Educational games encourage a variety of behaviors in children such as following rules, planning ahead, and losing with grace.1 Some games encourage teamwork and some games can be played with one player.
If you’ve never heard of HABA, they’re a German company that specializes in creating educational board games for children. The following list includes a variety of HABA board games from simple learning to strategic gameplay.
Based on the educational factor, variety of play (because kids get bored easily), and of course, fun, we recommend Little Garden as the best HABA board game of 2020.
|Best HABA Board Game||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|HABA First Orchard||Good for toddlers, sorting, pretend play||♥♥♥♥♥|
|HABA Here, Fishy, Fishy!||Promotes hand-eye coordination, concentration, basic game rules||♥♥♥♥♥|
|HABA Animal Upon Animal||Exciting stacking game, good for balancing||♥♥♥♥♥|
|HABA Unicorn Glitterluck||Learning basic game rules, crystals don't roll away, promotes counting||♥♥♥♥♥|
|HABA Secret Code 13+4||Builds arithmetic skills, fun for children and adults, can easily modify rules||♥♥♥♥♥|
|HABA Picassimo||Fun drawing game that teaches art work||♥♥♥♥♥|
The Best HABA Board Games for Children
Little Garden is from HABA’s My Very First Games series and is for ages 2 and up and for 1-3 players.
Game pieces include: Gardener Gabriel, 3×3 patch cards, Molly Mole, molehill, color die, watering can, wheelbarrow, bucket of carrots, basket of strawberries, and bouquet of tulips.
Our favorite part: Toddlers learn about the plant cycle as they weed, plant, water, and harvest. The art on the game board is captivating and encourages question and answer time.
- Teaches the plant cycle
- Teaches patience
- Younger players may not grasp concept yet
We love that Little Garden has so much to teach about the plant cycle and offers lots of opportunity for discussion.
HABA’s Orchard game has sold over 2.5 million copies. Pears, plums, cherries, and apples are hanging from the trees and it’s your job to pick fruit and place them in your basket before the raven gets to them. This game is for ages 3-6 and 1-8 players.
Game pieces include 10 apples, 10 pears, 10 pairs of cherries, 10 plums, 4 baskets, 1 raven jigsaw (9 pieces), 1 color die and 1 game board.
Our favorite part: Children “pick” different types of fruit off the trees and collect them in their individual baskets. Great for learning different types of fruits and where they come from.
- Fruit-picking and collecting
- Learning different types of fruit and that they are grown on trees
- Little fruit pieces can be used separately for pretend play
- Small fruit pieces could get lost easily or swallowed
For younger players, HABA also has made First Orchard for ages 2 and up! See below for details.
Children will love playing Orchard as they sort and work as a team (or alone) to beat the raven!
Town Maze Magnetic Game
The Town Maze Magnetic Game is a great tool for capturing any child’s imagination. Children use the magnetic pen to move different colored balls around the town and into their color-corresponding garages.
Game pieces include the board and attached magnetic wand.
Our favorite part: The fun town graphics and enclosed board with no lost pieces! Perfect for traveling and when on the road.
- Strong magnet for easy navigation
- Colorful town graphics
- Promotes sorting
- Promotes critical thinking
- Enclosed board so no lost pieces
- Magnetic wand string could be longer
HABA’s Town Maze Magnetic Game is a mess-free fun way to keeps kids busy while promoting sorting and critical thinking.
Perfect Pairs helps educate children on shape recognition and color matching as well as height matching. Playing with these wooden halves also helps with fine motor skills and spatial skills. This is made for ages 2 years and up.
Game pieces include 18 sorting blocks and 1 frame.
Our favorite part: So much learning and puzzling in one frame. Bright colors and different shades peak curiosity.
- Promotes shape recognition, color and height matching
- Helps with fine motor and spatial skills
- Wooden durable pieces
- Lots of pieces (could easily get lost)
- Blocks fit loosely in spots causing them to easily be knocked out
Durable wooden blocks offer lots of educational fun when they play with Perfect Pairs.
Here Fishy Fishy!
Here, Fishy, Fishy! is part of HABA’s My Very First Games series. Children using the fishing rod to fish for sea creatures per the color of the die rolled. Pop-out toys are played into a puzzle as well. This game is for ages 2 and up and for 1-4 players.
Game pieces include 1 rod with worm, 6 sea dwellers, 1 sea, 4 collecting boards (with five pop-out toys) and 1 die with symbols.
