Rainy day games
August 28, 2010 1:28 PM   Subscribe

What are some good board and card games for 3-4 year olds that a 6 year old might enjoy too? I'm think of Zingo and the like.
posted by Artw to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
THree to four. Hm. Difficult. But bear in mind rat a tat cat and such like
posted by IndigoJones at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I should say it's actually more the high end of 3 - birthday in November, pretty advanced in most areas anyway so we tend to think of her as 4.
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on August 28, 2010

My almost 4 year old son (birthday in October) and his 6 and 1/2 year old sister both love to play Snails Pace Race
posted by nightwood at 2:38 PM on August 28, 2010

My kids liked Galloping Pigs. It's been a while so my memory is not so good, but I think we changed the rules a bit to make it more of a random draw game rather than strategy. Best part - every time you move your pig, you need to make snorty oinky noises. Great fun.
posted by CathyG at 2:50 PM on August 28, 2010

I really like Candy Land. No reading and it has candy.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 2:55 PM on August 28, 2010

My kids (3.5 and almost 6) adore Zingo and could play it all day. The only one that has come close to being as popular (and that has a goal that they both kind of understand) is Cariboo Island. A number of people also recommended the original Cariboo but we haven't tried that one yet. They are both kind of hard to find and we had to order them from Amazon. We also got Connect 4 which they really enjoy. They don't exactly understand the goal but they get the turn taking and that they each have their own color...we're working on the rest.
posted by victoriab at 3:32 PM on August 28, 2010

Halli Galli, from Germany. Ignore the tacky art - even adults love this one. Throw down fruit cards snap-style - if there are five of a given fruit (eg last person played three bananas, you play two bananas), first person to ring the bell gets the cards.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:20 PM on August 28, 2010

I've played Apples to Apples (the answer for every "what's a good game for..." question) with kids about that age. There's a kid's version special [formerly called Junior, now called Kids] that has simpler words but even the adult version is okay. It's a nice game for talking about words and how they go together. If the kids aren't reading yet you can play teams so there's one reader on each team. Good thing about this game is it's playable as they age so they won't outgrow it. I have also played the simple but goofy Pigmania. Mostly about counting, but four year olds seem to find tossing pigs around funny.
posted by jessamyn at 4:57 PM on August 28, 2010

Pictureka is good. You may have to modify the rules a little bit so the little kids can have a chance at some of the "who can find it first" rounds.

Qwirkle is excellent. Accessible to little ones and challenging for adults too. Also, Set.
posted by cross_impact at 7:07 PM on August 28, 2010

Oh, and the kids love Headbanz
posted by cross_impact at 7:12 PM on August 28, 2010

I play Battleships with my kids, who are four and seven. The four-year-old is on my "team," and she picks where we place our ships and which of her brother's squares we should attack.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:48 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Feed the Kitty works in small doses -- the four-year-old likes it, the seven-year-old likes it but gets bored after a while.

You might get away with Max. We had a brief period where they both liked it, but now the seven-year-old has outgrown it.

Lego Creator, aka Lego Create It, is another game that works well with teams. The younger one can play with the adult while the older can be solo.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:55 AM on August 29, 2010

Oh, and more: Hyper Dash is worth checking out. My kids don't like it, for weird reasons, but from the little bit of playing with it we did it seemed like it should work with your age range.

Secret Door. It's a cooperative game, so the older kid can help (or boss around) the younger one.

Mystery Garden: my kids are a little too far apart in age / ability / tactical skills / competitiveness to play it together, but yours might be okay.

Twister, if you leave out the "left" and "right" parts (or write L and R on their hands or on masking tape stuck to their socks) and let the smaller child cheat a bit when they can't reach.

Balloon Lagoon is $100 on-line?!? but I see it at thrift stores all the time.

Possibly the Ladybug Game. My little one found it a bit confusing and my older one found it a bit boring, but I know another four-year-old who loves it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2010

Here are a few likely suspects -

Gulo Gulo
Chicken Cha Cha Cha
Max (cooperative, all players on same team) or The Secret Door by the same company, another co-op game

and scroll down and check out the "recommendations" and any relevant "geeklists" that the game appears in.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2010

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