YOU’LL want to amass a decent collection of entertaining kids’ board games (that you enjoy playing as well), whether you’re trying to get your kids away from their screens or are looking for a fun and relaxed family activity.
The best kids’ board games are just as much fun when you play them the 137th time as they were the first.
We’ve selected the best kids’ boards games for kids of all ages, from all-time classics to newer games.
Our picks are based on our own favourites to play with our families and the best kids’ board games, according to other parents.
Play is super-important in childhood development, and the best kids’ board games can help teach kids cooperative play as well as improving fine motor skills, memory and information processing.
Children can start to enjoy board games before they can read or write: games like Snakes & Ladders encourage early counting skills, while Orchard Toys’ vast selection of toddler and school-age kid games improve memory and get kids thinking about strategy.
As kids get older, family games get even more enjoyable – and more competitive. You start to create your own rules for games you regularly play – like always getting £500 when you land on Go! In Monopoly. What, just us?
The best kids’ board games are easy to learn and involve some luck as well as some strategic thinking; pretending to lose time and time again quickly gets boring, as parents will soon find out.
Time to blow on those dice – these are the best kids’ board games to add to the toy cupboard.
This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.
1. Orchard Toys Shopping List Game
- (AD) Orchard Toys Shopping List game, £15.75 at Amazon – buy here
You can start playing this game with your two-year-old since it touches on their basic vocabulary of food and shopping list items: milk, bread, apples, oranges, etc.
It's a straightforward memory game that involves picking up all of the items you need from your shopping list; it provides lots of fun because once you've finished one round, you can just pick up the next shopping list for a new selection of buys.
If you're really keen, there are add-on packs with clothes and fruit and veg to keep the game going as your little one gets older – two extras come with this version.
- (AD) Monopoly, £18.99 at Amazon – buy here
Yes, Monopoly takes ages (and yes, it also usually ends with a screaming match or cheating scandal), but isn't that part of its charm?
Monopoly is a great way to bond the family and an ice-breaker with more distant relatives or friends.
We also love how much it reveals about our children's personalities: are they buyers, investors, builders? Or cheaters?
Themed Monopolies, from London Underground to Horrible Histories editions, exist aplenty, but nothing beats the classic (the latest version has some new counters, but still includes your favourite location names).
3. Monopoly Junior
- Monopoly Junior Game, £13 at Argos – buy here
Same brilliant Monopoly, easier set-up, kid-friendly properties and less time-consuming. What's not to love?
Parents like that it captures the 'essence' of the original but makes it quicker-paced for younger players to enjoy.
Plus, the characters are super cute.
4. Hasbro Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Hungry Hungry Hippos, £13 at Argos – buy here
This is a fun game for entertaining the three-and four-year-old crew who wildly bash their hippos to swallow their marbles with abandon.
The quicker you move, the more you get.
5. Cheeky Monkeys
- (AD) Cheeky Monkeys, £9.50 at Amazon – buy here
This fun game where you hang monkeys from a tree helps to develop counting skills and encourage strategic thinking: you spin the wheel, try to collect the most bananas and hope no one tries to steal yours.
It encourages observational, social and number skills development and has picked up numerous awards and five-star reviews from satisfied parents.
- (AD) Operation, £18.99 at Amazon – buy here
Operation works well as a family game or for solo play, and picking out the afflicted body parts with the tweezers is great for strengthening kids' hand muscles (the ones they'll be writing with) and helping them develop fine motor skills.
Most importantly, it's a lot of fun.
7. Sleeping Queens
- (AD) Sleeping Queens, £16.06 at Amazon – buy here
We suspect one of the reasons this award-winning card game where you wake the sleeping queens to win is so appealing is because it was created by someone who knows exactly how kids think: a six-year-old.
Each game sesh lasts about 20 minutes and it requires quick-thinking, strategy and good ol' luck.
Recommended for kids aged 8 and up.
- (AD) Bananagrams word game, £8.33 at Amazon – buy here
Perfect for travelling, this game has elbowed out Scrabble as the beloved family word game (it's less restrictive and fans describe it as more fun) – Bananagrams encourages creativity and doesn't require a board.
Which means it can distract kids while on a train or waiting for their burgers in a restaurant.
- (AD) FReNeTiC Board Game, £12.99 at Amazon – buy here
This game combines science, spelling and maths as players race against the clock to complete words using symbols from the periodic table (you score by adding together the atomic numbers of the elements you've used).
Fun, educational and great for older kids to get that grey matter going.
10. Hamster Race
- (AD) Hamster Race, £10.71 at Amazon – buy here
This fun game of luck for younger kids is a racing game where your hamsters hurry around the track collecting their cheese and then see if they can stay on the big hamster wheel without getting thrown off.
Silly and unusual.
11. Charades For Kids
- (AD) Charades for Kids, £11.30 at Amazon – buy here
This game of role play works well for players across all ages – there are picture cards for younger players, and word cards for proficient readers.
Also, it's great to have a board game that gets the kids moving.
12. Guess Who?
- Guess Who?, £16 at Argos – buy here
Siblings love this game and after a couple of goes with mum and dad, can easily play it independently to while away the post-school afternoon hours.
