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Emily Platt
Associate Editor

The Best Family Board Games for Toddlers and Up

These picks are perfect for those afternoons indoors.

There’s nothing like a good ol’ game to keep the family entertained—especially on days when you’re stuck indoors. And while you’re welcome to dream up an activity on your own, sometimes it’s just easier to have a game and all the rules already organized for you. Shopping for the best games for families to play together? We’ve got you covered with a mix of educational, cooperative and just-plain-fun options. Below, you’ll find the best family board games, plus some of the best family card games and floor games too. From popular new releases to all-time classics, we’re delivering ideas and nostalgia all in one. You may even feel inspired to start a weekly family game night.

How to Shop for the Best Games for Your Family

What makes the best family board games, well, the best? How about the best family card games? Really, a lot of it comes down to personal preference, since not all kids (or parents!) enjoy the same activities. But there are still a few key factors to keep an eye out for—factors that we used to help determine our list:

The age recommendation: This is really important for two reasons. The first: It gives a sense of the game’s difficulty level. You don’t want to frustrate your child with a game they’ll struggle to follow. The second: Many of the best family board games come with small parts that might not be safe for your little one.

How long it takes to play: Children can have very short attention spans. Plus, as parents, our patience can run pretty thin. Look for games you can learn fast and finish fast—the latter of which really comes in clutch if your munchkin insists on another round.

How many people can play it: Think about your family. Will you be playing as a parent-child duo, or inviting all the cousins over for a family game night? We’ve spotlighted the best family board games (and card games, etc.) for two, four and even more players.

The skills it helps develop: Not everything has to be ultra-educational, but many of the best family board games involve developmental tasks and teachable moments. Whether you’re looking to advance your kid’s motor skills, show them how to play fair and lose gracefully, develop their reading and counting skills or encourage their imagination, there are options on this list for you.

The Best Family Games to Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Start the family fun young with these entertaining and educational games totally appropriate for your little one. We’ve found the best toddler board games, preschooler card games and more. Because the best family board games are the games everyone can understand and enjoy.

Photo: Courtesy Think Fun

Think Fun Roll and Play Game for Toddlers

True toddler board games (for children under 3) are actually pretty hard to come by. But rest assured, there’s still this entertaining card game you can play with your munchkin. Roll the big, plush, toddler-friendly cube, pick a card that corresponds with the color it lands on, then just do whatever the card says! Prompts include “roar like a lion” and “find something blue.” Everyone’s a winner in this top family “board” game for tots—there’s no competition, just educational fun.

Ages: 2 years old+
Buy it: $28, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming Chutes and Ladders Board Game

Once your kid turns 3, the opportunities really expand. Many of your childhood favorites are age-rated for older toddlers and preschoolers! Take Chutes and Ladders, one of the best beginner family board games around. It doesn’t require any reading, but it does help them practice their counting and number recognition.

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming Candy Land Kingdom of Sweet Adventures Board Game

What can we say? Candy Land is one of the best family board games of all time. It’s another go-to beginner game thanks to its easy instructions and cute theme. This version follows the same basic premise as your beloved childhood board, but with fresh graphics.

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Wonder Forge

Wonder Forge Disney Junior Super Stretchy Game

Speaking of timeless games with a twist, here’s a toddler- and preschooler-friendly riff off Twister. The floor game is perfect for Disney Junior fans and encourages kids to get up and move—all while practicing their colors and shapes.

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Wonder Forge

Wonder Forge Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It Toddler and Preschool Board Game

This preschooler and toddler board game goes the extra mile—the board is six whole feet of fun! But don’t worry, despite its size, it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to get through. Players “race” around an eye-catching town searching for hidden objects. This helps develop your child’s attention to detail; plus, it’s seriously entertaining. In addition, there are plenty of chances for players to work together. We love a family board game that emphasizes the importance of teamwork.

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $25, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hoyle

Hoyle Kid’s Fun Pack of Card Games

Searching for the best family card games to introduce at a young age? This starter pack includes all of the most popular options: Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Memory, Slap Jack and Matching. Pull out a new deck every family game night for weeks to come. Or, play multiple games in one sitting—after all, they only take 15 minutes or so to finish. And you only need two players to enjoy them.

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $5, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Bishop Trading Hungry Hungry Hippos and Don’t Break the Ice Game Bundle

On the topic of the best family game sets, here’s an amazing, nostalgia-inducing find: Hungry Hungry Hippos and Don’t Break the Ice in a combo pack! These two uber-interactive games were once household favorites. Thought they weren’t on the market anymore? Think again! Because when it comes to the best board games for toddlers and preschoolers, you can’t go wrong with two classics.

