Top 7 Kid’s Games

Growing up our family had semi-regular Game Night. I was particularly fond of Clue: The Museum Caper (still my favorite Clue game), Crossfire, The Omega Virus (“You human scum!”), and a made-up game that was essentially a tabletop miniature war game, but with army men, tanks, and marbles instead of dice.

Wanting my kids to have the opportunity to build those kinds of memories with each other, and in a hope to foster my hobby in them, we’ve been building a library of games for the kids to play with each other or with their friends.

So here’s our Top 7 list of games that our kids enjoy and that need no adult supervision after the initial teaching. Keep in mind that my kids are 6 and 8 and that they have only recently started being able to play these games on their own.

  1. Candy Land

If you don’t know about Candy Land, it’s a very simple “follow the path” game with no decisions. But it does have fun art, require kids to take turns, and has simple rules to follow. If you don’t know the history of the game, I highly recommend this Ludology episode. (

Player Count: 2- 4
Suggested Ages: 4 - 6
Pros: Teaches the very basics of games; very young kids can have fun playing on their own
Cons: With no decisions to make, is it technically a game or an activity?


  1. Battleship

Another classic game for the list. The game is easy enough to replace so I don’t worry about losing pegs, and for our set each player has a clam-shell case, so this is a game that can travel with us really easily. The kids enjoy that they set up where their ships are, though they don’t always have the patience for finishing the game. I’m hoping the kids start to recognize the basic strategies and start to learn how to read their opponent.

Player Count: 2
Suggested Ages: 6+
Pros: Opportunity to teach kids not to cheat and move pieces; basic strategy for placing ships and choosing where to fire.
Cons: Tiny little pegs, lots of them, that can end up all over the place if not careful


  1. Bug Bingo / Bird Bingo

Okay, playing Bingo at home isn’t the most exciting thing, but this game is beautifully illustrated and educational (plus you get to giggle at a few funny names. My kids can now name a few dozen bugs and birds by sight, and have declared their favorite bug as the death’s-head hawkmoth.

Player Count: Up to 12 with one box
Suggested Ages: At least one child of reading age
Pros: Kids really like Bingo, works on reading skills, as well as an introduction to entomology or ornithology depending on which version you get.
Cons: Again, really an activity and not a game Bug Bingo Bird Bingo

  1. Loopin’ Louie

This game is fun for all ages, but it works particularly well as an early game you can let the kids play with their friends. Louie goes in a circle and you hit a lever at just the right time to keep him from hitting your chickens, and if you time it right and put just the right pressure on your lever you can aim him to dive bomb your opponents.

Player Count: 2 - 4 (best with 4, Loopin’ Chewie has a Star Wars theme and is 2 - 3 player and plays best with 3)
Suggested Ages: 3+
Pros: Simple dexterity game; each game is usually very short and everyone usually has a chance to win
Cons: It’s a battery operated mechanical toy and will break down eventually (we haven’t had problems yet, but we use Eneloop rechargeable batteries, so batteries are not a hassle in our house). Currently out of stock, but Loopin Chewie is easy to find

Loopin Chewie


  1. Animal upon Animal

This is a dexterity game that I talked about in the Top 7 Family Games post. Our kids are also able to play it on their own or with their friends. Haba makes a LOT of superb younger kids games, and this happens to be one of only two that we own. Simple rules and a fun theme help the kids have fun with this one.

Player Count: 2 - 4
Suggested Ages: 4+
Pros: Pretty pieces and simple rules; is also fun to play as a family
Cons: For anyone who takes the game too seriously, knocking over the tower of animals can be frustrating, but this can be a great game to teach sportsmanship since there’s not much penalty to knocking over the tower

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  1. Quickpick: Island of Monster Masks

A funny little game where you imitate the faces of the monsters and try to get everyone else to guess. The rules are simple and the game is silly.

Player Count: 3+
Suggested Ages: 4+
Pros: Very easy to understand rules; kids have fun making faces
Cons: The number of different faces is a bit limited


  1. My First Carcassonne

This game is a great introduction to Eurogames. It is a simplified version of Carcassonne, where instead of choosing when and where to place your meeples, they are printed on the tiles, but they are only placed when a road is finished. You can’t play a tile in an invalid way since all four sides have roads (In Carcassonne roads have to match roads, not fields or cities), so that part of the game is removed. Instead the first person to put all of their meeples out is the winner.

Player Count: 2 - 4
Suggested Ages: 4+
Pros: Simple game with some strategy, a good intro to Eurogames
Cons: Can’t really think of any

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