Saturday, March 14, 2020

Best Family Board Games for Bored Kids (Aged 3-6)

With the threat of a COVID-19 quarantine looming, some people are panicking over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. My mind, however, has wandered to the daunting task of entertaining children indoors for 2 weeks straight.

I don't have answers for a lot of what's about to happen, but over the past couple of years I have discovered some really great kid friendly games that I thought I would share with you. Hopefully not many of us encounter a full on quarantine, but board games are also ideal social distancing activities, and are actually pretty fun even without the threat of a virus taking over our world.

Here are my tried and true board games (I use the term 'board' lightly - mostly meaning these are packaged games with rules, as young children often need something a bit more interactive than traditional board games allow). Most of these are for kids aged 3-6, but some skew younger or older. Also, one of my prerequisites is these games must be fun for parents as well (sorry Toilet Trouble).

This is essentially a twist on a card game, and is pretty fun for parents too (my husband and I have been known to have a head to head match after the kids tire of it). Each player flips over a card with images on it and tries to match the picture with an overturned card in the middle. There is one matching image on every card, so it's a matter of who finds their's first. My son is 5 and loves this game, although when I play with him I sometimes give him a few extra seconds to look for his match. 

One of my favourite games as a kid and the only true 'board game' on this list, Chutes & Ladders basically teaches the consequences of rolling the dice. If you land on a ladder you move up, if you land on a chute (or snake) you move down the board. Easy to play when assisting younger kids, and older kids can have fun counting the spaces (bonus: LEARNING).



This game has been a staple in our house since my son was 2 years old. The point of the game is to completely build your bug, and the rules can be as loose or rigid as your child's development allows for. It's fun for the whole family and really easy for young kids to grasp. I tired looking online to purchase it and couldn't find any retail outlets selling it in Canada - so the link in the title is to If you find one second hand grab it up!

I think my favourite thing about this classic card game is that you can play it with any card like items you have. We play it with matching games, a regular deck of cards, or specific decks, like the one I linked to. It is awesome for memory, learning about numbers or animals (or whatever is on the deck you are playing with), and is easy to understand for younger kids as well. 

I must admit, my 5 year old has legitimately beat me in this game. We have been playing since he was 2 years old and at first it was just fun for him to put the pieces in one by one as we took turns. Now that he's 5 he is fully committed to lining up 4 pieces in a row. While he still doesn't quite grasp connecting the pieces on a diagonal, he sometimes beats me because I'm paying attention to my offensive strategy rather than defensive. 

Magic Sketch Boogie Board   

Although the word 'board' is in this title this is actually a writing/drawing tablet that erases with the push of a button. My favourite thing about the Boogie Board is that my toddler can't draw on my walls with it.

There you have it - a list of my favourite board games for bored kids age three to six. I just did an Amazon panic purchase of a few more - Trouble, Guess Who?, and The Floor Is Lava - so I'll keep you posted on how those turn out. What gems am I missing? Drop me a comment with your favourite games to play with your kids. Let's share our entertainment knowledge with each other to make these uncertain times a bit easier!


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