The best board games for 5-year-olds are exciting and help to encourage the skills they are learning in schools such as reading, simple math, and recognition of shapes, numbers, or words. At five, children are just beginning to read and games need to have simple instructions and a fast pace to keep children interested. We did all the research and found the best games on the market for this age group to save you hours and hours searching for short, fun, simple-to-play games.
Best Board Games for 5-Year-Olds
Outfoxed! and Perfection are best for families who are looking for cooperative game play (you win or lose together) whereas Enchanted Forest, Trouble, and Life Jr. deem 1 player the winner. Q-bitz Jr. is more of an educational game compared to the others.
What’s In the Box
With the game What’s In the Box, kids can play a visual version of twenty questions by challenging friends to figure out what’s inside the box. Your child can play with as many friends as they want and play over and over. Find any item small enough to fit in the box and lock it into place.
Players get to feel the item inside a bag to help guess what it might be. This fun game inspires imagination, spatial reasoning, strategy, problem-solving, and many other skills. The goal is to stump the other players to win the game, though if someone guesses correctly, they win the game.
The Outfoxed! board game by Gamewright is a family favorite. Working as a team, players reveal suspects, find clues, and try to catch the sneaky fox before he escapes! The cooperative gameplay encourages children to work together which is a wonderful lesson to learn.
Parents love the quality of the game pieces and the fact that it only takes about 20 minutes to play! Even adults have fun playing Outfoxed! with their little ones. With an almost 5-star rating, this top-selling board game is a hit with 5-year-olds.
Hasbro Life Junior
Hasbro has created Junior versions of mini well love classic games including Life Junior which allows children to learn how to live life on a very basic scale with fun gameplay. The game is less about mapping out life and more focused on a friendly time schedule for children.
Children can spin the dial to go to different places on the board such as the zoo or museum and earn little gold stars. Once one player has enough stars, they win the game. Moreover, the game provides interactive opportunities as children can act out and enjoy fun antics to win more stars.
MindWare Q-Bitz Junior
MindWare Q-Bitz Junior it’s a fun introduction to pattern matching, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving as kids work side-by-side building visual intelligence and learning STEM skills. The game is just like the adult version but with smaller boards so kids can build patterns faster at their age level. This game can accommodate up to four players ages three and up.
Children need to pick a pattern and race to finish the pattern first based on the card. Each dice comes with multiple sides to help children arrange the pattern. When your child has mastered this method, the instructions are for extended ways to play the game for more problem-solving fun until they are ready to move on to the adult version of the game.
Hasbro’s Perfection game teaches kids important skills about time management, working quickly, and beating the clock. The fun comes from beating your own previous score or beating the score of the other person playing. No reading is necessary for this competitive game and you can play by yourself or with as many other people as you like.
Each person needs to match the 25 squares in the correct spot before the timer shuts off. When the timer does shut off, the game board pops up and scatters all the pieces which is what you want to avoid. The person to complete the board correctly without the board popping up wins that round, which makes this a great game to improve concentration and quick action skills.
Enchanted Forest Ravensburger has created a fun treasure game for children to learn memory skills. Different trees around the board have a hidden symbol underneath the correspondence with I treasure card and each player needs to hunt for the treasure by getting to each tree. If your kids can remember where a specific treasure was hidden, they can get back to that piece faster and win the game.
This clever game allows children to wander through an enchanted forest searching for treasures. The game is for 2 to 6 players and can take up to 30 minutes for one round, which is about the right amount of time to help improve their memory, strategy, and learning to take turns. Moreover, the enchanting board appeals to children’s desire to live in fairytale land.
Maybe you have fond memories of playing Trouble, which originally launched in 1965. It’s a fabulous challenge that combines strategy and chance for fun and semi-competitive game. As long as your child can read numbers and count spaces, they can play this game. The bright colors and unmistakable dice bubble will draw them in, but they will stay in order to get all their pieces home safe and conquer the game.
This game is probably best played by slightly older kids, but since it’s rated for children 5 and up, your 5-year-old can learn to count and can make their own game plan for which pieces to move where. They’ll learn skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, turn-taking, counting and math skills, and fine motor skills. They’ll also learn the value of good, old-fashioned competition! The game consists of 4 players (or 3 or 2) who each try to move their 4 game pieces around the board and into the safety of home. Pop the dice in the bubble to determine how many spaces to move each piece. The race is on – the first one to get all their pieces home safe wins!
