Games I can play with my four-year-old daughter that won't put me in a coma.
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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I have been neglecting my sweet little daughter to play games with the boys, who are 8 and 5. Thanks for any suggestions!
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1. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I started my youngest when she was four with some simple play on a small board. We would use the stones to build "fences" for our "cow pastures".
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Joe Everton
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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We play Carcassonne with our 4 year old boy. First we played a game where if you completed a city, you got to put a meeple on it (yep, totally different game.) Now we've got him playing with the standard rules, minus the farmers. He doesn't always count the scoring right, and we're certainly not playing competitively, but it's a nice change from candyland. It's really neat to see him get the scoring right when he does. He seems to get a kick out of playing a "grownup game."

Depending on attention span or how far off bedtime is, you can user fewer tiles.
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3. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:435]
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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My daughter, who will be five in a month, has played this with me and my sons. She tied me for fourth. Grrrr.
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4. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:518]
 
Michelle Zentis
United Kingdom
London
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This might be a little bit of a reach for her, but she'll be here soon. In the meantime, you could easily handicap this game by giving her fewer pieces.
 
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5. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:945]
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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This is the only one I can think of. "My Pretty Princess" will appeal to her, but not pass the Coma Test.
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6. Board Game: Viva Topo! [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1621]
Michael Tsuk
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts [MA]
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This is good for learning how to count spaces following the roll of a die. It also has a bit of strategy. Plus, who can resist the cute little mice?
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7. Board Game: Ribbit [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1347]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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This is tops on my list of games to play with 4 year-olds. Especially fun with 3 players. I think fairplaygames.com is the only US retailer that stocks it.

Kleine Fische is also reasonably fun. And I haven't played Nobody But Us Chickens with a 4 year old yet, but Friendless's descriptions (as well as my own experiences playing with slightly older kids) have left me eager to give it a try.
 
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8. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:671]
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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My daughter likes this but doesn't request it.
 
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9. Board Game: Fjords [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1096]
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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My daughter likes this and has beaten me at it. She is five now, so I may need to change the name of the list!
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10. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1073]
Chris Kings-Lynne
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Hare & Tortoise is a game that looks like a kids game, but has plenty for adults. There's a new edition around somewhere.
 
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11. Board Game: Pente [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1408]
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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This game was recommended in a comment so I thought I'd add it.
 
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12. Board Game: Frank's Zoo [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1194]
Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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A favorite of our grandchildren when they were 4 and 6.
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13. Board Game: Chicken Cha Cha Cha [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1383]
JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
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This is a great twist on memory and a lot of fun. If you want a cheaper version, look on Ebay for the Dragon Tales Matching Game. It's a low rent version but still fun, especially if your daughter likes dragon tales.
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14. Board Game: Max [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3615]
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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"I looked at my hands, I understood that one fine day, one fine evening to be precise, they would no longer be hands but some other awful thing." —Jack Kerouac
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Max karate-kicks all those other games into the incinerator, a foam-rubber 'We're #1!!!' mitt on one hand and an axehandle in the other.

It's a co-op game where the goal is to get all the li'l forest friends into their homes and keep them out of the tummy of Max the porch-kitty. It plays at two levels: as Good Dad you can pretend to care about the fate of Max's natural prey, while as Bad Dad you can pray that Max'll catch the shortcut and show Mr. Chipmunk what Max does best...

And it's still in print.
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15. Board Game: Pick Picknic [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1432]
Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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Another favorite at ages 4 and 6.
 
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16. Board Game: Macius: Achtung, fertig, los ! [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
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A real hit with my kids - maybe hard to find if you're not shopping in Germany...
 
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17. Board Game: Round-Up [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:10032]
lisa smith
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Kids coop games can be good here because you don't have to careful to not play better than your kid. For a four year old, I'd try this and Max.

These games have a little strategy. Hopefully enough to at least prevent a coma. I like playing these with kids.


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
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18. Board Game: Escape from the Hidden Castle [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2034]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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I've twins girls age 5 and two older kids 13 and 11. Throw in the gr'ups to get 6 of us playing and this game is a great time! Worth hunting for!
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19. Board Game: Phantoms vs Phantoms [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2255]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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At least one four year old I know loves this game. I'm not sure whether he really got it when he first started playing (and it was a bit of a chore to keep him making legal moves), but after a few months of sporadic play, I think he's got a decent grasp of it now (and he's still 4).
 
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20. Board Game: Sherlock [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3500]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Der Plumpsack is a torturous / wonderful game of memory with a twist... My 5-yr-old daughter loves it and all ages can play together without problems.
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21. Board Game: Highly Suspect [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:7095]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Highly Suspect! is a little hard to find, but is good for the kiddies once they learn to tip the board *slowly*
 
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22. Board Game: Mago Magino [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:7041]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Here's another possibility. Reminds me of Viva Topo, but I think I like Mago Magino better. Both are race-while-being-chased games in which you control multiple pawns and are trying to collect something and bring it to safety. VT has a push your luck element (duck into the first mousehole you encounter and you get the smallest piece of cheese), whereas MM has a minor memory component (which frog was your child turned into?). Both have nice bits.

For me, the most attractive aspect of MM was that it remained engaging when it wasn't your turn. This strikes me as a crucial attribute in games for preschoolers.



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23. Board Game: Walk the Dogs [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4267]
Robert .
United States
Royal Oak
Michigan
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This is the best game ever for kids. I thought Pick Picknic and Gulo Gulo were good, until I played this game with my kids.

Totally cool.
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24. Board Game: Duck, Duck, Bruce [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3789]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Already mentioned, but thought it probably rated it's own entry.

One especially nice thing about Kleine Fische is it's a short step from it to Can't Stop and/or Circus Flohcati.
 
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25. Board Game: Rat-a-Tat Cat [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2451]
JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
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Here's another gem that's very inexpensive and easy to find.
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