Gaming For Little Kids


We’ve played some Ticket to Ride: First Journey and it’s pretty good. She likes it but it’s been tough trying to get her to look for an efficient route instead of the one with the colors she likes.


Forbidden Island is very good for young children. The basic concept is easy to grasp, you can make funny sound effects as island tiles fall into the sea, and the cooperative nature avoids having to deal with poor losers (most young children are terrible losers).


With my kids, I made it very clear from day 1 that ANY crying, complaining, or fussing related to TV or games meant an immediate no-questions-asked 1 week break from technology of all types. After 2 or 3 invocations of that rule, they now never get upset about it. It also helps to set expectations in advance for play time or to establish a routine around it.

As for board games… consider checking out some card games, too. Both my kids love UNO, Go Fish, Sleeping Queens, and a few others.

My 6-yr old daughter developed a strong Pokémon interest and now has like 700 of them memorized from a book I gave her. She’s taken to designing her own games that are similar, like this ninja game she’s working on. It’s fun to help her research ninjas and develop rules, the board, etc.


A good way to introduce kids to card games is to start with a concentration deck, so you an spread them out and let your kids turn them over to find matches. That seemed to really develop an interest in playing and using cards that kind of got them ready for that next step.


Ticket to Ride First Journey is a good pull. I recently mentioned a few others my son likes in another thread, but here are some.

Loopin Chewie
Sorry Sliders (which may be out of print and therefore expensive)
Zooloretto Junior (haven’t played with him but is on his Christmas list)

Other than that I’ve also introduced him to cooperative Mario Galaxy. Sometimes as player 2, sometimes as Mario. Trying to keep him alive as star shooter is quite challenging.


I forgot to mention we have Uno and Go Fish and he enjoys them. Great suggestions. My Amazon wish list has grown.

This may be ridiculous but I am currently buying games for us down the road…and because I want them (Star Wars Rebellion, War of the Ring, Blood Rage). I really need a DC-based gaming group. I force my friends to play every couple of months but they’re not into it.


I have Star Wars Rebellion myself, and am really keen for when I can play with my kids. Probably not for a while.


When my son was 3, he was able to pick up the mechanics of Catan Junior. It’s actually not a bad game. It plays a quick version of Catan with maybe 60% of the mechanics fairly well intact.

Uno was also an easy one for him to pick up.


That reminds me… my kids follow along with FTL and especially Out There (Omega Edition). The narrative is interesting for them to follow. My wife also taught them to play Backgammon


My son was a bit older when he started playing, so I’m not sure all of these games apply.

4 Elements
Action Henk
I’ll second Bit Trip Runner 2
Castle of Illusion
A Boy and His Blob
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
Race the Sun
Rayman Origins / Legends


My daughter loves Castle of Illusion but I left it off my list because it’s unavailable. I guess you could try to track down a console copy. Or Epic Mickey or something like that.


Er what? It’s available on Steam.


huh. ok. This was the last news article about it, which is when I bought it:


Oh, yeah! We played through Duck Tales Remastered together. That was fun!


My older daughter just turning 4 now needs a new game, I’m thinking of trying to get her going with Minecraft. Others had success at that age?


Mine picked it up pretty fast on the iPad but it was a struggle at the very beginning. Especially with activating flight mode in creative, using light sources, etc. As always I found the best way was to let him get frustrated, show him once, then let him figure it out. Which is super, super hard for me - I want to help/do it for him. It also never seems like he is listening, but apparently he is.

To echo @wumpus all of the Toca Boca games were gold at this age. My guy still yanks out the their chef/kitchen app to try and gross us all out with a broccoli, chicken, yogurt milk shake.

World of Goo sounds like an interesting idea. Probably too much solo but I wouldn’t mind playing through it again. Now if we could only play spacechem on the ipad, so he could learn just how stupid his daddy is.


Yeah, my five-year-old son loves Minecraft and has been playing it for a long time, maybe since he was three? I forget. Anyway, he plays on his kindle and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all flora and fauna and locations. Plays in creative mode almost exclusively. It’s a good choice for kids.


Ok thanks, sounds like both you and @Gendal have them on iPad / tablet instead of PC with a mouse.


Yes. My son doesn’t really use the PC since he prefers the touch interface on kindle and iOS. Same with my three year old daughter actually. In fact they’re both a bit confused that the TV and computer monitor don’t react to their touch.


My kids play on PS4 and have played on PC with Xbox 360 controllers. I’m tempted to pick up Minecraft on the Switch. They don’t play anything with Keyboard and Mouse.