41 Best Board Games and Other Games for Kids, According to Teachers

For indoor recess, centers, skill building, and fun!

board games out foxed and monopoly builders
We Are Teachers

Whether it’s cooperation, strategy, academics, or just fun, there’s a game for that! From classic to brand-new, here are 41 of the best board games and other games for kids. These games also make for great classroom play staples for indoor recess, centers, and skill building. And they’re great gifts for family nights and ways to occupy kids on rainy days at home.

Cooperative Games for Kids

These games challenge kids to work together to achieve a goal or complete a task.

Outfoxed one of the best board games for kids

1. Outfoxed!

This is a classic whodunit where students work together to figure out which fox stole the pie. It’s a combination of strategy and cooperation and will never be the same game twice.

Teacher review: “I love this game. I’ve been teaching first grade for 25 years and I think this is one of my favorite games for my students (and I have HUNDREDS). The kids catch on quickly and absolutely LOVE this game. It’s one of their favorites!”

Buy it: Outfoxed!

Camelot Jr game box featuring royal figures on wooden blocks

2. Camelot Jr.

Create paths between the princess and the knight with these 48 puzzles of increasing difficulty. The classroom bonus of this logic game (along with Castle Logix, Three Little Piggies, and Little Red Riding Hood from the same company) is in the built-in flexibility. This is one of the best puzzle games for elementary students and beyond, as students can work alone or with peers, progress through the series at their own pace, and check their own answers.

Parent review: “Probably my favorite game my almost 5-year-old twins got this Christmas. They quickly learned how to set up and work through the challenges. Love also that they can play alone or problem solve together.”

Buy it: Camelot Jr.

Several cartoon kids are shown with headbands on their heads with pictures on them. The box reads Hedbanz.

3. Hedbanz

This fancy version of the “What am I?” game is hilarious and a language booster. Use the cards provided or make your own to review vocabulary or content information.

Family review: “I gave this to my nephew (6) and niece (4) and the whole family enjoyed it. It doesn’t require reading skills, all clues are pictures of kid-recognizable items and the little ones can play along with the ‘big kids.’ Good time for everyone.”

Buy it: Hedbanz

Rovers, Roads, and Rails game for children

4. Rivers, Roads & Rails

Players create a growing map by matching tiles that include rivers, roads, and train track routes. We love leaving this out as a “community game” for students to stop by and play a few turns during a free moment. It is an excellent extension during a mapping unit too.

Teacher review: “Many different ways to play this game. There are easier versions and more difficult ones. You can play it using colors, shapes, or both. A good beginner game. I use it in my kindergarten classroom and we play the more difficult game, using shapes and colors together. Easily learned.”

Buy it: Rivers, Roads & Rails

Sloth in a Hurry game box

5. Sloth in a Hurry

If you’re looking for simple board games for kids that offer both structure and fun, try this one. This game of classroom charades awards participants for creativity in acting out silly scenarios. It’s easily adaptable for team play during a whole-class brain break.

Teacher review: “Lovely game, great concept. My young students love the spinner. 3rd time playing they have solved it as much as possible. Beautiful product, simple game.”

Buy it: Sloth in a Hurry

Ice Cool game box featuring a cute penguin

6. Ice Cool

Students flick and spin penguins through a game course made from nesting cardboard boxes. Up to three students must race around the board to collect fish from various locations, while another student is the hall monitor who tries to bump the penguins and win their fish. The students racing can work together to collect fish and out-spin the hall monitor.

Teacher review: “I have never played a game like this. The graphics are cute, the game takes some skill but you can still win even when you’re not very good at it. Rules are not very complicated, but you have to do a practice game while you explain the rules. You flick weeble-wobble player pieces from room to room (cardboard boxes that attach together firmly and quickly) and either collect fish pieces or try to catch the other players. A round of the game with three players might take about 15 to 25 minutes. My 5th grade students go crazy for this game.”

Buy it: Ice Cool

Gnomes at Night box as one of the best board games for kids

7. Gnomes at Night

In this cooperative maze game, players work as a team to maneuver a gnome around the maze. The trick is they have to move quickly to find the thief who stole the queen’s treasures.

