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The Best Board Games For 9-Year-Olds in 2020


The best board games for 9-year-olds are the ones that encourage interaction over screen time. Finding one they will really enjoy is important, and sneaking in some learning or critical thinking practice is a bonus!

I have a 9-year-old daughter, and I’ve compiled some of her favorite games as well as other parent-recommended options to help you find the best ones for your child.

Top 6 Board Games fro 9-Year-OldsWhy It's BestMom Rating
Hasbro Clue GameUse logic and deduction to solve mystery♥♥♥♥♥
Ravensburger Labyrinth Family Board Game Challenging and fun, great illustrations♥♥♥♥♥
Parker Brothers SorryClassic game, some strategy, fun for big age range♥♥♥♥♥
Game Development Group Stare Junior Board GamePractice memory skills♥♥♥♥
PlaSmart, Inc. Squashed 3D Strategy Board GamePlan strategy and think in 3D♥♥♥♥
Patch Products 5 Second Rule JuniorQuick thinking, fun timer♥♥♥♥

24 of the Best Board Games For 9-Year-Olds 

Sorry

Image of Sorry Board Game, Game Night, Ages 6 and up (Amazon Exclusive)

First, a classic board game that you probably remember from your childhood: Sorry Board Game.

Though Sorry can be played by younger kids, too, I think 9-year-olds can enjoy the planning and strategy more than 6-year-olds can. In the game, you draw cards to move your four tokens from start to their home base.

Most cards are straightforward move ahead by so many spaces, but there are some that move you backwards or allow you to switch places. And there are Sorry cards, which allow you to take a token from your start and put it on an opponent’s square, sending their token back to start.

A lot of the game is the luck of the draw, but deciding which piece to move on your turn involves some strategy and planning. It is a great game for the whole family since younger siblings can also play.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Strategy
Recommended ages: 6+

Trouble Game: Star Wars Edition

Image of Hasbro Gaming Trouble Game: Star Wars Edition

Another game younger siblings can enjoy that will still keep your 9-year-old entertained is Hasbro Gaming Trouble Game: Star Wars Edition.

With its familiar Star Wars characters, this version of the classic game of Trouble will be a hit with many 9-year-olds. Playing as Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, or Chewbacca, players attempt to get their four pawns from start to home.

The object is similar to Sorry, but instead of using cards, there is a Pop-a-Matic die to roll. You push on the plastic bubble with the die inside and it pops to roll. This is always a big hit with my kids, and I like it too. Even though it can be a bit loud, we aren’t rescuing the die from the floor after each roll.

If your child is more of a superhero fan, check out Marvel Avengers Trouble Game.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Strategy
Recommended ages: 5+

HedBanz Harry Potter Game

Image of HedBanz Harry Potter Party Game for Kids

For fans of the books or movies, try HedBanz Harry Potter Party Game for Kids.

In this game, players draw a card that they wear on a headband. The rest of the players can see your card, but you can’t. Your goal is to guess what or who is on your card by asking yes or no questions. Sometimes the players need to act out, describe, or rhyme a clue for you.

When you guess correctly, you get a chocolate frog token. The first player to get five chocolate frogs wins.

Parents like that the game works for kids who have read the books or watched the movies. They say it is a good level of challenging.

If your child isn’t a Harry Potter fan, try these versions instead: HedBanz Disney, Guessing Game Featuring Disney Characters or Marvel Hedbanz Board Game

Fast Facts
Players: 2-6
Skills: Trivia knowledge, rhyming
Recommended ages: 7+

Kerplunk Jurassic World Edition

Image of Kerplunk! Raptors Jurassic World [Amazon Exclusive]

Any dinosaur fan will enjoy Kerplunk! Raptors Jurassic World [Amazon Exclusive]

In this raptor version of classic Kerplunk, you put plastic sticks through the raptor enclosure, then dump the little raptors inside to set up. (Classic Kerplunk has marbles you put on top of the criss-crossed sticks.)

