Introducing Board Games and Card Games

I grew up in a family that played games often. Two of my favorite memories are of competitively playing Parcheesi with my grandmother (who most often won) and hearing my dad’s big family happily laughing and shouting over a game of Pit. Now, I love playing games with my own children and started them at a young age.

There are so many benefits to playing games with your children. Game play teaches turn taking and patience, how to follow rules and sportsmanship including how to be a gracious winner and a good-sport loser. Other games teach cooperative effort, critical thinking and how to strategize. There are board games specifically designed for teaching manners, flexible thinking and social skills (my girls say these aren’t so fun though) and others for teaching about earning and managing money. Across games, there are often math and literacy skills being practiced.

As you introduce and play board games, occasionally discuss what it feels like and things you can say to others when you win and lose.

Games We Love – Please add to this list!

Older Two-year-old games

  • Good Night Moon OR Things in My House
  • Snails Pace Race OR Caterpillar Crawl

Three and four year old games

  • My First Orchard
  • Count Your Chickens
  • Busytown
  • Old Maid and Go Fish
  • Hullabaloo and Cariboo
  • Candy Land
  • Memory (if you start with just a few pairs)

Five and six year old games

  • The Fairy Game
  • Race to the Treasure
  • Uno
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Dominos
  • Zingo
  • Monopoly Jr.
  • Clue Jr.
  • Match of the Penguins
  • Spoons (card game)

Seven to nine year old games

  • Yatzee
  • Apples to Apples Jr.
  • Sorry
  • Zooreeka
  • Clue
  • Labrynith Jr.

10 to 13 year old games

  • Anomia
  • Mexican Train Dominos
  • Labrynith
  • Monopoly
  • Apples to Apples

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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