Board games are a great way to have fun with your young kids. Playing together is what great childhood memories are made of. However, choosing the right game can be a challenge, so to help you out, we’ve pulled together a list of suggestions that are sure to please most 5 – 6 year olds.
Our top pick is Orangutwang. It’s a great game for the whole family to play. It’s fund silly and is sure to be a hit with most kids.
Related post: Best Board Games for Teens [Top 18 in 2021]
- Best Board Games for 5-6 Year Olds in 2021
- Cooperative Board Games
- Strategy Board Games
- Games of Skill
- Quick Board Games
- Party Board Games
- What to Consider When Buying a Board Game for 5-6 Year Olds
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Board Games for 5-6 Year Olds in 2021
Best Overall – PlayMonster Orangutwang
Orangutwang is a really fun game. Players take turns to roll a dice and hang a piece of fruit on the dangling orangutang. But if you’re not careful, the string will ‘twang,’ and all the pieces will go flying.
You can play this game with any number of players. It’s a fun and silly game that only requires a few minutes of concentration. Just be prepared for a lot of screaming and shouting every time the orangutan and all his fruit go flying into the air.
This is a fun game for kids of all ages. You can also play with any number of players, which makes it a great game for a family game night. It’s a great option for kids who could use a little bit of help to develop their fine motor skills.
Best Whodunit Game – Gamewright OutFoxed
OutFoxed is a really well designed cooperative game. Players work together to gather clues and narrow down suspects to identify who the thieving fox is. The game has a really clever mechanism to help you figure out what the fox looks like so you can narrow down the suspects to find the culprit.
The game is really replayable and genuinely fun. This is a game that kids and adults can enjoy. It’s genuinely smart and fun, with a good mix of luck and skill to keep it interesting. This is a game that I can highly recommend.
Budget Option – Hasbro Gaming Connect Four
Connect Four is a great game. It’s quick to play and introduces kids to strategic thinking. With simple rules and two players, this is a game that you can easily leave kids to play with no adult supervision. It’s a great option for siblings to play while parents are busy.
Like many simple games, connect four has a lot of hidden depths. It can really push kids to develop their thinking and problem solving skills. The other good thing about Connect Four is that you will likely find that your kids also use the board to make creative patterns and play in imaginative ways.
Cooperative Board Games
Best Longer Game – LearningHerbs Wildcraft
Wildcraft is just a really beautiful and whimsical game. The premise is that you all have to get down the mountain together before night falls. Along the way, players will run into challenges that they can help each other to overcome.
All the problems can be solved by collecting and using herbs. There’s no prior knowledge needed as the cards all use lovely symbols to show the kids what they need to do. This is a great game for introducing kids to the wonders of nature, teamwork, and problem-solving.
This game is on the longer side for younger kids, so it’s not going to be a match for all kids. But, for those who can focus, it’s a delightful game with lots to offer.
Best Symbol-Based Board Game – Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island
Mermaid Island is one of a range of great games from Peaceable Kingdom. They specialize in cooperative games for kids. This is a great game for 2-6 players that encourages kids to work together and start to think strategically.
The game is symbol-based, so there is no reading required. The kids take it in turns to spin to see how many spaces they can move. They can all then decide which of the mermaids get to move. This means all the players can not only think about strategy but also practice their math skills as well.
This is a fun game that is going to appeal to any kids who are fascinated by mermaids. Because the kids all win or lose together, it’s also a great chance for them to develop their social and team playing skills.
Best Game of Logic and Luck – Peaceable Kingdom The Fairy Game
The Fairy Game is another great option from Peaceable Kingdom. In this game, the players work together to protect the flowers in the garden from the coming winter. This is done by collecting jewels to fill the fairy wand. It’s really cute and well designed.
As a cooperative game, all the players win and lose together. Even though this is a child’s game, wins aren’t handed to you. It requires teamwork, logic, and luck to win.
Essentially this is a card collecting and trading game. It’s pretty and well designed, so there’s no reading needed, making it really accessible. A game usually takes about 15-20 minutes to play through.
It is worth noting that the difficulty increases with the number of players. The cards are more spread out, so more strategy is required. This is great because it keeps the game fresh for all the players and keeps everyone involved throughout.
Best Cooperative Matching Game – Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot
Hoot Owl Hoot is a surprisingly strategic game. The aim is to get all the owls home before the sun rises. As a cooperative game, you either all win or lose together.
