Best 14 Childrens Board Games of 2024: Must-Haves

Discover top childrens board games! From Candy Land's sweet adventures to Ice Cool's penguin flicking fun, find the perfect family game.
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Candy Land coverHoot Owl Hoot! coverOutfoxed! cover

Hey gang, Jamie here! We all know finding the perfect game for family night can be as tricky as building a card house on a breezy day, especially when you’re on the hunt for childrens board games. So, we’ve scooped up our favorites to share with you. From dragons hoarding gems to zombies taking over the school, we’ve covered all the bases. What did we look for? Simple rules, engaging gameplay, and a dash of educational value. No spoilers on the specifics just yet, but get ready for a journey from magical kingdoms to the edge of space. Let’s make those game nights legendary!

On this list:

14 Candy Land

Candy Land cover

  • Age Range: 3+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30 min

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We’re kicking things off with a sweet start. Candy Land is the classic first game many of us played. It’s simple, colorful, and the perfect intro into the world of board games for kids. The joy on their faces as they move their pieces across a board filled with candy-themed landscapes is priceless. Plus, there’s no reading required, so even the littlest gamers can join in on the fun.

13 Hoot Owl Hoot!

Hoot Owl Hoot! cover

  • Age Range: 4+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 15 min

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This game is not just fun, but it’s cooperative. That means everyone plays together against the game, not each other. It’s a fantastic way to introduce teamwork to childrens. The goal is to get all the owls back to their nest before the sun comes up. It’s adorable, the concept is easy to grasp, and it teaches strategic thinking without the kids even realizing they’re learning.

12 Outfoxed!

Outfoxed! cover

  • Age Range: 5+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 20 min

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Here’s where things get a bit more cunning. Outfoxed! is a whodunit game tailor-made for kids. They’ll be detectives, gathering clues to figure out which fox stole the pot pie. It’s a game that not only entertains but also sharpens their deduction and decision-making skills. The cooperative nature means everyone wins or loses together, which is great for teaching the value of teamwork.

11 Dragon’s Breath

  • Age Range: 5+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 20 min

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Now we’re getting into the realm of imagination. Dragon’s Breath is a magical game where players are young dragons, collecting gems from melting ice. It’s visually stunning and offers a tactile experience that’s quite unique. The game is not just about luck; it requires a bit of strategy and decision-making, making it a hit for childrens who like a challenge.

10 Sleeping Queens

Sleeping Queens cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 20 min

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A royally good time, Sleeping Queens is a card-based game that mixes in some light strategy with math elements. Players must wake the queens using kings, stop others with knights, or use potions for various effects. It’s a bit more competitive but in a gentle way that encourages thinking and strategy without being too intense for younger gamers.

9 Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Ticket to Ride: First Journey cover

  • Age Range: 6+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 15-30 min

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Taking a step up, we enter the world of Ticket to Ride: First Journey. It’s an introduction to the Ticket to Ride series, simplified for a younger audience. Players collect train cards, claim routes, and try to connect cities across a map. It introduces strategic thinking in a fun, accessible way, and it’s a great game to get childrens excited about geography and planning.

8 My First Carcassonne

My First Carcassonne cover

  • Age Range: 4+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 20 min

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Building on the success of the original Carcassonne, My First Carcassonne adapts the classic tile-laying game for a younger audience. It simplifies the rules but keeps the spirit and strategy of the original. Kids will learn about strategic placement and decision-making while trying to build their cities and block their opponents. It’s an excellent introduction to more complex board games.

7 Zombie Kidz Evolution

Zombie Kidz Evolution cover

  • Age Range: 7+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 15 min

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Zombie Kidz Evolution brings a fresh twist to the childrens’ game scene with its legacy elements. As players progress through the game, they unlock new rules, characters, and abilities. It makes each game session unique and engages kids by having them actually change the game as they play. It’s a fantastic blend of strategy and storytelling, making it irresistibly fun and replayable.

6 Rhino Hero

Rhino Hero cover

  • Age Range: 5+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 5-15 min

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Rhino Hero is literally and figuratively a towering game of fun. Players take turns building a card tower and moving the Rhino Hero up floors without knocking it down. It’s a brilliant mix of strategy and dexterity, providing laughter and tense moments in equal measure. Plus, it’s fantastic for fine motor skills. Childrens love the thrill of building high and the hilarity when it all comes tumbling down.

5 King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo cover

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 30 min

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King of Tokyo is a dice-rolling game where players take on the roles of monsters battling over Tokyo. It introduces childrens to elements of strategy, probability, and risk management in a highly entertaining package. The game is fast-paced, filled with opportunities for comebacks, and the monster theme is a hit with kids. It’s competitive in a fun, friendly way that gets everyone roaring with laughter.

4 Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30 min

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As we get closer to our top pick, Forbidden Island stands out as a cooperative treasure hunt game. Players work together to collect treasures from a sinking island, making strategic decisions and racing against the rising waters. It’s thrilling, creates moments of teamwork, and teaches problem-solving. The game’s beautiful design and sense of adventure captivate childrens, making every play an exciting expedition.

3 Labyrinth

Labyrinth cover

  • Age Range: 7+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 20-30 min

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Labyrinth is a maze of magic and mystery. Players shift the board’s maze pieces to reach treasures and block their opponents. It’s a perfect blend of luck and strategy, fostering spatial awareness and planning. The constantly changing board keeps childrens on their toes and makes each game a new challenge. Labyrinth’s appeal lies in its simplicity coupled with the depth of strategic possibilities.

2 Animal Upon Animal

Animal Upon Animal cover

  • Age Range: 4+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 15 min

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Here’s a game that stacks up quite literally. Animal Upon Animal is a dexterity game where players stack wooden animals. It’s simple, but don’t let that fool you; maintaining balance as the stack grows is challenging and hilarious. It teaches patience, steady hands, and tactics in taunting gravity. Childrens and adults alike can’t help but laugh as they try to pile up quirky animal shapes without toppling them.

1 Ice Cool

Ice Cool cover

  • Age Range: 6+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30 min

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Topping our list is Ice Cool, an innovative flicking game where players take turns flicking their penguin pieces through doorways in a school to catch fish or play the role of the hall monitor catching the other penguins. The game is pure joy, with its cleverly designed box-in-a-box setup creating an engaging play area. It’s exceptionally fun, offers a good mix of skill and luck, and has kids (and grown-ups!) laughing and cheering. The reason it’s our number one? It blends action, strategy, and physical skill in a way that’s accessible for childrens but still wildly entertaining for everyone. It’s a game that will be requested over and over, making it the best board game with a childrens theme.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.