Home Grandparenting 10 Best Board Games for Grandchildren

10 Best Board Games for Grandchildren

by Virginia Fidler
board games for grandchildren feature

In today’s world of video games and electronics, getting board games for grandchildren instead is a great way to make interactive memories and have some old school fun. There are many benefits to playing board games with kids, and grandparents can capitalize on this by direct engagement through gameplay.

The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is one of the most unique. Parents love their children, of course, but they also discipline and curtail their behavior. Grandparents provide unconditional love in addition to contributing to the family history.

Children with a strong grandparental bond tend to feel more secure, develop great self-confidence, and have better social skills than those that don’t.

We are all familiar with psychologists who have grown wealthy on dysfunctional parent/child relationships. The same cannot be said for grandparents and grandchildren. This relationship is built on little else than love and respect and benefits both parties.

Grandparents remain active and in touch by being around their grandchildren, while grandchildren experience the blessing of unconditional acceptance.

Benefits to Grandparents and Grandchildren Playing Boardgames

It’s difficult to believe that just two or so generations ago, children actually grew up with family. Daycare centers were almost unheard of. Now, adults are busy and can barely find the time to taxi the kids to their ever-growing after-school activities. And the more activities, the less time is being spent with family. Family time has never been more difficult to achieve and has never been more important.

One of the great ways for grandparents and grandchildren to spend time together is my playing boardgames. This usually involves sitting down without outside interruptions (the chances of grandma checking Facebook are rare.) That in itself is a rarity these days.

Boardgames Teach Conflict Resolution

Not everyone can win. We play by the rules. These are important life lessons grandparents can teach their grandchildren through boardgames. Knowing how to play be the rules is a lesson the grandchild can apply every day.

Boardgames Teach Skills

Each boardgame is different and requires a different approach. This provides an opportunity to grandchildren to learn while grandparent keep their cognitive skills honed. One added benefit is that is keeps the grandchildren away from social media, at least for a period of time.

grandfather playing chess with grandchildren

Finding The Time To Play Boardgames

Actually, if grandparents and grandchildren live far enough apart, it may be necessary for them to play boardgames on the computer. While imperfect, it is certain a better option than not playing at all. However, it is best if grandparents and grandchild are both physically present to encourage greater communication.

Discuss available times and agree on a time each week. It is important that both parties agree to get together. It helps to play games that interest the grandchildren. It may be best to begin with tried and true favorites such as Monopoly and Sorry.

What Grandparents Can Teach Grandchildren

The relationship between your child and their grandparents plays an important part in developing who your child is. Grandparents are not only a blessing but are always there with an outpouring of love, support, wisdom, and guidance. Whether they are involved as the child’s guardian, a babysitter when the parents need a break, or a soundboard when Mom and Dad have questions about parenting challenges.

For children fortunate enough to have grandparents, there are untold benefits that they would not find with anyone else (parents included).

Grandparents have the time to teach a variety of life skills, from cooking to baking, to how to handle an allowance. Grandparents may not be up-to-date, but they certainly be on-point. As a rule, grandparents teach social skills  by example. Their behavior helps the grandchildren with conflict resolution (which ultimately is helping in playing boardgames),

Today’s grandchildren live in an “instant” world. They want what they want now. Grandparents can teach the critical lesson of patience. They have raised their own children and are also irreplaceable teachers of morals (say ‘thank you.’) and how to handle playground bullies. Grandparents were raised during a period when manners and politeness where a social given.

Grandparents provide a historical family link. They teach family history and about how they came to be in the first place. They can speak about family triumphs and defeats. These are invaluable stories that help grandchildren form their identity.

These are fascinating stories that involve personal interaction between grandparents and grandchildren instead of simply sitting in front of the television set. In many families, extended family, such as cousins, aunt, uncles, etc. interact only because of the grandparents.

So, are you ready to have some direct time with your grandchildren? Here are our recommendations on some of the best board games for grandchildren.

Board Games for Grandchildren Ages 3-5

Zingo

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Award Winning Preschool Game for Pre-Readers and Early Readers Age 4 and Up - One of the Most Popular Board Games for Boys and Girls and their Parents, Amazon Exclusive Version
  • Trusted by Families Worldwide - With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world's leading manufacturer of brain games and mind challenging puzzles.
  • Develops critical skills – Perfect for pre-readers and early readers, builds language and matching skills in preschool kids through fun, fast-paced play. Zingo is as popular in the classroom with teachers as it is in the home with families!

