4 NON-Candyland Games Little Kids Can Play

Candyland is terrible. If you have a copy, burn it and play these instead.

board games

If my statement about  Candyland being trash shocks you,  I break down what a dreadful waste of cardboard and plastic it is here .  If you haven't read it yet, go on and do so.  I'll wait.

While I loathe Candyland, I love board games.  I love sharing my love of board games with my kids.  We've amassed a nice collection over the years.  While Candyland was in the mix, much to my chagrin, I was able to purge it via a carefully crafted social engineering campaign of INTRODUCING BETTER GAMES.

If your kid is at least in 4k and loves board games, here are 4 games that put Candyland to shame when it comes to child enrichment.

1) Checkers

The most BASIC method of teaching advance planning while only having to account for 2 colors.   Checkers doesn't teach reading or math, but it does teach logic.  You may need to go easy at first, but kids brains are more fluid and adaptable than our crusty adult brains.  That kid's going to be smoking you off the board before you know it.

2)  Quirkle

Quirkle is a matching game where you line up colors and shapes.  Besides the obvious color and pattern recognition aspects, the teaching of logic also applies here.  Plus, your kid can build stuff out of the tiles.

3) Uno

At its core,  Uno  is a matching game.  You're matching colors and/or numbers.  Young readers will be able to pick up on the Wild, Draw 2, Skip & Reverse cards soon enough.  You can also leave the score-keeping out until it's time for them to learn basic addition.  

And that moment...  

That moment when the kid drops their first Draw 4 Wild on you...  The look of evil glee on their face will make you swell with pride before you swear revenge on them for the deed.

4) Quoridor

Things get a little trickier with this one, but when my kids were little, they picked up on  Quoridor  VERY fast.  Quoridor is all about logic and planning.

You essentially build a maze to prevent your opponent from making it to your side of the board before you can make it to theirs.

Smaller parts in this one, so be careful if you have a kid who likes to eat stuff they shouldn't.

Much like checkers, your kid may need a little hand holding, but he or she is going to sort this sucker out pretty quick & you're going to have a challenge on your hands.

Looking for more?

Board Game Geek is a fantastic resource for finding new board games for players of all ages.  Once your kid is a bit older, Catan is a good next step.  My kids also LOVE Carcassone.

Oh, and remember.  Candyland is trash.


***In addition to hating Candyland, "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest Communications. You can book Face with him here .