Finding cooperative board games for kids can be a bit challenging. You need to make sure that the games aren’t too heavy and they should also be interesting enough to keep kids entertained for more than just a few minutes. Well, welcome to a page that I hope makes the search for a great co-op game for kids a lot easier!
I normally do a top 10 for all of the board game rankings on this site, but since I’m getting a lot of outside suggestions on this one, I decided to just give some recommendations for different age groups. I’m hoping this helps parents find games for their kids that are known to work at those specific ages.
Let’s get right to it, shall we? Below you’ll find some of the best cooperative board games for kids!
Board Games for Kids Ages 2-4
All of the kids board games in this section are excellent options if you’re looking to find your child’s first co-op board game!
Ages: 2+ | Players: 2-4
First Orchard is very easy to play: you work together to get the fruit before the raven does. Rolling the large die and matching the colors is very entertaining for toddlers, and it teaches both teamwork and color recognition.
Ages: 2.5+ | Players: 2-4
The goal in Little Cooperation is to move the animals from the fishing hole to their igloo before the bridge collapses. It’s a simple roll-and-move co-op game with some nice art and four fantastic little animal figures.
What Little Cooperation does especially well is it teaches kids to have patience while others take their turns. Ideally, everyone roots for their teammates when they’re rolling the die.
Busytown, Eye Found It!
Ages: 3+ | Players: 2-4
Busytown, Eye Found It! is a cooperative game for preschoolers in which you’re trying to make it to Picnic Island before all of the food is eaten. You spin a wheel and move through town, sometimes having to find hidden items to keep moving forward.
This is a great co-op board game for kids for a number of reasons. There’s plenty of teamwork, there’s some fun pattern matching, and there’s a lot of replay value since the wheel and the cards make the game play out in different ways.
The Color Monster
Ages: 3+ | Players: 2-5
Based on the popular book series, The Color Monster is a board game for kids three and up that is all about helping the monster understand his emotions. You do this by moving around the board, identifying different emotions, and putting them in the correct jars.
The Color Monster game works well for the same reason the books work so well: it teaches kids to understand and talk about their emotions. It works especially well in game form because it gets kids more comfortable with communicating. Plus, it’s a very good memory game for young kids.
Hoot Owl Hoot!
Ages: 4+ | Players: 2-4
Hoot Owl Hoot! is one of the most popular cooperative children’s games out there, and for good reason. It’s a pattern recognition game that has players attempt to get every owl on the board back to their nests before the sun comes up.
Hoot Owl Hoot has a bunch of fun little elements to it. Not only do players work together to try to help the owls, they also get to make a “hoot” sound whenever one owl passes another. It’s very entertaining and kids seem to enjoy working together while playing this one.
Concept Kids Animals
Ages: 4+ | Players: 2-12
The original Concept is a competitive party board game that my group still plays all the time. Concept Kids Animals gives children a chance to have a similar party gaming experience. It’s a guessing game in which one player uses clues on the board to help their teammates guess which animal they have on their card.
Concept Kids Animals is an excellent co-op board game for kids if you want a great problem-solving and communication game. Plus, the artwork is very nice, and adults like this one almost as much as kids do.
My First Castle Panic
Ages: 4+ | Players: 1-4
My First Castle Panic is a much lighter version of the awesome co-op family game Castle Panic. Just like in the original, you have to protect your castle from a group of monsters that are charging in.
My First Castle Panic is a great strategy game for kids because there’s a good bit of color and symbol matching and plenty of cooperation. It also has a nice-looking board and castle.
Board Games for Kids Ages 5-6
I chose this age range because it’s right there when kids can usually step up to slightly more complex cooperative board games, but they’re not quite ready to play the bigger board games for families.
Ages: 5+ | Players: 2-4
I think it’s fair to say that Outfoxed! is a classic kids board game at this point. It’s been one of the best cooperative games for five-year-olds (and slightly older kids) for years now because it is a truly well-designed co-op deduction game.
Outfoxed! has players attempt to figure out which fox stole a pot pie. Clues and suspects are revealed, and players try to find the right suspect before they get away. Each player reveals his or her own clues, but the only way those clues can help them is if they get help from their teammates; it’s a really great cooperative mechanism.
Magic Maze Kids
Ages: 5+ | Players: 2-4
Just like in the original Magic Maze, everyone controls all of the heroes in Magic Maze Kids and you have to cooperatively move them around the map in the direction of the arrows in front of you. It’s a real-time board game, which means that (in some of the scenarios) you only have so much time to complete your objectives.
The best thing about Magic Maze Kids is that it forces you to be a good communicator since everyone is moving the same pieces around. This game also has some of the best artwork that you’ll find in a kids co-op game.
Race to the Treasure!
Ages: 5+ | Players: 1-4
Race to the Treasure! is a tile placement game for children that has them attempt to get an Ogre to a treasure chest. While they are trying to find their way to the treasure, players have to locate three keys so they can open the chest once they get to it.
