Best Board Games for 5-Year-Olds

Looking for a fun game for the little person in your life?

Pull them away from digital devices and find an age-appropriate board game for 5-year-olds instead.

Even in the face of smartphone game apps and virtual reality video gaming, board games are making a comeback.

Although children can get attached to playing games on devices, the popularity of board games seems to be skyrocketing once again — and that's a good thing for parents and kids.

When it comes to 5-year-old children, it’s best for them to play more board games as there are so many benefits these games provide for their growing brains.

Let's take a look at some of the best board games for 5-year-olds, ones that allow them to learn something valuable while having fun at the same time. 

Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game for Kids board games for kidsBest Cooperative Game for 5-Year-Olds
Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game for Kids
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HedBanz Jr. Family Board Game board games for kidsBest Party Game for 5-Year-Olds
HedBanz Jr. Family Board Game
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ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game board games for kidsBest Exercise Based Game for 5-Year-Olds
ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game
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The Floor is Lava – Interactive Game for Kids and Adults board games for kidsBest Interactive Game for 5-Year-Olds
The Floor is Lava – Interactive Game for Kids and Adults
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Benefits of Board Games for 5-Year-Olds

Board games can be tons of fun, but there is much more to them than just entertainment. This is especially true when it comes to good games for 5-year-olds. These games can be beneficial and educational in ways that may not be obvious.

Basic Literacy and Numeracy 

One of the benefits of board games for kids is that they teach basic reading and numeracy skills.

Some games help children learn about animals, colors, and more.

Many board games for 5-year-olds are educational while giving children a sense of competence and fun.

Critical Thinking Skills

Board games can also help kids develop rational thought, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning skills.

Many games require children to answer questions or move through a series of steps in order to achieve a goal.

These games help train their minds to be faster and sharper. 

Learning Patience

Some board games help small children learn the valuable skills of patience and taking turns.

Board games are not always fast-paced, and more often than not, kids have to wait for other players to complete their turns.

Patience is an important skill for socialization and cooperation with others. 

Social Bonding and Cooperation

Sharing a board game with others helps young children make friends, develop social skills, and develop cooperation skills.

Most board games require some degree of cooperation, and these are skills that kids need to be successful in life. 

Maybe Some Exercise Too 

Although exercise and board games are not exactly synonymous, there are many games for kids that are great for burning off some energy.

At the very least, a good board game can help kids get rid of unexpended energy, and that’s something that helps parents sleep better at night. 

Best Cooperative Game for 5-Year-Olds

Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game for Kids

The Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game is all about children working together to help the mermaids swim to their goal.

This is a great game for young children whose reading skills aren’t proficient.

Kids spin the spinner and move their game piece according to the number they get. While the game doesn't require any real reading, it might teach some numeracy and counting. 

The Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game is designed for children 5 years and over, and it can be played by 2 to 6 players. This makes for a great way to teach kids the meaning of teamwork and cooperation. 

The aim of the game is for all players to work together so that everybody wins. What stands out with this game is that nobody technically loses the game — something your kids will appreciate. 

Kids don’t have all that much patience and have short attention spans. This makes the game quite ideal because a single game lasts roughly 15 minutes. It's not so long that a 5-year-old will lose interest, but long enough for him or her to learn strategy and cooperation. 

The Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Board Game may just be one of the best games out there for 5-year-olds, especially any that are into mermaids and sea life. It’s simple, entertaining, and somewhat educational too. 


  • Requires cooperation
  • Teaches strategy and teamwork
  • Games are roughly 15 minutes long
  • Very simple to play
  • Lots of fun


  • Kids may get bored – quite repetitive

Best Party Game for 5-Year-Olds

HedBanz Jr. Family Board Game

The HedBanz Jr. Family Board Game has to be one of the most entertaining games for kids to play — one that always produces laughter and excitement.

Players wear a headband on their heads, and on the headband is a card of an animal. There are 24 different animal cards. The aim of the game is for kids to figure out what animal they are wearing on their own heads.

Kids are provided with clue cards to help them along, as well as a “map” of the 24 different animals to choose from. Kids then ask questions like, “Am I big?” or “Do I have a trunk?” in order to figure out what animal card they are wearing. The first child to figure out their own animal wins the game.

HedBanz Jr. Family Board Game is an excellent, fast-paced game for kids to play, one that moves quickly from one player to the next. Kids love animals, so most should really enjoy this.

This game can be played with up to 4 players, and it is rated for children ages 5 and up. That said, if you have a smart toddler, kids as young as 3-years-old may be able to play.

It is quite a beneficial and educational game, as it teaches kids about all kinds of animals. It also helps kids learn social and conversational skills as they must ask questions and answer them truthfully. 

When it comes to deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills, this game is also beneficial, as children must figure out what animal they are based on the questions they ask.

It’s kind of like 20 questions, but made for kids and much more exciting. It’s a simple and fun yet highly interactive game.


  • Teaches about animals
  • Very social and cooperative
  • Teaches deductive reasoning
  • Develops critical thinking skills
  • High-paced and action-packed


  • Becomes less fun/challenging once kids figure out what the 24 animals are
  • Could use more than just 24 animals

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Best Exercise Based Game for 5-Year-Olds

ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game

The ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game is a great game for active and energy-filled kids who need to move around. This game is also a treat for parents who need a break and want their kids to burn up some of that extra energy.

The point of the ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game is for kids to spin the spinner which has 4 colors on it and perform a yoga pose for each of the colors.

