Tabletop Tuesday – Classic Boardgames for Kids

It wasn’t until my early to mid-twenties that I discovered games beyond the realm of board game classics that sit on shelves in nearly every home. For a while, I reveled in my newfound discovery and shunned the classics. Until my four year old son discovered a couple of classics.

Sorry Sliders was first released by Parker Brothers in 2008. Hardly  considered a classic by most standards, I chose to include it here for two reasons. First, the game was released before my children were born so, to them, Sorry Sliders is classic. Secondly, my son’s undying devotion and enthusiasm for this game. I figured if he loves it then some other kid out there would love it too.

In Sorry Sliders, each player must slide their game pieces into a bullseye area and then score accordingly. First player to score enough, and get all their pieces home, wins. What makes this game so appealing to a young child? It’s not just that my son is fanatical about the color blue and chooses the blue sliders every time. I honestly believe it’s the hands-on quality of the game. Kids are still big into cause and effect so being allowed to push something (sometimes aggressively) and score points ranks very high on his list of “things that are cool.”

There’s educational value here: counting, turn-taking, physics and simple cause and effect. Don’t discount this game!

Guess Who? has never made me laugh until I played it with my kids. In this game, you ask 5 basic questions of your choosing to guess which person your opponent has randomly chosen. Again, hands-on fun in knocking over the pictures of people you have ruled out. When you do knock them over, there’s this fun plastic hitting noise that goes along with the action. I think the kids enjoy the extra stimuli.

Educational value? Absolutely. Bet you thought I was going to say no. One of the first things kids are taught in math, after they can identify basic attributes, is sorting. Kids have to look at all these cartoon people and mentally sort them in order to them figure out what questions to ask. That last step can prove to be difficult, especially when your 6 year old is being silly and asks “Is your person a jerk?”

So start dusting off some of those classics from your childhood. The good ones will grab your kids’ attention just as they did for you!

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Stephanie Hawver

A wife and mother with a passion for gaming in all its various forms. She loves anything she can do to exercise her creativity - filmmaking, miniatures painting, and sewing geeky dice bags to name a few. While raising "The Hawverlings", she also works with schools, libraries, and individuals to get books into the hands of children.

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