Teacher review: “Everyone loved this game at Xmas family functions, from 5 to 70. Bought it as a joke for my boyfriend, who turns into an amazing gnome at Halloween. Turns out it’s a great team & language building tool. Can’t wait to take it to school as an educational game for 1st-5th graders. Love that is cooperative and no one is a loser.”

Buy it: Gnomes at Night

Karuba board game

8. Karuba

Each player has an island-shaped game board. The players choose how to set up the adventure figures and temples. Then, a lead adventurer selects and calls out which tiles to use for each turn. Players decide whether to place the tile on the board or redeem it to move an adventurer toward the temple. There are special tiles that kids can land on along the way for gems or gold pieces.

Teacher review: “Definitely different from most board games. Nice quality, easy to learn. My students enjoyed it. Game is short enough to play in short amount of time.”

Buy it: Karuba

Hand2Mind Memory Match game box

9. Express Your Feelings Memory Match Game

Looking for SEL games for the kids in your classroom? Build memory skills and explore diverse feelings with this fun, interactive memory game! The Express Your Feelings Memory Match Game features a wide variety of expressive faces that reflect how emotions can look and feel different.

Teacher review: “Picked this up to reinforce facial identification and emotion labeling for a child with autism. It seems to support some of our therapy goals in a playful way. I like that there are two ways to match for play. Only con is some of the expressions or labeled emotions are a little obscure/a stretch imo, but we have no problem finding something else appropriate to label them alternatively.”

Buy it: Memory Match

Strategy Games for Kids

These games require kids to think through different approaches and ways of solving a problem or completing the game.

Blokus as one of the best board games for kids

10. Blokus Trigon

A take on the original Blokus version (for up to four players), this allows even more students to play. Be the player to get as many of your pieces onto the board before being blocked.

Teacher review: “My 12-year-old son and I play this game a lot. I work with high school students and they enjoy playing this too.”

Buy it: Blokus Trigon

Rush Hour board game box

11. Rush Hour

Here’s another well-loved logic puzzle game that students can play alone or with peers. We love having this on hand for kids who need an extra challenge.

Teacher review: “I am a high school math teacher, and I find that the Rush Hour game is great even for older kids! Although they might scoff, they are in fact fascinated by it and keep challenging each other. And if teenagers can’t break it, I don’t know who can.”

Buy it: Rush Hour

A black game board with round holes and different colored pegs in it is shown. The box says Mastermind (educational board games)

12. Mastermind

Whether you’ve held onto a vintage set or you want to snag the newer version with updated colors, this code-making-and-breaking game is a perennial favorite for indoor recess or kids who finish their work early.

Teacher review: “I used to play this game with my son who has Asperger’s syndrome. It’s a fun game and I think it builds brain function. 20 years later, I’m a 7th grade (12 yrs. old) teacher and my students play it during free time. They get to pick from 7 different games and this one always goes first. They love it!”

Buy it: Mastermind

Brix game for children

13. Brix

This Connect 4 and tic-tac-toe hybrid requires no setup and encourages kids to think one step ahead. Stack X and O blocks to try to get a row of four—but with different colors and symbols on each block face, students need to be careful their move doesn’t inadvertently win the game for their opponent.

Teacher review: “Fun and easy game to learn … use it in my classroom, ordered 2, students really like it.”

Buy it: Brix

Planet board game, best board games for kids

14. Planet

This strategy game also builds geography and environmental knowledge. In Planet, kids build an ecosystem from scratch. Each person has a 12-sided three-dimensional “planet” that they add terrain to and collect animal cards for.

User review: “Planet is a fun game. Basically, you’re trying to create a world that has the most of your element and also attract lots of different animals based on what environment they need. Built on a fun concept, fairly easy to learn, and stays fun. WARNING: Don’t play this game if you don’t like strategy. Probably 70% to 90% strategy.”

