We’ve played countless hours of board games at our home over the last year. Board games have provided great learning experiences for my daughter that I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite (new to us) boardgames with the pretense that each is playable by our 5-year-old. Each with a different focus on how a game helped her learn different concepts.
5. Formula D by Game Designers Laurent Lavaur and Eric Randall
This is a dice roll game lasting a good part of the evening. Take on the role of a race car driver – drive around the track using various size dice to determine your speed. I owe counting into the teens and twenties to this game. Our daughter loves to roll the dice, shift into high gear, and taking her chances. She often wins this game and leaves Justin in her dust even though he tries to help her strategize along the way.
4. Loot by Game Designer Reiner Kniza
Become a pirate and set sail for some Loot! This game is lightweight and moves fast. It’s simple — Set down a pirate ship with coins — try to overtake the ship with the most powerful ship and crew. My 5-year-old has fun pretending to be a pirate while counting and color matching her crew.
3. Unstable Unicorns by Game Designer Ramy Badie
In the spring we took a two-week camping trip up the coast of California. A part of that trip was a magical stay at Montecito Sequoia Family Camp where we were instantly snowed in with nothing to do but play endless board games. We couldn’t have planned a better time! Her favorite game – even with a couple of questionable cards for a 5-year-old was Unstable Unicorns. Baby Unicorns, Hipster Unicorns, and Narwhals — what more could you ask for while downing a cup of hot chocolate?
2. My Little Scythe by Stonemaier Games
This fall my daughter walked around a local boardgame store with the goal to pick out a new game. She paced the isles as much as I did. She found My Little Scythe sitting on a bottom shelf and would not put it down. I was hesitant to pick it up from the hype around the engine building adult version, Scythe, being a heavier game. We brought home My Little Scythe and LOVED it… ordered Scythe and Tapestry also by Jamie Stegmaier. Well played Jamie, well played. We’re addicted to his games.
- Love Letter By Game Designers Seiji Kanai, John Zinser
Love letter is quick to learn and easy to play game. My daughter quickly learned to understand if numbers are higher or lower than each other. She loves rushing a love letter to a princess and gaining hearts along the way.
I knew the heart tokens would be a big hit in our house so I opted for the deluxe edition of this lightweight party game. We can carry this game anywhere and play as many rounds as time permits. The game goes much faster as you increase the number of players. I believe 3 players is a sweet spot in our household. As soon as we added a 4th the rounds ended pretty quickly but it was solved by adding more rounds.