Bringing the family together is the aim of the best board games for 8-year-olds. If you can have fun together while helping your child build some academic or strategic thinking skills, it is a win-win. I have an 8-year-old on my hands, and I know what will and won’t keep kids this age happy. Here’s my researched and vetted list of some of our favorite games and other highly recommended options.
Best Board Games for 8-Year-Olds
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition
Hasbro Games Trivial Pursuit Family Edition is one of my family’s favorite games to play together.
It is accessible for most of the family since there are separate kid questions and adult questions. It also is designed to be played faster than regular Trivial Pursuit.
You can play individually or on teams. You roll a number die to move around the board.
Most board spaces have a colored wedge on them. When you land on that color, you get asked a question from that category.
If you answer the question correctly, you get that color wedge for your game piece. The first person or team to fill their game piece, get to the center circle and answer a bonus question (of the other players’ choosing) wins.
Our elementary kids sometimes have trouble reading the adult questions, but the kid questions seem to be a pretty good variety for them. They have a hard time with the entertainment category as we don’t watch much TV, though. It is amusing to give my husband a kids’ entertainment question for his final one, however.
Kanoodle Head to Head
Educational Insights Kanoodle Head-to-Head is a two-person puzzle game that will challenge your 8-year-old.
All Kanoodle games involve fitting differently shaped plastic puzzle pieces into the board. There are various challenges that show you a few pieces to set in specific places to start, then you attempt to fit in the rest of the pieces however you can get them to fit.
My almost 8-year-old has Educational Insights Kanoodle, which is a one-person puzzle challenge. And my 5-year-old has Educational Insights Kanoodle Jr.. I think they are both great for spatial relations and critical thinking practice without being competitive.
But this two-player version looks really cool, too. You pick a challenge card to slide into the space between boards, and you race the other player to see who can finish the puzzle first. When you finish, you push a button that pops your opponent’s pieces out of the board.
Some parents thought this version was too easy for older elementary students, but there are one-person versions that get harder: Educational Insights Kanoodle Extreme and Educational Insights Kanoodle Genius. I was stumped on at least one of the challenges from the regular Kanoodle!
Skills: Spatial relations, critical thinking, speed
Ravensburger Ocean Labyrinth
Ravensburger Ocean Labyrinth is a variation of the classic Labyrinth game that’s fun for older children and adults.
In the game, you attempt to get through a maze to collect ocean treasures on cards you draw. But players can also play maze cards, which change the maze on the board. You try to make your path easy while blocking your opponents.
There are also two other modes of play for this game, which makes it different from the standard version. Games can take a while, so if your child’s attention span is on the short side, this one may be better to wait a year or two to start on. But many families enjoy playing it many times because the board changes each game.
If your child is a Harry Potter fan, there is also a Hogwarts version: Ravensburger Harry Potter Labyrinth Family Board Game.
Skills: Strategy, spatial relations
Frozen 2 Pop Up Game
Disney Frozen 2 Pop Up Game is very similar to the classic game Trouble.
Your goal is to move your four pawns from start to their home base. Instead of rolling a die, it is contained in a plastic bubble that you push on to pop the die within.
I enjoy this type of game with my kids because the dice doesn’t fall on the floor every turn. The familiar characters would make this a hit with many 8-year-olds as well.
There are other variations if your child is not a Frozen fan. Check out Cars 3 Trouble Board Game or Trouble: DreamWorks Trolls World Tour Edition Board Game.
Skills: Taking turns, counting
HedBanz Disney, Guessing Game Featuring Disney Characters is a fun version of the HedBanz game.
Each player wears a Mickey Mouse-inspired headband. You draw a character card and put it on your headband without looking at it. Now everyone else can see who you are except you.
During the game, you ask other players questions and get clue cards to try to figure out which character you are. The winner is the first person to correctly guess who they are.
If your child isn’t a big Disney fan, try Spin Master Games HedBanz Family Quick Question Guessing Board Game or HedBanz – Harry Potter Party Game for Kids.
