare at my games and type furiously.


I don’t have kids but maybe Carcassonne? At it’s most basic it’s just lining up the pictures on the tiles.

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Games that worked with my daughter at 7:

Love Letter (one of her favourites)
Game of Life (corny, I know, but the kids love it for the handling of money, pets, the car and the expanding families struggling to get in the 6 peg holes)
Ticket to Ride (even better if you can find the smaller cards version)
Stuffed Fables (although at 7 it might be a bit too much commitment for that age, being a campaign game)

I second Cockroach Poker (we don’t have it, but when played it has gone very well) and also Hey, That’s My Fish (although you might have to tone down how mean you want to be isolating her penguins)
And most agility games, like Meeple Circus, or Flick’em Up, they tend to work a treat with kids.