The game words via a color matching system. Each player has three cards. On their turn, they can use one card to move any owl to the next free space of the same color as their card. As owls can’t share space, this means that you can leapfrog owls to get the flying round the board towards home. If a player gets a sun card, they have to play it, and they’re that much closer to the end.
You can easily change the difficulty of the game by tweaking the number of sun cards in the deck. If your kids are struggling, just take a few out. This will give them more time to get all their owls home.
Strategy Board Games
Best Train Game – Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride First Journey
Ticket To Ride First Journey is a modified version of the classic ticket to ride game. It’s accessible and easy to play. It’s a great game to introduce younger kids to slightly more involved board games.
It’s a really fun game that has all the charm and joy of the original game. This is also a great way to help kids get their heads around a bit of US geography.
The game works with 2 -4 players, so it’s a good option for most families. With a 30 minute playtime, this is a great game to help kids to learn to concentrate on things for a longer time.
This is a genuinely fun game that the whole family will be able to enjoy.
Best for Practicing Logic Skills – Jax Sequence for Kids
**Currently unavailable 11/30/20**
Sequence for Kids takes the classic sequence game and makes it child friendly. On their turn, each player picks one of the three animal cards in their hand. They then place a token on that animal. The aim is to get four in a row.
This game takes connect four to a new level. It requires logic skills and tactical thinking. If you’re a fan of sequence, then this is a great way to introduce younger kids to the game. It’s a more accessible version of the game that is fun for adults to play as well.
This is one of those family games that you’ll find yourselves playing over and over. It’s a little more challenging in terms of strategy, so it may be an option for kids at the top of this age range.
Best Memory Game – Ravensburger Enchanted Forest
Enchanted Forest is a treasure hunting board game. Players explore all around the board, looking for fairytale items. The items are hidden under the trees, and players must remember where they found them to tell the king where he can get the treasures he seeks.
Players take turns to roll two dice and move around the trails in the forest. If they land in the right spots, they can peek under the trees. They then have to make their way to the castle to be the first player to report the correct locations to the king. Get it wrong, though, and you get sent back to the start.
At 30 minutes, this is a game that is going to challenge the concentration of 5 – 6 year olds. The fairy tale theme should keep them engaged, so it’s a good option to help kids learn how to stay engaged and on task for longer periods.
Games of Skill
Best for Active Kids – Endless Games The Floor is Lava
The Floor is Lava is a great way to make one of the best games ever into something safer and more controlled. In The Floor Is Lava, kids will typically end up climbing on anything and everything in sight. With this version, you have safe colored, nonslip foam stepping stones to climb on to keep things safe, controlled, but still lots of fun.
You spread the colored stone around the space. Then spin to decide which ones are safe. The kids then have to get to safety as quickly as they can. Once there, they are challenged to perform physical activities without falling off their perch. The challenge increases as you remove the tiles making it harder and harder for your kids to stay safe.
This is a great way to get your kids active even if you’re stuck inside. It’s also super fun.
Best for Siblings – Briarpatch I Spy Dig In
I Spy Dig In is a fun game that gives you the challenge of finding 6 shapes from a bowl full of bright and colorful objects.
Each player gets a card with 6 objects to find. In the first round, you start by taking turns. You each get 15 seconds to hunt on your own for your shapes. When everyone’s had a go, it becomes a free for all as you all dive in at once and race to find the rest of your shapes.
If you win, you keep your card. The first player with three cards wins.
A nice feature of this game is that there are two difficulty levels. In the easy version, you just have to match the shape. In the hard version, you have to match shape and color. This allows you to play with mixed ages and keep things fairer.
This is a great, frantic board game for kids and adults alike.
Best Puzzle Game – MindWare Q-Bitz Jr
Q-Bitz Jr is a great board game for developing your kids’ spatial reasoning, pattern matching, and dexterity.
Each player gets a set of four cubes. Each cube has a different pattern on each side. There are 60 pattern cards to choose from. Once one is chosen, it’s a race to make your cubes match the pattern on the card.
This is a quick and fun game. If your child is a big fan, there are plenty of suggestions for how they can play on their own to practice and develop their skills. You can also play memory and sorting games with it. This is a real versatile game with lots of ways to play.
