Best Family Board Games for Strategy Lovers with Young Kids

We are a board game loving family and have some awesome suggestions for board games for kids. What I love most is how our 7 and 9 year old are playing board games that Chris and I used to play during our Uni days. I am NOT a fan of the boring non strategic family board games such as Game of Life. And while we did play simple stuff like Monopoly Junior, as our choice for board games for 4 year olds, the time arrived for us to explore the best family board games for young kids. These are not only fun and strategic but also help kill hours at a time and create some fun competition. We don’t just let our kid win either. Nopes. We give them a fair fight when it come to family game nights. 

 

Best Board Games for Kids

If you’re looking for some family games for young kids, the ones below are our choices for the best board games for kids in the 7 and older age group. Keep in mind that we have been playing games like Snakes and Ladders, Candy Land and Monopoly Junior since they were 4 years old. We didn’t just start playing these strategy board games out of the blue. Nopes, we built our way up this stage and have spend the last year of the pandemic teaching the kids the strategy behind the games. We have also had our adult butts kicked by the skills they’ve picked up playing some of the bet family board games of all time. Grandparents and bubble friends have joined in these family board game nights. Which is why I can guarantee that everyone will have a great time at your next family game night. I’ve included affiliate links but please note that there’s no extra charge for you, if you do purchase one of these games, we may receive a small commission. 

 

Best Strategy Board Games for Families

Child and stuffy in front of family board game Catan

These are all good games for 7 year olds and above….even if the official age on the games might be higher. 

 

Catan – A fun family board game | 3 to 4 players (2, 5, or 6 with expansions) 

Click to Buy in US | Canada

There is a junior version that starts at age 6 but I say just go up to the regular version. Chris and I have played this nightly with our University roommates and have the expansion packs too. 7 year old Apollo got the hang of it as quickly as 9 year old Akira. There’s no turning back because just like my 80 year grandmother loves Catan for family game nights, so do our kids. Setting up the game can be a bit confusing the first few times but it’s absolutely worth it. Collect resources, build settlements and cities and earn your way to 10 Victory points. Grabs some development cards on your journey too! Definitely one of the best family strategy games out there for young ones.

 

Ticket to Ride – Good family board game for travellers | 2 to 5 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

Since most of us are stuck indoors, this is one of the ways we can travel safely these days. Ticket to Ride was gifted to ME by my brother and his partner. Fast forward couple of years and now the kids are playing it too. Again, there is an all ages version but the adult version is recommended for 8 and Apollo was 6 when he first started playing this. Sure, he went for the shorter routes but he figured out his own tricks along the way. We have the North American version but you can find spin offs such India to Switzerland, Europe, New York City and more. If you’re looking for a “gateway gameboard” this one is definitely a strong contender for your first children’s board game night.

chocolates and ticket to ride game board

Reign, The Final Battle Royale | 2 to 4 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

This is one of the best family games for those with young kids. The goal is simple, be the last one standing in a strategic fight to survive The Final Battle Royale. However, there are multiple characters (Samurais, Droids, Barbarians, Super Soldiers) and there are even Power Stones. Reign is the first board game bringing this very popular style of gameplay to the board game category in a fun combination of action and strategy for kids. Even I struggle to get out of disappearing zones with this one and Apollo has a better grasp on it than I do.

Reign game board set up with pieces

Splendor | 2 to 4 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

A friend bought this family board game for himself but made the error of asking the kids to join him at a game when we were at the cottage one summer. He never got the game board back! Technically speaking there is no board because the cards and tokens can be placed on any surface (which is why we travel with the pieces in a ziplock) but I think it deserves a spot on this list. Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation and shops—all in order to be the first to obtain 15 prestige points. This is a wildly popular board game for our family. 

boy looking at Splendor board game

 

Trailz | 2 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

I actually have not had the chance to play this one since it’s only for two players and either the kids or Chris is already on it when it’s out. Obviously this is a fun board game and the fact that the family friendly game has slugs in it, is a clear winner with kids. Players each have teams of shrooms and slugs who face off to out-smart and out-maneuver each other to get to the other side of the board and be the winner. This is a good family game for young children.

 

Pokemon Battle Academy | 2 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

This is another travel friendly board because the actual board is a paper one that folds easily. In this Pokemon board game you can choose Charizard or Pikachu to lead your team in a heads-up battle against the Trainer. Then, switch up the decks to play Mewtwo against Charizard or Pikachu, and lead a different team of Pokémon into the arena. We’re now at the stage where the kids and Chris and buying new packs to bring into the game. 

boy playing Pokemon Battle Academy board game for kids

 

Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Best Family Strategy Game | 1 to 4 players

Click to Buy in US | Canada

We’re just bringing our kids into this game and they’re 7 and 9 years old. This family board game is recommended for those 13 and above so it’s a bit more complicated. You also need space to play it and we struggle on our coffee table but are too lazy to move it to the dining table. There’s a bit of Disney to this board game because King Ludwig loved castle and built Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles! Each player takes turns being master builder and all players build additions to their castles on each round.  It takes quite a bit of strategy to build your own castle and ensure that you have the most number of points in the end. Which is why you may want to bring this board game into rotation after your kids are comfortable playing some of the others we’ve suggested. 

 

Future Family Game Night Games

The board games listed above are the ones we have been playing for the last couple of years. We have a list and are working our way through it so I thought I’d share our list of potential good family board games. Sequence, Farkle, Inverse, Pandemic, Jumanji, Stratego, Carcasonne, Camel up, Horrified, Isle of cats, Kingdomino, Sagrada and Draftosaurus,

 Best Family Games for Your Next Family Game Night! 

kids playing intense strategy board game castles

When it comes to playing some of the best family board games we remind our kids two things. First, they are to be respectful and not get angry (they are allowed to be disappointed and hurt though) if they lose at family game night. The second, is that they are to treat these board games with care and not throw pieces around. Chris and I used to play these with our adult friends and we hope to do so again one day. Family board games aren’t cheap and we want our kids to be respectful of the things we own and this is one way we teach them to do so. As you plan for your next family game night, we hope one of these children’s board games might make it to your table top. 

We’d also love to hear about your favourite game boards for 7 year olds. Share your favourites and we may add them to our best family board games 2021 list! 

family playing board games

  • Nikita
    March 22, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Exploding Kittens?

    • Yashy
      March 23, 2021 at 11:28 am

      Yes we have that card games. I may end up doing a round up of our favourite card games like Love Letter too! Focused on board games for this one.

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