Board Games

Boardgames are an amazing resource for teaching and practising social-emotional skills, executive functioning, and problem-solving.  They also create magnificent buy-in and help form positive connections between adults and peers. 

 

Most of these games are in a higher price range so it is strongly suggested that they are played with adult facilitation until children grasp the concepts and can take care of the pieces responsibly.  

Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Boardgame

Players 2 - 4       Time: 5 - 15 min      Age: 3 - 6

 

This is a fantastic co-operative game for young minds.  What I love about this game is that it touches on a lot of basic learning concepts such as, big/small, numbers and colours.  The premise is simply to get all the bugs under the rug by rolling a dice to set a category and then spinning to determine which bugs to look for.  If players can't find the right bug then dreaded stink bugs can ruin the fun.  

Concerns:  Working together towards a common goal.  

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

Boardgame

Players 2 - 4      Time: 5 - 20 min      Age: 3 - 6

 

Besides having a great name, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel provides a lot of learning opportunities for young minds.  It incorporates fine motor skills, colour recognition, and some serious self-regulation.  Players try to fill their log with one of each coloured acorn by spinning and using a plastic squirrel to pick up acorns.  Fates can change hands quickly in this game by stealing acorns from opponents or storms washing away acorns (hence the self-regulation).  This is a really exciting emotional rollercoaster for young kids.  

 

Concerns: Losing acorns might be tough for some kids, DON'T EAT THE ACORNS

Hi Ho Cherry-O

Boardgame

Players: 2 - 4         Time: 5 - 15 Min        Age: 3 - 6

 

This is a really nice game about cherry picking.  Players spin to see how many cherries they get to pick.  The first to get all their cherries wins. This game is fantastic for teaching basic counting and number sense for young children.  The tiny cherries also provide some great fine motor training and concentration.  Also, who doesn't like cherries?

 

Concerns:  Choking hazard!  Kids may want to put the cherries in their mouth

Pengoloo

Boardgame

Players: 2 - 4     Time: 10 - 20 min    Age:   3 - 6

 

Pengoloo is a new discovery that was a huge hit in a kindergarten class recently.  It is a fantastic colour recognition game combined with a memory game.  Players roll a dice to determine what colour egg they are looking for. Then they must lift a penguin to see what colour egg that penguin is sitting on.  If the colours match what they rolled, they get to keep the penguin and its egg.  This is a nicely crafted wooden piece beginner game for younger children.  It's a great way to introduce young minds to gaming concepts such as turn taking, focus, and basic problem solving and deduction.  Worth checking out. 

 

Concerns:  The wooden eggs are definately a choking hazard.  

King of Tokyo

Dice Game

Players: 2-6  Time: 30 min - 1hr    Ages: 7+ 

 

This is an amazing dice game for beginners to the board game world.  The gameplay is similar to the classic Yahtzee, but with a new element involving cards.  Instead of rolling for numbers, however, players will roll dice that will let them attack other monsters, receive energy cubes, heal, or collect stars (points).  Energy cubes can be traded in for powers that supercharge their monster so that they can increase their chances of being crowned the king of Tokyo.  This game is fast and has a lot of twists and turns due to power-ups.  If you're looking for a great game for the whole family pick up King of Tokyo. 

 

Concerns: Players are eliminated, A lot of card reading.

Jamaica

Boardgame

Players: 2-6    Time: 30 - 60 Min   Ages: 8+

 

This is a fantastic game that takes the very traditional race-around-the-board format and adds an interesting new card mechanic.  Surrounded by an amazing artistic background, players race their pirate ships (yes, it's a pirate game) around Jamaica trying to get to the end with the most golden doubloons.  Similar to the game Sorry, when players meet each other on the board they battle to steal supplies from each other. This game is a tonne of fun and is filled with exciting moments sparked by friendly dice battles.  Jamaica is a game most people have not heard of and it really is a must-have for every household or childcare facility.  Pick it up!

 

 Concerns: Strategic thinking, need good turn taking skills.   

Forbidden Island

Boardgame

Players: 2 - 4   Time:45 - 60 min    Ages: 7+ 

 

In this cooperative game players must find the lost island treasure and escape before the island sinks into oblivion.  Players must work together to explore the island for special items and treasures that can help them, but every turn has a limited amount of moves to get all the jobs done... and did I mention the island is sinking.  Parts of the board quickly start disappearing so plans are often forced to change.  Forbidden Island tests team dynamics and builds on communication and group problem-solving skills.  This is a great game that kids quickly understand.  

 

Concerns:  Working together

 

 

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Colt Express

Boardgame

Players: 2 - 6      Time: 30 - 60 min   Ages: 9+

 

One of the best games of 2016, Colt Express is a unique strategy game that you must try.  Each player is a train robber in the wild west trying to plan the perfect moves to score big.  This game is an interesting theory of mind game where players must pre-plan their moves before they actually move.  All the while players must keep an eye on what opponents are doing so the paths don't cross and people get shot.  This game has very exciting moments coupled with the satisfaction of planning the perfect heist.  Don't be surprised if this game becomes a regular request.  

 

Concerns:  Imaginary violence towards other players (Shooting and punching)

Forbidden Island

Boardgame

Players:  2 - 4     Time: 45 - 90 min       Age: 9 +

 

The next level up from Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert adds a few more mechanics to up the ante in this co-operative game.  If you like Forbidden Island and are looking for similar challenges you'll find Forbidden Desert to be quite satisfying.  Players move throughout a tile created desert trying to dig up pieces of a flying craft to escape the dreaded desert to sweet sweet freedom.  Continually side stepping a pesky sandstorm with limited water supplies and moves, players must rely on teamwork and a little luck to prevent the unpredictable sandstorm from barring them in sand.  This game provides a fun amount of stress that really tests your friendships.  Make sure you check it out.  

 

 

Concerns: a litte reading

Munchkin

Card Game

Players: 2 - 6        Time: 30 - 60 minutes       Age: 8 +

 

This is a classic dungeon crawler game, think Dungeons and Dragons with less work and more funny.  Munchkin is actually a card game in which players look to level up their characters, change their race, help others, and then backstab them in the end.  Munchkin will keep you smiling the whole way through.  It is filled with funny cards that provide funny power-ups and interesting scenarios pop up behind each new door.  Definitely a classic game for anyone that likes fantasy and a must have in any game collection.  

 

Concerns:  A lot of reading and simple counting.  Some cards have weapons and blood too. 

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