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In a climate where it often rains, keeping the kids entertained can be a challenge.
In between my job, the household, husband and kids I don’t always have the time, nor the inclination to do hours of prep work to keep the kids busy and out of each other’s hair.
I have to admit, sometimes I don’t do any prepping at all.
Usually, I come to regret that. Especially if the weather does not co-operate.
Fortunately, we have a cupboard literally stacked with board games. So whenever my inspiration falls short and I need to come up with something on the fly…
…because by that time we’re onto our fourth argument of who had which car first…
I turn to our favorite simple board games for kids.
My oldest son, who has just turned six, loves these and we’ve been playing most of these since he was just five.
And with these three, even our youngest of 3 manages to stick to the rules most of the time.
Here are our three favorite simple board games for kids!
1. Monopoly Junior
This is one of the most fabulous, simple board games for kids.
The people who create Monopoly Junior have managed to simplify it to the point where any child who can count to three and is able to follow simple rules (like waiting for your turn) can play this game.
Oh, and of course the patience to actually play a whole, or at least most of the game…
I play this with my 3 and 6 year old, but the 3 year old will either wander off or start playing with the pawns.
They are cute.
The pawns, I mean…
The kids too.
What makes this a suitable game for 5 year olds
There is only one type of bank note, to wit 1M.
And the streets are prices between 1 and 5M.
Okay, so it’s probably handy if your child can count to 5. However, C can count reliably to 3 and mostly to 5 and plays just fine.
We count the bills together as well as the number of dots on the dice and the steps that he needs to take on the board.
A great plus of Monopoly Junior is that with a game so simple, it’s by and large the amount of luck that determines who wins. With very little strategy involved, this means that the kids stand a good chance of winning.
There is really only one downside to Monopoly Junior, and that is that (similar to the full-fledged Monopoly) it takes a little bit too long to play. Usually, after 45 minutes my oldest son has had enough.
We work around this issue by determining who was winning at the time and declaring that person the winner.
Another classic, but one of those simple board games that both young and old can enjoy.
In the case of the family game Ludo, we do play the original, classic version. It’s very much a suitable game for 5 year olds.
It’s quick to set up and explain and kids only need to be able to count to 6 to play it.
I’m not sure if this is in the official rule book; you know how those really old games tend to be played differently in each household?
But we have the rule that if your pawn ends up on the same spot as another person’s pawn, at the same time, then you need to go all the way back to the start.
It’s annoying and frustrating and makes the kids squeal each time.
What make this game suitable for 5-year olds
It’s the perfect combination between the games pace, the simplicity and the excitement.
The threat each time of maybe having to take your pawn back to the start is just too much!
This game can be explained in under two minutes and stays exciting all the way through. With the end as exciting as the start. In fact, most times we play Ludo, there’s a kind of show-down happening towards the end where we all race to the finish.
We brought Uno with us on holiday last year, so Q must have been just 5 and a few weeks.
Okay so it’s an odd one out since it’s not a simple board games. However…
It was an instant hit.
Kids need to be able to count as well as recognize the numbers and put them into the right order.
They also need to be able to remember fairly simple rules, such as that the cards need to be all of the same color, or that the numbers need to be put in numerical order.
For instance, if they have a 4, 5 and 6 all the same color, then they can use those cards.
If they have a yellow 4, a red 4 and a green 4, then they can use those as well.
What makes this a suitable game for 5 year olds
Again, the simplicity of the game ranks high with us.
Not only can a 5 year old play it, but they also stand a good chance at winning it. Without the game getting boring.
That a second reason that this game is so great to play with young games: it’s fast-paced enough and doesn’t take too long.
Usually, we manage to play 3 out of 3 before moving onto something else.
On vacation, when the kids were allowed to stay up a little bit later, we would play Uno this after dinner. Because it’s a fairly quick game to play, you can play it anytime, anywhere and the cards are easily tucked in a bag and brought with us.
Do you want to play more with your kids? But are pressed for ideas? Join my 7 days of play challenge and receive 7 play ideas over the course of the coming week!