10 of the best board games for children

From new arrivals to well-loved classics, we pick the most fun games to play as a family

MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.
Composite

Sitting down to play a board game together is a great way to get some quality time as a family – assuming there are no sore losers!

Advertisement

The best family games will combine some thinking skills, some luck, maybe some element of surprise or tension – and definitely a lot to laugh about as you play.

Look out for those with simple concepts and brightly-coloured, engaging pieces for little ones and more advanced, strategy-based elements for older kids.

Here are our top 10 board games, as rated and tested by kids, parents and toy experts…

bestboardgame3pluspeppapigLOGOrs

1. Ravensburger Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Game, best for Peppa fans, £19.99

Age: 4+

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 3+ years – Gold

What it is: A fun Peppa Pig game which sees kids help George jump over muddy puddles to reach the top of the hill, or fall down into a deep puddle if you take a wrong step! Includes a green hill with Peppa, 12 playing pieces and 24 action cards. For 2-4 players.

Why we love it: Anything Peppa themed is a big hit in most households, and this game is no different. We love the muddy fun element at the centre of this game and little ones will find falling in the deep puddles very amusing.

MFM tester Mackenzie, mum to Reuben, 4, says: “This game is very well designed and perfect for children who love Peppa Pig. It’s educational but also very fun. The whole family joined in to play and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!”

It offers around 15-20 minutes playing time, which is perfect for this age group. Just remember though, once Peppa has lost its shine, you may find the game gets forgotten about, and for that reason it may not have the same shelf-life as some of the others on this list, such as Orangutwang or Cheeky Monkeys.

Available from:  Amazon, Smyths Toys and Argos

bestboardgame6pluscobrapawLOGOrs

2. Asmodee Cobra Paw, best for fast-paced fun, £14.99

Age: 6+

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 6+ years– Gold

What it is: A fun and quick-paced game that sees youngsters role a dice and then spot and grab matching tiles before their opponents. For 2-6 players.

Why we love it: This is an easy to master game and provides endless fun. We love that it helps encourage youngsters to learn to take turns, but that they can also constantly join in. It encourages a nice healthy bit of competitive spirit – and adults will soon be as addicted as their kids!

MFM tester Sarah, mum to Noah, 6, says: “This is a fantastic game and excellent value for money. Noah loved the shape of the box and the design and got the rules really quickly. It’s also a really good portable size that we can take anywhere.”

It’s not as obviously educational as the likes of Make n Break or strategy-based like Monopoly, but it does encourage your kids to act fast and develop quick recognition skills.

Available from:  John Lewis, Waterstones and Amazon

bestboardgamemonopolyLOGOrs

3. Monopoly Voice Banking, best for classic entertainment, £29.99

Age: 8+

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 6+ years – Silver

What it is: A modern-day take on the traditional game of Monopoly with a voice-activated banker who takes care of all the game’s transactions. Includes Top Hat banking unit, gameboard, 4 tokens, 22 Title Deed Cards, 1 Get Out of Jail Free card, 4 Reference cards, 16 houses, 16 hotels, 2 dice and game guide. Up to 4 players. 3x AA batteries required (included).

Why we love it: Everyone enjoys a game of Monopoly, and this new version is brilliant fun for all the family. It doesn’t take as long as traditional monopoly (you’ll be pleased to hear!) and you don’t have to worry about counting out the cash as the banker does that all for you.

Aisha Mohammed, mum to Alishba, 9, says: “My daughter loved playing with this toy and getting us all involved as a family. It allowed for great bonding time and she really liked to set everything up and take charge. She was really impressed with the voice-activated device and liked all the attachments that came with the game.”

It’s not necessarily laugh-out-loud fun (like Stoopido or Charades) but it offers a great opportunity to get all the family together.

Available from: Smyths and Amazon

bestboardgamesorangutwangLOGOrs

4. Orangutwang, best for all the family, £19.99

Age: 4+

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 3+ years – Silver

What it is: A different take on a Buckaroo-type game, this involves hanging fruit and animals on an orangutan and trying to ensure he doesn’t spring up! Contains base with 2 palm trees, toucan lever, vine string and dice, orangutan, 14 hanging game pieces and rules. For 2 or more players.

Why we love it: A tense game involving balance and fun, this is bound to have you all on your edges of your seats. Little ones will enjoy carefully placing all the hanging pieces on to the orangutan, and there will be giggles galore when the monkey springs up.

We love the fact it encourages fine motor skills and the colourful pieces are really engaging.

MFM tester Michelle Wright, mum to Michael, 4, says: “From the minute he saw the box Michael was so excited about playing this game. It’s fast paced, bright and exciting and there were lots of giggles and jumping about. His two-year-old sister could join in and even mummy and daddy got a bit competitive with each other.”

There aren’t different difficulty levels (like with the classic Buckeroo game) but this still offers fun for all ages, and it’s great that it has such longevity.

Available from:  Smyths, Argos and John Lewis

bestboardgameescaperoomLOGOrs

5. Spy Code Operation Escape Room, best for team work, £19.99

Age: 6-14

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 6+ years – Bronze

What it is: A thrilling escape-room type game which sees youngsters work together to free a teammate from an escape belt. It involves a bit of skill, strategy and luck and will see children racing against the clock. Includes a master timer, a skill challenge with 2 sticks, a strategy challenge with 45 playing cards, a luck challenge, 3 keys and a set of rules. 2 AAA batteries required (not included).

