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Get Your Kids Involved in the Fun With the Best Board Games for Kids 8-12
Last updated: 26 Oct 2023
Kids have an active imagination and sometimes need an outlet to help them channel that imaginative creativity. Although there are quite a few different ways to help your kid express their critical thinking skills, one of the most popular ways is through board games.
Not only are board games a great way for kids to have fun, but they can also help them learn essential skills such as critical thinking, strategic planning, and problem-solving, not to mention they also help with hand-eye coordination.
From vintage to new school, the world of board games is ever-expanding, which makes picking one all the more difficult. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the highest-rated board games for kids aged 8-12 of 2023. This list considers factors such as the game’s mechanics, age appropriateness, and reviews from parents. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey to finding the right board game for your child!
With so many different types and options available, choosing a suitable board game for your 8-12 year old can be confusing. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this detailed buyer’s guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to know to choose the right board game for your child.
What Are the Benefits of Playing Board Games?
Improves problem-solving skills
Board games can help improve your child’s problem-solving skills. As they play, they’ll be faced with different challenges and obstacles they’ll need to overcome. This will help them develop their ability to think on their feet and come up with solutions to problems quickly.
Encourages logical thinking
Board games also encourage logical thinking. As your child tries to determine the best way to win the game, they’ll need to use reasoning and deduction skills.
Helps kids develop social skills
Social exposure is an important aspect of growing up and playing board games can help with that. Board games allow kids to interact with other people and learn how to socialize. They’ll learn how to take turns, share, and cooperate with others.
Makes for good family time
Board games provide an opportunity for everyone to bond and have fun together. Plus, they’re a great way to get the whole family involved in some friendly competition.
How To Pick a Board Game for Kids 8-12
Number of players
When choosing a board game, you’ll want to consider how many players it can accommodate, depending on how big your family is. Some games are meant for large groups, while others are better for smaller groups or even just two players. Keep in mind that some games can be played with more players or fewer players than they’re intended for, so don’t rule out a game just because it doesn’t seem like the correct number of players at first glance.
Ease of playing
You’ll also want to consider how easy the game is to play. Some games are straightforward and can be learned in just a few minutes, while others are much more complex and may take an hour or more to learn. If you’re unsure how long it will take to teach your child a particular game, ask the salesperson or check the box for an estimated time. In general, it’s probably best to avoid games that are too complicated for kids 8-12, as they may become frustrated and give up before learning how to play.
Another critical consideration is inclusivity. Some games are designed for players of all ages and abilities, while others may be better for kids who are already familiar with board games and understand the concept of strategy. For example, some games require players to read and understand complex rules, while others rely more on chance and luck. Choose a game that your child can understand and enjoy playing.
You’ll want to consider how much replay value the game has. In other words, will your child want to play it over and over again? Some games are so complex that they can be played countless times with different results, while others may only be interesting for a few rounds. Consider how long you want the game to last and how often you think your child will want to play it. Games with higher replay value may be worth the investment, even if they cost a bit more.
Always check the safety of a board game before purchasing it. Make sure there are no small parts that could be swallowed or inhaled and that the game doesn’t require using sharp objects. Avoid games with flammable materials or those that produce loud noises. With so many safe and fun options available, there’s no need to take risks.
Durability of pieces
Finally, you’ll want to consider the game’s durability and pieces. If you have young kids, they may be more likely to lose or damage small game pieces. Choose a game with large pieces to avoid this problem or one that comes with replacement pieces. Some games require unique materials, such as dice or spinners, that may need to be replaced over time.
Tips for Making Board Games More Fun for Kids
Keep it simple: The best board games for kids are usually the ones that are easy to understand and play. If a game is too complicated, it can frustrate young players and cause them to lose interest quickly.
Make it interactive: Kids love games they can be actively involved in. Look for games encouraging them to move around, use their imagination, and interact with the other players.
Keep it short: Kids have short attention spans, so it’s crucial to keep board games short and sweet. Look for games that can be played in 20 minutes or less.
Make it fun: Choose games that are enjoyable for kids to play. Look for games with bright colors, fun themes, and action.
Avoid violence: There’s no need for board games for kids to be violent. Stick with family-friendly fun and avoid anything that could potentially upset or scare young players.