Buy it: Planet

Tetris board game, best board games for kids

15. Tetris

If you want to engage kids who love video games, try this low-tech board game version of Tetris. Students have to think through a strategy for completing their Tetris board while also thinking about what other students are going to choose.

Teacher review: “I bought a bunch of rainbow-colored games to spice up my review games for my students. They have to read and spell a word before playing their turn in a game. I bought the rainbow Tetris game and the rainbow Jenga. I call it rainbow review day and the students love them.”

Buy it: Tetris

Battleship board game box

16. Battleship

The classic game of coordinates and planning ahead is fun to play and even more fun to win! Be the first to sink your opponent’s battleship.

Teacher review: “I am a middle school teacher and bought this for school to be played during an end-of-the-day activity period. As expected, it’s a hit. The newer design isn’t flimsy like I feel some newer games have become—there’s a little initial setup (punching out plastic boats and dividing up the pegs between 2 boards), but after that, it’s smooth sailing (pun intended). It’s a great game for a variety of ages, easy to catch on, fun to play, and keeps kids occupied a while. I am as much a fan as I was when I played as a kid!”

Buy it: Battleship

Academic Games for Kids

These are some of the best board games and other games to get kids practicing reading, math, and content knowledge while playing together.

Proof math game, as one of the best board games for kids

17. Proof!

Here’s a great option that allows advanced and upper elementary students to sharpen their mental math skills. Players create equations hidden among nine number cards.

Teacher review: “It’s a bit expensive on a teacher salary, but my students absolutely love it! What’s best is it’s automatically differentiated because they do what they are able to do!”

Buy it: Proof!

Two toy clocks and a notecard with the rules for the game that is an example of telling time games.

18. Time-Telling Game

Games and puzzles from EeBoo always win for visual appeal, but this one also scores high for being educational. Tackle a skill that all kids need to learn in a fun and engaging way. Adaptable for telling time to the hour, half hour, five minutes, and a minute—this is a ready-made math center. If you’re looking for board games that teach kids how to tell time, give this one a try.

Teacher review: “Fun game! Used in my 2nd grade classroom. Kids loved it!”

Buy it: Time-Telling Game

Apples to Apples Junior

19. Apples to Apples Junior

Players must match noun cards to relevant adjective cards. This is one of our fave games for vocabulary development, especially for ELL students. It’s simple to customize it to utilize words you want to target too.

Teacher review: “I bought this for my classroom. Since the cards are all kept in one box, it is hard for my students to keep the green and red cards separate when cleaning them up. Otherwise, this is a great game for kids.”

Buy it: Apples to Apples Junior

A red box says Scrabble in white letters and shows letter tiles forming words.

20. Scrabble

Do your students a favor and introduce them to this classic word-lover’s pastime. Kids can play with each other or join forces to beat the teacher.

Teacher review: “I teach English overseas and Scrabble is a great way to teach/reinforce vocabulary; students enjoy it too.”

Buy it: Scrabble

Dixit board game box

21. Dixit

This unique storytelling game is an awesome addition to the ELA classroom. Players must describe fantastical cards in creative ways and decipher the descriptions of others. We love how this game can give striving readers and writers the chance to shine creatively.

Teacher review: “I use this game with a small group of gifted students and it is amazing. Will get some expansion packs to keep interest high. The cards are beautiful art in and of themselves.”

Buy it: Dixit

Guess in 10 Animals edition, best board games for kids

22. Guess in 10

These card games are like 20 Questions (well, 10 questions) with themes. There are Guess in 10 games for animals, states, and American cities. Students combine questioning skills with recalling facts, and they build knowledge about whatever topic they’re asking about.

Teacher review: “When we combine end-of-the day free time with kindergarten, a teacher and I go head-to-head with 2 or 3 students on our teams. The kids love it. Some kids outshine the adults. Great times with lots of laughs.”

Buy it: Guess in 10 Animal Planet

Ticket to Ride board game box

23. Ticket to Ride

A lesson on geography and a board game? Count me in! Connect iconic North American cities across a map of 20th-century USA and build your train routes to earn points.

