Board and Card Games to introduce to my kids - Reccomendations?

Hey all,

Seeking suggestions for board and card games to introduce to my 2nd grader... she LOVED stuff like chutes and ladders, candyland, kids monopoly, jenga. I like jenga, but I'm getting tired of candyland, chutes and ladders, etc. (that was primarily 1st grade...think she's growing out of it as well)

That said here are the parameters:

- would like to go a bit off the grid from the typical Milton Bradley games.

- rule sets should be pretty simple and straightforward... 2nd grade level.

- little to no set-up / preparation. prefer ready to play within 5 minutes or less...nothing where it takes 20 minutes or more to set up.

BONUS: would be kinda cool to prep her for nerd stuff down the Settlers, maybe Space get the idea.


I taught my son Flux (card game) at Kindergarten or 1st grade. It's a simple game, even if the rules change every turn.
Another neat card game is Phase 10, teaches building sets and runs.

This might be reaching, but consider trying chess. My son's school has a chess club and they start at 1st grade. My son really took to it.

Going to blitz you a bit. I play all of these with my 5 & 7 year old boys and they love them. Some of these have been featured on Wil Wheaton's "TableTop" YouTube show.

King of Tokyo -Giant monsters and Yahtzee style rolling. Fast to learn, quick to play.

Forbidden Island - An amazing, tense co-op treasure hunting game on a sinking island. So much fun, even if you lose.

Forbidden Desert - The sorta sequel to Forbidden Island. Race to escape the desert before Sandstorms and dehydration kill you. It's okay, not great.

Mice & Mystics - A really fantastic story driven co-op dungeon crawl where they players are heroic mice fighting rats, bugs and the castle cat. I also recommend going to Plaid Hat Games' site and buying the MP3 narriation of the story book.

Settlers of Catan - My 5 year old is the reigning champ of Catan. No joke, he is awesome at it and Star Trek Attack Wing. So maybe give it a try and see what happens.

Tsuro - A simple but devious game of dragons flying on wind currents. A new version is out with a pirate seafaring theme.

Thx for suggestions to include podcast!

LockandLoad hit on my kids favorites. Forbidden Island is particularly nice because it's COOP so you can discuss best moves for the team.

Nice! We have a newborn (yay) and I'm regularly thinking excitedly about when I can introduce her to board games.

Tsuro is a great one and I think Forbidden Island would be a great one. I'm planning on getting The AMAZEing Labyrinth when my daughter is old enough, I loved this game as a child
Has a lot in common with Forbidden Island, collecting items from a constantly changing board, the board changes with tiles being slid in from different sides throughout the game presenting new paths while closing up others available to attain these items. Very cool.

A quick look on BGG seems that 8 years is the magic age, though im sure there are some less competitive titles that could be introduced earlier, interested to hear any suggestions for those.

We had a similar thread a couple months ago that had some great suggestions. I'll try and look for it later.

Carcassonne, and just don't use the idea of farms. It becomes a bit of a building experiment, and my kids used to just take the tiles and build cities and such when we weren't actively playing. It was my starter crack for them for gaming.

Family Fluxx. Created by this guy I know, so I'm biased, but the intro to a great series of games.

I'd also suggest Castle Panic as a good option.

really appreciate the suggestions... i'll do my homework and research all the suggestions... but forbidden island, tsuro, and settlers sound like the top 3 so far...

Thanks all for the comments... I decided to get us started with:

- Love Letter
- Forbidden Island
- King of Monsters

If all goes well... I may pick up one of the Tsuros, as well as Settlers... although with Settlers... not sure I have the attention span for a > 1 hour game myself....