The Top 25 Board Games for Upper Primary Children (as voted by our School Mums!)

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Board Games are a great way to spend time together.  They involve a mixture of luck and strategy, and every now and then just a little bit of angst! haha

Playing games with your kids is a great fun way to teach simple concepts such as turn taking, strategy, problem solving and even maths and english. It’s also a chance to practice some life skills like winning, losing and persistence.

It’s not always easy as players often get upset and games can turn into battles many times but it’s all a fairly low consequence way to learn how to navigate competition.

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Here are the top 25 board games for your older kiddos:

  1. Monopoly 
    Wheel and deal as you build your fortune playing an exciting game of Monopoly. Buy up real estate, charge rent, and watch your empire grow. It’s all about making deals and making money. But don’t land in Jail or go broke or you’ll lose everything.
  2. Scrabble
    This is a word game in which 2 to 4 players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a game board which is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. The tiles must form words in a crossword fashion and flow from left to right in rows or downwards in columns. The words must be defined in a standard dictionary and the higher scoring the word, the better!
  3. UNO
    A very popular card game which is played with a specially printed deck of cards. Basically you play by matching the colour or number already on the pile of cards in the centre or by playing an action card against your opponent (for example: Draw Two). The aim is to be the first person with all your cards down.  When you are down to one card you must yell UNO to let your opponents know.IMG_3463
  4. Chess
    This is a board game for 2 players. Each player starts with 16 pieces and during the game the 2 opponents take it in turns to move one of their pieces to a different square on the board.  The goal of the game is for each player to try and checkmate the King of the opponent.  Checkmate is a threat to the opposing King which no move can stop and this ends the game.
  5. Scattergories
    This is a popular game where 2-6 players score points by naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit. It calls for some creativity and thinking on your feet!
  6. Cluedocluedo
    In this game the players try to figure out the 3 main facts of a murder – Who is the murderer? Where did the murder take place? What was the murder weapon?  They do this by having their characters run around a mansion and gather evidence.  It is a fun detective style game.
  7. Bananagrams
    This game is similar to Scrabble, but much faster paced.  Each player picks letter tiles and then at the same time, each player individually creates their own cross word using interlocking words in a horizontal or vertical fashion, from left to right. The first person to use all their tiles, wins!IMG_3454
  8. Battleship
    This game is for two players where you try to guess the location of five ships your opponent has hidden on a grid. Players take turns calling out a row and column, attempting to name a square containing enemy ships. It is a tactical combat game!
  9. Boggle
    Boggle is a fast-paced and addictive word game. Players compete to find as many words as possible in a 4×4 grid of lettered dice. The letters have to be next to each other either left, right, up, down or diagonally. The person with the most original words at the end is the winner.IMG_3466
  10. UpWords
    This game is quite similar to Scrabble but it allows you to stack letters on top of existing words to build new ones. Scoring is also a bit different in that each letter is worth the same amount, with some advantage to stacking them.IMG_3452
  11. Rummikub
    This is a strategy game and numbers game.  Players are dealt a handful of tiles and they must place them into matching groups. Once you have formed a set (either a run or group of tiles) you can put them down on the table. You can also add your tiles to existing sets. A player wins when they become the first one to get rid of all their tiles.
  12. Connect Fourconnect 4.
    This is a 2 player connection game in which the players first choose a colour and then take it in turns to drop their coloured disc from the top into a 7 column, 6 row grid. The pieces fall straight down, occupying the next available space in the column. The objective of the game is to get 4 of your colour discs in a row – either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The first person to do this wins!
  13. Blokus
    Blokus is an abstract puzzle piece placement game. It is kind of like a competitive jigsaw. Players have a number of different shaped pieces to try and fit on a grid. Each player has their own colour pieces. Players start on a corner and continue placing at corners of their previously placed pieces. An edge of the same colour cannot be shared. The object of the game is to be left with as few pieces as possible unplayed at the end of the game. Players place pieces one at a time until they can’t place anymore. The game ends when no more pieces can be placed. The score is the sum of the sizes of the remaining pieces. The lowest score wins!
  14. Settlers of Catan
    In Catan players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities and roads. On each turn you roll the dice to determine what resource the island will produce. Players collect these resources (cards) – they can be wood, grain, brick, sheep or stone – to build up their civilisations. Points are accumulated by building settlements and cities, having the longest road or the largest army. You need 10 victory points to win the game.IMG_3444
  15. Pandemic
