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Need something new to entertain the kids? Or, would you like some new ways to spend quality time with them? I’ve rounded up a list of the best board games for 8 year olds that they can play with friends or family.
Move over Monopoly, it’s time for some new family favorites in your house!
If you’ve ever tried to entertain a group of 8 year olds then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that it’s a tough age to please. They’re too mature for “little kid” games like Candy Land but still too young for the games teens and adults enjoy.
Plus, you want something that will be engaging enough to take them away from their favorite video game for a few minutes.
These are some of our favorite games your 8 year olds will love, that can be played with friends or the entire family.
Best Board Games for 8 Year Olds
Ravensburger is known for creating great family games with simple rules that are easy to pick up and play.
Labyrinth is one of their classics and it’s a great starter game for kids who have moved past junior games and want a critical thinking or strategy game that’s not too complicated.
The object of the game in Labyrinth is to collect the treasures on your cards, which are dealt at random. You do this by sliding tiles into the puzzle sides (pushing the piece out the other side) to create a path for your piece to move.
The recommended age for this game is 6+. A lot of 8 year olds could also play the regular Ticket to Ride game, but First Journey simplifies a few elements to give younger kids a fighting chance to win against their parents and older kids.
Like in Ticket to Ride, the goal of First Journey is to complete the routes on your dealt cards. The biggest change is in the scoring: instead of getting points for routes it’s a race to see who can complete their 6 routes first.
There are also less routes and trains for a shorter, kid-friendly experience.
Tired of your kids not working together? This cooperative game combines problem-solving skills with hidden movement to create a perfect game that’s hands on and engaging for younger players.
Each side of the maze is different and you can only see yours, but moving the gnome on your side moves it on your teammate’s board too. To win, players have to communicate effectively and successfully retrieve both treasures.
A lot of people forget how much fun Pandemic is to play as a family – especially with kids who are just getting started with more complex games.
The goal of Pandemic is to cure diseases before they destroy humanity. Since it’s cooperative, parents can help their child as much or little as they need without it taking away from the experience.
Tip: Choose the easy difficulty for your first playthrough.
Kingdomino is a great game that is fun both in style and simple in gameplay – which is perfect for 8 year olds who don’t like to sit and strategize while playing board games.
The goal is to expand your kingdom by setting down tiles, which are basically dominos. The game ends when everyone creates a 5×5 grid and points are scored based on placed tiles.
Since this game is very visual, it’s easy for kids to understand and play.
A surefire trick to get reluctant board gamers to the table is a fun concept like Ice Cool. If your 8 year old likes “hands on” games like Jenga or Operation they’re going to adore this fun family game.
Once the 3D game board is set up players move their game pieces by flicking their penguins to make them “skate” on the “icy” surface. It’s not just mindless flicking, though; it takes skill to move around the school and collect the fish.
Players also take turns being the “hall monitor” who’s job is to stop the penguins from racing around.
Since this is a simple game, it’s a great choice for 8 year olds to play with their friends or siblings, too.
This dice game is too fun not to recommend! Unlike traditional games where you move around the board, the goal of Camel Up is to successfully bet on the camel that’s going to win.
Since this fun game is completely random, kids have the same chance of winning as their parents…and you’ll all have fun seeing what silly antics these camels get up to during their race!
Have a competitive 8 year old in your house? Then they’re going to love this one.
Each player chooses a monster and, using a combination of dice rolling luck and strategic game play, tries to defeat the other players.
A warning to parents: players knock each other out of Tokyo throughout the game, which may be frustrating for young kids who are new to “take that” gameplay in board games.
If you want a great introduction to fantasy roleplaying games but aren’t ready for conventional TTRPGs with your 8 year old, Stuffed Fables is the perfect family-friendly middle ground.
Whimsical and narratively driven, adults and kids take on the role of brave stuffed animals on a quest to save the child they love. As you play you’ll work together to solve puzzles, defeat monsters, and make choices that create a unique story each playthrough.
Since it’s for 2-4 players this is a fun option for family game night or for one on one time with a parent and child.
While it’s not technically a board game, this card game is a great way to get the whole family to the table without worrying about anyone not having fun.
Based on the popular game for adults, the family edition of Cards Against Humanity was created by parents and child development experts to make sure it’s appropriate for most families and different ages.
As a parent you should still review the content, but if you’re OK with this style of humor this deck of cards is a great addition to your game collection.
Side note: it also encourages reading!
Final Thoughts: Favorite Board Games for 8 Year Olds
Finding a great board game for 8 year olds can be a challenge. With this list of top picks, I tried to bring you some of the best games that aren’t just fun for kids, but for families to enjoy together too.
Each one is great for different reasons: some are meant to be pure fun, others a great first step to getting 8 year old kids into playing board games more often. Grab one or two, or pick them all up for an instant age-appropriate board game collection for game nights.