Skills: Trivia, deductive reasoning
Apples to Apples Junior
Mattel Games Apples to Apples Junior – The Game of Crazy Comparisons is a kid-version of one of my favorite games to play with a group.
It’s easy and funny to play. In each round, one player is the judge. They turn over a green apple card that has an adjective or characteristic on it. Then each player chooses one of the red cards in their hands to go with the characteristic. The red cards feature people, places, things, and events.
The judge then gets to pick the red card they like best. It might be one that makes them laugh instead of one that is true! When you know the people you are playing with well, you can try to match your word with what you think that judge will be looking for: hilarious or true?
When I have played, the red cards were played anonymously, but in this version, you can open it up to allow players to try to convince the judge their card fits best.
Although it is listed as ages 9 and older, kids who can read fairly well on their own will have no trouble playing this version. Some parents noted there are many cards with Nickelodeon and other pop culture references that their kids didn’t really get, so that made it kind of difficult. You could create some extra cards that fit your family culture better.
If your 8-year-old is a Disney fan, you could also try Disney Apples to Apples Game.
Skills: Comparisons, vocab, social
Mattel Games Kerplunk Sloths Kids Game is an adorable version of the classic marble drop game.
If your child is an animal lover, they might really enjoy this take on Kerplunk. Instead of trying not to drop marbles that balance on plastic sticks in the cylinder of the game, players attempt to make the fewest sloths fall from a tree-shaped game unit.
You set up the game by placing slender plastic sticks through holes in the tree, creating a place for the sloths to rest on top. On your turn, you roll a die with different colors on each side. You need to pull out a plastic stick that is the same color as the color you rolled.
The goal is to not let any sloths fall. Once they have all fallen, the player with the fewest sloths dropped is the winner.
My kids love playing classic Kerplunk, though there is sometimes more setup time than gameplay. Some parents say this version isn’t as good because the sloths clump together rather than falling a couple at a time.
Skills: Spatial relations, strategy
Electronic Battleship Game is a newer version of the classic Battleship.
This version uses a computer and sound effects to take the game to a new level. Your goal is still to sink your opponent’s ships, but you get some extra tools. Each player gets a spy plane, attack plane, tank, and fighter as well as ships.
You enter coordinates to launch an attack and the computer will let you know if you’ve scored a hit or a miss. You can play in Classic Mode, which is close to the original. Or you can play in Advanced Mode and get some extra weapons and chances to strike.
A bonus to Electronic Battleship is that your child can play the game solo. Classic Mode can be played against the computer rather than a second player.
Some users have found the electronic version hard to set up and play and prone to errors. If you prefer the classic game, try Battleship Classic Board Game Strategy Game Ages 7 and Up For 2 Players. There’s also Hasbro Gaming Battleship Game: Star Wars Edition for Star Wars fans.
We have the classic Battleship game, and my kids do enjoy it. It can run a little long for my almost 8-year-old’s attention span and seems to spawn more fights than some other games we have. But they ask to play it frequently.
The Jax Sequence is a game that’s easy to learn and can be played on teams to include more players.
The board of Sequence has pictures of playing cards. Each card is included twice. Players have cards in their hands and when they play a card, they put a plastic disc on one of the matching spaces on the board.
When you have five spaces in a row covered, that’s a sequence. The winner is the first one to get the required number of sequences.
There are also some special spaces. Some jacks are wild and some allow you to remove another player’s piece.
Some users say the quality of the board and pieces has gone down from previous versions. But most people find it a really fun game and easy to teach new players.
My kids have played Sequence for Kids and really enjoyed it. Though my 9 and 7-year-olds enjoyed it, I would buy the regular version if it was intended for an 8-year-old.
Skillmatics Educational Game: Animal Planet
The Skillmatics Educational Game: Animal Planet is sort of like 20 questions. The set includes 52 cards with a different animal and facts about it on each card.
This game can be played with two players or in two teams. One player/team holds the animal card while the other player/team gets to ask ten questions to try to figure out which animal it is.
There are also clue cards that can be played if you are stumped. The first player or team to collect seven correctly guessed cards wins.