Teacher review: “A totally enjoyable game! I bought it to play with my family and with my ESL students – works well in both cases! Absolutely worth it! Will probably buy TTR Europe as well.”

Buy it: Ticket to Ride

Top Trumps game

24. Top Trumps

Capitalize on kids’ love of trading cards with this card game that allows students to choose the statistic that will “trump” opponents. Decks come in many topics, from Harry Potter to geography to dogs. Don’t see a deck on the topic you want? Once they know the game, kids love to create their own decks too.

Teacher review: “Great easy, fun game for students and families. I use them both in school (and during distant learning—great facts and fun for students to use) and at home. Easy car game for family trips (teens even join in and enjoy). Great way to incorporate social play and learning with students. Fun way to get students to learn and compare while thinking they are just playing a game. Many students after playing a topic want to gather more information about the various topics!”

Buy it: Top Trumps Card Game

Traditional Games for Kids

These classic board games are fun and teach kids all the social skills (taking turns, patience, how to win and lose) one round at a time.

Trouble board game box

25. Trouble

The Pop-o-Matic bubble is what makes this game so much fun! Be the first to get your player around the board to win.

Teacher review: “I purchased this for students and it’s always being used during our Friday advisory … look out, Uno, here comes Trouble! Haha.”

Buy it: Trouble

A silly cartoon scene of many doctors performing surgery on a man is shown in this example of best board games for preschoolers.

26. Operation

Teaching an anatomy lesson? It’s time to break out the Operation game! Cavity Sam is under the weather, but students can make him feel better again.

Teacher review: “My students liked this game but were rough with it. This one had to find a home at the house to take a break. I grew up playing this game with my siblings and one of them was my brother who could not be beat, but he taught me some tricks to get the pieces out without setting off the buzzer.”

Buy it: Operation

Monopoly Builder, best board games for kids

27. Monopoly Builder

This is a different spin on the classic Monopoly game. Here players buy property and physically stack buildings with the building blocks. It’s one of the best board games for elementary students that teaches money and negotiation skills.

User review: “Most Monopoly games take a long time to play. Not this one. It was easy to learn and fun to play and doesn’t take an hour or more to play. I like that we can sit down for half hour-ish and get through a game. Gives time together without taking away half a day.”

Buy it: Monopoly Builder

Clue board game box

28. Clue

This classic game involves strategy and deductive reasoning to figure out whodunit.

Teacher review: “Students are fascinated by the game. Needs more notepads or a downloadable template to print more!”

Buy it: Clue

Sorry classic game, best board games for kids

29. Sorry!

Do you have students who need to learn how to follow directions and both win and lose with grace? Let this old favorite board game do the teaching.

User review: “This classic game never gets old. Even kids who spend hours on their devices will stop to play this oldie but goodie!”

Buy it: Sorry!

Guess Who game for children

30. Guess Who?

Make sure to add this to your classroom collection of classic board games for kids. This enduring game is one of our favorites on the list of best board games for elementary classes. Its deductive reasoning builds vocabulary and language skills, and beyond the original cast of characters, there are limitless possibilities for adapting this game to help students review content information. Just replace the cards with pictures related to your curriculum.

Teacher review: “I bought this to use with students. Like other reviewers mentioned, it does feel a little flimsier than other versions. I just laminated the cards to make sure they withstood little hands constantly messing with them!”

Buy it: Guess Who?

New Classics

These games check all the boxes for great games and are sure to become favorites on your game shelf.

Tenzi box holding 7 colorful sets of 10 dice each, Tenzi scorecard, and deck of 77 Ways to Play Tenzi cards (Dice Games)

31. Tenzi

Simple to learn and easy to adapt and extend, Tenzi makes for the perfect classroom math game, especially for kids who love to go fast. Be sure to check out our other favorite dice games for the classroom.

Teacher review: “Bought this for my classroom and my students love it! Can become very competitive!”

Buy it: Tenzi

Qwirkle game for children

32. Qwirkle

There’s something so satisfying about these smooth wooden tiles. Scale down this attribute-matching game for younger students, or unleash older kiddos to wage full-on strategy battles.

