Many children begin Kindergarten at age 5. At this age, they are able to follow a simple set of rules and take turns. That skill may need more reinforcement especially with younger 5-year-olds. Attention spans tend to still be short, with 5-10 minutes of focus being typical. As they grow and get closer to age 6 that begins to get even longer. Attention is also easier to sustain when there is high interest. Children in this age benefit from games that help with memory and attention by practicing the skills. Games should have little to no reading for this age, as they often are just at a early reader or prereader stage. Lots of words could be overwhelming.
Stomp the Plank
- Players: 2-4
Elephant pirates are on an adventure, and want the treasure. The elephants are trying to get treasure from Captain Giraffe. Players can draw as many treasure cards as they wish, but for each repeated card they draw their elephant moves forward on the plank. Who will be the last one remaining on the pirate ship?
Exit Kids Jungle of Riddles
- Players: 1-4
In the jungle you have found nine treasure chests, can you solve the puzzles to open all of them? The popular Exit Games now have a version for kids. Unlike the standard Exit games these games are re-playable and none of the components are destroyed. The puzzles are designed without any reading, and the game contains escape room style puzzles and brainteasers.
Dog Man The Hot Dog Card Game
- University Games
- 2-4 Players
The Dog Man books are very popular with kids, and Dog Man the Hot Dog Card Game taps into the popular aspects of the books. The rules are very simple, players put all the cards faced down (mixed up of course). Players flip over one card on their turn. If they flip a hot dog card it stays face up. However if Petey (the cat) is revealed all the cards are flipped back face down. If Dog Man is revealed, players us only one hand to gather as many hot dog cards as possible. The game comes in a tin making it very portable and convenient to take to places.
- Blue Orange
- 2-4 Players
The game Kingdomino took the boardgame world by storm winning the Spiel De Jahres in 2017. Now there is a My First version that is for players ages five and up, with a dragon theme. Dragonmino takes the same tile drafting and placement mechanism, and simplified it further for younger players. With each match with the tiles players earn a dragon egg and are trying to collect eggs with baby dragons inside.
- 2-4 Players
Outfoxed! is a cooperative game deduction game where the players are…chickens. Chickens chasing clues to catch a fox that has absconded with a prized pot pie. What family can resist working together to solve such a heinous crime? The game includes a special evidence scanner to rule out the different fox suspects by showing if the thief is wearing a particular object. On each players turn they declare if they will Search for Clues or Reveal Suspects. They then have three chances to roll the dice to get all three dice icons to match their choice. If they success they complete the stated action, but if not the culprit moves closer to escaping with the pie.
- Monkey Bear Games
- 2-5 Players
Hoagie is a fast paced game where each player is trying to build the perfect sandwich without any part getting spoiled by three oogies (pictured on the spoiled food and special action cards). Hoagie’s gameplay is very easy and takes just minutes to learn. Each player is dealt a hand if 6 cards to start the game. On each players turn they play a card from their hand on their sandwich or an opponent’s. Several actions with the cards can occur, but only one can occur per turn. In order to win, a player must begin their turn with a perfect sandwich, which consists of bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, and bread.
- Single Player
Rush-hour Jr. is one player, portable, colorful, and mentally wonderful for ages 5 and up. The board is small and packed with vehicles which have set directions that they can move. The goal is to move the vehicles in a particular order to get the little red car out of the traffic jam. A negative is that every piece is important. Don’t lose them! This game is great for waiting rooms or car trips as it comes with its own board and it small enough to hold in a child’s hand or lap. The junior version has 40 challenges and 15 blocking pieces.
- 2-5 Players
Rhino Hero is a competitive 3-D stacking game where players are building a tower of cards and moving Rhino Hero up the tower. This dexterity game directs players were the wall cards need to go on each turn. Players have wall and ceiling tiles. On their turn, the player first builds the wall in the place indicated on the ceiling tile and then place their ceiling tile. Actions indicated on some of the ceiling tiles and those benefit the player, such as skipping the next player. The game ends when the tower fall, a player places their last roof card, or all the walls are built.
Rhino Hero- Super Battle
- 2-4 Players
Rhino Hero- Super Battle is the sequel to Rhino Hero. The game is for ages 5 and up and plays two to four players. This game adds three more superheros: Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin. The walls now come in two sizes; tall and short and there is a superhero medal. Additionally there are spider monkeys which attack.
The gameplay has additional steps they includes: 1. Build!, 2. Spider monkey attack (place a spider monkey hanging from the floor if there is a spider monkey symbol and see if it makes the tower fall), 3. Climb the skyscraper! by using a die to determine how many floors to climb, 4. Super battle if two superheros are on the same level, 5. Superhero medal goes to the players if their super hero is the furthest up at this phase in their turn, 6. Draw another floor card. The game ends when all or part of the tower collapses or all the floors that are playable have been used.
- 2-6 Players
Monza is a racing game for ages 5 and up and plays two to six players. Movement of your race car in this game is based on rolling six color dice. Players must utilize strategic thinking to use the colors you roll to plan the path for your car. Players can only move to a forward space and may not enter a space with an obstacle.
This game is more thoughtful than a straight roll and move because you need to plan your path based on the colors you roll. With a luck roll and good planning a player can move six spaces. Any die that do not correspond to a color ahead of the player on the board are discarded for that turn. The first player to the finish line is the winner.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
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