This is a very popular game for preschoolers. They can hold the cards in their hands easily, and the picture/word combination is perfect for children learning how to read, and still helps them improve this critical thinking skills and vocabulary.

Pros:

  • Up to seven can play this game.
  • It is easy to follow instructions.

Cons:

  • The chips don’t always pack well following the game.

Dotty Dinosaurs

Kids that age adore dinosaurs. This boardgame lets them roll the dice and learn about colors and shapes as they look for matching colors and shape on the board.

Pros:

  • Even two-year-olds can play this game. And older children love the dinosaurs.
  • The dinosaurs are very well drawn.

Cons:

  • Some children may find waiting their turn to add dinosaurs frustrating.

Race To The Treasure

Peaceable Kingdom Race to The Treasure! Beat The Ogre Cooperative Game for Kids
  • WE WIN TOGETHER: Build a path with your team and collect 3 keys on a race to beat ogre to the treasure! It's a game where everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everybody has fun!
  • FUN CHALLENGE: Kids love working together to beat the ogre. Players strategize, cooperate & build the path together. Building onto a path encourages kids to think 2 steps ahead & examine options.

The object of the game is to beat the ogre to the treasure. The players work together instead of against each other. They roll the dice and take turns developing paths to the key. The children need to think and strategize to stay ahead of the ogre by drawing less ogre cards and consider their options. Teaches strategic thinking.

Pros:

  • This is a cooperative rather than a competitive boardgame, which are much rarer to find.

Cons:

  • The game is fun, but entirely random, providing little opportunity for the children to hone any skills.

Board Games For Children 6 to 10

Clue

Retro Series Clue 1986 Edition Game
  • Ditch the TV, and re-ignite family night with the get-together amusement of a Hasbro game
  • Party it up, and surprise guests at your next event with laugh-out-loud game from Hasbro Gaming

This retro game will bring back memories for the grandparents, who surely remember Colonel Mustard in the library. This is the type of game that makes everyone agree to turn off the television. The gameboard itself is the mansion which holds the clues to the six characters.

Pros:

  • Encourages the children to focus.

Cons:

  • While the game is recommended for children six years and up, children are all different. Perhaps some six-year-olds may need help.

Checkers

Sale
Checkers Board for Kids– Fun Checkerboard Game for Boys and Girls - Interlocking Checkers with Foldable Heavy Duty Board by Point Games
  • FAMILY TIME - Bring this classic checkers board game home for any family fun night, gathering of friends, or party.
  • FUN TIME - Checkers Board Game is a fun family activity, strengthens the bond of family and friendship through playing together with this Checkers Set.

This great game teaches children to think strategically and helps them improve their motor skills as they move pieces around the board.

Pros:

  • The boards folds very small and can be taken anywhere.
  • The game comes with an extra red and white piece in the event of loss. Very convenient where children are involved.

Cons:

  • Checkers can only be played by two people at a time.
  • The piece are made from plastic and do not stack well.

The Game of Life Jr.

Sale
Hasbro Game of Life Junior
  • The game of life Junior is fun for kids
  • Easy to set up and play

The beauty of The Game of Life is that it teaches children entirely new concepts, from jobs to insurance as game pieces are moved on the board. This junior version has colorful rides and provides the children with plenty of adventures in places such as the Chocolate Factory. The tokens are small cars, so the players are literally “driving” through life. If your children are breezing through the Junior version, get the regular version.

Pros:

  • This game encourages children to use their imagination.

Cons:

  • All children are different, so grandparents may need to experiment between Game of Life and Game of Life Junior.

Boardgames for Children Aged 10+:

Disney Villainous

Sale
Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game for Age 10 & Up - 2019 TOTY Game of The Year Award Winner
  • Characters you love - In this asymmetric board game, choose from 6 iconic Disney Villains - each with their own sinister objectives & goals. Disney Villainous comes with Captain Hook, Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula, Queen of Hearts, and Prince John. The Fate Decks also feature your favorite protagonists like Aladdin, Peter Pan, Ariel, and more!
  • Great for Disney fans and families - Whether you're playing with a group of devoted Disney fans, classic strategy gamers, or with your family, Disney Villainous is perfect for any game night occasion and makes a great gift for Disney lovers!