Players roll a die to determine which color stick they need to pull from the raptor enclosure. You hope to pull the stick without letting any raptors fall out. The player with the fewest raptors at the end wins.

There is also another mode of play that uses Blue the raptor. In that mode, the goal is to be the player who gets her to drop first.

We have regular Kerplunk, but I think my dino lover would really enjoy this version. I like that it has two modes of play to challenge kids to think of various strategies.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Strategy, spacial relations
Recommended ages: 5+

Yahtzee

Image of Yahtzee

Yahtzee is another game that simple enough for younger siblings to play, but offers 9-year-olds more challenging strategy and planning.

In Yahtzee, players roll five dice at a time. You can have three rolls per turn to try to come up with a combination of dice you need on your score sheet. Combinations you are aiming for include full house, four of a kind, straight, and a Yahtzee (all 5 the same number).

Each combination has a score associated with it, but if you don’t get one of them, you may have to take a zero on something. The player with the most points after the 13 rounds to fill the score sheet is the winner.

While the recommended ages are 8 and older, I think first and second graders could play with maybe a bit of help with adding their scores. Kids who are 9 and older will get to think through planning and probability along with some addition practice.

Fast Facts
Players: 2+
Skills: Addition, probability
Recommended ages: 8+

Ravensburger Labyrinth 

Image of Ravensburger Labyrinth Family Board Game for Kids and Adults Age 7 and Up - Millions Sold, Easy to Learn and Play with Great Replay Value (26448)

For fun getting through a maze, try Ravensburger Labyrinth Family Board Game.

The object of the game is to find the shortest route through the labyrinth while reaching targets and collecting treasure. It includes mythical creatures like princesses and dragons.

It will test your planning and strategic thinking skills, as the maze changes throughout the game. On each turn, a player tries to get to the object on their top card.

If there isn’t a clear path, you can insert a new maze card into one of the slots at the edge of the board to change the maze. Then you move as far as you can along the new path.

While moving along the maze’s path, each player tries to avoid traps and find all their treasure. The first one to collect all their items wins.

Parents love this game for much of the family. Many say ages 5 and up can understand and play, but it is better for kids with critical thinking skills a little further along.

Parents say the board is sturdy and the art is great. Since the maze is always changing, each game is different from any previous ones, making it great to replay.

There are other versions of Labryinth, including Ravensburger Junior Labyrinth, Ravensburger Ocean Labyrinth, and Ravensburger Harry Potter Labyrinth Family Board Game.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Planning, cause and effect
Recommended ages: 8+

Stare Junior Board Game For Kids

Image of the Stare Junior Board Game For Kids - 2nd Edition for Ages 6-12

If you want to build your child’s observation skills, try Stare Junior Board Game For Kids – 2nd Edition.

In this game, a player draws a card and stares at the picture on it for 30 seconds. Then another player asks a series of questions about the picture the first player has to answer from memory. If you answer correctly, you move up on the game board.

The pictures include photos, illustrations, and comics. Players can be in teams or play individually. There are different rules for adults and kids as well to level the playing field.

Some families found game play too slow, but some found ways to modify the rules to work better for them. A couple of the photos have a character or object that looks to be in blackface, but you could remove those cards.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-10
Skills: Observations, memory
Recommended ages: 6-12 up to adult

Squashed 3D Strategy Board Game

Image of the Squashed 3D Strategy Board Game

To encourage critical thinking in 3D, try Squashed 3D Strategy Board Game.

The game board is a large cube, about 7 inches on each side. Players roll a die to move their pawns around the cube. If you land on or pass over another player’s pawn, they get squashed off the board.

Landing near the king piece allows you to squash an entire side of the cube. The winner is the player with the last pawn on the board.

Parents say the games go fairly fast, and kids of varied ages will enjoy it. The pieces are tricky to get out since they have to stay in while the cube is flipped. The pieces all store in the cube for storage when you are done playing.

