As parents and caregivers, we always strive to provide the best experiences for our younger children. Board games have long been cherished for their ability to entertain, educate, and foster essential skills in kids. In this article, we present the 13 best board games for younger children that combine fun and learning in perfect harmony. These games have been carefully selected based on their engaging gameplay, educational value, and positive reviews from both parents and children. Let’s dive into the world of exciting board games and discover the perfect one for your little gamers!
It is widely known that young students learn best through play. That is why board games are a fantastic resource to support learning either at home or in the classroom.
Board games are great fun and a smart way to disguise learning. So, if you are a parent looking for ways to help your children learn or perhaps a teacher searching for fun ways to apply learning – we have compiled a list of the 13 Best Educational Board Games for your 5-year-old children.
13 Best Board Games for Younger Children – Our List
Bingo with a twist. By theage of five, children are at the early stages of reading. They should be decoding simple words and using pictures to make sense of written words.
In the game of Zingo, each player is given a Zingo board that contains a word and a picture. The Zingo Zinger (equivalent to the bingo ball dispenser), is loaded with Zingo tiles. Each player takes it in turns to dispense a tile. Players must read the word and match the word/picture to their Zingo board. The winner is first to match 3 tiles in a row.
This game is a great educational game for early readers and 5-year-olds will love using the Zingo Zinger!
Developing spoken language is a key area of learning for all 5-year-olds and Headbandz is a game that focuses on speaking skills.
It’s a take on the classic game “Who Am I?” Each player wears a headband and chooses a picture card. This picture card is placed on their headband without them seeing it. The player must then ask the other players questions to figure out who or what they are on their card.
This board game is a fun way for 5-year-olds to practice their questioning skills and to extend their vocabulary. Furthermore, the picture cards make the board game all-inclusive, ensuring that children who are still learning to read can join in too.
As board games go there are probably none more popular than Monopoly. The junior version of this all-time-favorite board game is fantastic for all those money-curious 5-year-olds.
Monopoly Junior makes the game accessible for young children by only dealing in one dollar bills. This means players are only expected to calculate simple additions or use straightforward counting.
For your 5 year-old who is learning to count, this is a perfect opportunity to build counting practice. It also provides youngsters with an experience of using money within a context. Monopoly is certainly an educational board game in disguise.
“How is Jenga an educational board game?” – I hear you ask. Well, at five years old, children are still developing their motor skills.
These motor skills are essential in helping them do all sorts of things with their hands. From putting on their own shoes and dressing themselves to learning to write letters and developing legible handwriting.
Jenga is a game that requires a steady hand, as you remove blocks one by one from an ever increasingly wobbly tower.
Your 5-year-old will love the suspense and drama of the imminent collapse while developing their all-important motor skills at teh same time.
To disguise even more learning within the game, some teachers or parents like to write quiz questions on the blocks. Once the block is removed the player must answer the question. A few forfeit blocks are always good fun too!
Scrabble is a classic household board game that can be used for educational purposes. The aim of the game is to use the letter tiles to create the highest scoring word possible.
The game helps with both spelling and with vocabulary acquisition. The Junior version of the traditional board game is perfect for your 5-year-old child that is learning to spell.
Scrabble Junior has a double-sided board. One side is the traditional Scrabble board, the other is an adapted junior board for younger players.
The junior board has preprinted words and players must match their letter tiles to the letter on the board. Picture prompts on the junior board will help your 5-year-old read the words too.
Scrabble is certainly one of the best educational board games that has stood the test of time.
Another game that is great for teaching kids to spell is Boogle. Again, the junior version of this board game is most likely better suited for your 5-year-old children or student.
The aim of the game, each player selects a picture card and must rearrange letters to spell the corresponding word.
The game promotes letter recognition, and it helps students decode words which is essential in learning to read and spell.
It also helps develop recognition of sight words, which are words that can not be sounded out. All in all, a super game for developing early literacy skills.
7. Guess Who?
The board game Guess Who? has so many educational advantages hidden within it, that it should be found in every home or class game collection.