Each time a child lands on one of the colors with the spinner, they pick up a yoga pose card with the corresponding color. Then, the child must perform the yoga pose as indicated on the card.

If they can hold that pose for 10 seconds, they get to keep the card. The end goal of the ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game is to collect a yoga pose card from each of the 4 colors. 

Something that stands out is how this game is very easy to learn. There is not much reading involved, and it is quite fun and active. The ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game is rated for ages 5 and up, and it can be played by 2 to 4 players. It comes with 54 possible yoga poses for the kids to try.

This game is that it is one of the few that gets kids moving and provides a good deal of movement. Who says kids can’t work up a sweat playing board games?

There’s also the fact that yoga provides many proven benefits, both physical and mental. Yoga helps to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength, and it can help increase concentration and decrease stress. 

The ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game is one of the top games for 5-year- olds out there right now, especially if you want to introduce your child to the benefits of yoga.


  • Provides exercise
  • Increases flexibility and balance
  • Simple to learn
  • Fun and fast-paced
  • Decreases stress
  • Instills some healthy competition


  • Some of the yoga poses may be too difficult for kids

Best Interactive Game for 5-Year-Olds

The Floor is Lava – Interactive Game for Kids and Adults

If you have kids who don’t want to sit still, need plenty of exercise, and have tons of spare energy at bedtime, then this Floor is Lava game might be a great way to go.

This is a new and modern take on the old-school “floor is lava” game that kids have been playing for generations. Now, instead of simply having to stay off the floor because it’s made of lava, this game takes it all to a new level.

There are 25 foam “safety zones” included which are supposed to imitate rocks. These are placed all around the floor, and kids have to maneuver these safety zones or rocks to reach the end. This usually means getting from one side of the room to the other.

This new version of the game also involves challenge cards. Kids have to spin the spinner, which has 5 colors on it, and these colors correspond to the 5 colors of the safety zones.

Kids have to move to a safety zone of the corresponding color, and then pick up a challenge card. A challenge card might read something like “jump 3 times,” and challenges must be completed without the player falling into the “lava.” The first player to reach the goal without touching the lava is the winner.

This version of the “floor is lava” game is educational as it teaches kids some basic reading skills, as well as helps them remember colors. It’s an interactive game that is fast-paced and provides a whole lot of fun. 

This is not your regular board game where kids just sit around. It requires a lot of movement so kids will burn off a lot of energy by the end of the game. Also, kids have to use balance and coordination to keep from falling into the “lava.”

This game is rated for ages 5 and up, and it can be played by 2 to 6 players. 


  • Gets kids moving
  • Requires challenges to be completed
  • Teaches some basic reading and colors
  • Helps teach balance and coordination
  • Fun for up to 6 players


  • Game pieces are not exactly high quality

Qualities of the Best Board Games for Five Year Olds

The best board games for kids at this age encourage the development and practice of these new skills and abilities. Kids this age are eager to learn and show off their new abilities. Here are some features of great games for kids in this age: 


Look for games that kids can play together, without adult help. Play is crucial for healthy social skills, and kids this age enjoy interacting with each other.

Don't worry if they agree to change the rules or abandon a half-finished game to do something else. 


Cooperative games are a great way to improve social skills and communication. They are also games where players don't “win” and “lose,” which can help ease any tension and negative feelings around competition.

If a child does have feelings of frustration when losing a game, help them talk through their feelings. 


Kids this age are eager to move and show off new physical abilities. Many of the best board games for kids give them physical activities and challenges that can help them master coordination and channel the desire to fidget. 


While a child's attention span is growing at this age, it's still best to look for games that have shorter game play. 

Easy to Set Up and Clean Up

With kids of any age, it's a good idea to look for board games that are fast and easy to set up and put away. A game with lots of small parts, assembly, and set up may take up all their patience before the game even begins. 

Developmental Milestones for Kids from 5-6

At this stage, many kids are developing crucial social and cognitive skills, and learning to navigate more complex emotions. Here are some of the key developments that happen for kids over the age of five.

Social Development

Kids this age are more interested in socializing and playing with friends rather than alone.

They are able to work together with other kids on collaborative projects or negotiate compromises with friends who disagree. They are developing the ability to see things from another perspective. 

Losing and Sharing

Kids this age may still have trouble sharing their favorite things, and may struggle when they lose games, and accuse other players of cheating. 

Emotional Development

Kids are learning how to both express and control their emotions, although they may still struggle with complex feelings like jealousy. 

Cognitive Development

A child's attention span increases at this age, and they can typically stay focused for 10-25 minutes, depending on how much they enjoy an activity. 


The average 5-6 year old is becoming increasingly verbal, and may have long, complex conversations with themselves. They are learning  5-10 new words every day, and are beginning to appreciate jokes, riddles, and word play. 

Physical Development

Kids this age are increasing in balance and coordination, and love to show off new skills. They can balance on one foot, ride a bike, catch a ball, and are very physically active, displaying some fidgety behavior.

They are also improving fine motor skills and control, and are better able to do delicate tasks like tie shoes and use zippers and buttons. 

Which of these board games for 5-year-olds will you choose?

The bottom line is that there are plenty of good games for 5-year-olds to play that don’t involve massacring zombies on a video game console.

There are many awesome board games that can teach a variety of skills, as well as improve your child's attention span, socialization, and cooperation. The benefits of good board games for kids numerous and will activate parts of their brains that digital devices can't.

Dedicate a few days a week as “board game only” days when your child must pull out a game rather than logging in to a device. You'll be doing your child and yourself a favor by providing these outlets for fun and learning.

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