Top 5 board games to play with young kids

As the title says, today we are looking at board games. As chosen by Lily, her top 5 board games to play with young kids. Jack and Lily are 12 and 8, both being autistic what they like is some areas can be younger than their age. This is one of those areas, so we are looking at this from a younger child’s perspective. Lily really enjoys board games, and we’ve been playing quite a lot during this lockdown. Sometimes Jack will play as well depending on the game.

Lily picked the 5 games, we played them and each gave them a score out of 5. I will do a quick review with each game too, and leave a link to where you can buy each game from amazon. These are affiliate links and I will get a small commission if anyone does make a purchase using the links. That will help me with the upkeep of the website, for more information, you can go to my Donations & Adverts page by clicking this link. So let’s get started on our list of top 5 board games to play with young kids.

Kerplunk

Top 5 board games to play with young kids Kerplunk Lily

The aim of the game is to take the straws out one at a time, and try not to make any of the marbles drop down. The person with the least amount of marbles at the end wins. Setting up is as much of an event as playing the game itself, especially if you are all trying to put the straws through at the same time. It’s a good idea to make the set up fun, you have to do it at the end of every round, and can become tedious otherwise.

Once you are ready to go, I really like Kerplunk. The tension and anxiety rises every time you take another straw. I mostly enjoy the reaction of the kids when the marbles drop, especially if a lot go at once. They laugh every time, especially if it’s on my turn. We normally play 5 or 6 games, if all 4 of us are playing maybe a few more.

Top 5 games to play with young children - Kerplunk

Rating – Dad (4) Lily (5) Click here to buy Kerplunk

Jenga

Top 5 board games to play with young kids - jenga tower

The aim of the game is simple. Build a tower of 3 blocks in a row, then take it in turn to take one block out. If you knock the tower over during your turn you lose. I do enjoy jenga, but I find setting it up a bit of a pain. It comes with a cardboard sleeve, the theory is you pull it out of the box, and the tower sets straight up when you slide the sleeve away. That has never worked once for us.

When the game starts it’s pretty fun, you get the same tension as Kerplunk. You need more skill for this game, as one wrong move and it’s game over. You need a steady hand, which is bad news for me. When I inevitably end up knocking the tower over, the kids are laughing at my misfortune again. Another fun game, but the setting up loses it points from me.

Collapsed jenga tower

Rating – Dad (3) Lily (5) Click here to buy Jenga

LOL surprise Monopoly


A classic game, we have the LOL surprise version. Admittedly I’d probably enjoy it more if it was the original, or less of a “girly version”. But it was a present for Lily and she loves it. It does mean Jack has absolutely no interest in playing it. If you’ve got a lot of time to kill, then this is the game to play. Playing until everyone goes bankrupt and there’s one player left, must be a marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever done that ever, we normally declare a winner when someone is clearly leading and everyone’s got bored.

Top 5 board games to play with young kids

This isn’t a very competitive game in our house. Lily gets upset if you buy any of her favourite cards, which seems to be most of them. We tend too just play until Lily gets bored, and we declare her the winner. For those reasons, this is my least favourite of the 5 games, but Lily absolutely loves it.

Rating – Dad (3) Lily (5) Click here to buy LOL monopoly

Hungry Hippos

You have to connect the hippos to the game board every time you play, assuming you disconnect them and put them back in the box when you finish playing. I find the hippos quite stuff to put on, the kids certainly aren’t able to do it, which is a downside. Once it’s ready, it’s an easy and fun game to play.

Top 5 board games to play with young kids - hungry hippos

You can play with 2 people, though I think it’s best if you have 4, one person for each hippo. The aim of the game is to swallow as many of the little balls as you can, with your hippo. The person with the most balls at the end, wins the game. If you are anything like us, things are likely to get a bit manic. It’s no holds barred, and the more aggressive the game gets the funnier Jack and Lily think it is. They absolutely love it, we can play up 10 times, before hands start to hurt from hitting the plastic levers, and we stop.

Rating – Dad (4) Lily (4) click here to buy hungry hippos

Don’t take Busters Bones

don’t take busters bones

To start you need to connect the dog to the tray section, and then push it back to set it. It’s not to difficult, the kids struggle with it but can do it without my help. To play you take turns picking a card, that has a number of bones that you have to pick up out of the tray. You have a pair of cat paw tweezers to pick the bones up, this is to keep hands out of the try. As the dog lurches foward, as if to bite, when you set him off. If he bites on your turn you lose the game.

Whilst Buster is sleeping, an audio of snoring plays through some speakers. Which is a great little touch that definitely adds to the experience of the game. It’s another game of tension, and waiting for “something bad” to happen. Im guessing by now you’ve worked out these are the type games we like to play. This one is my personal favourite.

Rating – Dad (5) Lily (4) Click here to buy Dont take busters bones

Conclusion

To conclude our top 5 board games to play with young kids list, a look at the combined rating from both myself and Lily, Kerplunk and Don’t take Busters bones get the joint highest score with 9. Which is pretty much what I expected, I think these 2 are a little bit better than the other 2. Have you played any of these game? What are your thoughts on them? Also, are there any board games you would recommend us to try? If so leave a comment below, thanks.

Dad Does Autism

My name is Adam. I live with my partner Natalie, and our 2 children Jack and Lily. Both children are autistic, it is now my mission to show what life around autism is like. Spread the awareness and gain the acceptance that autistic people deserve.

40 thoughts on “Top 5 board games to play with young kids

  • May 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm
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    I think you’re the only family I’ve ever heard of who don’t end a game of Monopoly by flipping the board over and rage quitting lol!