Best Game with a Drone – PlayMonster Drone Home
Drone Home is a very simple board game. Players are all trying to launch their aliens into the drone so they can fly home. This is done by launching them down a short slide. Once an alien is in the drone, it starts a short countdown to take off. Within this narrow window of time, other players can try to get their alien aboard as well. Or they can try to knock the first alien out before takeoff.
The first player to send three aliens home wins.
Obviously, the biggest appeal to this game is the flying drone. You do need to charge the drone before use, and with 5-6 year olds, you need to supervise them – just in case.
For any drone/plane/gadget mad child, this game is sure to be a winner.
Best for Superhero Fans – Marvel I Can Do That! Hero Training Game
I Can Do That! is a great board game for any family that is firmly in the Marvel camp. In this game you’ll have the chance to wield Captain America’s Shield, throw a web-like Spiderman and duel with the Green Goblin.
On their turn, players turn over three different colored cards. They have simple words and pictures to tell you what you need to do. For instance, – push up, holding Captain America’s shield, behind your back. If the player thinks they can do it, they give it a shot. If they succeed, they get to keep the cards. The cards all have points values, and the player with the most points at the end wins.
This game is great to play over and over because the random draw means it’s different every time. It’s fun and silly. It’s also a great way to get kids moving and to build their confidence about what they’re capable of.
Quick Board Games
Best Gravity Board Game – Mattel Games Ker Plunk
Ker Plunk is another classic game that’s worth sharing with the next generation. The game is all about taking turns to carefully remove sticks from the tube. If the marbles fall, you have to take them. The aim is to have the least marbles at the end.
It’s a simple, fun, and dynamic game. The bright colors and tumbling marbles are a great way to get kids excited about playing board games. For kids ages 5-6, this is definitely a winner.
Best for Speedy Hands – Hasbro Gaming Perfection
Perfection is a great classic game that brings out the competitive nature of everyone who tries it. The aim is to put the 25 geometric shapes into the right spaces in the time allotted. There is a 60-second timer, and if you don’t get all the pieces in fast enough, they get thrown out.
You can play without the timer until your kids start to get up to speed and then race to see who can do it the fastest. It’s a great one to pull out at parties as everyone wants to have a go.
This is a great game for helping kids to learn to focus. They have to concentrate intently for 60 seconds, which is a really great skill to practice.
Best Ninja Skills Game – Bananagrams Cobra Paw
Cobra Paw is a really fun game of skill. Players take turns to roll two dice. They then all race to the first player to grab the playing piece from the pile with the two matching symbols. The first player to grab six pieces wins.
The game works well with anywhere from 2-6 players, so it’s a really versatile game. If you find it takes too long with more players, you can just adjust the number of pieces needed to win.
This is a great family game, as there is a limit to how much age is an advantage. This is a game where you’ll have to get used to the kids beating you most of the time.
Best Stacking Game – RoosterFin Lumpy Cubes
Lumpy Cubes is a simple and fun speed stacking game. There are four sets of four blocks. Once a card is turned, the race is on to be the first to match your cubes to the card. With different faces on the cubes and imperfect cubes, it’s surprisingly challenging to complete your stack. This keeps it fun for kids and adults alike.
One great feature of this game is that it’s quite easy to adapt it to change the difficulty. You can remove the time element and just play to match the picture. You can arrange the cubes along the tabletop. That way, your stack doesn’t fall over. These options to adapt the game make it a good flexible option that can grow with your family.
Best Competitive Game – Bakam Sling Puck
Sling Puck is a really simple, but fun game. It’s a little like air hockey but in a portable wooden box. Each player is trying to get the pucks on their opponent’s side of the board. They do this by using an elastic string to launch the pucks through a small gap in the centre of the board.
It’s a race to get all the pucks through. But if you get over-excited, you can easily lose a big lead. This is a great game for competitive kids. It’s fun and easy to take with you.
A small word of warning. It is possible to use the elastic to launch the pucks into the air. So don’t leave your kids unattended with this game.
Party Board Games
Best for Practicing Matching Skills – Think Fun Zingo
Zingo is basically a bingo game. There are 7 bingo cards with pictures for the kids to collect. The machine will dispense two tiles at a time, and kids can grab them to put on their boards. Unused tokens slot back into the machine. The first to fill their card wins.