While the competition can be stressful for some, we found that our highly competitive kids do well with this game. It’s a booster for their counting and strategizing skills, and it’s even fun for adults to play!
Best Games for 5-Year-Old Boy
Ticket to Ride First Journey
For parents who love the original Ticket to Ride game, you can finally play with your 5-year-old with the Ticket to Ride First Journey board game by Days of Wonder.
Players must race across the United States via train to gather 6 tickets in order to win. Unlike the original Ticket to Ride, this game features simplified rules and only takes about 30 minutes to play. Your 5-year-old will love lining up their colorful plastic trains as they travel across the board.
Did we mention First Journey boasts 5-star reviews? Although the manufacturer recommends this board game for children ages 6 and up, your 5-year-old may be ready to give it a go now.
The Floor Is Lava
The Floor Is Lava isn’t your typical board game. Instead, you place pieces on the floor and pretend the floor is, you guessed it – lava! Children need to use their imagination while spinning the wheel and jumping from one piece to the next to reach safety. This is a fun game to encourage physical activity, imagination, and tons of excitement for both kids and adults.
The game comes with 25 colored foam safety stones that kids need to jump to for safety. Children can jump, leap, play, and improve their skills with these slip-resistant foam stones the game helps kids to work on a strategy to win the game. Your kids have endless options to set up the game for many hours of fun and they can also learn color recognition as you jump to specific colored squares.
Best Games for 5-Year-Old Girl
Pretty Princess Board Game
Not every game needs to be a learning game for five-year-olds which is why Winning Moves Games created the Pretty Princess board game. As a matter of fact, little girls that love all things fairytale and princess will love to dress up in this jewelry party cooperative play game. Although, it might be funny to see some dads dress up as princesses too!
Little girls don’t need to know how to read to play this game. The object is to collect a complete set of jewelry by landing on spaces associated with each piece. All the jewelry sets in the middle of the board and girls collect pieces as they land on the right spaces. This means they don’t need to count past the number four. It’s a perfect game for a birthday party, a sleepover, or just when your daughter has friends over.
Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island
Little girls will love the Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island because, well, it’s mermaids! Every little girl wants a pair of fins but with the ocean play-board and a pink castle, your daughter can rock life under the ocean with up to 6 friends and 15 minutes. With cooperative play, girls can enjoy playing without stress or competition.
Kids can work on strategy, social development, teamwork, and so much more as they help their mermaids escape the evil sea witch. The game adds in a little imagination and tons of fun as girls work together for a magical adventure. Let your kids get a little silly and express themselves with this unique game tailored to five-year-old girls.
Best Educational Games for 5-Year-Olds
Kids love to win, and with ThinkFun Zingo!, they can win at a simple game of bingo. No drama is needed as this game comes with a special twist. An included dispenser disperses specific blotters for each square so kids have to match a word and picture to the same word and picture on their card.
Whoever fills their card first gets to yell Zingo instead of Bingo. They can yell either if they want but Zingo is much fun to say! This is a great game to learn sight words and work on important kindergarten skills for 5-year-olds. The game also teaches taking turns, concentration, and matching to create a fun learning environment for up to six players.
Pressman Charades for Kids
Some five-year-olds can read, and some can’t. Most are somewhere in between! That’s Charades for Kids, the original “no reading required game,” is perfect for this age. It has a colorful picture as well as words, so it’s suitable for all levels. Plus, it’s kind of like bonus flashcards to help your kids in their reading process!
This simple game is great for 5-year-olds because they don’t have to sit still for very long. Once it’s their turn, they can get up and at ’em to act out whatever words are on the card. It teaches them quick thinking because they only have a short amount of time to get you to guess what they are acting out.
If you are worried that it might be too simple, then there are 3 levels of play to choose from. This makes it ideal for playing with children of different ages.
Most everyone has played charades at some point in their life and now it is your five-year-old’s turn. If you’ve never played the game, the goal is simple – get someone to guess the word or action that you are acting out before the timer runs out. This fun little game can help teach strategy, reading skills, and taking turns.
