Our oldest daughter is 5 and love playing games. Now that we are starting to introduce our 2 year old to games, it seems like a good time to document some of the kid games we've been playing over the last few years. It'll be interesting to see how this list evolves as they get older.
Below we list just some of the games that have been useful in introducing different concepts and game mechanics. The ages are just estimates of when our daughter was able to take her turn independently and have an enjoyable experience with each game, not necessarily when she was proficient or "good" at it.
2 - 2.5 years old
Our main purpose at this age was to teach them how to take turns, follow game rules and be OK with losing. Most of these games will involve little or no player decisions and often rely on identifying colors.
3 years old
Once able to count more accurately and start recognizing numbers, you can introduce games that require counting spaces. We also started playing some matching games around this time.
4 years old
Around this time we started playing games that allow the players to make at least some decisions and allow for a simple strategy. Identifying patterns and sets of similar objects also comes into play in many of these games.
5 years old
No matter how much you enjoy spending time with your kids, most of the games mentioned above can be very boring for adults. Recently, we've started introducing some of the games that we enjoy. Games that involve moving pawns around and have only a few possible actions to take each turn seem to work especially well. This allows the kids to take their turn independently and make their own decisions. In this way they can take ownership of the experience and enjoy it even if they are unlikely to win.
What are your favorite games to play with young kids?