    Kerplunk is one of my faves, closely followed by Buckaroo, Jenga and Operation.

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:47 pm
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      To be fair, if we didn’t let Lily win that would probably be the case 😂

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:48 pm
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      Thank you for commenting , I thought we had a nice selection of games 😊

      Reply
  • May 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm
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    I still love playing board and card games! I enjoy kerplunk and jenga a lot. I’ve never played the dog game before but it sounds fun!

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm
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      Yeah Kerplunk is cool, the dog game is a lot better than what I expected when we brought it.

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  • May 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm
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    My two love candyland! And haha, can’t believe their is an LOL surprise game. My 5 year old would go nuts for that, and want to play it 24 hours a day. Maybe I just won’t mention it… Thanks for the ideas!

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:50 pm
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      Candy land is a new one to me, after a quick google I reckon Jack and Lily would enjoy that.

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  • May 14, 2020 at 4:32 pm
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    I love Jenga! Thanks for all the ideas, it’s getting pretty boring with the lockdown tbh!

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:51 pm
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      Thank you for commenting, you are most welcome, it certainly is, we are digging out every game we have 😂

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  • May 14, 2020 at 5:36 pm
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    It’s got to be hungry hippos for me, even if you do kill your hand playing it 🤣

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:52 pm
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      It does get a bit lethal mate, especially if the board end up flipping in the air 😂

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    • May 14, 2020 at 5:59 pm
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      I loved these games when I was a kid, especially monopoly. 🙂 Great post!

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      • May 14, 2020 at 10:52 pm
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        Thank you, I loved them as a kid too, it’s great to now be playing them with my own kids.

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    • May 14, 2020 at 10:30 pm
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      I used to love playing Kerplunk, jenga & hungry hippos when I was younger. This post has brought back so many memories.

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      • May 14, 2020 at 10:58 pm
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        Thank you for commenting, really glad it brought some memories back for you 😊

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    • May 14, 2020 at 10:53 pm
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      Thank you for commenting, I try my best with the photos, thanks 😂

      Reply
  • May 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm
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    Great selection! I’m pretty sure I played all of these when I was younger. I was obsessed with Kerplunk as a kid, loved Monopoly too. Jenga is still fun now!

    Sophie

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    • May 14, 2020 at 10:55 pm
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      Thank you, the first 4 are all classic games for sure.

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  • May 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm
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    We used to play a game similar to Kerplunk, except it had a donkey. 🙂

    I love balance games; it is fascinating to watch the tower go up and see it wobble even when you are so careful in placing the next block. I used to be that person who ended up causing the tower to collapse . . .

    Love the looks of Hungry Hippos!

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    • May 14, 2020 at 10:57 pm
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      Hmm I’m trying to imagine how the donkey works in the game 😂 yeah I’m the person who makes the tower collapse too.

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  • May 14, 2020 at 10:39 pm
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    Oh wow LOL surprise monopoly. Glad you all enjoyed playing the games.

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    • May 14, 2020 at 11:00 pm
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      Thank you for commenting, we certainly did have lots of fun.

      Reply
  • May 14, 2020 at 10:47 pm
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    Some classic games here. Operation is one I particularly like to play with my
    Kids.

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    • May 14, 2020 at 11:06 pm
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      We did have operation, but we literally lost every single one of the pieces 🤦‍♂️😂

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      • May 15, 2020 at 4:22 pm
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        Some awesome games there bud, we just have the original monopoly, but we love board games and card games. 3d snakes and ladders, we have pie face and one named soggy doggy which are really fun, the kids love them.

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        • May 15, 2020 at 9:12 pm
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          Snakes and laddders was one of my faves as a kid, we have pie face, never played soggy dog though.

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  • May 14, 2020 at 11:21 pm
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    I love Jenga and monopoly! Although everyone in my family is very competitive so once we started a game of monopoly, we would play for hours. 😂
    The LOL version sounds cool. Thanks for sharing.

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    • May 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm
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      Oh my god. I just need some skateboards and we are on this 😂 Lily has been asking for a skateboard anyway 🤔

      Reply
  • May 15, 2020 at 3:39 pm
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    These all look like such fun games to play! I remember playing hungry hippos as a kid and of course Jenga too! Those are all such great options!

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    • May 15, 2020 at 9:09 pm
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      Yeah they are all fun, it’s creating reliving old memories playing them with my kids

      Reply
  • May 15, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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    These are some great games to play with kids. Board games and games is such a great way to get the family together and have some fun! We used to play a game called “sorry” when we were younger and other games!

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    • May 15, 2020 at 9:15 pm
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      Yeah, it’s kind of cool the kids still enjoy board games. I’ve heard of sorry, but I’ve never actually played it.

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  • May 15, 2020 at 7:49 pm
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    Busters anime’s if my favourite, the dog is funny

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  • May 16, 2020 at 12:28 am
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    Playing board games is great for a child’s learning development. Jenga is great. It makes them have to strategize on the spot. Monopoly was my favorite game! Though it can get really nerve wrecking when someone really has a monopoly going on haha. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    • May 16, 2020 at 3:10 pm
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      Thank you for commenting. They definitely are great for learning new skills

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  • May 16, 2020 at 9:43 am
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    Jenga would have to be my favourite. I also do like a game of Guess Who?

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    • May 16, 2020 at 3:11 pm
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      Ah yes we did have guess who? I think it got broken somehow, definitely one of my favourites.

      Reply

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