Kid's Games in the mid-range ages (5-9)
Ley Brown
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I realize there are a number of excellent kids lists out there already, but since I know game lovers can't resist adding all the games they love and that all those additions can be overwhelming for my friends who just want a few recommendations to consider, I've created this short (hopefully I can keep it that way) and sweet list.

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1. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Ley Brown
United States
Athens
Georgia
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Another great abstract game where games move very quickly, but kids intuitively learn to plan their moves according to the characteristics of each of the insects. Another nice feature is its portability. Just bring the bag and can set it up at a restaurant, Grandma's house, wherever.
Check out this link for an excellent review and pictures of the game. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/371756
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2. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:676]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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Kids have no trouble jumping into this game, and each game only lasts 10-15 minutes so it can be a filler for other games or kids can play a sequence of games quickly. Parents can jump into this game and find it very satisfying as well. Good lead-in to the type of strategic planning in abstract games, but you don't need to think about any of that to enjoy the game.
 
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3. Board Game: Fast Flowing Forest Fellers [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1779]
Ley Brown
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Very nice layout for a game that involves some spatial tactics, a cool surfer logger, and good "take that" interaction. See this pictorial review by Ender Wiggins, father of four, for an explanation of how it operates. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/440416 Just look at the pictures until you get near the bottom where the explanation is.
 
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4. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:574]
Ley Brown
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Though this game may be a future selection, my friend has had a blast playing it with his 8 year old and 6 year old this fall. I also just saw another review about playing this with children and this pictorial review is from a father with four kids, so who knows. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/380167 Anyway, the game offers a good introduction to the strategic thinking of the civilization genre.
 
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5. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:620]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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An Indiana Jones look in a simple push your luck game with some division required. You have to decide whether to stay or hunt for more treasure. If you leave, you keep it all, but if your opponents leave you split up. You will lose it all, however, if you stay, and a disaster occurs on your expedition. The little guys play with the bigs on this one and really enjoy the interaction here. A great review with pictures. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/401937
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6. Board Game: Kitty Bitty [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:9175]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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This game just went over as a big hit with my friend's kids. The components look engaging and highly recommended by one of my favorite game playing dads. Here's his review with some nice pictures of his kids playing. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/159303
 
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7. Board Game: Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1429]
Ley Brown
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Georgia
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I should have added this earlier, but had planned on bringing the card version in to show you. Since that has not happened yet, I thought I needed to put this out there. We got the card version at a bookstore in Vancouver for the first set. They played the edges off of it. I found it this summer, and the littles played a bunch of games of it; in fact, I may need to get that out again later this week. Here's a review http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/142547
 
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8. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:269] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Ley Brown
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Georgia
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Jeff, this has your name on it. Again, I have not played it, but here's some comments that may give a little more insight into it.
I'm not a big fan of miniatures but this game is great for the kids. It grows with the kids. My three year old has a blast with just playing with the miniatures while my 7 year old can play the game pretty well (I am starting to try REALLY hard to hold my own against him now while I used to take it easy on him when he was 5).

My kids also like to just build a crazy board with all the map tiles (kind of like building a big puzzle).

The problem with this game is that the expansions (so many) are expensive but you really don't need them to have fun with the game.

Great game for the kids 3 and up to play (either as a toy or a game). They will grow into it if they are young. Not a good game for big and little kids at the same time since the younger ones just like to smashh the pieces together while the older kids will actually be trying to play the game.

There is supposed to be a Marvel super hero expansion coming out soon. This would bring Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider Man, etc. characters into the game. I can't wait......er, I mean, my son seems to be very excited about this.

Here's a short review with pictures of the Heroscape system. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/215194
 
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9. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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The production of the cards make this such an enjoyable aesthetic experience to play. Five expeditions are chronicled as you play the cards. An added bonus, the game reinforces burgeoning math skills and accommodates a range of abilities.

Here's a look at the components http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/187611
 
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10. Board Game: Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1111] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Ley Brown
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Georgia
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Jeff,
In case you needed to go down the Marvel route instead.
 
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11. Board Game: Pick Picknic [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1441]
Ley Brown
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This one is a favorite for McLain and Aidan. Aidan doesn't worry too much about winning; he just goes for the foxes so he can eat the chickens.

A good review. He feels the same about the numbers. A good game with 2 or 3 but a lot of fun with 4-5. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/414563
 
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12. Board Game: Dragonland [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2816]
Ley Brown
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Georgia
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Another one that I have not played, but looks good. Here's a comment from a parent who owns and plays it.
This is a very fun game, especially if your kid is into the fantasy thing (or, if YOU are into the fantasy thing and want to introduce dragons and such to your child). This is a set collecting game designed by Reiner Knizia. Players move around the game board (by foot, by boat or by flying a dragon) collecting different color gems and dragon eggs. The game is well balanced and there is quite a bit of strategy involved. It is too complex for my 3 year old but we have been playing this with my older boy since he was 5 (he loves it!!).

Great game for kids 5-up and will also be a fun and challenging game for the adults as well.

Here's a short review. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/109455

This is a link to a picture of board, bits, and dice tower!! Lot of good stuff to this game. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/489331
 
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13. Board Game: Chicken Cha Cha Cha [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1394]
Ley Brown
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Georgia
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I find this on a lot of lists. This review from a parent might explain why.

This is such a great game that all of us can play. The great equalizer in this game is memory (the gradually failing memory of the adults against the amazing memory that young kids have). I try my hardest to win and I get crushed by the kids. My youngest (almost 4) is just starting to get into this game but he does very well. My oldest (7) wins most of the time. When we play with my nieces (11 and 18) I am not even competitive, they stomp me.

I can't recommend this one enough!

Great for kids 4-up and fun for the parents too.

Here is an image http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/596222
 
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14. Board Game: The Secret Door [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5407]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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This is not one that I have had much exposure to, but it is sort of unique among games so far as it's a cooperative game. The following review draws out its strengths. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/294199
 
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15. Board Game: Château Roquefort [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1090]
Ley Brown
United States
Athens
Georgia
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I've got to close tonight's list with one of the more innovative designs that I have seen. By all accounts the game lives up to the design in terms of tension and encouraging some tactical skill, but the real reason I have included the game--I really enjoyed this review from a fellow gaming dad. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/181126
 
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16. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1635]
Ley Brown
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Athens
Georgia
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I saw this in another list. The game designer is a well-respected designer, but I have not played it. Here's the comments from the other list though.
Loot, published by Gamewright and designed by Reiner Knizia, is a family favorite. You can find Loot at Target for around $4. Best bargin I can think of for a great kids game although you don't need kids to have a great time (great filler for gamers as well as non-gamers). I have yet to find people that don't have fun playing this game. It is too complex for my 3 year old but my oldest first started playing this when he was 4. It can be played in teams too so you can play with the kids and help them out if they need it. Pirate theme is also good for some laughs (Arrrrr!).

Highly recommended! Great for kids 4.5 and up. Fun filler game even when there are no kids involved.
 
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