One final note: you also have to make sure you have a good place for your kids to flip the cube over so they don’t hurt your furniture smashing it down.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Problem solving, strategy, 3D thinking
Recommended ages: 6+

Pictionary Game 

Image of Pictionary Game (Full pack with markers)

Another fun game for 9-year-olds is Pictionary Game (Full pack with markers).

In Pictionary, you play on two teams of as many people as you have. One player on a team picks a card with a clue they need to draw. The rest of their team needs to guess the clue from the drawing.

While having art skills would make this game easier, it is funny to play it with people who can’t draw well, too. Your guessing skills become more important!

This version has adult and junior level clue cards to make it easy to play with a mixed group. It also has small white boards and markers for drawing.

Fast Facts
Players: 4+ on two teams
Skills: Drawing, guessing
Recommended ages: 8+

Sushi Go Party

Image of Gamewright Sushi Go Party! - The Deluxe Pick & Pass Card Game, Multicolored

Gamewright Sushi Go Party! is an expanded version of the regular Sushi Go game.

Players use cards to make sushi combinations and earn points. There are more menu options to choose from in this version, and up to eight people can play. This makes it great for parties or large families.

We have the regular version of Sushi Go, and it is a little confusing to get started. But many people who love it say there was a learning curve, but it is worth pushing through a few games. They like the illustrations and how it stays fresh after many times playing.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-8
Skills: Strategy
Recommended ages: 8+

5 Second Rule Junior

Image of the 5 Second Rule Junior

For a game that requires quick thinking, go with 5 Second Rule Junior.

In this family-friendly version, another player reads a category off of a card. You have to name three things in that category, like superheroes, ice cream flavors, or places cats hide.

It sounds easy, but you only have five seconds to answer. The game comes with a timer that you flip over when your turn starts.

If you succeed, you move your token on the game board. First player to the end of the board wins.

This is a game my family has, and we enjoy it a lot. It’s fun seeing who chokes under the pressure of the timer (me) and who stays perfectly cool and answers correctly (my husband).

Fast Facts
Players: 3-6
Skills: Quick thinking
Recommended ages: 6+

Clue 

Image of Clue Game

Next is another classic game with just a bit of an update: Clue Game. The board, rooms, and weapons are the same as you remember, but there is a new character, Dr. Orchid.

This game’s premise is that a group of people were at a mansion for a party when their host is killed. Your job is to figure out who killed him, with what weapon, and in which room.

To start the game, three unknown cards featuring the suspect, weapon, and room, are placed under the other new addition: an opaque mirror that you can illuminate when you have figured out the mystery.

Each player has some cards that are not part of the answer. When you get to a room on the board, you can make a guess about what cards are the answer. If the player you ask has any of those cards, they must show you one. You make a note of the cards you can eliminate on your detective pad until you know all three cards.

In this version, you then push a button to have the mirror show you the 3 correct cards to see if your accusation is accurate. You do need batteries for the mirror to work, which is a bit of a bummer.

There is a more updated version of Clue with a two-sided board (Hasbro Clue Board Game – The Classic Mystery) and a card-game version (Clue Suspect Card Game).

Fast Facts
Players: 2-6
Skills: Deductive reasoning
Recommended ages: 8+

Mindware Qwirkle Board Game

Image of the Mindware Qwirkle Board Game

The Mindware Qwirkle Board Game is simple to learn, but it offers plenty of challenge as kids think through complex patterns.

Players build lines of wooden tiles with colorful shapes, matching the color or shape of a tile already played. Points are earned for the tiles played; players get more points by placing a tile that touches more than one with a matching attribute.

When all the tiles are played, the player with the most points wins.

Because it is simple to get started, this is a great game for younger siblings as well. Your 9-year-old can stretch their minds as they plan out more complex strategies.