Most parents love this game, though some have modified the rules based on what works for their family. Some use the cards just to quiz each other without following the game structure.
Some parents who loved the game do report that once your family has gone through it enough to learn all the facts, it isn’t as fun or interesting anymore. But it has helped their kids develop critical thinking skills to ask good questions.
I think my animal-loving son would enjoy showing off his animal knowledge with this set. There are some other themed packs as well, including: Cities Around The World, States of America, and World of Sports.
Players: 2-6, in teams
Skills: Critical thinking, communication, decision making
Throw Throw Burrito
Throw Throw Burrito by Exploding Kittens – A Dodgeball Card Game is a great option if you want to get your kids up and moving while playing a game.
This game comes with a deck of cards players use to try to make matches and two soft burrito-shaped toys to throw at each other at certain points in the game.
You need to have space in your house to throw things around in or play outside, but I think 8-year-olds would love this combination.
The card play is done by all players at once, so no worrying about taking turns. You attempt to find three matching cards, which earn you points.
But when someone finds a burrito card, watch out. It could trigger a war between a few players, all players, or just a one-on-one burrito duel. Getting hit with a burrito loses you a point.
The game is meant for 2-6 players, but some people have successfully played with 8 by reducing the cards each person starts with. It is best for at least 4 players, as the rules are modified for fewer.
Some people do report the burritos don’t hold up well and they aren’t as soft as they could have been. So do make sure you avoid throwing them at people’s faces.
Skills: Quick thinking, good aim
Race Across the USA
A more educational but still fun option is Scholastic Race Across the USA Game.
This game combines geography trivia with strategically moving around a map of the U.S. It also provides two levels of geography questions so kids of different ages can play together without it being too hard or too easy for some.
Each player starts by drawing six states from different colored card piles. Their goal is to then visit each of the states they’ve drawn by rolling a die and moving their airplane token across the country.
Once they get to one of their states, they must correctly answer a geography question before heading to the next. The first person to visit all six of their states and return to their home state wins.
There is some strategy involved in planning out the shortest route to your six states and working with whatever numbers you roll, plus it is good geography trivia practice.
Parents love the educational aspect of the game, and they say their kids really enjoy playing, too.
Skills: Geography, strategy
ThinkFun Cat Crimes Brain Game
The ThinkFun Cat Crimes Brain Game is designed for only one player, but you and your child could work on the solutions together or take turns. Or it can be played completely solo, which is a nice option to have as well.
This game includes 40 logic challenges for the player to solve, from beginner to expert. You attempt to figure out which cat committed the crime in the challenge you are working on.
You use the board and cat pieces to set up the scene and help you figure out what happened.
Parents love how fun and educational this game is. The “crimes” are also more kid-friendly than murder mystery-type logic puzzles. It is also nice to have a game that encourages kids to work together to solve something instead of competing.
There is a similar game that features dogs, and its challenges are all different. So if you are more of a dog person or your child has mastered the Cat Crimes, check out ThinkFun Dog Crimes Logic Game and Brainteaser for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up.
Skills: Critical reasoning, logical deduction
Monopoly Unicorns Vs. Llamas Board Game
The Monopoly Unicorns Vs. Llamas Board Game is a game meant to be played in teams (Team Unicorn and Team Llama), so there is some cooperation between players on the same team.
It is very different than regular Monopoly in other ways as well. Instead of buying properties, your team is trying to claim the “titles” on the board, like Most Huggable or Sweetest. When all titles are claimed, the team with the most wins.
Titles can be stolen from the other team and be locked down. There are chance cards and money as well.
Gameplay goes fairly quickly (not like regular Monopoly), and many parents who knew what to expect really like the game.
Some parents expected something closer to classic Monopoly and were disappointed. Some found the rules confusing and the quality of some pieces lacking.
Skills: Taking turns, counting money
Googly Eyes Game
The Googly Eyes Game is a lot like Pictionary, but with vision-distorting glasses with three types of lenses for added difficulty.
Players move their pieces around a board, which may give instructions on how to draw whatever card you choose on your turn (like maybe you draw with your non-dominant hand).
