Are you looking for board games for 5-year-olds? Board games have slowly grown on us as a family. We first started at age 3 with board games such as Nutrivity and Tic-Tac-Toe and now by age 5 we have quite a collection.
Before we get around to discussing our favorite board games I want to address some common questions I get.
WHAT AGE CAN CHILDREN PLAY BOARD GAMES?
There are many age-appropriate board games now available in the market that can be played with children as young as 3.
Here are few examples of board games for 3-4-year-olds.
We started board games at age 3 quite accidentally. I had not put much thought into family games or board games back then.
A family was visiting us and our guests had an older child along with them who brought with him some board games.
And we were surprised how quickly our son picked up the rules simply by observing the other child play.
So, to answer your question you can start with age-appropriate board games for children as young as 3-4 yr olds.
DO 5 YEAR OLDS UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF A BOARD GAMES?
There are many family board games that have simple rules that a 5 year old can easily follow. Games like Tic-tac-toe and snakes and ladders are great beginner board games.
The instructions are simple and the games are 2 player so it is easy for you to guide your child along as you play. 2-player games don’t overwhelm a child who is just starting out with board games.
Read on for my recommendations of board games for 5 year olds.
WILL MY CHILD SIT IN ONE PLACE TO COMPLETE THE ENTIRE GAME?
Another often asked question is, will my child be able to sit and complete an entire game. Here I feel it is important to choose games that have a 15–20-minute run.
Long games with many rules or multi players may become overwhelming for younger children who don’t necessarily sit for long time in one place.
Try to select games that have a few instructions to play or modify the rules to simplify and accommodate your younger child.
Once he gets the hang of it you can increase the complexity as he grows older.
Related reading : How to encourage children to play independently
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SELECTING BOARD GAMES FOR 5 YEAR OLDS
- Choose games with simple instructions or 2-3 steps to play.
2. A game with a short game run (15-20 minutes)
3. Sturdy pieces and good quality box for storage. Most board games get spoilt on use because the tiny pieces get lost or the box starts to tear off. Have a dedicated shelf or cupboard for easy storage of games and choose games made with good quality materials.
BENEFITS OF PLAYING BOARD GAMES
- Family bonding time. During the second lockdown, board games became our saviour. We were so bored of staying indoors all the time and board games brought that spark of happiness and excitement to our long days indoors.
- Teaches children patience and provides an opportunity to learn how to take turns.
- Teaches children about sportsman spirit, that winning and losing is not the focus, learning the game and trying to get better is the focus.
- Learning board games teach children math and other concepts through play.
- Boost language skills.
- Screen free alternatives especially during summer vacations.
Related reading : Screen free activities for toddlers
THE BEST BOARD GAMES FOR 5 YEAR OLDS
One of the first board games for kids to try. The rules are easy for children to understand and requires a child to use strategic thinking.
We love playing this game at home and during travels. It is compact enough to carry and fun for all ages. I also think this is a unique and cheap birthday return gift idea.
Trio-me/OtriO by Physome games was introduced to us by a relative recently. She highly recommended we try this board game for our 5 year old.
Trio-me can be played by 2 – 4 players and is a level up from tic tac toe. Ever since we bought it, it has been our favorite for family game night.
This board game for kids encourages strategic thinking, logical reasoning and is specially designed to boost spatial reasoning.
It is packaged in a sturdy wooden box which makes storage also very convenient.
I would highly recommend this board game for all ages, because not only is it fun to play but it looks so beautiful too.
Here is a quick guide on how to play Trio-me/OtriO
This wooden memory game is great for ages 3 and up. It helps with visual discrimination, builds focus and memorization.
It comes with different themed cards that can be changed for variation. We use these themes as talking points to discuss about different vehicles, fruits and vegetables, or ocean animals.
I think this memory game would make a unique birthday gift to a 3 – 5 year old.
The Toiing Nutrivity kit is an educational board game for kids. It is suited for children ages 3-5.
It includes different games that teach children about healthy foods and the importance of good health.
Each set comes with a Board game, sorting cards, Bingo board, Simon says cards, Food Pyramid chart, Instruction booklet, plastic beads and sketch pens.
We have used these games in many different ways to make our own modifications and suit our child’s level of understanding.
The board game is especially great as a tool to create awareness about healthy foods and start conversation around what you eat as a family, healthy choices and alternatives.
If you have a picky eater at home such games are a great add to educate little ones about the importance of all food groups.
Knowledge when received through play is more easy to accept rather than a parent who nags or preaches at the table.
We have all played this mental game as kids and it is still one of the best games for kids and adults.
I recommend introducing Brainvita only when children are older, ages 5 and above because the game contains small marbles. These could pose as a choking risk for younger children.
As far as the actual game is concerned, it is our go-to on slow afternoons. Perfect for quiet time because it’s a solo player game.
We set it up for our son and he is engrossed in solving it for the next 20-30 minutes. A problem-solving exercise for him and a short power nap for mama.
This game is one of those traditional games that children must be introduced to in their growing up years.
Sorry is a recent discovery and it’s been a hit in our family. Perfect for 5-year-olds learning to play in groups. The rules are simple for kids to understand and can be played with 2-4 players.
The game is played similar to Ludo and is a great add for family time.
If you have a pancake lover in your house, Pancake Up! By Shumee Toys is a perfect match.
The rules of the game will take a 5 year old some time to get used to.
We actually modified the rules and reduced some of the steps and complexities at first. But, by the time we had played this game two times, our son was obsessed with Pancake Up!
The game involves matching the right ingredients on the dice to build an order of pancakes.
I would especially recommend Pancake up as a birthday gift for a pancake lover.
Here is my full review of Pancake Up!
A traditional Indian game that all of us have grown up playing is, Snakes and Ladders. I was very excited to introduce snakes and ladders to our son. He enjoys the game very much.
To me Snakes and Ladders is also a good educational board game. You can use the game as a way to teach numbers, skip counting, addition and subtraction. Such game-based learning is more effective over worksheets in my opinion.
We also tried another childhood favorite game of mine recently, Connect 4. To play this game, a player has to make 4 of the same color in a row.
Besides being fun to play, I love watching our son come up with his own strategy to win. Such a joy watching little children play.
Spytoi by Toiing is a spotting board game for kids (5 years and up). Kids enjoy spotting and the timer adds a thrill element as you need to race against time.
The cards cover different emotions and help children gain a better understanding of the emotions potrayed by the characters.
This game is best suited for ages 4-7.
That is it for now!
I hope you got some ideas to get started with board games for your kids. If you have a family favorite board game that is not covered here, do leave me a comment below. I would love more recommendations.