Why we love it: This innovative product really captured the imagination of our child testers who loved working against a timer and trying their hand at exciting challenges such as navigating a maze, completing mathematical puzzles and finding the missing clues.

MFM child tester Georgie, 10, says: “I think this is really good – it was fun, and I liked the timer part, because it made us feel excited and under pressure. I’m really looking forward to playing it when I have a friend over.”

It’s nice that it encourages children to team up, rather than compete against each other, and we like the element of skill and strategy.

It may not be something your child keeps coming back to (like Monopoly or Stoopido), but it’s great fun. Just bear in mind that younger kids may find the instructions a little tricky, so it’s probably best suited to those aged over 7 or 8.

Available from: Smyths, Amazon and Very

bestboardgamesdirtydinosLOGOrs

6. Orchard Toys Dirty Dinos, best for those on a budget, £8

Age: 3-6

Awards: MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019 Best Board Game 6+ years – Bronze

What it is: A fun colour, counting and observation game which involves finding the right dirty dino and racing to put him in your tub. Includes 4 bath playing boards, 1 double spinner, 25 dinosaur cards and instructions.

Why we love it: This simple and educational game is ideal for little ones and very affordable too. We love the bright and engaging pictures and our child testers couldn’t wait to discover all the different dinosaurs.

MFM tester Isabel, mum to Aurora, 2, and Olivia-Rose, 4, says: “The play potential is great – both my daughters enjoyed playing even though the age range is older than my youngest. It’s provides hours of fun for them, helped them learn dinosaur names, backed up their counting skills and helped their colour knowledge all with a simple, easy to play game.”

It is more simple than some of the other games on this list and possibly not so giggle-enducing as the likes of Orangutwang or Cheeky Monkeys, but it’s great that it helps their knowledge.

Available from:  Next, Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe

best-board-games_211627

7. Orchard Toys Cheeky Monkeys, best for little ones, £10

Age: 4+

What it is: A fast-moving game of chance – you race to collect the most bananas – with a (not-so-serious) element of strategy – you can steal bananas from each other. Includes a 2-part 3D tree, 32 monkey cards, a spinner board, a pool board and instructions. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: It’s simple and really well thought-out game that’s fun to play – from hanging bananas on the tree to making monkey noises to – thrillingly – nicking other people’s nanas.

It features nice and sturdy (recycled) cardboard playing pieces, too, which was one of the many reasons it scooped a top accolade in a previous MadeForMums Toy Awards.

It’s a decent price (less than half the price of the likes of Orangutwang) and will be one your kids keep coming back to.

Available fromAmazon and The Entertainer

best-board-games_185337

8. Stoopido, best for lots of laughs, £18

Age: 8+

What it is: A fast turn-taking game, in which each player wears a pair of Stoopido glasses and then races to load everyone else’s spec with silly eyes, noses, ears, pirate hats and more. Includes squeaker, dice and rules; for up to 4 players.

Why we love it: This game is silliness personified. All our tester families found they spent pretty much all the 25 minutes or so it takes to play laughing their spec-laden heads off.

One of our child testers, in particular, says he will always treasure the sight of his granddad looking like ‘a cross between a pirate and a girl’.

It’s not educational in the same way that Make n Break is, or skill-based like Operation Escape Room but there’s endless fun to be had – and sometimes you just need to wear some silly glasses and have a giggle.

Available from: Game and Amazon

best-board-games_185329

9. Charades for Kids: The Board Game, best for imaginative play, £12.95

Age: 4+

What it is: The classic parlour game gets the child-friendly treatment, with cards suitable for younger and older kids to act out. Each player gets a guess and the person who is correct moves ahead on the board. Includes a board, 50 picture charade cards, 100 non-picture cards, a dice, a 1-minute egg timer and 4 player pieces. For 3 or more players.

Why we love it: This simplified version of the traditional family party game is a great way to allow little ones to get in on the fun. The picture cards for the youngest players is a nice touch, too.

It’s not quite as thrilling or exciting as some of the other offerings such as Orangutwang or Cheeky Monkeys, but it’s a good way to get the family together.

Available from: John Lewis and Amazon

Make-N-Break

10. Make n Break, best for logical thinking, £24.99

Age: 8+

What it is: A game where you race against time to replicate, with 10 colourful wooden blocks, the structure on the card you’ve drawn. Come with an extra dice and extreme challenge cards if you want to take things up a level. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: It sounds super-worthy but it’s actually huge fun – and requires steady nerves and fingers. We like the ways you can make it a teamwork challenge, too.

Sarah, mum to Olivia, 9, says “Olivia loves how this game makes you think. The race against the clock makes it more intense but she likes how you can work in teams, meaning that, as much as you are competitive, you must work together too. It’s the perfect game for us as we usually fall out because of competitiveness!”

At £25 this is one of the more expensive games in this list but we think it’s well worth it.

Available from: Ocado and Amazon

We’ve got more award-winning toys here…

Advertisement

This article contains affiliate links, which means MadeForMums may earn a small amount of money if you click through and buy. All our toy content is written independently (we’ll include the best toys whether we can include an affiliate link or not) and pretty much all of the toys are tested and rated by our child toy testers, as well as our editorial team. 

Comments

Please read our Chat guidelines.