BUYER’S GUIDE Top 10 family board games

Kids spending too much time stuck to various screens? Introduce them to card or board games for some family fun!

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Board games are a great way to teach kids about following rules, taking turns, winning graciously, coping with their emotions when they lose, and best of all, having some fun! They’re the ultimate multitasking aide…
          They’re also a great way for families to spend some quality time, and for parents to model fair behaviour.
          Many games are also good for your child’s cognitive development. Tots can pick up skills such as matching by colour and counting, while older kids often pick up nuggets of information about wildlife, the solar system and the content of whichever game they are playing.
          You may find it hard to believe, but kids as young as 3 have the ability to play in a board game – you just have to pick the right one. So, scroll through our list of top board games for kids of all ages to find one suitable for your peewee!

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1. CANDY LAND
AGES
3+
PRICE $29.90
FROM Pupsik Studio
WHAT Move your pieces according to the coloured cards you draw, and the first player to get to Candy Castle wins. There are barriers along the way, like the gooey gumdrops, getting lost in the lollipop woods, or stuck in the molasses swamp.
MUMS SAY Set in a fantasy land called Candy Land with characters like Twirly Girl and Giggly Gumdrop, kids will love the candy references in this delicious-sounding game. Colour-coded squares and cards mean that your tot can play simply by recognising basic colours. It’s a great way to introduce board games to little ones — teach them the concept of taking turns, moving towards a goal, and how to react when you win or lose. Mum-of-two May Lim, 35, says, “I like that the game is based on the element of luck – it doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, older or younger sibling, you’ll have your chance at winning and losing.”

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2. Baa Baa
AGES
3+
PRICE $34.90
FROM Growing Fun
WHAT Each player gets a board with different coloured circles (almost like a Bingo board). The game comes with a spinner — when it’s your turn, you spin and the colour where the pointer rests is the colour on each player’s board where you should place a sheep marker. The winner is the first to fill all their circles.
MUMS SAY This is a lovely little game that is perfect for even the youngest member of the family. It doesn’t take long to play, to cater to the average toddler’s attention span. Brightly coloured boards and adorable illustrations will intrigue your little one!

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3. ZINGO
AGES
4+
PRICE $29.90
FROM Smart Alley
WHAT This is the classic game, Bingo, with a twist. It comes with several variations: The original one features six double-sided cards, each with a 3x3 grid of images and corresponding words for each image. Slide the “zinger” as you reveal picture tiles within, and if it matches an image on your card, mark it off. Get all nine tiles on your card to win.
MUMS SAY This popular game teaches image and vocabulary recognition. Even younger kids can hone their matching, memory and concentration skills. Says Jonie Yap, 36, “Both my kids, aged 4 and 8, enjoy playing this, despite the age gap.” When your child has mastered this version, you can move on to the Word Builder, Sight Words and Time-Telling versions of the game.

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4. MONOPOLY JUNIOR
AGES
5+
PRICE $29.99
FROM Toys’R’Us 
WHAT Fans of the classic board game will be happy to introduce this to their young ’uns. This simplified version of the fast-trading game is easier for kids to understand, and comes with adorable character tokens. Don’t worry if you think that kids will take a long time calculating how much money is needed in each move — single banknotes keep things quick and easy.
MUMS SAY Even though the game states that kids 5 and older can play, Geraldine Soh, 32, feels that her 3-year-old can easily participate, too. “Chase is able to keep up with his siblings, and it’s a great way to introduce the concept of money, that it has value and you can buy things with it.”

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5. POP TO THE SHOPS
AGES
5+
PRICE $34.90
FROM Growing Fun 
WHAT This fun shopping game will help your peewee learn about handling money and giving change. Go round the board from shop to shop using plastic money to buy lots of different items. The objective of the game is to buy the items on your shopping list without over spending.
MUMS SAY “It’s a quick and simple game that the kids enjoy,” says Yap. “We played this with my older child when he entered primary school and was learning to handle money on his own. It’s great for teaching him about budgeting.”

Photo: iStock

Got an older kid? They’ll love dipping their fingers into the next five games!