Teacher review: “I played this game in a college class and came to love how it can help develop planning ahead and different math concepts. I teach 6th grade math and my students play when they are done with their work.”

Buy it: Qwirkle

Q-bitz game for children

33. Q-bitz

Q-bitz is a game of visual perception and speed. Players race to make their set of blocks match the design on the card that’s drawn.

Buy it: Q-bitz

A red tube is shown that says Suspend on it. A thin wire sculpture is shown.
Melissa & Doug

34. Suspend

It takes patience, a steady hand, and thoughtful consideration to place wire pieces on the game structure without toppling it. This is a fun game to connect to STEM explorations of structures or balance.

User review: “Great visuospatial and strategy game for 1 or more players. High-quality pieces and a small storage footprint.”

Buy it: Suspend

two kids playing Rhino Hero game

35. Rhino Hero Super Battle

Players create wobbly towers and bridges, then watch out for spider monkeys and engage in rhino battles. This game will be a favorite during indoor recess.

User review: “This game is amazing. I work with kiddos of many ages and each loves it. This is a well-requested game. It helps with knowing body awareness and thinking through the next step. The spider monkeys make the game just that much more! I would highly recommend.”

Buy it: Rhino Hero Super Battle

Active Games for Kids

Sometimes the best games get kids up and moving. These games are a great way to get kids out of their seats.

Twister Ultimate, best board games for kids

36. Twister Ultimate

For indoor recess or a movement break, this updated version of the standby group game will get everyone out of their seats and laughing. The larger play mat lets more kids join in the fun!

Teacher review: “I used this in class with students to review the alphabet. I used masking tape to create letters on each of the circles, and then we played like Twister. All in all, great game!”

Buy it: Twister Ultimate

Throw. Throw Burrito game

37. Throw Throw Burrito

A card game plus dodgeball with toy burritos. Students collect cards, earn points, and throw burritos to win.

Teacher review: “Any reason to throw things at each other! The game gets very competitive and generates lots of laughs. It was great for the last week of school when we were done with curriculum.”

Buy it: Throw Throw Burrito

The Floor is Lava best board games for kids

38. The Floor Is Lava!

One of the best games for kids that needs no explanation. Students create Floor Is Lava challenges using the mats and cards.

Teacher review: “I bought this for indoor recess and an end-of-the-year countdown. I teach kindergarten so I was worried about how chaotic it would be … but it was SO MUCH FUN! Any teacher should buy this even if you teach older kids. It is a nice way to take a break and get active!”

Buy it: The Floor Is Lava!

Tap It game box

39. Tap It!

This game uses four different-colored game pieces that players tap to win. There are four different variations: Each one involves assigning a student a color and then tapping it along with the game—within 60 seconds, in an order, in a pattern, etc. It’s a fun way to improve response time and hand-eye coordination.

Teacher review: “I am a teacher and a mom and I use this game all the time to teach colors, reaction time, direction, and more! I love it.”

Buy it: Tap It!

Super Skills board game box

40. Super Skills

This is one of the best award-winning board games for kids. It delivers excitement with its diverse array of challenges where participants can showcase their agility and cleverness through tasks like stacking cups into a pyramid blindfolded, bouncing a ball off a wall and catching it behind their back, or balancing dice on a chopstick.

Teacher review: “I am a teacher and I have two boxes and small classes. The kids teamed up and we used one deck of cards. Each team challenged the others till we had one team winner. We were laughing and really enjoying ourselves. I might start the school year off this way so the kids and start off having laughs.
We really had a lot of fun!”

Buy it: Super Skills

Beat That! an example of the best board games for kids

41. Beat That!

Players dive into a series of outlandish dexterity-based challenges, where they’ll need to bounce, flip, stack, hop, roll, blow, balance, and catapult their way to the top.

Teacher review: “Super fun game! I used this in my classroom and with my family. The challenges are so much fun for adults and kids! I highly recommend!”

Buy it: Beat That!

What do you think are the best board games for kids? Come and share in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out the best board games for preschool.