Our favorite part: Fishing from the “sea” and putting pieces into their puzzle! There is an option to free-play with this game, too.
- Promotes hand-eye coordination
- Promotes concentration skills
- Help kids learn basic game rules
- Wooden sea dwellers
- Limited variety of sea dwellers
Here Fishy Fishy! incorporates imaginative play with hand-eye coordination and puzzles!
The Dragon’s Breath game is a competitive battle between the dragon children (Mira, Feo, Luna, & Diego) to see who will collect the most gems. Each round the dragon children guess what color will fall from the “ice” when daddy dragon “melts” it (removes the ring). If they guess right, they keep the gem(s). This game is for ages 5 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 1 daddy dragon, 4 dragon children, 1 base with 4 dividers, 9 ice rings, 90 sparkling stones (18 in each of 5 colors), 5 sparkling stone tiles and 1 ice tile.
Our favorite part: Never knowing what colored gems are going to fall next and the encouragement of family play.
- Unexpected drop of gems
- Promotes family interaction with dragon children and daddy dragon
- Colorful gem pieces
- Gems are small (could get lost or swallowed by younger ones)
Dragon’s Breath is an exciting game for kids to work on matching colors and anticipating the next fall of gems.
Brandon The Brave
Brandon The Brave is about strategically placing tiles so that all tasks are mastered thus winning the game. Gameplay is different each time making this a never-gets-old type of board game. This is suited for ages 5 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 36 triangular field tiles, 1 Conrad the Confused knight, and 18 task cards.
Our favorite part: You never know what the game board is going to look like because every new play may be different from the last.
- Promotes strategic thinking
- Gameplay can vary each time
- Colorful tile pieces
- Simple rules limits confusion
- Promotes storytelling
- Lots of tiles (could get lost)
Brandon The Brave promotes strategic thinking and plays differently each time.
Animal Upon Animal
The Animal Upon Animal game is a HABA stacking game. Children roll a dice to see how many animals they can stack on the pile without it toppling over. This game is for ages 4 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 29 wooden animals (1 crocodile, 4 toucans, 4 sheep, 4 monkeys, 4 snakes, 4 penguins, 4 hedgehogs, 4 lizards) and 1 wooden die.
Our favorite part: The thrill of stacking and balancing each animal! Also a great way for children to learn the names and shapes of various animals.
- Helps kids learn to balance objects
- Promotes slow-movement and patience
- Promotes thinking ahead
- Animals may be slick
Animal Upon Animal is an unpredictable game of balancing fun.
First Orchard is a HABA game where players must team together to harvest all the fruit before the raven gets down the path! Being part of the My Very First Games series, this game is simple enough for littles yet challenging enough for learning. This is for ages 2 and up and for 1-4 players.
Game pieces include 1 raven, 1 fruit basket, 8 apples (4 green, 4 red), 4 yellow pears, 4 blue plums, 5 path cards, 4 trees, and 1 color-symbol die.
Our favorite part: Harvesting oversized fruit pieces from the trees and placing them in the basket. Great for pretend play too!
- Learn colors
- Learn counting by ones
- Wooden fruit pieces
- Oversized fruit pieces great for littles
- Fruit pieces are also great for pretend play
- Bigger pieces take up more room when storing
In addition to learning colors and counting, the wooden fruit pieces are fun for littles to play within and out of First Orchard.
Unicorn Glitterluck is a magical race from the blue rain cloud to the sun cloud. Crystals are collected along the way as they count spaces along the board. This game is for ages 3 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include a game board, pink unicorn (Glitterluck), yellow unicorn (Stardust), purple unicorn (Marvel Flower), turquoise unicorn (Magic Swirl), 60 cloud crystals, pink die, and blue die.
Our favorite part: Collecting crystals along the way makes this race extra magical plus the crystals aren’t round so they don’t roll away!
- Simple for learning basic game rules
- Crystals are not round (do not roll)
- Short game time for short attention spans
- Promotes counting
- Opposite side of board has markers to help show who won
- May be too simple for some players
- Crystals are small (could get lost or put in mouth easily)
Unicorn Glitterluck helps beginners learn basic game rules with a magical competitive twist.
Palette of Pegs
Palette of Pegs encourages free-play and creativity. Children can work on their shape and color recognition while working on their fine motor skills. This game is recommended for ages 2-6.
Game pieces include 32 pieces (16 pegs and 16 rings) plus the pegging board.
