7 board games that French preschoolers absolutely LOVE!

Board games are the go-to activity with kids all over the world! Whether it’s to keep the kids busy on a rainy day or to spend quality time together, every home I know has at least a few of the classics: Candy Land, Monopoly, Connect 4 etc.

As a French mom living in the US, I spend a lot of time reading parenting blogs from France and get to discover the French kids’ favorites. Here are the ones we have adopted and spent numerous hours playing as a family: the ultimate list of board games that French preschoolers absolutely love!

1. Little cooperation (2-5 yo, 2-4 players): you will have guess it by its name, this one is a cooperative game, meaning all players win (or lose) together. The goal is to get cute arctic animals crossing a bridge to their igloo before the bridge collapses. It teaches rolling a die and taking turns, which makes it a perfect introduction to board games! (The dice has pictures on it, not dots or numbers).

2. Bata-Waf (3-7 yo, 2 or more players): a variation of the card game War adapted to little ones. You can compare the size of the dogs or the number of colored bars to see who wins. This is a perfect game to understand basic numerical concepts (bigger/smaller). Plus it’s really small so it fits easily in any bag – we play it when we wait for our food in restaurants!

3. Snail’s Pace Race (3+, 2 to 6 players): another great introduction to board games, this game uses colored dices to move the snails accordingly (for instance, a red dot will make the red snail move forward).

4. Mosquito Game (4-9 yo, 2 to 4 players): a speed game with cute figurines. Players show their cards at the same time, and if two cards are the same, they have to do an action as quickly as possible (for instance, if two apples are drawn, it’s the first player who reach for the apple figurine who scores). A fun game to hone your little one’s observational skills and reflexes!

5. Monster Chase (4+, 1 to 6 players): this is a cooperative memory game. The players need to find out the toys that will frighten monsters so they go back to the closet. There is a sort of cathartic relief when we all shout out: « Go back to the closet!!! » The author references There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer for the inspiration (although the art works of the game and the book are really different!)

6. Dragon’s breath (4+, 2 to 4 players): players take turn to remove an « ice ring » that will make colored gems fall. Then, they collect the gems of a certain color, and the winner is of course the player with the most gems. This is a very original game that my kids love to play, especially when they have to mimic the breath of daddy Dragon melting the ice!

7. Sardines (5+, 2 or more players): this is another great memory game compact enough to fit in your bag! We absolutely love the card games made by Djeco (a French manufacturer of children’s toys) and other good ones are Mistigri (4-7) and Piratatak (5+).

Voilà! If you know or try any of these games, please share your experience in the comments! I hope you have fun playing with your kid(s)!

In the same series:

10 books that all French kids LOVE to read (and it’s not The Little Prince!)

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