12 Fun Board Games to Play with Young Kids Ages 3-8!

best board games for young kids

best board games for young kids

I love a good game night. But, you figure out really quick that a lot of those games just don’t work with small kids around. 

Luckily, there are plenty of fun board games you can play with younger kids that they will love. 

I am the first one to admit that playing a board game with small kids can also be pretty stressful, but I have had the most success with games that have a lot of interaction, not very many small pieces, are quick to learn and quick to play. 

And, especially now that we are all spending more time at home – board games can be a great way to pass the time and make some memories. 

For reference, my kids are 6 and under. Every kiddo and family is different, but here are the board games we enjoy playing around here! Also, affiliate links are used below. 

The Best Board Games To Play with Young Kids:

1. Zingo:best board games for young kids, zingo

This one has been a lot of fun lately, because it’s a faster paced take on Bingo with sight words. Since my son is really good at Bingo now, this version is right up his alley. 

We play this when we are doing school and it breaks up the worksheets and videos with something fun. 

There are different versions of Zingo, we have the sight words one, but I’m thinking of picking up some more!

2. Hoot Owl Hoot: 

best board games for young kids, hoot owl hoot

This is one of several cooperative games on the list. I love the idea of cooperative games, because it removes the competitiveness that can lead to frustration and tantrums with younger kids. 

To me, learning to play a game is more about spending time together, learning game strategy, and working on other skills – other than how to lose. Playing a win/lose game with young kids can just end up explosive and that really defeats all of the other learning opportunities that can be had. 

Hoot Owl Hoot has all players working together to get the owls home before the sun comes up. It’s easy and fun for everyone. 

3. Charades for Kids: 

best board games for young kids, charades for kids

Everything you love about charades – simplified for kids! Charades is a great game for movement and learning to use their body to communicate. 

Kids pick this up really quickly – even my toddler loves it!

4.  Silly Street: 

best board games for young kids, silly street

A super inventive, kid-friendly game everyone loves. Kids build the game board with giant puzzle pieces and then you take turns following the card prompts – which can range from acting something out to telling a story to finding something on the board! 

It’s a really fun game and makes for a great gift, too. 

5. Animal Act: 

best board games for young kids, animal act

The second game in the Silly Street series, Animal Act focuses specifically on a charades-like game where you are acting, singing, miming and more. 

It’s really fun and it ensures lots of laughs. 

6. Avocado Smash: 

best board games for young kids, avocado smash

Listen, I’ll be honest, I really don’t know why the kids love this one so much – but they do!

It’s a simple card game. You pass out all the cards and then you take turns flipping one over. If the card matches the card before it – you all rush to smash the cards!

Guacamole and smash cards up the action and everyone is on pins and needles to smash it first. 

I play it simpler where the card pile stays put and there isn’t really any points or consequences for smashing first and last. This makes the game faster and prevents meltdowns from being stuck with a huge stack of cards, but again, my kids are really young. 

7. Hungry Hungry Hippo: 

best board games for young kids, hungry hungry hippo

A classic for good reason. Kids each get an animal and they try to eat as many of the balls as possible. I feel it start to hurt my hand after awhile, but kids really love it and it keeps their attention. 

Just make sure to store all of the balls securely because they are just the right size to be a choking hazard. 

8. Pretty Pretty Princess: 

best board games for young kids, pretty pretty princess

Don’t rule this out for being too girly – if you have a mix of girls and boys, they will all love this one. 

You basically play until you get your full set of jewelry – but watch out for the black ring and the other player who is stealing the crown!

Lots of fun, easy to play, kids love it. 


9. Pop the Pig: 

best board games for young kids, pop the pig

Another very simple game that kids really love. You roll the dice to find out the color of burger you get to feed the pig and then pick one to reveal the number. 

The number is how many times you need to press the pig’s head. 

Eventually, the pig eats so much – his stomach pops!

You’ll have to help younger kids with pressing the pig’s head until it clicks, as it takes a little strength, but it’s a fun, easy game with no cards – wahoo!

10. Count Your Chickens:

best board games for young kids, count your chickens

Another cooperative game for the win! This one is chicken themed! I love playing this one after reading the super funny chicken-themed book, “The Chicken Problem“. 

The main character/voice of the story is so cute, sassy and funny. Similar to Hoot Owl Hoot, Count Your Chickens has all players working together to get the chickens back to the coop. 

11. Mermaid Island: 

best board games for young kids, mermaid island

The last one is one of our newest. We bought Mermaid Island after loving Hoot Owl Hoot and Count Your Chickens. 

This mermaid themed game is another one where you work together for the common goal. I’ll admit this one is my favorite of the three. The art on the game board is so colorful and vivid (and girly!). 

The goal here is to get all the mermaids back to Mermaid Island before the Sea Witch gets there. So cute. 

12. Dragon Snacks: 

best board games for young kids, dragon snacks

My kids picked this one. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise, but it is so easy and so cute. 

I will say I love a kids’ game without any cards!! So easy with the younger ones. 

I seriously crack up every time we play it when my kids wave their hands in front of the dragons nose and say in their sweet baby voices, “Dragon snacks, show me your treasures.” Then, the belly lights up and you can see the treasures in the tummy. 

After the light goes off, you try to reach in and get the right color treasure. 

That’s it. So simple. Set up and take down the game in seconds and play for a few minutes up to 15-20 minutes based on attention span. 


Excellent Tablet-Based Learning Games:

There are so many great board games out there, but it’s an art to find some that work really well for young kids – and end up being more fun than stress. 

If your kids have tablets, they will also really love these tablet-based games by Osmo. They are some of the most inventive games I have ever seen. I wrote full reviews on a few of them that you can check out here: 

We recently bought the Osmo Pizza Co. game and it is unbelievably cute and fun. The stuff they came up with at Osmo astounds me. And, Osmo Numbers is a fantastic math game that you can use for math when doing homeschool with young learners.

Just remember if you are new to Osmo, make sure have the universal tablet base that is used with all of the games. It is included with some of the game bundles. 


I hope you find something new to try! We are all looking for ways to make this a positive time, right? 

Please comment below with any of your favorites that should be on this list!

Have a fabulous day, 


best board games for young kids


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