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5 Board Games Kids 4-years and Above Can Play

 

Any excuse us parents can find to minimise our childrens time on the iPad is one that we will undoubtedly welcome. To use their hands, not just their fingers. But we can't be out there building sandcastles everyday, or at the playground when it's close to bedtime.

Board games are simple, quick, and social for the whole family. Plus, education doesn't just come from books. Board games can teach things like critical thinking, following (or working around) rules, math, and more. Also, how to be dignified when losing or winning. Remember, kids mimic their parents character.

The games below are great and can be played in half-an-hour by kids 4-years and above. Just remember that it takes a few games before kids understand. Patience is key, and you'll be rewarded later on.

The five games below are listed in no particular order. I will not go into the detail explanation of how the game is played, most importantly is why this game is great for you and your kids.

#1 Ticket to Ride: My First Journey

Doesn't take long before kids can pronounce 'Albuquerque' phonetically correct.

Doesn't take long before kids can pronounce 'Albuquerque' phonetically correct.

To win this game you'll need to form six rail connections based on the objective cards you get. An example objective could be: "Dallas to Miami". The good thing about this game is the large icons depicting the cities. In this example: Dallas is the Hat, and Miami is the alligator at the bottom right of the board.

To build your rail connection, you need to have the corresponding colour cards. Young kids will find it hard to hold cards in a "fan" shape manner, they usually hold it in a pile. However in this game you can play with the cards face-up on the table.

Great because:

  • Sturdy board with large pictures that's easy for kids to identify.
  • Cards can be played faced up.
  • Kids build up their problem solving skills as they get better - they get more efficient.
  • The winner gets to keep a 'Golden Ticket'. 

 

#2 Machi Koro

Machi-Koro.png

You're the mayor of a fledgling town competing with other mayors to be be the first to build a large city. To do this, you need to purchase buildings, and collect money. This is a card game, no board.

Great because:

  • Cute art on cards.
  • Purchase math - money comes in denominations of 20, 10, 5, and 1. Which tokens and how many do I need to pay for a cost of 8? Let the kids work it out.
  • Income math - I need to collect $3 for each ranch I own. I have 3 ranches, so 3x3=?

 

#3 Catan: Junior

YARR! You're a pirate captain seeking to build your lairs. But wait, building lairs need alot of resources! In this game you compete against other pirate captains to secure enough resources to build your lairs and win the game.

Great because:

  • Learn to accumulate and combine resources to build things.
  • Learn about resource monopoly (commodity trading).
  • Learn to barter and trade.

 

#4 Tsuro

The game of the path.

The game of the path.

A lot of kids? Up to 8-players can play Tsuro! In this puzzle game, your objective is to be the last person on the board. You lay out a grid-based board, and then place your token on a white line along the edges of the board.

Each of you will be given 3-tiles, each tile will have paths. Some are straight, some makes a u-turn, some zig-zags. You're to place these tiles on the grids on the board, and the move your tokens along the paths you just placed. If you bang into someone else token, you both lose. If you move out of the board, you lose.

Great because:

  • Trains foresight - plan your path ahead by a few turns.
  • Mistakes happen, learn consequence and that...
  • It's never too late, you can always pick yourself up and win. Don't give up! Persevere.

 

#5 Doctor Panic

Doctor, the patient is missing a funny bone.

Doctor, the patient is missing a funny bone.

In Doctor Panic, you may work cooperatively or competitively. Coop is good in a small group, say 2 or 4. More players then you can split into teams. This game is exceptionally funny, but I've played with kids that were too scared by the app because of the app's heartbeat beeps, and the fast-paced nature of the game

To get started in this game, you need to layout all the contents that's inside the box, and download the free app on your mobile or tablet. The app will give you a series of tasks to perform in a set amount of time. As you're performing these tasks, your boss may call you, or the patient might go into cardiac arrest - thus requiring you to perform an emergency task. The end goal is to save and cure the patient.

Great because:

  • Super silly, lots of laughs.
  • Scrub caps are given for you to wear!
  • There's a whoopee cushion in the box!
  • Learn to prioritise, and work under pressure.