Our favorite part: Rings and pegs can be moved around and stacked a variety of ways. The variety of colors are certainly captivating!
- Colorful pegs and rings
- Fun for free-play
- Promotes color and shape recognition
- Fosters fine motor skills
- Peg and ring size are good for smaller hands
- Pieces could go missing easily
- Pegs could be put in mouth
Palette of Pegs will keep your child entertained while encouraging creativity and fostering fine motor skills.
Valley of The Vikings
The Valley of The Vikings game is all about bowling and barrels! Players hit the ball in hopes of hitting down as many barrels as possible. This game is for ages 6 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 8 Viking flags, 4 Viking tokens, 1 bat, 4 ships, 1 bowling ball, 24 gold coins, and 4 wooden barrels.
Our favorite part: Who doesn’t like bowling and coin collecting? Encourages imaginative play.
- Bowling aspect (interactive play)
- Collecting coins
- Cardboard game and pieces semi-flimsy
Valley of the Vikings includes a lot of fun things mixed together: bowling, coins, and adventure!
Secret Code 13+4
Secret Code 13+4 is a game that mixes detective work with mathematics. Players must use the numbers on the die to match secret codes on the board to solve the mystery. This game is for ages 8 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include a game board, 4 secret agents, 15 number tiles, and 6 dice.
Our favorite part: The mystery of the game makes adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing a lot more fun.
- Builds arithmetic skills
- Fun “jumping pass lasers”
- Fun for children and adults
- Can easily modify rules if needed
- Players are “stealing” a relic from a museum
Secret Code 13+4 encourages creativity with math in a fun challenging way and rules can be simplified if needed.
Hanna Honeybee helps children with learning their colors, following directions and taking turns. Players insert flower tiles into the beehive to collect honey tiles to ultimately fill the honey pot. This game is for ages 2 years and up and for 1-4 players.
Game pieces include a beehive, Hanna Honeybee, 10 flower tiles, a honey pot, and 1 die.
Our favorite part: The illusion that the flower tiles are “turning into” honey as they slip through the beehive and out the bottom.
- Learning about the honey cycle
- Learning board game basics
- Wooden Hanna Honeybee
- Learning colors
- Flimsy beehive may fall over every time a child inserts a flower tile
- Tiles may not flip over to honey every time
- Flower illustrations may not be clear as to what color they are
Hanna Honeybee is a cool concept as long as the flower tiles flip correctly into honey tiles as they slide through the beehive.
The Tidy up! game is another from My Very First Games and makes cleaning up toys fun! Children help the cat (Tiptop) sort and put away all his toys on the toy shelf for the night. This game is for ages 2 and up for 1-3 players.
Game pieces include a game shelf, 1 Tomcat Tiptop, 18 toy tiles (6 building blocks, 6 stuffed animals, 6 vehicles), and 3 toy chests.
Our favorite part: Making sorting and putting toys and trinkets away fun for children!
- Promotes sorting and organizing
- No game rules (open to many possibilities)
- May help make cleaning up more fun
- Small cardboard pieces could be easy to lose
- Could get quickly boring
Who doesn’t want their children to work on their tidying skills? Playing Tidy up! is a fun way to do it!
Number Maze Magnetic Game
The Number Maze Magnetic Game promotes hand-eye coordination and sorting by numbers 1-5. A magnetic wand is used to move balls behind a thick plastic cover. It is great for taking on the road and is mess-free.
Game pieces include a board and magnetic wand that is connected by a string.
Our favorite part: Children learning about farm animals and how to sort by numbers in a fun mess-free way.
- No mess
- Promotes counting by numbers
- Colorful display
- Encourages learning names of animals
- Promotes hand-eye coordination
- Magnetic is strong and drags more than one ball at times
Children can practice learning their numbers, animals and sorting with this Number Maze Magnetic Game.
HABA Hungry as a Bear
The Haba Hungry as a bear offers a fun way for kids to learn about feeding and eating. It fosters memory, dexterity, and language skills for children ages 2 and up.
Game pieces include bear pop-up with hat, 12 food servings (in 6 colors), plate, spoon, and one dice.
Our Favorite Part: The game can be played alone or with up to three players and it’s for younger ages!
- Made for toddlers
- Teaching games helps with memory, dexterity, and language skills
- Can be played alone or with friends
- Strong reusable box
- Cardboard pieces aren’t laminated for sturdiness
Haba’s Hungry as a Bear offers a fun board game little tots can enjoy and it can help to foster good sportsmanship.