You wear the lenses indicated for your space and do your best to draw the item on your card before the timer goes off. Other players try to guess what you’ve drawn.
Even good artists will have a harder time drawing with the weird lenses on, so they don’t have as much of an advantage as in other drawing games.
Many families really love this game and had no problem changing out the lenses in the glasses. Others found it difficult to change or had problems seeing clearly after removing the glasses.
Lots of people say that you can see fairly clearly out of the edges of the lenses, so it’s a bit of an honor system to have people use them as intended.
Skills: Drawing, guessing
BRAIN GAMES KIDS – Warning! This Game Will Blow Your Mind!
Next, BRAIN GAMES KIDS – Warning! This Game Will Blow Your Mind! is a game to help stretch your child’s brain.
Brain Games can be played in teams as you try to complete challenges for your mind and body. It is played with a game board and cards.
There are three categories of questions: Brain Benders, Puzzling Pictures, and Body Language. Each category has four levels of difficulty, which determines how many spaces you move forward for a correct answer. You move further for harder challenges.
Special spaces on the board allow you to choose a card from the discard pile, peek at the top two cards to choose what you want, or let another team choose from two cards for you. The first player or team to reach the finish on the board wins.
Many kids and parents love the game, though some found it could only be played a few times before the family had memorized the answers. Some found it too easy or kind of boring. Since there aren’t separate questions for kids and adults, it might not be the best choice for the whole family.
Skills: Critical thinking, trivia, movement
World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game
The World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game is a great on-the-go game for observation skills.
It is similar to the Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game, but with cards instead of a huge board.
On each card is a Disney scene with hidden objects and the cards also fit together to make larger pictures. The back of each card features an object to search for, but that object is rarely on the front of the card.
Parents say it is really helpful to read the rules before you start because it is not as intuitive as you might expect. But once you know how to play, it is a fun game.
A problem with the board game version is that players can start to memorize where objects are, but with the smaller cards that may not all get used in one game, that is less likely.
This game sounds like a fun one to take with you while traveling or waiting somewhere with your 8-year-old.
Skills: Observation, object identification, matching
Code Master Programming Logic Game
ThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game and STEM Toy is a way for your 8-year-old to learn or practice programming skills.
It is a single-player game with 60 levels to provide many hours of use. The goal is to create a program that will send your avatar to collect crystals and return them to a portal. There’s one sequence of actions per level that will succeed.
Some parents thought the instructions were too complicated and that the skills were not directly relevant to programming. But many thought it provided a fun way for their child to stretch their brain to solve puzzles.
Skills: Programming, reasoning, planning
Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game
Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game might be a bit on the young side for your 8-year-old, but it could be a good intro to deduction-type games like Clue. It’s also a cooperative game rather than a competitive one.
The premise of the game is that a pot pie has gone missing and you have to help determine which of the suspects is in fact the thief.
Each player gets turns to roll the dice, but you have to declare a goal for the roll before you do it. If the roll matches, you may get to uncover a clue about the thief or a suspect.
The game uses a decoder that you slide cards into to reveal the clues. Some families have had trouble with the decoder, so make sure you read the rules and are using it properly.
The goal of the game is to find the suspect who matches the three clues for the game. Since everyone works together to do this, there isn’t a winner. It could also be played alone.
Once you have the boards and cards set up, it does take up a larger-than-normal game space, so be sure you have a spot to spread the game out.
While this game might not hold an 8-year-old’s attention for years to come, it would be a good one to play with younger siblings or to practice some skills before moving on to a harder logic or deduction game.
Skills: Critical thinking, deductive reasoning
Create Your Own Board Game
Finally, DIY Board Game Studio – Do-It-Yourself Kit is a great way to give your 8-year-old a one-time creative activity that will result in a game you can play over and over.
My elementary-age children have gotten kits to make their own board games, and they really loved doing it. I don’t find their games as fun and well-thought-out as commercial board games, but they are proud of creating something. They really enjoy playing their games, too.
This kit comes with a blank folding game board, 108 blank cards, a blank spinner, 5 blank dice, 2 standard dice, and 8 player tokens. There’s also a blank box to decorate and store the game in.
