ParentDish's Top 10 Classic Board Games for Kids

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Toys, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids

You sunk my battleship!
Credit: Amanda M Hatfield, Flickr


Family game nights are a time for everyone to sit together, laugh, learn and play. And the thing about board games is that the classics have managed to remain popular for decades, so not only do you get the opportunity for some serious bonding with your kids, but you get the chance to relive a little bit of your own childhood, as well.

ParentDish rolled the dice and came up with 10 classic games for children. Turn off the TV, pop some corn and clear off the dining room table. It's time to play.

1. Candyland: Making its delicious debut in 1949, this easy-to-play game takes children past Ice Cream Mountains and Chocolate Rivers to the Lollipop Woods and Licorice Lake. First one to the Candy Castle wins. Sweet! For two to four players, ages 4 and up.

2. Clue: OK, we admit it: Even when it's just us grownups hanging out, we still sometimes like to pull out this whodunnit game. Was it Mrs. Peacock in the hall with the rope? Or Mr. Green in the kitchen with the candlestick? Roll the dice to move around the mansion -- and keep notes on your opponents' guesses to win the murder mystery, launched in 1949. For three to six players, ages 9 and up.

3. Chutes & Ladders: To play this game for preschoolers -- reading isn't necessary -- simply spin to see how many spaces you move. If you land on a ladder, up you go! Land on a slide? You're heading back down. Teaching kids counting in the U.S. since 1943, it's a great way to introduce your children to board games. For two to four players, ages 36 months and up.

4. Hi Ho! Cherry-O: Little ones don't need to know how to read to play this fun counting game that's been around for more than 30 years. Pick your tree free of cherries and fill your bucket to win. For two to four players, ages 3 and up.

5. Trouble: Since 1965, kids have been pushing the pop-o-matic dice roller to move their pieces to the finish line. For two to four players, ages 5 and up.

6. Sorry!: Kids and grownups have been moving their pieces around the Sorry! board since 1934. Variations on the classic include Disney, "Simpsons," "Spider-Man 3," "Pokemon" and "SpongeBob Squarepants" versions, plus a whole slew of other editions. For two to four players, ages 6 and up.

7. The Game of Life: The wheel of fate awaits! Go to college, get married, make money, lose money, have kids ... Spin to find out your fortune in this game that's been entertaining families for more than 30 years. For two to six players, ages 9 and up.

8. Operation: Butterflies in the stomach! Writer's cramp! Water on the knee! Broken heart! Your role is to be the doctor in this funny -- and fun -- game (out since 1965) as you "operate" on the patient. Try to remove the ailment with tweezers. If you touch the sides, a buzzer goes off. For one to six players, ages 6 and up.

9. Hungry Hungry Hippos: Simple, silly and a hit since the '70s, just press your hippo's tail and watch as he gobbles up marbles. Whoever gathers the most marbles wins. For two to four players, ages 4 and up.

10. Battleship: "You sunk my battleship!" It's a phrase that's been uttered for decades. Deploy your battleships on a square grid (stealthily, of course) and call out cooridinants that will either "hit" or "miss." First to sink all your opponent's ships wins. For two players, ages 8 and up.

Love a game that didn't make our list? Tell us your favorite classic games by leaving a comment below!

Related:
Games and Toys That Reconnect Us

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.