Karuba Junior is a variation of HABA’s popular game Karuba. All players cooperate together to get tiles laid out that lead from the beach to the treasure. This game is for ages 4-8 and for 1-4 players.
Game pieces include 28 tiles, 2 game board pieces, 3 adventurers, and 1 pirate ship.
Our favorite part: Working together as a team to link up the treasure tiles with the beach. Colorful board encourages imaginative play.
- Promotes cooperation/teamwork
- Promotes thinking ahead
- Players win together or lose together
- May not be exciting enough for younger players
We love that players work together in Karuba Junior.
Little Bird, Big Hunger
Little Bird, Big Hunger features growing little birds that need to eat their meals. Each player rolls a die to determine what they can feed their little chick – seeds, berries, worms, or flies? This game is for ages 3 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 4 sets of cards (1 set = 4 cards), 20 feed dishes, 1 die, and 1 sheet with 6 stickers.
Our favorite part: A positive approach to encouraging children to eat all their food so that they’ll grow big.
- Sturdy cardboard cards
- Promotes eating meals
- Shows that food helps growth
- Teaches what birds like to eat
- Dice symbols are stickers which may peel off easily
Children get to learn what birds like to eat while seeing them grow with each meal in Little Bird, Big Hunger.
Unicorn Glitterluck – A Party for Rosalie
Unicorn Glitterluck – A Party for Rosalie is a spin-off game from the classic Unicorn Glitterluck. Players work together to find their friends, collect crystals, and get to the surprise party before baby Rosalie gets there. This game is for ages 4 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include a pink unicorn (Unicorn Glitterluck), yellow unicorn (Stardust), purple unicorn (Marvel Flower), turquoise unicorn (Magic Swirl), baby unicorn (Rosalie), 1 die, 1 game board, 8 round friend tiles, 8 square friend tiles, and 10 crystals.
Our favorite part: Working together as unicorns roam this magical colorful land. Crystals aren’t round so they won’t roll away!
- Colorful magical board
- Crystals aren’t round (no rolling)
- Promotes cooperation
- Players win together or lose together
- Crystals are small (could get lost or put in mouth)
- Marketed as little girl’s game (so not everyone may want to play)
Unicorn Glitterluck – A Party for Rosalie is a great magical land for children to practice working as a team.
Rabbit Rally is about estimating the length of boards needed to help bunnies hop from one rock to another to get to the golden carrot on the other side. This game is for ages 4 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 4 rabbits, 3 wooden carrots (in various sizes), 6 bridge pieces, 5 grey stones, carrot island, starting island, and color dice.
Our favorite part: How cute the different colored rabbits and types of boards are.
- Promotes estimating lengths
- Wooden pieces
- May be too easy for kids
- Not much to play with
Rabbit Rally is an unique game of estimating measurements.
The Rhino Hero game is about creating a tower of cards that Rhino Hero can stand on without it toppling over. This game is for ages 5 and up and for 2-5 players.
Games pieces include 31 roof cards (action cards), 28 walls, 1 foundation (starting card), and 1 Rhino Hero figurine.
Our favorite part: Children get to build a tower alongside Rhino Hero as he climbs each floor.
- Promotes stacking/balancing
- Cards may not last long being folded over and over
Rhino Hero is a risky strategy stacking game that may be as difficult for children as it is for adults.
King of the Dice
King of the Dice is all about collecting the most victory points by acquiring new citizens and establishing villages. Three rolls of the dice determine what steps you can take next. This game is for ages 8 years and up for 2-5 players.
Game pieces include 6 dice and 65 game cards (15 village cards, 10 penalty cards, and 40 citizen cards).
Our favorite part: Dice patterns determine what funky citizens will make up your village in this strategic game.
- Encourages strategic thinking
- Encourages sorting and memory skills
- Longer gameplay (30 minutes)
- Combos are uninteresting
- Card quality not great
King of the Dice is a strategic game for older children who can create their own village with the roll of a dice.
The Karuba game is a puzzle/strategy game that involves tiles and searching for treasure by busting through old temples. Gameplay is similar to playing bingo. This game is for ages 8 and up and for 2-4 players.
Game pieces include 4 islands, 64 crystals, 12 gold nuggets, 16 treasures, 16 adventures, 16 temples, and 144 jungle tiles.
Our favorite part: Thinking ahead and using strategy to win treasure with unique adventurers.