Some people report getting poorly manufactured versions of the game, but they almost all enjoy the game itself.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Strategy, spacial recognition
Recommended ages: 6+

Game Of Life 

Image of Hasbro Gaming The Game of Life Board Game Ages 8 & Up (Amazon Exclusive)

Hasbro Gaming The Game of Life Board (Amazon Exclusive) is a little different than the version you might have played as a child, but it is still lots of fun for the family.

The game board takes players through lots of life decisions, like will you go to college or start a job right away? That decision determines the kind of job you can get and salary you earn.

The spaces you land on and cards you draw might deliver a payday or add a baby to your family.

When all players reach retirement, the one with the most money wins. That could run counter to your family’s values and priorities in real life.

But I think having a chance to talk about the kinds of decisions your 9-year-old will face as a young (and not-so-young) adult makes up for that. The game play might not be fully realistic, but you can bring up real-life consequences in a fairly fun context as you go.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Decision making, money math
Recommended ages: 8+

Spy Alley Family Strategy Board Game

Image of the Spy Alley Mensa Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game

For 9-year-olds who love mysteries, Spy Alley Mensa Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game might be perfect.

Instead of everyone trying to solve a crime, Spy Alley makes each player a spy for a specific country. Players try to keep their identity a secret while figuring out other players’ identities.

During the game, you move a token around the board. You try to buy the items that your spy needs to collect without being too obvious about it.

The rules are simple to explain, and games take 30-45 minutes. Some people think it relies more on luck than true strategy, but most agree it is a good game for upper elementary to tween kids and their parents.

There is also a 90 day limited warranty from the manufacturer, so if something is missing or damaged on arrival, you can ask for replacement pieces. 

Fast Facts
Players: 2-6
Skills: Logic, deductive reasoning, body language
Recommended ages: 8+

Marbles Rock Me Archimedes

Image of the Marbles 6044798 Rock Me Archimedes Balancing Board Game, Multicolor

The Marbles Rock Me Archimedes Balancing Board Game is a beautiful wooden game that you wouldn’t mind being out in your living room all the time.

In this game, two players attempt to move four of their marbles to one end of the board without upsetting the board’s balance. You roll a die to determine your moves.

Many people love this game, but some did not find it as challenging as advertised. The quality of the wooden board is definitely a plus when so many things are plastic and cardboard now.

Fast Facts
Players: 2
Skills: Visual perception, decision-making
Recommended ages: 8+

Blokus Trigon Game

Image of Blokus Trigon Game [Amazon Exclusive]

For Tetrus fans, try Blokus Trigon Game [Amazon Exclusive].

In this variation on Blokus, players attempt to put all 22 of their color shapes on the hexagon-shaped board. Each piece is made of one or more triangles.

On your turn, you put down one of your pieces. It must touch the corner of another one of your pieces, but it may not share a straight edge.

When there are no more places for anyone to put down a piece, the game is done. The player with the most pieces on the board is the winner.

Parents say this is more challenging than the regular rectangular Blokus, but in a good way. There are so many ways to place pieces, it will feel like a different game each time. Games take 20-40 minutes, which is a good length of time for 9-year-olds.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Spatial reasoning, strategy
Recommended ages: 7+

Hasbro Connect 4 Game

Image of the Hasbro Connect 4 Game

The Hasbro Connect 4 Game is a simple strategy game that my whole family enjoys.

It is similar to tic tac toe, but two players face off to try to get four checkers in a row in a vertical board. In the main mode of play, you take turns dropping one checker in at a time into the bottom slot of your chosen column.

There are two other ways to play involving playing your pieces constantly instead of taking turns or allowing you to open the bottom to drop out pieces already played.

You have to plan ahead a little more than tic tac toe because you can’t fill the upper slots until the bottom ones have checkers in them. Look for connections vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.

We have the set my husband had as a kid, and our family loves it. Some recent buyers have said the newer sets are flimsy, though.

There are some smaller travel sets available as well: Connect 4 Grab and Go Game (Travel Size) or Strategic, Fun Very Portable Gaming Road Trip Series Connect 4.

