By the time they start kindergarten, most kids have accumulated a shelf of games to play on their own or with friends. But inevitably, they tend to reach for the same old favorites (hello, Candyland!) over and over. If you're looking to expand their horizons (and your own!), this list is for you. We asked our Facebook fans for their picks for the best board games for 6 year olds. Their choices include some classic standards, as well as newer games your kids are sure to love. They're all recommended by parents, so pick a few new ones to try sometime soon!
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We're proud to say this is an Underdog Games board game, and we've received excellent feedback about it from parents and families. Sally Albrecht writes, "Some of my kids don't like a heavy game so I thought I would add this one to our collection. It was great fun! We were laughing so hard I thought I would cry. A great family game that is not too hard and just plain fun." The concept is simple—you shoot little coconuts into cups using a monkey with spring-loaded arms. (2-4 players)
This old classic has had a cute refresh, but the the easy concept still makes it one of the best board games for 6 year olds. Flick the spinner to see which piece you've earned, as you work to assemble a complete bug before everyone else. Kids get some fine motor practice as they put together the pieces. Plus, they can let their creativity run wild as they design a bug to fit their style. (2-4 players)
Think of this like Clue for beginners! Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing. Can you and your friends work together to track it down? We love the cooperative nature of this one, encouraging teamwork among little ones. Gameplay is quick, too, which is nice for short attention spans. (2-4 players)
This version of Sequence is perfect for pre-readers, with simple gameplay they'll master in no time. Kids play a card and place a chip on the matching square on the board. There's strategy involved too. Flip a Unicorn and play your chip anywhere on the board; use a Dragon card to remove another player's chip. When you get four in a row you win! (2-4 players)
Here's another classic that's been among the best board games for 6 year olds for years. As kids play, they build a complicated Rube Goldberg machine that's so much fun, don't be surprised if they abandon the game and just focus on construction! Whether they follow the instructions or give it their own twist, this game is always a big hit. (2-4 players)
The bright colors will be an instant draw for young gamers, and gameplay is quick and engaging. Lay out the checker-type pieces on the board randomly, leaving the four middle squares open. Players jump over pieces from any direction, collecting the pieces they've skipped. Gameplay continues until you can't make any more jumps. The winner is the one with the most sets of 5 of each color. (2-4 players)
Build dexterity and encourage careful patience with this 3-D card stacking game. Construct the tallest tower you can to help Rhino Hero track down burglars. The roof cards provide building instructions, with easy and expert variations. Be the first to successfully play your roof cards and win—before the tower topples! (2-5 players)
Expand your farm while protecting livestock from a marauding fox! Draw a card: if it's a fence card, use it to build your farmyard. When you draw an animal, add it to the yard, but work fast to add fences to keep it safe. This game has several variations for players of all levels, and even comes with a solo player option. (1-4 players)
Chances are good you played this board game yourself when you were six! Kids of all ages get a kick out of pushing the Pop-O-Matic bubble to flip the die inside. Move your pieces around the board and bring them to the finish zone, without getting bumped back home again. (2-4 games)
The Ticket to Ride games are popular, and this version is the perfect addition to a list of the best board games for 6 year olds. The map is new and the rules are simplified, but the gameplay is familiar. Collect and play matching train cards to claim routes that connect cities. Complete six tickets to win the Golden Ticket and the game! This one is great for families to play together. (2-4 players)
Here's another familiar game re-written for the younger crowd. Instead of settlers, players take on the role of pirates, building lairs and island-hopping. The elements are similar to the original game, but easier (and more engaging) for early readers. Families with kids of any age will enjoy this one. (2-4 players)
This puzzle game's concept is simple. Place your pieces on the board, remembering that they must touch another piece of the same color—but only at the corners. Learn to strategize by blocking other players, and try to get rid of as many of your tiles as possible. Though it's easy enough for 6 year olds to learn, this game is suitable for players of all ages. (2-4 players)
The unique concept of this game will be a real draw for kids. A stack of "ice rings" in the middle of the board protects a hoard of valuable gems. Only dragon fire can melt the ice, but baby dragons only make hot air. Fortunately, their dad is around to help. Kids guess which color gems will fall when each ring is removed, and collect them if they're right. This game teaches logic (and even a little bit of physics), plus it's just really fun to play.
Our Facebook fans had many more recommendations, including Silver and Gold, Othello, Uno, Qwirkle, Sorry!, Chutes & Ladders, and Yahtzee. See all their recommendations and join the conversation on our Facebook page.