Looking for a birthday gift, or want to help build a kid's game shelf, but not sure what they might be into? We've got the answers! We asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite board games for 8 year olds, and they really came through. Here are some of their top choices to try with the kids in your life.
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This is likely to be different than other games kids of this age have tried. It's a cooperative legacy game, which means each time you play, your game changes based on your previous games. In this case, kids are trying to save their school from attacking zombies. Kids tackle a series of short progressive missions, kind of like a video game. The game starts out extremely simply, but each round adds new rules and challenges. This is one they'll come back to again and again. (Ages 7+, 2-4 players)
Lots of parents recommended Sorry!, which is based on Parchisi. Move your pieces around the board, trying to be the first to return them home. When another player lands on the same square, they'll send you right back to the start... sorry! If you like this one, you'll also want to try Trouble, with its beloved Pop-o-Matic Bubble. (2-4 players, ages 6+)
This was another popular choice from our fans. Collect cards to build and claim railroad routes across the country. Longer routes earn you more points, and connecting distant cities offers even higher rewards. Ticket to Ride has become one of the hottest games in recent years, with additional versions and expansion packs now available. (2-5 players, ages 8+)
If you're looking to spark creativity, you need Story Cubes! The concept is extremely simple: roll the dice and tell a story inspired by the icons you see. There's no scoring or rules, unless your family wants to make up their own. If you like the original set, there are multiple editions with various themes like Voyage, Mystery, and even Harry Potter. (1+ players, ages 6+)
The Trekking games were designed for players 10 and older, but so many parents shared that their 8 year olds love to play too! Trekking the National Parks is a great family game, where players explore and occupy America's parks, collecting points along the way. If kids enjoy it, be sure to try Trekking the World too. (2-5 players)
Some 8 year olds have the attention span for a game of Monopoly, but others aren't there quite yet. The Allowance Game was developed along Monopoly lines to help youngsters learn money skills, but it's a lot of fun to play. Kids can build their confidence with this game before joining the family for epic Monopoly sessions! (2-4 players, ages 5-11)
Though the box says ages 10 and up, several parents said their 8 year olds love this one. Forbidden Island is a cooperative game where players work together to uncover artifacts as the island is sinking below the ocean. Start by arranging the gorgeously-illustrated cards to create the game board. Players move around the board to explore and find artifacts, but take care! One by one, the cards "sink" and might take you with them. (2-4 players)
This card game is a long-time favorite. The goal is simple: put your number cards in order sequentially, turn by turn. But wild cards mix things up, and there's careful strategy involved in avoiding discards that other players need. This one's small enough for a parent to toss in a bag and carry along to forestall boredom anywhere. (2-6 players, ages 7+)
Kristen H. recommends this one "for a loud and wild family fun game!" Players work quickly, trying to collect matching sets of cards to rack up points. If someone plays a burrito card, though, everything changes! Players can steal points from each other by grabbing and flinging one of the silly foam burritos. This dodgeball card game can definitely get a little crazy, but kids will adore it. (2-6 players, ages 7+)
This is one of those simple games that kids pick up quickly, but adults can enjoy too. Players pick and pass cards as they try to build the best collection of sushi over three rounds. Dine on maki rolls, sashimi, tempura and more to gain points. Dip your nigiri card in wasabi to triple the points! (Ages 8+, 2-5 players)
Set out for adventure in the forest of Dragonwood, where trolls, ogres, goblins and more await! Collect sets of cards to earn dice, then roll those to Strike, Stomp, or Scream in an attempt to capture the fearsome creatures. Different players will adopt different strategies, so the game is fun for kids and adults alike. (2-4 players, ages 8+)
The original Catan game has become a family favorite, but sometimes younger kids have trouble picking up the rules. Enter Catan Junior, designed to be a little simpler while introducing kids to the beloved game. Build hideouts on a ring of islands, generating resources and (maybe!) finding pirate gold. A game takes only about half the time of the original (30 minutes for Catan Junior), so it's perfect for this age group. (3-4 players, ages 6+)
Our fans had plenty of other recommendations, including Scrabble Jr., Tri-Ominos, Battleship, Stratego, Exploding Kittens, Trash Pandas, Yahtzee, King of Tokyo, Sleeping Queens, and Labyrinth. See more of their selections here.