Fast Facts
Players: 2
Skills: Strategy, spatial reasoning
Recommended ages: 6+

Chess and Pachisi

Image of Melissa & Doug Double-Sided Wooden Chess & Pachisi Board Game with 42 Game Pieces (17.5 W x 17.5 L x 1.5 D)

Melissa & Doug Double-Sided Wooden Chess & Pachisi Board Game is a fun 2-in-1 combination game.

One side is a chess board, and the other side is Pachisi (sometimes called Parcheesi). This set comes with all the pieces for both games. And it is available in two color schemes.

Chess is a great game to promote strategic thinking and planning. There is a lot to remember at first about how each piece can move, but even after you’ve mastered that, there are many levels of strategy to learn.

Pachisi is a centuries-old game from India. It involves rolling dice and moving your four tokens around the board.

Your goal is to move them all from the nest to the home space, which sounds a bit like Sorry. But there are special moves for rolling doubles, capturing opponents, and creating blockades.

I have always been happy with Melissa & Doug products, and this all-wood set gets high marks from parents. It’s attractive and sturdy, a great way to introduce two games that have really stood the test of time.

Another combination set including chess is a Pressman set: Checkers/Chess/Backgammon.

Fast Facts
Players: 2
Skills: Strategy
Recommended ages: 6+

Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game

Image of the Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game for Boys and Girls Ages 4 and Up - A Fun Family Game You'll Want to Play Again and Again

While the Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game is suitable for kids as young as 4, many families report is it great for 9-year-olds as well, making it fun for the whole family.

The 6-foot-long game board features a variety of Disney characters in 12 different realms. You will need a long table to play or be ready to set up on the floor.

Gameplay is cooperative, rather than competitive. All players work together to get to Cinderella’s castle before midnight.

When you spin, you either get to move forward, move the clock ahead, or start a search for an item in the game board’s illustrations. Each item found moves everyone forward a space.

While many families enjoy the game, some said it wasn’t as fun after multiple times through. The pictures you are searching for are pretty small.

Fast Facts
Players: 1-6
Skills: Observation, memory, teamwork
Recommended ages: 4+

Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game

Image of the Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game

The Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game comes as a single pack by itself or you can get it with the game Sleeping Queens. They are both card games for ages eight and up.

In Dragonwood, you use cards and dice to defeat magical foe. You collect adventurer cards, which allow you to earn the same number of dice. Then you roll the dice and see if you have a big enough number to defeat your monster opponent. 

Parents say it is a great game for practicing math and probability in a way so fun, your 9-year-old won’t even realize it. The illustrations on the cards are very well done. You can play a game in about 20 minutes, and many people like to play a few games in a row.

Some people did find the instructions a bit tricky for kids at first, but if you help them get started (or find a YouTube tutorial), they should catch on quickly.

In Sleeping Queens, players attempt to wake up as many queens as possible by playing the correct cards. Addition and subtraction skills are called for, but you could adjust it to multiplication and division to challenge your 9-year-old.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4 (Dragonwood), 2-5 (Sleeping Queens)
Skills: Probability, basic math
Recommended ages: 8+

NFL Game Day Board Game

Image of the NFL Game Day Board Game

The NFL Game Day Board Game comes with signage for all 32 NFL teams, so your 9-year-old can represent their favorite team.

Each player is basically the coach of their team and gets to call plays based on the cards in their hand. There are offensive and defensive cards so you can attempt to block the opponent’s progress on the field.

Parents say that it does help to have knowledge of football to play this game, but many 9-year-old fans really love to play. The game is split into halves, which can get long, but you could just play one half.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-4
Skills: Football plays
Recommended ages: 9+

Word On The Street JR

Image of Word On The Street Junior - The Wacky Tug of Words

If you want to make spelling practice fun, try Word On The Street Junior – The Wacky Tug of Words.