Scrabble Junior is a lower level game ready to teach your child the beginning functions of the advanced Scrabble game when they’re old enough to play. Start on the first board side where the words are already on the board and your child just needs to find the right letter to fill in. The board even comes with fun pictures and little characters to keep track of the score.
More advanced players can flip the board to the other side and create their own words before moving on to the adult version of the game. This important game works like a crossword puzzle and helps children to learn how to spell, improve reading skills, and learn strategies. Kids will learn and appreciate a love for reading from this basic level crossword game.
Qwirkle is a mix of dominos and mahjong and super fun for all ages with no reading necessary which means its perfect for younger kids too. The goal is to make rows of six by building off of each other’s lines to get a Qwirkle. However, you must match either color or pattern to complete a line.
The game teaches tactical strategy to make lines before the other players do. Kids can also learn spatial recognition, planning, and problem-solving from this game to assist in all areas of learning. By now, most kids have mastered color and shapes but these offer more solidification of these skills with a family game perfect for young and old alike.
Sequence for Kids
Sequence for Kids is perfect for kids who have issues reading and just need a way to play without any stress. Not only is the game affordable but it’s also fun and perfect for the whole family. Mind you, children ages 3 to 6 will enjoy the most with up to 4 players at a time.
The exciting strategy game helps children learn logical thinking skills all with a classic game that parents know. Moreover, the game comes with a board, cards, chips, and complete instructions. The board has fun pictures kids will love and ask to play again and again.
Hasbro’s Monopoly Junior is a junior spin-off of the beloved adult board game. Kids can learn to play this classic game at a scaled-down level meant for little kids. With only one-dollar bills children can easily calculate how to buy a property and become a Monopoly owner of properties. It also includes fun little pieces to engage kids and imagination.
Use this game as a precursor to the original Monopoly game as kids grow their skills with the simplistic gameplay to prepare for the full version later. The junior version cuts down gameplay to a child level and a child length of time. This game is a perfect introduction to the classic board game that teaches important skills like buying, selling, trading, and math.
The Wildcraft! is a wonderful learning game unlike any other on the market and it’s the right choice for someone who loves nature and plants. The classic board style offers a cooperative game that is easy for even young players as reading isn’t a requirement to play.
Wildcraft teaches children to recognize 27 important edible and medical plants and how to use them in the real world. Find out what plant helps with bug bites and so much more while also learning strategy, and basic gameplay in a Chutes and Ladders style game. Players help each other to win the game together for no stressful play, just fun.
Best Two-Player Game for 5-Year-Olds
The Brain Freeze board game is a fun elimination game where you take turns to guess squares the other person chose. At the beginning of the game, each person chooses a square for the other person to guess. The gameplay comes from figuring out the other person’s square choice first.
Kids really need to use their brains to play this game though it’s very simple and easy to understand. Set the game up quickly with just two players or for two teams and start eliminating options to find the right square. This is a great game to help children deduce facts from what information they have available and can even help them with beginning math skills and algebraic equations.
Best Travel Game for 5-Year-Olds
The HedBanz Jr. is a junior version of a game for older kids with pictures easier to act out. Everyone gets a headband too, which appeals to a child’s desire to dress up and act silly especially when they add a picture card to the headband. Now let the questions begin!
Kids will use creativity, problem-solving, and imagination while trying to figure out what picture is on their forehead. Whoever is wearing the headband asks a yes or no question to figure out which animals they are, while the other 3 players call out either yes or no. It’s a hilarious game with little reading needed perfect for a group of kids to play at a party or on a rainy day.
Best Silly Games for 5-Year-Olds
Yeti in My Spaghetti
The Yeti in My Spaghetti is a fun game to teach kids about precision and making fast-paced decisions. The game is fun because everybody’s trying to protect the yeti who does not want to become a meatball in a bowl of noodles. The play is so simple and requires no reading so that even younger siblings can enjoy this game with your five-year-old.
Game set up is easy as you lay out all the spaghetti noodles on top of the red bowl and top off with the yeti. Now your kids are ready to play by each taking turns pulling out one spaghetti noodle as fully as possible to prevent the yeti from falling into the bowl. There is more than one winner as the only person to lose is the person who lets the yeti fall.
