BGG Moms and Dads - What were your kids' first games?
Tyler
United States
Gainesville
Virginia
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Our little girl is having her first birthday this month, and it's hard to believe it's already been a whole year since she changed our lives forever. Realizing how quickly time is flying by, I've decided to ask my fellow BGGers a question that's been bouncing around my head from time to time since our little "player 3" was born.

What was the first board game you played with your kids and how old were they when you introduced them to gaming?

Please feel free to interpret this however you want (i.e. their first board game ever, or just one of the first they played, or their first non roll-and-move game, or their first game of Warhammer 40k). Please also feel free to add multiple entries if you like. I just thought it might be nice for some of the hard-working BGG moms and dads to have a place where they can share some early memories of gaming with their kids.

Thanks!
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1. Board Game: Zitternix [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:4824]
Jay Volk
United States
Richfield
Ohio
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Zitternix is the first game I can recall playing with my kids. Easy and fun dexterity game.
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2. Board Game: Tic-Tac-Toe [Average Rating:2.60 Overall Rank:15347]
Alfred
Netherlands
Noord-Brabant
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This is actually the first. Quote from a log I kept of my son's initial progress as a gamer:

"My then 18 months old son Jarik (JJ) and I were playing with his Lego Duplo bricks. I decided to see if he would go along with me and stack his yellow pieces onto the 3x3 base.
When he placed one, I quickly placed one of my blue pieces. Hey presto! Tic-Tac-Lego!

This picture shows the end result of our first 'game': a perfect draw. ...and a possible boardgamer in the making."



The full log is with the picture. Click it if you'd like to read more.
Oh, and yes. He executed the first 'move' perfectly with his piece in the center.
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3. Board Game: Hisss [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:9742]
Steve Mott
United States
Provo
Utah
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A dead simple game with colorful snake parts—this was my daughter's first game. She was probably around 3-4 years old when she started playing.

She's 6 now, and we played The Builders: Middle Ages last night.
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4. Board Game: Itsy Bitsy Spider [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
Greg Gresik
United States
Bolingbrook
IL
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This one. I even wrote a review on it

Now we have come full circle - my youngest and I just played game of The Castles of Burgundy this morning.
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5. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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Technically, my son's first game was 'Candy Land'. But where's the fun in that?

My son was playing with Ra tiles since he was 4. By 5, after having played a number of 'age-appropriate' games, I taught him Caylus.

I won by almost 30, but he enjoyed it a lot, and has been gaming ever since. And he ain't half bad: my first game of Navegador against him, I won by only 3 points. He has beaten me heads-up at Olympos and Ra, and has even won games against strangers at the local gaming club (2 straight playing 5+pl Las Vegas, and even a win in a 4pl game of Ra).

Most recently? We've been playing the Pokémon Card Game and Terra Mystica. And yes, he's beaten me at both. (More ofter at Pokémon, but he does have a few wins against me at TM.)

He turns 8 this July. If he keeps interest in gaming, he'll be impossible to beat come the teen years.
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6. Board Game: Shopping List [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:12129]
Hanne Beate
Norway
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This together with other memory games, was his first ones. This game also have two booster packs that we also own (fruit and veg. + clothes.)
It's a bit different from other memory games, because you here have a shopping list and a trolley to fil up with things. He love going shopping.
It's solid made, and that's important!
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7. Board Game: Cranium Cariboo [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:5296]
Andrew Tweddle
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I don't remember this. But my wife took a photo of me playing this with my daughter when she was about 15 months old!

At that age it's more a toy. We didn't use the cards. I just let her open any compartment she wanted.

Sometime between 2 and 3 she was playing with the beginner cards.
And sometime between 3 and 4 she upgraded to the advanced cards.

We've gone back to the beginner cards again, so that her little sister can play too.
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8. Board Game: UNO Moo! [Average Rating:5.18 Overall Rank:14233]
Hanne Beate
Norway
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I'd think I would add another one. This is also a game among my son's first games. Instead of cards you use plastic animals, and that makes it more solid and fun for kids.
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9. Board Game: Monza [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1877]
Bart R.
Belgium
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Together with The Magic Labyrinth and Labyrinth - and we still play them today with the youngest meeple
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10. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2737]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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My tiny guy loved this game - reach in the bag to get some furniture for your room game board. But if you get a monster, you throw him in the box and yell, go away, monster!

But my son would always say, come in my room, monster!

Good game with simple rule set, tactile and shape identification, and just plain fun!
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11. Board Game: Candy Land [Average Rating:3.17 Overall Rank:15345]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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My kid's third or fourth game - the perfect trading ground for a future Ameritrasher - an utter luckfest with great graphics and exciting theme, takes way too long to play - yep, Talisman for really little kids.

In reality, my son liked the idea of this game more than the actual game.
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12. Board Game: Max [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3617]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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A fantastic co-op game which amazingly induces real intensity for your children. OMG.
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13. Board Game: Sorry! Sliders [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1488]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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A great dexterity game with a great sense of gotcha for young youngsters. The pieces are easy enough for uncoordinated hands to handle.
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14. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:400]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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A fun pirate-y race game. The bits make it even better.
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15. Board Game: Dungeon! [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3533]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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This one has had real lasting power for my kid - he still digs it and he is 8 now although he's really outgrown it. But the theme is so enticing.
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16. Board Game: Dinosaurs Extinct? [Average Rating:5.15 Overall Rank:13203]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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Almost forgot about this one - this was a great roll and move game for a 3 year old. Again the theme was simply awesome for my boy.
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17. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15305]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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Most of my kids started playing with decks of playing cards around the age of 2, simply sorting them by color, then symbol, then rank, and then later playing the simplest card games such as War. But if you're talking published games, we usually start them with Memory not much after they have mastered matching with the cards.
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18. Board Game: Martian Dice [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1847]
Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
United States
Mountain View
California
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Technically, our daughter's first game was Stone Age, as at around 15 months she liked to sit in my lap, put all the dice in the cup, roll them out, and repeat it. Then, she'd be sad when we needed the dice for the actual game.

Given her interest in that, I tried a while later to see if she'd go for Martian Dice, and it proved a big hit. While she doesn't understand the rules yet at 21 months, she loves getting out a baking pan to use as a dice tray, going into the garage with me to get the game from the cabinets, and then taking turns rolling the dice into the pan and picking up some to set aside.



She's also proven fond of "playing" Coloretto by going through the deck and putting cards into matching color piles, and she's excited about our recent acquisition of Ninja Dice, complete with its ninja-shaped box.




(She likes it when I wear my shirts featuring the Unstealthiest Ninja, and is well on her way to geekdom, as her other interests include pirates, octopi, and Cthulhu. Just today she proclaimed of my wife's Greater Demon of Khorne in Chaos in the Old World, "That's pretty!")

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19. Board Game: Checkers [Average Rating:4.86 Overall Rank:15317]
Jason P
United States
New Hampshire
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OK, one of the oldest games still in existence, sure. But I think this might very well be the first non-luck-based game I played with my son.

I bought a jumbo set with 3" disks and a cloth mat to play on, which made it more tactile and fun that way. In addition to conventional checkers, we also played some other variants that were printed on the storage bag. He beat me at one of them at an early age, since I was only half paying attention and the variant was as new to me as it was to him!

He's 9 now, and I always beat him cuz his end-game is weak. But he still likes to play.
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