    In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of the 4 plagues before they get out of hand. On each turn, a player can use up to 4 actions to travel between cities, treat infected populations, discover a cure or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout the pack are Epidemic cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases. A second, separate deck of cards controls the normal spread of the infections. Players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialist strengths in order to cure the diseases. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!
  16. Sorry
    This is a simple and fun board game to learn and play. It is relatively quick and good for groups of 4. By turning over a card from the draw deck and following its instructions, players move their pieces around the game board, switch places with players and knock opponents’ pieces off the track and back to their Start positions. The outcome has a big element of luck, depending on what card you pick up from the draw deck.
  17. The Logo Board Game
    This game is based on answering questions relating to popular advertising logos, slogans and brands. Players move their pawns around a spiraling board for answering questions correctly until they reach the Winning Zone at the centre of the board. There are 3 types of question cards – picture cards, pot luck cards and common theme cards.The first person to answer the questions correctly in the Winning Zone – wins!
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  18. Yahtzee
    The goal of Yahtzee is to get as many points as possible by rolling combinations of 5 dice. You can roll up to 3 times, possibly choosing to just roll some of the dice each time. After you roll, you choose which slot to use based on the combination rolled.  Different combinations of dice earn points differently. If you don’t meet the requirements for the combination you choose, you will get 0 points for that slot. The game ends when you have filled in all the slots in the game. The player with the highest total wins.
  19. Taboo
    This is a fun word game. Players take it in turns to describe a word or phrase on a drawn card to their partner without using 5 common additional words or phrases also on that card. The opposing partners watch a timer and use a buzzer to stop the game, buzz the player describing if one of the five off limits words or phrases is used, or the describing player makes any gestures. The describing team gets a point for each card they guess successfully and the opposing team gets a point for each card they pass on, make gestures on, or lose for saying one of the “off limits” words or phrases.
  20. Family Feud
    Based on the popular TV show, this game is fast becoming a household favourite. Put your family and friends to the test, with the ultimate fun family board game! There are 400 survey questions and a fast money bonus round. The objective is to pick the most popular answer from the surveys to get the most points.
  21. Ticket to Ride
    This is a railway themed adventure board game in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. At the beginning of the main game, players are dealt 4 train car cards as their playing hand. They are also dealt 3 “destination ticket” cards, each of which show a pair of cities on the map. These become goals, representing two end-points which players are secretly attempting to connect. The object of the game is to score the highest number of total points.  Points are accrued by claiming a route between two cities on the map, successfully completing the destination ticket element or completing the longest continuous path of routes.
  22. Ker-plunk
    This classic game of skill (and a bit of luck!) can be learned in minutes. It is challenging for people of all ages. Play begins with the players inserting the sticks through the clear plastic tube and then pouring the marbles into the top of the tube. The sticks act as a web that block the marbles at the top of the tube. At this point, the players begin to carefully remove the sticks one by one. The goal is to get the stick out without making any of the marbles sitting on top fall through. If any marbles fall through, the person who made them fall collects them. Once the last marble has fallen, players count their collected marbles, and the player with the fewest marbles wins the game.
  23. Riskrisk
    Risk is a strategy based board game. The board has a political map of the Earth on it, divided into 42 territories, which are grouped into 6 continents. The object of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players. Players control armies with which they attempt to capture territories from other players, with results determined by rolling a dice.  Can be played by 2-6 players.
  24. Backgammon
    This is a classic abstract strategy game dating back thousands of years. It is a game for 2 players.  It is played on a board consisting of 24 narrow triangles called points. The triangles alternate in colour and are grouped into 4 quadrants of 6 triangles each. The object of the game is to move all your checkers into your own home board and then bear them off.  A dice is thrown at each turn, and the player must decide which of the checkers they are going to move based on the outcome of the roll. Players can capture each other’s checkers, forcing the captured checkers to restart their journey around the board. A player wins by removing all of their checkers from the board before their opponent.
  25. Qwirkle
    The matching game of Qwirkle consists of 108 wooden blocks with 6 different shapes in 6 different colors. There is no board, players simply use any available flat surface. Players begin the game with six blocks. The start player places blocks of a single matching attribute (color or shape but not both) on the table. Players earn points by building rows and columns of tiles that share a common shape or colour. The game ends when the draw bag is depleted and one player plays all of his remaining blocks, earning a bonus. The player with the highest score wins.

Is your family’s favourite on the list?

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About Author

Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.