The fun continues with this extended list of the best kid games. These games promise to keep game night interesting and engaging for kids and parents alike. Parents may even be tempted to sneak some playing time in when the kids aren’t around 😉
In case you missed it, be sure to check out the first round-up of the best kid games here. You’ll be glad you did!
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Recommended for Ages 8+
With a name like Trash Panda, it’s hard not to pause and take notice of this game. In this quirky game, the goal is to stash as much trash as possible. A few of the desirable treasures include day-old pizza, banana peels and fish bones – exactly the sort of stuff one would expect a raccoon (or trash panda) to actively seek out and collect.
I love that this game doesn’t take itself too seriously. The artwork is silly and light-hearted, yet very well done. There is a mischievous quality to the game which may explain why this quickly became our youngest daughter’s favorite game to play.
This is another game that is very easy to learn but is engaging enough for adult enjoyment. There is a definite press-your-luck element to the game that creates a comfortable level of tension that keeps the game interesting. There are some sabotage cards, but they aren’t so prevalent or damage-inducing to cause hurt feelings or tantrums.
One card specifically geared to sabotage other players – the Yum-Yum card – serves a dual purpose in our household. It can still be used to sabotage, but it is also used by the rolling player to prevent scrapping on their turn.
We developed this house rule due to a stroke of genius by our youngest daughter. She cleverly utilized the card to prevent her turn from ending. Since the wording on the card doesn’t specifically rule out the ability of the rolling player to use the card on themselves, we allow this house rule to continue.
This is one instance when my daughter’s inclination to bend the rules impressed me!
Recommended for Ages 8+
My in-laws introduced me to Monopoly Deal, and I was instantly hooked. The gist of this game is to be the first player to obtain 3 sets of properties, i.e. Boardwalk and Park Place, all four railroads, etc.
We included the girls in the fun when our youngest was 6 and our oldest was 8. Both girls caught on quickly, but our youngest required some help reading the cards. There is a fair amount of strategy involved which makes it fun for my husband and me to play, even without the girls.
Unlike its board game counterpart, this game does not require several hours (or in some epic cases, several days) to play. A hand of Monopoly Deal is easily played in about 15 – 20 minutes. We play this game most weeknights before supper or to wind down before bedtime. We love this game so much that we keep a deck in our vehicles, camping gear and our storm shelter.
It is worth noting that when our youngest first started playing she could get pretty cantankerous when bombarded with rent and steal cards. Because part of the game strategy involves acquiring money and property from other players, this game may be too advanced for kiddos that are easily frustrated.
Full disclosure: We removed the Dealbreaker cards from our decks. Homey don’t play that way.
Recommended for Ages 8+
As fantasy enthusiasts, Dragonwood initially appealed to us because, well, dragons. With a wide array of mythical creatures such as giggling goblins, magical unicorns and angry ogres, this game certainly delivers in the fantasy department.
The gameplay is just as good as the imaginative concept of the game. Dragonwood is a card and dice game that combines strategic play with the luck of the roll. The rolling element of the game helps to level the playing field so that littles can just as easily succeed as their older counterparts.
Dragonwood is easy to pick up on. Even so, supplemental cards with the basic instructions are included as a refresher of the rules and attack methods.
The cards are well illustrated and possess a sense of whimsy that prevents the game from being too dark or scary for young kids to play. Our favorite cards are the Hungry Bears, Pack of Wolves and the Wild Boar.
Because you can hold up to 9 cards at any given time, we find these cardholders useful. We primarily purchased these for the girls, but I sometimes use one when sneaking in a quick game while preparing supper 😉
This is another quick-play game making it a perfect weeknight activity for the whole family. Most rounds clock in at around 20 minutes of play.
Recommended for Ages 12+
Dragon Farkle is a unique take on an existing dice game, so if you are familiar with Farkle, you will pick up on this game quickly. Even so, this game is not overly complicated to learn.
Side Note: Growing up, I unknowingly played Farkle religiously. Not sure if it is a regional misnomer or a family practice, but we referred to the game Farkle simply as Dice. Anyone else out there refer to Farkle as Dice?
Scoring occurs in the same fashion as the original Farkle, with some added elements that make this game more engaging than its counterpart. The included companion cards and magic items round out the fantasy theme nicely and add interest to the game.
The recommended minimum age listed for this game is 12 years old, but I consider this an overly cautious suggestion. We successfully play this game with our 8 and 11-year-old girls. This is another game that my husband and I shamelessly play after bedtime!
While most of the games on this list clock in at around 15-20 minutes for gameplay, Dragon Farkle runs closer to 30 minutes
Recommended for Ages 11+
As avid dragon and magic enthusiasts, it should come as no surprise that we are also die-hard Harry Potter fans. Our oldest has read through the entire Harry Potter series 5 or 6 times. I regularly return to the book series on Audible while transporting the girls to and from school, grocery shopping, scrubbing toilets, etc. We even had a big Harry Potter-themed bash for our oldest’s 11th birthday.
Given this overarching love of all things Harry Potter, we readily purchased the Hogwarts Battle game as a Christmas gift for our oldest daughter last year. We enjoyed the game so much that we subsequently purchased the Monster Book of Monsters expansion and the Charms and Potions expansion.
This is a cooperative game, so all of the players work together to ultimately defeat He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. As a deck-building game, each player begins with a basic starting deck with the ability to enhance and supplement their deck throughout the game. Each game is different depending on the villains and the available allies, spells and magical items.
Hogwarts Battle is a successive adventure game, so the difficulty increases as the players advance through the game. The game packs follow the progression of the books and movies pretty closely while incorporating elements of Harry Potter into the gameplay.
Unlike the other games on this list, Hogwarts Battle requires a time commitment. Expect to set aside 45 minutes – 1 hour for the earlier packs. As you progress through the packs and add in expansions, you’re looking at 1 – 2 hours. These time frames are based on advancing successfully through the game.
Our youngest began playing this game when she was 7 years old, and she enjoyed it just as much as the rest of us. Since this is a cooperative game, we actively assist and support each other throughout the game. Even so, she holds her own without assistance a majority of the time. Her attention does wane during some of the longer games. Our 11 year old would gladly play this game all day, every day.
Quite honestly, my husband and I enjoy playing this game even when the kids are otherwise occupied. By combining different elements of the expansion packs with the original game, we created a hybrid version that we especially enjoy playing together.
Have you played any of the games on the list?
Let me know which games are your favorite in the comments!
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