Basically, each player must guess which character their opponent has on their mystery card, by asking yes or no questions. It is a game that requires deduction, a logical thinking skill that at the age of five, children should be starting to develop.
Players also need to think strategically about which questions they will ask next. For many teachers, encouraging children to use description is often a challenge.
The game of Guess Who? requires the players to use descriptive words in the questions they ask and is therefore great practice for building descriptive vocabulary. Furthermore, Guess Who? is a great game for your inquisitive 5-year-old, who is starting to notice appearances and are developing their own identity.
Often, you may find that while playing the game conversations on the topic of diversity will arise. It presents a good time to talk openly and casually about the similarities and differences among us.
8. Connect 4
Another classic game, Connect 4 is packed full of opportunities to develop a 5-year-old’s mathematical thinking skills. This game requires strategic thinking as each player plans their next move and tries to predict the possible move that their opponent may take.
Two opponents compete to place four chips in a row while also trying to block their competitor’s attempts to connect four in a row of their own.
The game helps develop concentration and focus, players must look for patterns, and pay close attention.
Connect 4 is also a tool for helping young players develop mathematical language relating to position, by giving them the chance to use positional language in a playful context. Encourage your young players to use words such as: next to, left, right, under, on top, etc.
Dominoes are available in many formats. The traditional number as spots format is excellent for developing early counting skills. Alternatively, picture versions of the game are great for vocabulary development.
Get your hands on a pack of dominoes that displays images of anything from animals to items you find in a grocery store, and help your 5-year-old learn new words while they play.
Dominoes are also an easy DIY board game to make at home with your 5-year-old child. Why not create a homemade set of dominoes to help develop reading skills?
Your DIY dominoes could display pictures and written words to encourage your younger learner to read. There are countless templates online to help build your own set of educational dominoes.
This is one of our favorites and a true winner amongst five-year-olds. Essentially, a jazzed-up version of the card game Snap, Spot It! is an exciting quick-fire game. Players have to react quickly in a variety of different rounds to match the pictures or words on the cards.
Reaction speed, concentration, speech, and vocab all come into play while competing in a game of Spot It. Just a word of warning this game gets very exciting, so clear some space and perhaps get some earplugs too. We love it!
Matching games come in a wide variety of themes and vary in difficulty making them suitable for young children to adults. Matching games practice focus and concentration and help stimulate memory.
We particularly love the Sesame Street themed matching game made by Wonder Forge. Using characters and illustrations from the popular TV show on PBS Sesame Street including Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and more.
This set of matching cards is excellent for children of 3-5 years old and fans of Sesame Street. Introduce popular book titles to your pre-schooler and develop a love of literature from an early age. The themed matching game is a perfect partner for similar books.
If you are looking to improve your child’s fine motor skills and ultimately improve their handwriting, then consider the board game Operation.
Players become surgeon and must use tweezers to remove small objects from the patient’s body (the patient being an electrified game board).
Players must have a steady hand because if their tweezers make contact with the game board patient, a buzzer will sound.
Not only does this game help improve fine motor skills it also teaches children about the anatomy of the human body. They will learn words for parts of the body and know where to find them.
This is a feel-good game that will teach your 5-year-old important social skills such as teamwork and collaboration.
Disney Eye Found It! is a refreshing change from the competitiveness of most board games. It requires players to team up and compete against the clock to find images hidden on the board while making their way to Cinderella’s Castle.
The Disney theme will excite and engage Disney fans of all ages. The take-home message after playing this game, teamwork wins!
13 Best Board Games for Younger Children Wrapping Up
Board games are more than just a source of entertainment; they offer an opportunity for younger children to learn, grow, and bond with friends and family. The 13 best board games presented in this article cater to the developmental needs of younger children while delivering a whole lot of fun. Whether it’s learning colors, problem-solving, or cooperation, these games will keep your little ones engaged for hours on end.
At the age of five, your children or students are learning everything from social skills, motor skills, communication, math, literacy, vocabulary, and the list goes on!
So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of exciting board games and create cherished memories with your younger children. Let the laughter, learning, and adventure begin!