You can play on teams or as a two-player game. On each turn, there’s a category card turned over. Players write down or think up words in that category and then choose one as a team.

They find the letters from that word and move them closer to their side of the board. When letters reach their side of the board, the letters are taken off and the team gets a point for each.

Kids get to practice spelling and vocabulary in different categories. Then, once some letters have moved, it is helpful to choose words using those same letters to move them further across the board. So there is more strategic thinking as well. 

Parents and teachers say this game is a hit with elementary schoolers. It’s so much fun it won’t even seem educational.

There is a version for 12 and up with very similar game play (Word On The Street), but parents say the categories in the Junior version are better for this age group. 

Fast Facts
Players: 2 teams or players
Skills: Spelling, vocabulary, strategy
Recommended ages: 8+

Phase 10

Image of Mattel Games: The Official Phase 10 Tin [Amazon Exclusive]

Finally, Mattel Games: The Official Phase 10 Tin [Amazon Exclusive] is a rummy-like game.

There are cards of various numbers and colors, plus skip and wild cards. The goal is to find the cards needed to make each of the 10 phases, one specific phase per round. You might need to find a set of cards of the same number, then a run of numbers in a row, then get a certain number of cards the same color.

But if you don’t get the specified phase before the round is over, you have to try that one again the next round. The first player to get all 10 phases in the proper order wins.

This set comes in a nice tin to protect your cards. It might frustrate your child if they get a few phases behind the game’s leader. But the game is simple to learn and loved by many families.

Fast Facts
Players: 2-6
Skills: Strategy, counting
Recommended ages: 7+

Other Recommended Board Games

How We Selected the Best Board Games For 9-Year-Olds 

Best board games are fun for the family

I gave priority to games that either parents or younger siblings (or both!) will enjoy playing with your 9-year-old. Fun, in-person interactions are important for your almost tween.

Great board games build 9-year-olds’ skills

I chose a lot of games that will also help build educational or critical thinking skills in your child. Practicing math, planning, memory, and strategic thinking while having fun is a win-win.

Classic board games you’ll remember

Many of the great games I enjoyed in 4th and 5th grades are still available. I think you will remember many of these games, making them a nostalgic option for you. While I haven’t played all of them with my own 9-year-old, I know I liked them at that age.

FAQs About Best Board Games For 9-Year-Olds

What are the best games for 9-year-olds?

The games I’ve listed above are great options. At this age, kids are able to get into the strategy and planning in games that younger kids don’t. So there are many more choices depending on what your 9-year-old’s interests are.

What is the best gift for a 9-year-old?

Many 9-year-olds will enjoy a board game. But if you aren’t sure if any of these options are just right for your child, check out our best gifts for 9 year old girls and best gifts for 9 year old boys.

Will a 9-year-old enjoy a board game?

Most of them will enjoy at least a few board games! If you haven’t played games regularly before, you might meet some resistance to the idea. Especially if you are trying to get them away from screen time.

But try one of the above options that match your child’s interests. You may need to try a few different games before you find one your child gets excited about. From there, they might be more receptive to other games. Then your family can enjoy interactions over a regular game night.

Read about why board games are good for kids.

Wrap Up

There are lots of fun games for your 9-year-old. The best games are fun for parents or younger siblings, too, for fun for the family. I love the classics I grew up with the most.

One of the favorites in our house is Sorry. My 9-year-old enjoys it, and it’s easy enough for her younger siblings to enjoy too.

For a game for 9-year-olds and older siblings or parents, I recommend Clue Game. When I was growing up, this was one of my favorites. I think it offers enough challenge for adults to still enjoy as well.

Whichever game you choose for your 9-year-old, I hope it will encourage your family to put away their screens and have a family game night.

Megan Ryan
Megan Ryan
Megan Ryan is a stay-at-home mom to three kids in elementary school. She is also freelance editor who enjoys editing novels and Christian books. She still has a lot to learn about being a mom, but she's happy to share the lessons she's already learned.

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