Top Board Games for Kids 8-12 Worth Considering in 2023
Who said staying home and enjoying a bit of family fun was boring? With the Hedbanz Board Game your kid will be happy they stuck around the house. This game is super exciting, fast-paced, and perfect for families with kids ages 8 years old and up. This guess-who style game will have the whole family laughing out loud as they try to figure out the card shown on their headband. The game box comes complete with six fun new headbands, 13 scoring badges, 69 picture cards, three sample question cards, one timer, and detailed instructions, making it super easy to get the party started.
This board game can be played with up to six players, making it the ideal addition to your weekly game nights. To get started with this game, all you need to do is take it out of the box and read through the quick and easy instructions. The card illustrations are also extremely colorful and engaging, which will surely add to the fun, making this the best overall board game on our list.
Hasbro is a name that will pop up in everyone’s head when it comes to gaming. This manufacturer provides some of the most iconic and exciting board games that family and friends can enjoy together. One of their most well-known games is Trouble. This is a peg-popping, die-rolling, space-moving game that will keep everyone engaged for hours. The best part about this game is that it can be enjoyed with two to four players, making it the perfect game for family game night.
Trouble is a classic board game for a reason — it’s fun and engaging for players of all ages. For anyone who loves family game night, this is a must-have. The fate of the players depends on the dice roll. If you land on a space already occupied by a player, you can send them back to the start! The game also features double trouble and warp spaces, which spontaneously change the game. The board and props are made of high-quality plastic, ensuring that this game will withstand years of play to come.
Welcome to the exciting world of the University Games Board Game, a Scholastic race across the USA! This fun, educational game is perfect for kids of all ages. Players will learn about their great country while playing this game. They’ll visit six states, answer geography questions, and then return to their home state to win. The questions are designed to focus on the player’s grade and age. Throughout the game, they’re presented with the information they should already know so that everyone can play together on an even field.
This game features quite a few different and exciting gameplay strategies that will keep players engaged for hours on end. Players must answer questions about each state they visit and complete various tasks to move forward. The game is also designed so kids of different ages can play together, making it a great choice for family game night. Not only is this game tons of fun, but it also provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about different states in the USA. If that’s not enough, the game also comes with a handy travel case so you can take it with you on road trips or vacations.
If you’re a Minecraft video game fan, you’ll love the Ravensburger Minecraf Board Game! This exciting game allows players to experience the challenge of Minecraft in a whole new way. This board game is perfect for all ages with easy-to-follow instructions and high-quality game pieces. All the game components are made from durable materials so that you can enjoy many hours of play. With a new overworld grid, buildings, and biome strategies to try, you’ll have a new adventure every time you play.
This game is also highly portable so you can take it with you on vacation or to a friend’s house. To get started, simply unpack the game board, sort out the playing pieces, and start having fun! Similar to the video game, players will have to mine for resources, build structures, and fight monsters to survive. The first player to reach the end goal is the winner!
Have you ever wondered if there was a fun way to allow your kids to learn? The Think Fun Board Game does just that! This game is the perfect way for your child to develop critical thinking skills while having a blast. This unique game is a combination logic game, marble run, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) toy that will keep your kids entertained for hours on end. The best part? It makes an excellent gift for kids ages 8 years old and up.
Complete with increasingly complex challenges, this game provides young players with a great learning experience without them even realizing it. The clear instructions make it easy to learn so that you can start playing immediately. This game helps develop spatial reasoning and planning skills, two essential skills for success in school and life, making it the perfect way to sneak some learning into your child’s playtime.
Q: Should I let my kid choose a board game or should I pick one for them?
A: It’s generally a good idea to let your kid choose the board game they want to play. This will help ensure that they’re interested in the game and will have fun playing it. Of course, you can always offer suggestions if they seem stuck on what to choose.
Q: How do I stop my kids from getting aggressive during board games?
A: One way to stop kids from getting too aggressive during board games is to avoid games that are overly competitive. You can also try to redirect their aggression into positive behavior by teaching them how to be a good sport and congratulating them when they do well.
Q: Can I change the game's rules to make it more unique?
A: You can change game rules to fit your needs, but be sure everyone playing knows and agrees on the changes beforehand. Remember that some rule changes may make the game too difficult or too easy. Use your best judgment when making changes.
The Mighty Moms Reviews Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you tackle motherhood and everything that comes along with it. The content is created by The Mighty Moms Reviews Team. Mighty Moms’ editorial staff is not involved. Mighty Moms is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.