This is a really fun game that is fast-paced and easy to play. It’s an educational game that kids will love and can play on their own without an adult to help.
Best Classic Game – Hasbro Gaming Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hippos is a game that everyone remembers from their childhood, and that’s because it’s pure fun. This game is frantic and silly – perfect for 5 year olds, 6 year olds, and their parents too!
This version comes with a storage section underneath. This allows you to slide the hippos off for storage, as well as to keep all the marbles secure and safe between plays.
This is a great quick game to pull out. Kids will love to play this over and over. This really is one of the best board games for 5-year-olds.
Best Guessing Game – What’s In The Box
What’s In The Box is basically just a mystery box. You can stick any household object inside. Players then have to stick their hands through the holes and try to guess what’s inside from touch alone.
This is a great party game as kids can have all sorts of fun guessing what’s in the box and trying to fool each other. It’s an easy to play, fun game that will keep kids entertained for ages.
Best Trap Board Game – Hasbro Gaming Mouse Trap
Mouse Trap is a fun game for kids because even when you’re losing, it’s still fun. Players race around the board trying to collect cheese while also building the trap that will eventually catch them.
A lot of kids will find the Rube Goldberg style trap mechanism the most exciting part of this game. It’s certainly a game with plenty of visual appeal.
You can pretty much guarantee that once the game is done, the kids will build the most trap all over again just to have a go at setting it off. It’s a game that can spark a lifelong love of mechanics, engineering, and physics.
Best Silly Game – Spin Master Games Grouch Couch
Grouch Couch is a game of pure luck. On your turn, you roll a dice to decide how many treats you get to feed the couch. Then you press the button, and the couch comes to life. It might eat your treats, it might not, it might reward you with one token or maybe three.
Whatever the couch does, it will move and make silly noises that will delight young kids. When the couch decides the game is done, it plays a song, and it’s time to count up. Whoever has the most tokens wins.
When it comes to simple, mindless fun, this game is top of the list.
What to Consider When Buying a Board Game for 5-6 Year Olds
For 5-6 year olds, you need to gauge the difficulty correctly. If you pick a game that is too complex, it can just be off putting. If in doubt, it can be better to opt for a more straightforward but more enjoyable game. Having said that, though, don’t underestimate your kids. You know them best, and the age rating on the box is just a suggestion.
The game and the box’s look is the most important when choosing a game for young kids. They will decide if they want to play something entirely based on how the package looks. So it’s always a good idea to pick a game that either looks good in the box or will look exciting once it’s set up.
5 and 6 year olds are pretty set in their preferences. You can easily get them excited about a board game by choosing one with a theme they love. Animals, mermaids, and silliness are usually all good options.
5 – 6 years olds aren’t known for having long attention spans. So it can be important to not overtax them. 20 minutes is usually the sweet spot. I’d certainly avoid any games that take more than 30 minutes. If your child has an especially short attention span, then a good option is to go for a quick to play a game that you can play over and over.
Number of Players
When choosing board games for kids, you need to think about who will be playing them and when. With that in mind, you can make sure you pick a game with the right number of players.
Games that work well with two players can be a good choice as they allow you to play with your child. If you play games as a family, make sure that it will work with every member of the family. If your child has friends over a lot, then it’s worth looking for games that work well with more players.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best board game for a 5 year old who can’t sit still?
5 year olds who can’t sit still are pretty common. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t board games you can play with them. Some good options include games like The Floor Is Lava. It’s an active game, so it can help them get some crazy out, ready to do something else that might require focus.
Another option to consider is a game like Orangutwang. It requires the use of fine motor skills, but between their goes, they don’t have to stay laser-focused so they can bounce around between their bouts of concentration.
Are older games any good for 5-6 year olds?
Many of us who played board games as kids look back on some classics with fond memories. There is no reason that you can’t share those games with your kids. Many of the best ones stand the test of time. For instance, Hungry Hippos and Mouse Trap are still around because they are still great games.
Are there any benefits to playing board games with 5-6 year olds?
Board games are a great activity to share with 5-6 year olds. They are a great way for them to develop a lot of the skills that they need to be successful at school. Board games help kids learn how to concentrate, think logically, and how to problem-solve. They can also be a good way to practice literacy and math skills, as well.
And, of course, board games are a great way to have fun and bond with your kids.
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Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API