The main mechanic of Race for the Treasure! is placing tiles. There is no reading to do, but you have to connect those tiles in a way that gives you a path to the keys and the treasure. There is some light cooperative strategy in Race to the Treasure!, which keeps kids very engaged until they either win or lose the race.
Ages: 6+ | Players: 1-4
In Bandido, your goal is to block the prison tunnels so Bandido can’t escape. Everyone has cards with different tunnel shapes on them and you have to work together to make sure every path is blocked off.
I’ve seen Bandido work really well as a quick card game for kids and adults because everyone seems to love route building. The rules are simple enough for kids to understand, and it’s a fun and unique puzzle to try to work out as a group.
Read our Bandido review
Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories
Ages: 6+ | Players: 1-4
Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories is a cooperative escape room game for kids that is similar to the more advanced Unlock! games, but it doesn’t require an app to play. Instead, you just use the cards and pieces inside the box to play through the adventures.
If you’re looking for an escape room game for kids, Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories is definitely the one I’d recommend getting. They did a really great job of turning Unlock! into a co-op game for kids that has perfectly challenging puzzles and is a lot of fun to play.
Rory’s Story Cubes
Ages: 6+ | Players: 1-12
Rory’s Story Cubes continues to be one of the top cooperative board games for kids because it allows them to use their imaginations to tell stories. The rules are very straightforward: you roll the dice and then you come up with a story based on the images that are rolled.
Parents seem to love Rory’s Story Cubes just as much as their kids do because, well, you get to create stories together! There’s a lot of replay value since the dice can give you plenty of images to work with, but it opens up even more when you combine one Rory’s Story Cubes set with one of the many others they’ve put out.
Board Games for Kids Ages 7+
The cooperative board games in this section can be played by kids and adults, but they’re still very light.
Ages: 7+ | Players: 2-4
Stuffed Fables is an adventure game for kids and families in which you play as a little girl’s stuffed animals. It’s a storytelling game that has a big book that contains the story you read and the maps that you play on.
It doesn’t get much better than Stuffed Fables when it comes to true storytelling board games that kids can play. It’s well-written, the artwork and the miniatures look great on the table, and it has relatable stories that kids seem to like talking about.
Read our Stuffed Fables review
Ages: 7+ | Players: 1-4
Slide Quest is a co-op dexterity game that has you attempting to move your knight around a board to complete objectives. You do that by sliding him around the map using levers, which are actually attached to the game box.
If you’re looking for a more action-packed board game for kids, Slide Quest is one you’ll want to check out. It’s a great co-op because you just can’t win unless everyone works together to move that little knight around.
Read our Slide Quest review
Zombie Kidz Evolution
Ages: 7+ | Players: 2-4
In Zombie Kidz Evolution, you play as kids who are trying to keep zombies from overtaking their school by blocking all of the entryways. This is a legacy game for kids, so after each game you get to open envelopes that add in new rules and components.
There are plenty of people out there, including a few in my group, who think that Zombie Kidz Evolution is currently the best cooperative board game for kids. It has very simple rules, a really cool look, and the legacy element adds an extra layer of excitement. It’s a great co-op game for seven-year-olds, and adults seem to get a kick out of it, too.
Mole Rats in Space
Ages: 7+ | Players: 2-4
Mole Rats in Space takes Chutes and Ladders to a whole new level. Your goal is to get all of the equipment that you need and get off of your spaceship before the snakes do too much damage to you.
What’s great about Mole Rates in Space is that just about everything you do in the game has some cooperative element to it. You need to move your own character and your teammates’ characters in ways that give your team the best chance to win, so there is usually plenty of communication going on during each turn. If you’re looking for a space game for kids, Mole Rates in Space is the one to get.
Read our Mole Rats in Space review
Ages: 7+ | Players: 2-6
Cross Clues is a co-op word association game that has you attempting to find links between words on a grid. You’re trying to fill in as much of the grid as possible before you run out of cards.
What I like most about Cross Clues is that there isn’t a set turn order, which seems to make everyone think a bit harder about how they can connect their words. Guessing is a lot of fun, too, because all of the guessers can work together to try to find the connection that the clue-giver saw.
Read our Cross Clues review
Beasts of Balance
Ages: 7+ | Players: 1-5
Beasts of Balance is a cooperative stacking game in which you stack animals and other pieces onto a platform, which then show up in the game’s app. The more you’re able to stack, the higher your score will be.
Beasts of Balance is about as modern as modern board games get. The stacking part is easy enough for kids to understand, and the app gives an extra bit of satisfaction when you’re able to successfully add a piece. Plus, those pieces are high quality and nice to look at all stacked up.
After kids can comfortably play the board games listed above, chances are they’ll be able to play some of the slightly heavier co-op family games, like the popular strategy game Pandemic and the excellent deck building game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. Luckily, there are now plenty of amazing co-op options for kids of all ages!
Take a look at the Best Family Games list for some great board games that older kids enjoy playing.
What are some of your favorite cooperative board games for kids? Any that weren’t included on this page?
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