Ages: 3 years old+ (Don’t Break the Ice) and 4 years old+ (Hungry Hungry Hippos)
Buy it: $40, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Asmodee

Asmodee Spot It JR. Animals

Families love Spot It, a fast-paced matching game, and now even younger kids have a chance to play. This “junior” version is appropriate for preschoolers but honestly enjoyable for everyone involved.

Ages: 4 years old+
Buy it: $10, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Wonder Forge

Wonder Forge Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game

What makes this one of the best family card games? It’s one that’s hard to tire of. Players flip over three cards to compose a personalized challenge. There are hundreds of possibilities, so unlike many games, it won’t get repetitive fast. It’s also themed off a famous kids’ book. What’s not to like?

Ages: 3 years old+
Buy it: $10, Amazon.com

The Best Family Games to Play with Kindergarteners and Up

Shopping for an older set? Here, a mix of the best family board games (and card games, and floor games) just for your crew. We’ve put together a list of new and classic options you can play together at parties, on weekends or whenever the fancy strikes!

Photo: Courtesy Mattel Games

Mattel Games Ker Plunk Game

This blast from the past is a lot like Jenga, but even more entertaining. Players are tasked with removing sticks from a nest-like configuration one-by-one—without dislodging the marbles those sticks are supporting. Whoever lets the fewest marbles fall wins. It’ll have everyone on the edge of their seat, making it one of the best family games around.

Ages: 5 years old+
Buy it: $17, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Spontuneous

Spontuneous The Song Game

This popular family board game is all about creating impromptu songs about a random word. It’s a great way to help your child develop confidence in front of a crowd—a life skill they’ll appreciate well beyond family game night.

Ages: 8 years old+
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Winning Moves

Winning Moves Games Guess Who? Board Game

This classic family board game is just as fun as it was years ago. The solve-the-mystery game is played as a pair, perfect for smaller families, siblings or parent-child bonding.

Ages: 6 years old+
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Monopoly Ms. Monopoly Board Game

Looking for new family board games? While Monopoly isn’t new in and of itself, this feminist version definitely is. In this game, Mr. Monopoly’s self-made niece is in charge. It’s pegged as a celebration of “women entrepreneurs and inventors,” and players collect items women created (from chocolate chip cookies to solar heating).

Ages: 8 years old+
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming The Game of Life Junior Game

Here’s yet another popular family board game you can share with your kids—especially now that there’s a “junior” version. It’s an easy way to get them started, and you can transition to an adult board later on.

Ages: 5 years old+
Buy it: $17, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming Connect 4 Game

Time to take tic-tac-toe to the next level! Buy your family Connect 4 and prepare for hours of entertainment. When it comes to classic family floor games, this one may just take the cake. It’s quick and simple to play, all while promoting strategic thinking.

Ages: 6 years old+
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Pressman

Pressman Mancala Real Wood Folding Set

Mancala gives nostalgia a whole new meaning—it was invented thousands of years ago. The marble game is simple in concept, but strategizing how to win (by collecting the most “stones”) can actually get pretty complicated. It’s one of the best family board games because it takes some time to get good. It encourages kids to work their brains and it’s something they’ll want to keep playing.

Ages: 6 years old+
Buy it: $12, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Winning Moves

Winning Moves Games Tile Lock Scrabble

Love Scrabble but don’t love how easy it is to lose the tiles? This truly family-friendly version locks the letters in place, so you won’t have to worry about any tears over knocking the pieces off the board.

Ages: 8 years old+
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming Bop-It! Board Game

Remember Bop-It! commercials? (Or how much fun you had with yours?) Share that memory with the kiddos—yes, you can buy a new one off Amazon! Our favorite part? It works as one of the best family games (there’s a group mode), but there’s also a single-player mode for when your kid wants to keep playing but you don’t.

Ages: 8 years old+
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Catan Studio

Catan Studio Catan Junior

Settlers of Catan has taken the board game world by storm, but it may be too difficult for youngsters to play. Cue Catan Junior, the modified version even elementary school-goers can understand. It also takes a lot less time to play than the original. (A typical game goes for roughly 30 minutes, versus the adult version’s average play time of a full hour.)

Ages: 6 years old+
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

Published December 2019

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