- Promotes strategic thinking
- Lack of social interaction
- Can take longer to play
Karuba plays differently each time which changes things up but may not be too exciting.
HABA Picassimo is a 3 to 6 player game for kids ages 8 and up who love art. A small art gallery has a problem and you get to help fix it! Your kids can also learn about real artwork too and everyone gets to be an artist!
Gamepieces include 6 player’s privacy screens, 6 erasable drawing boards, 18 nation cards, 150 term cards, 7 transformation cards, 6 scorecards, and 6 non-permanent markers.
Our favorite part: its a fun strategy game ready to help kids understand artwork and use their imagination.
- Multiple players
- Ages 8 and up
- Everyone gets to be an artist
- Strategy game
- Learning game
- Not everyone enjoys drawing in this style
The HABA Picassimo game is fun for those who love art but those who don’t love art won’t enjoy the game.
HABA Adventure Land
The Haba Adventure Land game offers a world of castles, cities, forests, and mountain ranges ready to be dominated in a game of strategy. Try to win the favor of the king with up to four plays ages 10 and up. Only the brave can handle the kings challenges!
Game pieces include 1 board, 110 terrain cards, 40 adventurers, 30 companions, 1 water sprite, 80 tiles, 4 scoring markers, 3 dice, 3 adventure overview cards, and instructions.
Our favorite part: three different scenarios to choose from and they are based on skill level.
- Three leveled ways to play
- Fun adventure
- Encourages braveness
- Hours of fun for older kids
- Too easy for adults
The Haba Adventure Land game is more fun for younger player but offers a great way to spend time with your children with three levels to watch them grow.
HABA Game Buying Considerations
What ages are the players?
Some games include small pieces that could easily be put in a mouth (choking hazard) or lost. To avoid this, we suggest First Orchard, Animal Upon Animal, Little Garden or any of HABA’s My Very First Games.
For older players, strategy games such as Karuba could be really fun.
What interests your child?
Games that align with things your child is interested in will help facilitate learning in a fun way. For example, if you child loves racing or artwork , we bet he/she will love playing Haba Picassimo.
How much time are you allowing for gameplay?
Strategy games typically require much more time for gameplay than the average game.
On the other hand, games such as those from HABA’s My Very First Games series will require a lot less time to play.
FAQs About HABA Board Games
What are the best HABA board games for a 5 year old?
Each game has their own age recommendation, but you will be able to determine if your child is ready for a more advanced game regardless of their age. Many of HABA’s board games are suitable for ages 5 and up, but there are some strategic games that may be too advanced for this age.
For even more board game options, check out the Best Board Games for 5-Year-Olds.
What HABA board games are good for toddlers?
HABA’s My Very First Games series is the PERFECT place to start for toddler games. They are simple yet educational and lots of fun for young children. These are also a great place for toddlers to start learning basic game rules.
Are HABA board game instructions also in English?
Yes, this shouldn’t be a problem. While the games have originated from Germany, English instructions should be available with each game.
Are HABA board games actually educational?
They are! HABA is proud to say they have a passion for children and education.
HABA explains this by saying,
“Children are the most important things in life. Instilling fundamental values, helping them become independent and develop into creative and imaginative people is not the exclusive job of the parents; children grow up in a complex network of relationships. () In addition to the people in their life, the environment and the objects around them play a major role in their development from the first day on.”2
Is it alright if I change the rules of a HABA board game?
Of course! The great thing about HABA games is that they are created with room for imaginative play and alteration. There is definitely room to change the rules depending on your child’s interests and development.
Also, it is a good way to keep the game interesting if it has been played multiple times.
Why are HABA board games more expensive than most other board games?
You may notice as you browse HABA’s games that they may be higher priced than most children’s games. This is due to HABA’s use of quality materials packed away in each game box.
HABA is very eco-friendly and eco-conscious when it comes to producing games for children. Per their corporate philosophy, HABA says,
“We use new organic materials from sustainable resources, as well as wood from sustainable silviculture and textiles, plastics and paperboard from renewable resources.”2
Based on the educational factor, variety of play, and fun, our number one spot for this HABA’s Best Games of 2020 list goes to Little Garden.
Even though Little Garden is part of HABA’s My Very First Games series, we believe the depth of this game will entertain not only toddlers but older children and adults alike. There’s a lot to discuss and ask during play in addition to talking about and walking through the plant cycle.
Due to the nature of Little Garden, it’s sure to be entertaining for kids for years as they grow!