Board games for younger kids

Yahtzee, Kids Rule! and others are worth a try.


What’s one of the great ways to spend with grandparents and parents in a nonthreatening activity that builds relationships? You got it: board games.

You know, the old-fashioned kind where you interact in person.

Last week in this space, we looked at some board games suitable for older children and their parents. This week, we’ll analyze a few games that are great for families with younger children: shorter games Yahtzee, Apples to Apples and Kids Rule, plus one that takes much longer to play, Mexican Train.

Yahtzee: This classic game was developed in 1956, and has withstood the test of time. My 10-year-old niece, Abby, loves to play this. We have the deluxe edition, complete with a plastic frame covered with felt to hold down the noise, and compartments to line up your dice. The maximum score using all the dice combinations wins. We all cheered my brother Jim recently, as he rolled a Yahtzee of threes in one roll. This game helps with kids’ skills in decision making and math.

Apples to Apples: The game has two categories of cards, Things and Descriptions. Each player in turn is a referee and picks the top card, which will be the Description for that round. The rest of the players lay out one of the Thing cards in their hands that best match that description. The referee chooses the best match.

Kids Rule!: A new game with the answers to parenting questions written by kids 8-14. The object is to be the first to reach the Family Room by successfully choosing the most popular answer. Sort of like a Family Feud scenario. Correctly choosing the most popular answer moves your game piece closer to the coveted Family Room in the house.

Mexican Train dominoes: This is an entertainment staple in our family, and can accommodate up to eight players. The object of the game is to get rid of all your dominoes each turn, and have the least amount of points at the end. There are 13 rounds, beginning with the 12, and ending with the blank domino.

Players match the middle domino by making their own train. Once all players’ trains have been successfully started, someone can start a Mexican Train. Get a small plastic train that makes noise for extra fun. Instructions for this game can be found online at www.ehow.com.

If you haven’t yet tried regular game night with your kids, then now is a good time to start. You never know, they might even open up to you about what’s going on in their lives during a lull in the action.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

The Kid Whisperer: When you disagree with your kids’ parenting style

Dear Kid Whisperer, I am a grandparent to three granddaughters who have parents that try, but don’t like to say “no” to their children. They want my husband and me to be on board with that philosophy as well. As former educators, we cannot with a clear conscience agree. We are finding it harder to spend time with our grandkids. Any...
Air Force museum celebrates National Aviation Day with activities
Air Force museum celebrates National Aviation Day with activities

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is hosting educational activities until 3 p.m. today, Aug. 19, as part of its celebration of National Aviation Day. All activities are free and open to the public. During “Family Day,” visitors can learn about major events and breakthroughs in aviation history, from the Wright brothers&rsquo...
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls continues to impress 25 years later
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls continues to impress 25 years later

I was lucky enough to work and learn alongside former Dayton Daily News food critic Ann Heller over the course of many years together at the paper. She helped inform my writing, my editing, my eye, my thought process, my palate and so much more and I am fortunate to still be able to call her my friend. So when her name came up in conversation during...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Always Discreet Pads This week at Rite-Aid, Always Discreet pads are on sale two for $10. Visit www.coupons.com and print out two copies of the $3 off one Always Discreet pads coupon. When you buy two, you will also earn 200 PlentiPoints, which is equivalent to...
Parenting with Dr. Ramey: Raising genuine, not entitled, kids

In a zealous effort to help kids feel good about themselves, parents may be raising a generation of entitled kids who are particularly vulnerable to chronic distress and unhappiness. It’s great to recognize kids when their behavior is appropriate. However, many parents have taken this to an extreme, heaping unconditional praise upon their children...
More Stories