Mouse Trap is another game that’s been around since the 1960s. This funny game teaches children how to outsmart some sneaky vermin and catch a mouse! This game is unique in that you get to build the Mouse Trap board game itself using over 25 parts and pieces. The end result is a game board with a 3D mousetrap that’s sure to catch the plastic mice pawns.
Each player rolls the dice and takes turns moving around the board. Each player helps to build the mousetrap as they go in an attempt to catch the other player’s mice. The first mouse to safely make it to the cheese wheel wins!
This simple game teaches some important skills that kindergartners need such as teaching numbers, colors, and counting along with taking turns and strategy. It also reinforces early STEM and creativity concepts. The activity-based game doesn’t require any batteries- it’s all kid-powered and provides tons of fun and learning!
Hungry Hungry Hippos
If you have never played Hungry Hungry Hippos it’s time to get this classic game for your kids. Four hippos battle for food and they are hungry! The game is really that simple. Feed the hippos and keep your fingers far away from their mouths!
Each of the four hippos has a lever to steer the hippo’s heads and mouths so they can eat all the red balls and pull them into their hippo slot. The person who helps their hippo eat the most berries wins the round. The gameplay is frantic fun that takes just minutes per round which kids will want to repeat over and over again.
I Spy Dig In
I Spy Dig In is a perfect game for siblings as you can tailor the game for each person at different levels. In this game, everybody gets a card and a specific amount of time to collect all the pieces on the card from a bowl of pieces. All the pieces are different and come in different colors and either red, yellow, green, or blue.
Younger players get more time than older players and you can use cards with color to search based on color, or you can use gray cards to find a piece in any color. Kids can have a blast searching for treasures and racing to beat the clock. In the end, everybody gets to search together to find any pieces they haven’t found already, which always ends in laughter.
Comparing Board Games for 5-Year-Olds
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|What's In the Box||$$$$||3.9||9.0|
|The Floor Is Lava||$$$$||9.9||9.0|
|MindWare Q-Bitz Junior||$$$$||8.2||9.6|
|Ticket to Ride First Journey||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Hungry Hungry Hippos||$$$||9.2|
|Hasbro Life Junior||$$$||9.2|
|Pretty Princess Board Game||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Sequence for Kids||$$||9.9||9.6|
|I Spy Dig In||$$||9.8||9.4|
|Yeti in My Spaghetti||$$||9.9||9.4|
|Pressman Charades for Kids||$$||9.9||9.4|
|Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island||9.8||9.4|
More Board Games for Kids and Families
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Best Board Games for 5-Year-Olds
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Best Board Games for 8-Year-Olds
Best Board Games for 9-Year-Olds
Best Board Games for 10-Year-Olds
Best Board Games for Teens
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Gifts for 5-Year-Olds
FAQs – Board Games for 5-Year-Olds
Can I change the board game rules to help my child understand?
Yes. House rules are a common way to play a game. Even with my teenagers and extended family, we play different games in a way that better meets the needs of our family. What you should not do is change the rule frequently. Keep one set of changes and do not over-modify or no one will be able to keep track. Make sure new players are okay with family rules.
How do I keep my five-year-old from losing all the pieces of a board game?
The only way to ensure that your child does not lose all the pieces of a board game is to pick up after them or to make sure your child picks up after themselves. The most important way to ensure your children do not lose all the pieces is to clearly define the playing space. Make sure your child understands all game pieces must stay on the table and if a piece falls off the table, they must immediately pick it back up.
If you do not clearly tell your child what do you expect they will not pick up after themselves that is unheard of around the globe. Children are still going to clean up and using a game board with multiple pieces can be a lot of fun and also a learning lesson to learn to clean up after themselves. It is your job to teach your children to clean up their messes or you have to do it yourself.
My child can’t sit still very long, can he play board games?
Most game manufacturers are aware of how short children’s attention spans are. Therefore, they create games that last under 20 minutes to help accommodate children’s tiny attention spans. Start with the game TicTacToe and move on from there to games that last a little bit longer like Hungry Hungry Hippo’s and help your child to build a bigger attention span over time.