All the characters in this game are familiar – some you love to hate, and some you just love, such as Peter Pan. It’s like visiting with old friends. The game is perfect for anyone over the age of ten, but especially for Disney fans. The villains need to defeat Peter Pan. The fun is all in the battle of good vs. evil. Protagonist players accumulate allies while the villainous players must accomplish the goals of the villains while stopping other villains. As an aside, there are other games in the Villainous category of boardgames.

Pros:

  • This is one of the more visually appealing boardgames.
  • This can be played with up to six players.

Cons:

  • Some people have difficulty with the instructions.

Dragonwood

This is a fun adventure game with dragons, ogres, and goblins. Your adventures are determined by your cards, such as screaming at a troll and hitting a dragon. Strategy is everything in winning this game. All the villainous creatures need a different number of card combinations to be defeated. This requires considerable thinking on the part of a ten-year-old. Grandparents and grandchildren alike should have fun bashing the evil ones.

Pros:

  • This game uses logic and mathematical skills.
  • Everything is visually appealing.

Cons:

  • Once the game has been mastered, there is little variation.

Minecraft Builders

The boardgame is similar to the original digital game. All the familiar characters are present. Players collect weapons and blocks and build them into different structures. But the “mob” will interfere.

Pros:

  • Teaches children about strategy.

Cons:

  • Some players, even adult, find it too difficult to assemble and play.

Classic Monopoly

Sale
MONOPOLY Classic Game
  • Ditch the TV, and re-ignite family night with the get-together amusement of a Hasbro game
  • Party it up, and surprise guests at your next event with laugh-out-loud game from Hasbro Gaming

These days, there are a choice of monopoly games, from Banker’s Monopoly to Game of Throne Monopoly. The grandparents can choose which one they prefer, but most people agree the original is still the best.

Monopoly is all about accumulating money and beating opponents by buying property or charging rent. It’s all a great deal of fun. And it teaches children how to think strategically and also how to win graciously.

Pros:

  • Dealing with monetary transactions helps children improve math skills and prepare them for considering future monetary transactions.

Cons:

  • The board may be difficult to get completely flat.

How Boardgames with Grandchildren Benefits Grandparents

We have how the presence of grandparents adds immeasurable benefit to the lives of grandchildren. What may not be as obvious is how grandparents benefit from being around their grandchild and engage in activities such as boardgames.

Retention of Cognitive Skills

The major benefits reaped by grandparents are health benefits. Studies have found that grandparents who spent time caring for grandchildren or simply spend time with them a minimum of a day each week shows improved cognitive performance. Spending a day or so a week with the grandchildren also lessens the chances of grandparents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, these same studies found that if the grandparents spent four to five days with the grandchildren, they began to suffer more stress instead of relaxation. A possible reason for this may be that by spending such a great deal of time with the grandchildren, they take on a stressful parental role. The takeaway lesson appears to be that the quality of the time spent together, i.e., fun and relaxed, benefits both parties.

Of course, grandparents themselves can also benefit from the mental stimulation of activities and games, particularly when the grandchildren are older and capable for more involved games.

Lessening of Depression

depressed girl with toy

Growing older can bring on depression and anxiety. A study from Boston College reveals that grandparents who were closest to their grandchildren suffered a lower depression rate. The same study showed that the grandchildren who were close to their grandparents also had less depression than those who were not as close.

The director of the study concluded, “Most of us have been raised to believe that the way to show respect to older family members is to be solicitous and to take care of their every need. But all people benefit from feeling needed, worthwhile, and independent. In other words, let granddad write you a check on your birthday, even if he’s on Social Security and you’ve held a real job for years now.”

Conclusion: The time grandparents and grandchildren spend together in invaluable to both of them. They are able to learn from each other and develop a unique bond. Playing boardgames together is one of the best ways to spend that time. Both parties can have fun, learn, and enjoy one of life’s most precious gifts: unconditional love and acceptance.

Leave a Comment

 

As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This site also participates in various other affiliate programs, and we may get a commission through purchases made through our links. Please read our complete Disclosures and Privacy Policy for more information.