Encouraging your child to spend playtime away from screens doesn’t have to be a battle. Whether you’re hoping to reinforce your child’s math and literacy skills, or simply have an activity the entire family can enjoy, these board games designed for 5 and 6-year-olds are sure to be a good time for all. Board games not only help little ones practice taking turns and participating in cooperative learning, they can also assist in other important social and developmental skills. From old fan favorites to newly designed themed classics, you’re sure to find the perfect board game that’s fun for everyone.
Best Board Games for 5 and 6-Year-Olds
(Best academic game — $$)
Why it’s great: Not only does this board game provide a fun and exciting game for 5 and 6-year-olds, it also helps build core skills through thoughtful learning methodologies. The Skillmatics Educational Game: Search and Find offers age-appropriate content that is both innovative and infinitely engaging. Double-sided activity mats help build little ones’ vocabularies and the Skilly Billy pens provide an interactive component.
Keep in mind: Some of the activities are very simple and may be more engaging for older toddlers rather than early elementary-aged kids.
Good for: Parents who want a game that simultaneously helps build their children’s foundation for school.
(Best for cooperative learning — $$)
Why it’s great: Encouraging cooperative learning, the Baby Dinosaur Rescue Board Game teaches children how to work together to solve a problem. The simple instructions and the image-based board make this the ideal game for kids who are still learning to read. In addition to working together, this game also helps children prioritize collaboration over competition.
Keep in mind: The dinosaurs that don’t complete the trek may end up in the lava, which may upset sensitive kids.
Good for: Children who could use extra practice learning how to work and play with others.
(Best for the whole family — $)
Why it’s great: A kids’ take on a family classic, this board game features simplified gameplay that’s perfect for the 5 and 6-year-old crowd. This board game has numerous kid-friendly properties that are a blast to play through. Easy-to-read instructions and high-quality game pieces allow kids and their parents to both enjoy this game.
Keep in mind: When following the directions and giving each player the allotted money, the game can move very quickly and end abruptly.
Good for: Parents who want a board game the entire family can enjoy.
(Best for reinforcing math skills — $)
Why it’s great: The Learning Resources Sum Swamp Addition and Subtraction Game is a riveting way to have your children practice basic math drills. Perfect for early learning, this board game for early elementary students can help ignite their math fluency while also teaching them how to follow directions and take turns. This board game also encourages critical thinking skills by requiring sequential thought and problem-solving.
Keep in mind: Some ways of play may lead players to get stuck in an endless loop that can be time-consuming to move past. Users recommended adapting the rules to avoid this.
Good for: Early elementary kids who would benefit from building their math fluency at home.
(Best for alphabet and number recognition — $)
Why it’s great: This board game is the perfect tool for your little ones to play together to support their alphabet and number recognition. The Party Hearty Alphabet and Number Board Game provides numerous ways to play using a variety of pieces so kids will never get bored of this game. The bright, colorful designs and images used will speak to children of all ages.
Keep in mind: This game is tailored for little kids learning their letters and numbers and may not be as exciting for adults and older family members to play.
Good for: Kids who are in the early stages of developing their letter recognition and number sense.
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(Best for building vocabularies — $$)
Why it’s great: The ThinkFun Zingo Sight Word Early Reading Game is perfect for both pre-readers and early readers. This board game develops critical thinking skills and introduces little ones to new vocabulary while simultaneously reinforcing familiar words. Popular both in the classroom and at home, this board game makes reading fun for 5 and 6-year-olds.
Keep in mind: There are a limited number of sight words in the game that kids may learn over time, making the game less challenging or engaging the more it’s played.
Good for: Kids who would benefit from increased word exposure to build their vocabularies.
(Most interactive game — $$)
Why it’s great: For kids who benefit from physical movement, the Hungry Hungry Hippos Dino Edition Board Game is a classic game with a new dinosaur twist. This board game is sure to cause the giggles in little ones as they try to get their dinosaur to chomp all the marbles. With bright colors and goofy dinosaur characters, this is an easy game for little ones to learn and play independently.
Keep in mind: The marbles may be a choking hazard for children under three or those still placing items in their mouths.
Good for: Kids who are most attentive when playing highly interactive games.
FAQs about Board Games for 5 and 6-Year-Olds
1. Which board game is best for the 5 and 6-year-old crowd?
Follow the age recommendations on the board game of your choice to ensure the game is suitable for your intended players. Board games that introduce early math and literacy skills as well as games that encourage teamwork and strategic thinking are perfect options for this age group.
2. Can board games help my child’s academics?
Board games can help reinforce the lessons and skills taught in school. From reviewing addition and subtraction facts to helping build an expansive vocabulary, educational board games are a great tool to use to support your children’s academics.
3. Can board games for early elementary kids be fun for the whole family?
Family favorites that are updated to better tailor to little kids are a great option for a family game night game. A game like Monopoly Junior has most of the components of the original but is simple enough for new players to understand and enjoy.
4. What are the benefits of playing board games?
Board games offer a myriad of benefits for children and adults alike. Outside of encouraging academic skills, board games can help little ones sharpen their focus, boost their language skills, and even strengthen relationships.
5. How many years will my children be interested in these games?
Most board games can hold the attention of 5 and 6-year-olds for many years. While some games are better tailored to toddlers and will bore kids over time, games that require children to use various skills and offer a variety of pathways for the game to take can help these specific board games continue to be a favorite now and later.
Board games for 5 and 6-year-olds are specially designed to not only be engaging and fun for early elementary kids but also help reinforce important social and academic skills. This selection of board games offers a huge variety of themes and ways to play, so you can be sure to have a fun activity that fits your family. From engaging in cooperative learning to reviewing math facts and building vocabularies, board games offer an array of benefits in addition to spending quality time with friends and family. This selection of board games is sure to have something for everyone.