Game Night! Great games for preschool and up

We all love the nights when we finish homework early, clean up dinner, get ready for bed and have a little extra time for family games. But as the kids get older, it’s been hard to find a game that fits in all of their interests (our kids are ages 3, 7 and 9). Here are a few highlights that everyone enjoys and area to play.

board games for families

Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates Who Shook Hook Game

I was a little skeptical when I pulled this game out the other night. The images were bright and fun, but because of the fine motor skills necessary, I wasn’t sure if my younger kids would enjoy playing. As it turns out, this game is even more fun for them than the noisy Operation because the pieces are more adept to little hands. The challenge here is to take one treasure off the hammock without tipping Hook off and you use several different kid-friendly tools to do it. We played about 3 games in 15 minutes… even my husband was asking to play again. The following day, when Big asked to play again with Middle, I knew we’d found a hit.

Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Party Game

The Disney Princess Cupcake Party game offers noncompetitive play–making it perfect for a 3 year old to play with her older siblings. Rather than working against each other and becoming competitive and stressed, when we play this game, I notice the kids offering to help one another teach each other. Little is also asking to play with this with her friends and, at the times I’m distracted and they play without me, they can use the pieces to create a party without the rules.

Sequence for Kids

We’ve been playing Sequence for Kids for years, and I’m always surprised more friends don’t know about it. There’s a lot of safe competition involved here, so the game is definitely for kids who are okay with not always winning (or learning that it’s okay to not always win.) This simple game of four-in-a-row has twists and turns and teaches kids a lot about strategy. It’s one of our favorite birthday gifts to give as well.

Jake and the Never Land Pirates Never Land Challenge

This games better for mid-day, when the kids have a lot of energy and you don’t need for them to wind down. My kids love climbing and squeezing, jumping and just moving, so Jake and the Never Land Pirates Never Land Challenge creates and obstacle course of action that the players have to perform. The actions aren’t too hard for a 4 year old, and still fun enough for a 9 year old.

Disney Princess Dazzling Princess Game

This is definitely a higher priced game, but I don’t know a princess who doesn’t adore dressing up in costume, so why not make it a game? If she has older siblings, it might be difficult to get them to join in, especially if they’re two boys aged 7 and 9, so get this one to feature on playdates with the girls. This game truly focuses on fine-motor skills as the princesses get dressed for the ball adding gems to their tiaras, bracelets and rings. Remember how my boys didn’t know their princesses? When they’re good enough sports to play the game, they’re definitely picking up the stories now!

Wonder Forge provided the Princess and Jake & the Never Land Pirates games as samples for our family to try. I’m extremely impressed with the way they tied in the themes and incorporate fine and large motor skills. I also love the games for their durability — from strong pieces to strong boxes. Thank you!

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    Great list! I have never heard of Sequence either but my kids definitely have a competitive streak (I don’t know where they get it. *wink*) so this sounds like it might be a good option.


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