The materials are perfect for your child to use paint, markers, or pencil to write and draw in their ideal game. Some people said regular markers did smear a bit, so consider using permanent markers or pens.
Most people found the materials durable and good for school projects.
Comparing the Best Board Games for 8-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.
|Ravensburger Ocean Labyrinth||$$$$||4.2||9.6|
|Throw Throw Burrito||$$$$||9.9||9.4|
|Monopoly Unicorns Vs. Llamas Board Game||$$$||9.2||9.4|
|BRAIN GAMES KIDS - Warning! This Game Will Blow Your Mind!||$$$||9.4||9.2|
|Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Trivial Pursuit Family Edition||$$$||9.6||9.4|
|Skillmatics Educational Game: Animal Planet||$$$||9.9||9.4|
|Code Master Programming Logic Game||$$$||4.2||9.2|
|ThinkFun Cat Crimes Brain Game||$$||9.9||9.2|
|Kanoodle Head to Head||$$||9.2||9.6|
|Apples to Apples Junior||$$||9.8||9.6|
|Race Across the USA||$$||9.7||9.4|
|Googly Eyes Game||$$||8.9||9.2|
|Frozen 2 Pop Up Game||$$||9.0||9.0|
|World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game||$$||9.9||9.4|
|Create Your Own Board Game||9.2||9.4|
How We Selected Best Board Games For 8-Year-Olds
Fun for the family…
The games I’ve selected will be great for an 8-year-old, but they will also be enjoyed by other members of the family. This will give you wonderful options for screen-free family time.
…Or solo play
If you don’t like to play games with your child (or vice versa) or you have a child who likes to play alone most of the time, multi-player games might not be for your 8-year-old. Several on my list are solo games or have the option to be played by one player.
Build or reinforce skills
Great games for kids help them build or reinforce academic or life skills in a way that’s so fun, they won’t even notice. The games I’ve selected will help teach spatial relations, strategy, social skills, and more.
These games are ones that my family has enjoyed or got many positive reviews from other parents and families. Some are classics you may remember from your childhood as well. It’s fun to create new happy memories around those games with your children.
FAQs – Board Games For 8 Year Olds
What games do 8-year-olds like to play?
Many 8-year-olds enjoy games that are a bit of a challenge and not just based on luck. Stay away from games that are clearly too easy or too hard for your child. Pick something at their level.
They also like to play games aligned with their own interests. There are versions of classic board games that feature your child’s favorite characters.
Experts say that board games are good for kids to learn new skills, unplug from electronics, and learn how to compete (and lose) politely.
What are the best board games for kids?
The options I’ve listed above are great choices for kids around age 8! These games require reading and thinking skills, but aren’t too difficult to figure out.
If you need ideas for other ages, check out these recommendations, which will help build and foster skills that are age-appropriate:
- 24 Best Board Games for 6 year olds
- 20+ Best Board Games for 7 year olds
- 24 Best Board Games for 9 year olds
How do you entertain an 8-year-old?
At this age, kids can be pretty resourceful in entertaining themselves. But sometimes they still need your help finding an activity that doesn’t include screen time.
Some ideas are to provide plenty of books at your child’s reading level, have craft materials available, and to encourage your child to spend time outside. If all else fails, play dates can be a great way for your child to stay entertained.
What should I get an 8-year-old for their birthday?
Most parents will appreciate a cool gift that doesn’t involve screen time. That’s why a board or card game is a great gift for an 8-year-old.
If you aren’t sure whether your recipient will love a game, there are lots of other big-kid toys and fun gifts that are sure to be a hit. Check out Best Gifts for 8-year-old Boys and Best Gifts for an 8-year-old Girl.
I highly recommend Trivial Pursuit Family Edition as the best game for your 8-year-old. You and any older siblings will enjoy trying to prove your smarts while learning some new facts along the way. You can play in teams to encourage cooperation.
For a choice that will generate more laughs, I recommend Apples to Apples Junior. It is such a funny game to play with a group, and you may get teaching opportunities as cards with unfamiliar words come up.