The Best Old and New Board Games for Kids
An Age-by-Age Guide
Early Grade School (ages five to seven)
Letter Factory Game: This Parenting magazine “Toys of the Year” winner is really two games in one: a color and letter-matching game for preschoolers, and a letter-sound association game for early grade-schoolers. At the first level, “Counting Colors and Letters,” Professor Quigley asks kids to pick a color card and then to identify the letter on the card. At the second level, “Leaping Letters,” kids race around the board, trying to locate letters by their sounds. Each time they get it right, they’re rewarded with a song.
Manufacturer: LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
Retail Price: $24.99
Ages: three and up
Guess Where? Is Mommy in the bedroom? Is the cat in the laundry room? Kids each get a model of a house, complete with an eight-member family. Each player hides the family around his or her house. Then the players take turns asking “Yes” and “No” questions to find out where the other player has hidden their family members. This game not only encourages kids to ask questions, but it also teaches problem-solving skills.
Retail Price: $14.99
Ages: six and up
Toads of Fun: Kids have so much fun moving their toads around the lily pad and trying to “catch” flies, they don’t even realize they’re learning about numbers and colors. But if another frog or a bee knocks them off their lily pad, it’s back to the beginning!
Manufacturer: Dad’s Ink, Ltd.
Retail Price: $14.95
Ages: four and up
Zingo: Think Bingo, but with pictures instead of numbers. Kids match picture tiles from the “Zingo Master” to their cards. While they play, they learn shape and pattern recognition, and build short-term memory skills. The first player to fill his card and yell “Zingo!” is the winner.
Retail Price: $15
Ages: four and up
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