Perfect for getting them to ask questions, it will also teach younger kids all kinds of facial-related vocabulary.
13. Make 'N' Break
- (AD) Ravensburger Make 'N' Break, £7.30 at Amazon – buy here
This award-winning game has opponents racing against the clock to replicate the colourful wooden structures on the card they've drawn.
Requires skill, concentration and a competitive edge.
- Hasbro Twister, £14 at Argos – buy here
Twister is a classic board game for a reason: it has as much appeal for little kids as older ones (and adults), and it always ends in giggles as people collapse on one another.
This is a great choice on rainy days or if you and the kids have been cooped up in the house as it requires everyone to move and stretch a bit.
The box says 6+, but younger kids will get stuck in, too.
- Hasbro Cluedo board game, £17 at Argos – buy here
Cluedo is the murder-mystery game that always gets kids excited – and it's intriguing enough for parents to want to join in.
This is a great one for older kids, as it requires some writing and deducing to figure out who did it, with what weapon and where.
The general consensus? The game provides 'hours of fun' and is a 'great board game for the family'. It was a popular choice during lockdown.
LOGO Board Game – Second Edition, £33 at Argos – buy here
This classic board game is a favourite on family games night, especially with brand-obsessed teens.
It's easy to play, great for learning fun facts and fans like that it's just the right mix of old and new, with lots of up-to-date questions.
17. Horrible Histories
- Horrible Histories Board Game, £16 at Argos – buy here
Perfect for fans of history, this board game combines multiple choice with chance cards and charades.
It's a hit with fans of the Horrible Histories TV series, and works well for kids 7 and older.
18. Harry Potter Race to the Triwizard Cup
Harry Potter Race To The Triwizard Cup Board Game, £19.99 at John Lewis – buy here
Harry Potter fans love nothing more than showing off their extensive knowledge of the books and films – and this game is the way to do it as players race to the Triwizard Cup.
Players cast spells and dodge dragons to get to the finish.
19. Beat the Parents
- Beat the Parents game, now £10 at The Entertainer – buy here
Board games are all the better when parents get involved.
This one sees parents answering kiddie questions about TV shows and ice cream flavours, and is a fun general knowledge trivia game for the whole family.
20. Drumond Park Articulate for Kids
Drumond Park Articulate for Kids Board Game, now £29.99 at WH Smith – buy here
One of our favourite board games for kids, Articulate challenges players to describe as many card entries as they can in 30 seconds.
It's fun for a few players, but works just as well when you're gathered around the table with 10 or more.
It's a fab one for enhancing their creative thinking and vocabulary.
- Scrabble Original Board Game, £17 at Argos – buy here
A game they'll love that also teaches them how to spell?
Scrabble is a real winner that the kids will enjoy the more they play and practice.
22. Orchard Toys' Pigs in Pants
- Orchard Toys' Pigs in Pants game, £8 at John Lewis – buy here
This brilliant game for little ones is a matching game they'll find hilarious as each player's pig competes to wear the most pants.
It encourages strategic thinking and helps kids with their matching and colour recognition skills.
'Bought this game for a two year old, but her five year old sister loved it more. This simple matching game, with only two sturdy cards held at a time, makes it easy for small hands to hold.
'Games last approximately 10 minutes, short enough to hold the attention span of young children', writes one reviewer.
23. Hasbro Connect 4
Connect 4 Grid Board Game from Hasbro Gaming, £10 at Argos – buy here
Games that don't require kids to know how to read or write are always welcome, especially in households with older and younger siblings, and Connect 4 is easy enough for a four-year-old to enjoy… yet still entertaining for their 10-year-old sibling.
We like this game for a fun screen-free night that still gets their competitive juices flowing.
24. Sshh! Don't Wake Dad! Game
Sshh! Don't Wake Dad! Game, £19.99 at Smyths Toys – buy here
A board game with an electronic component, players compete to get a midnight snack from the kitchen – a gooey slice of chocolate cake.
They'll just have to get past snoozing dad – and a few other obstacles, too.
25. Hasbro Frustration Game
- (AD) Hasbro Frustration Game, £12.76 at Amazon – buy here
This childhood favourite board game is maddening – but that's why we love it.
The latest iteration has a whacking feature that's perfect for taking out all of the kids' energy after the witching hour.
SUSSED Card Games, £11.99 at Amazon – buy here
Can't get the teens to talk? Then try Sussed, which challenges the family to converse – and to see how well you really know one another.
There are 55 cards in the starter deck, and lots of different versions, from Emotional Intelligence to Lifeology, for those who enjoy it.
We love that you're bound to learn something new about those you're closest to…
27. Smart Ass
- Smart Ass game, £11 at Argos – buy here
This game is sure to delight older kids and is perfect for the family that's always screaming over each other.
You see, whoever gets the correct answer out quickest – every time – will be the winner.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best board games for kids? We've got a whole parenting section for you to browse.
Should your children want a bit of outdoor fun to break up the games, we've rounded up the best trampolines worth buying for the kids and the family.
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