Evolving gamers--games by age--6 and under
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Over the last couple of years, I have been playing a lot of games with my sons, who are now 7 and 8. I have tried to use the games age recommendations as guidelines for what to try. I thought I would make a few lists of the games we have and have not liked in various age ranges.
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1. Board Game: Don't Break the Ice [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15264]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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This is one of the 2 games I still own rated for ages 3 and up. It is more of an activity than a game, and they have only recently been able to get the ice blocks into the frame by themselves. And who thought it would be a good idea to give 2 toddlers little hammers? Still, it has been a source of fun over the years and provides some good opportunities for basic "engineering" lessons about why the man falls down when you knock out that one block.
 
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2. Board Game: Cootie [Average Rating:3.35 Overall Rank:15313]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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This is the other of my "3 and up" games. I keep this around only because my copy is the one I played with as a kid oh-so-many years ago. The boys discovered the original advertising insert at the bottom of the box, with the little games and puzzles completed in a small child's handwriting. They were pretty blown-away to learn that small child was Mom!

I have fond memories of playing this game, but now that I've played it again, I have no idea why! Although I did know what the word "proboscis" meant at a very early age.
 
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3. Board Game: Snakes and Ladders 3D [Average Rating:3.62 Unranked]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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My first game submission to the Geek! Yes, we had the plain flat version too, but this is way more fun. Somehow they don't mind so much landing on the chutes (I guess they're called snakes in this game) when you get to watch your marble roll along the twisting pathway and come out on another level. Ages 4 and up.
 
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4. Board Game: Tales of Ulysse [Average Rating:4.34 Unranked]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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This game is rated for ages 5 and up. It kind of reminds me of a junior version "Dungeon". You have to stop on certain spaces and draw a card which is either a monster you have to fight by dice roll, or a special ability you can use later. Really more advanced than most other games rated for kinders.

Roll and move and very luck dependent, but good bits of mythology to be learned.
 
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5. Board Game: By Golly! [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:5927]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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One of those memory games where the kids will beat the pants off the adults. Much better than most and great artwork. Ages 5 and up. Highly recommended.
 
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6. Board Game: Ker Plunk [Average Rating:4.79 Overall Rank:15266]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Another game with fond memories, although I seem to remember playing it by myself more often than with others. I wish I still had my original version of this, because the new one seems very unstable and has plastic sticks which bend a lot as you try to push them through the tower. And who thought giving 5-year-olds lots of long thin sticks was a good idea?

Still it is fun to play now and again if you don't take it seriously.
 
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7. Board Game: Hamsterrolle [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1177]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Now this is our idea of a dexterity game. Lots of fun. My oldest quickly figured out to always place his block in the compartment farther on so as to make it harder for everyone else. Ages 6 and up.
 
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8. Board Game: Stack [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:8062]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Great source of dice, but we didn't think much of the game. Ages 6 and up.
 
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9. Board Game: Justice League MegaClash [Average Rating:5.48 Unranked]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Very good game with real tactical decisions to be made each turn. Rated ages 6 and up, and is playable by that age, but my 8 year old is just now "getting" the deeper tactics.
 
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10. Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Amazing Flea Circus [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:6210]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Fast, fun, easy to learn and little plastic animals. What more can you ask for 6 year olds? You can always fit in a couple of quick rounds before bedtime.
 
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11. Board Game: Bounty [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:13638]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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I don't know why this game has such a bad rap here. It says right on the box it's for ages 6 and up. Just expect a fun game with nice bits and a little bluffing that all the family can have fun playing.
 
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12. Board Game: Hit the Deck [Average Rating:4.42 Overall Rank:15175]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Worse than Uno. Nuf said.
 
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13. Board Game: Capt'n Clever [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:9507]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Maybe this game would be fun with very young kids who just want to move around collecting treasures, but it sure didn't work for my kids (or for me).
 
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14. Board Game: Face-it [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:12809]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Nice game for kids. Simple decisions, a little bit of math and lots of colorful bits to play with. Ages 5 and up.
 
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15. Board Game: Galloping Pigs [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:6271]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Another one which definitely didn't go over with my kids. They hated the fact that you had to give up everything you'd acquired if you didn't move ahead on the last card. Ages 6 and up.
 
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16. Board Game: Karambolage [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:6354]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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I kind of regret trading this away. It was fun, although with the kids it was more of an activity than a game. Ages 6 and up.
 
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17. Board Game: Octi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:3483]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Another game I kind of wish I hadn't donated to the kids' after-school daycare (where it immediately lost most of its pieces). I can see lots of potential in this and the kids liked the idea of adding armaments to their "battle tanks". Ages 6 and up.
 
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18. Board Game: Sequence for Kids [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:8166]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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This was one of the games that clued me into the fact that my kids could do more than roll the dice and move the mice. Highly recommended for ages 4 and up.
 
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