Most seven year olds are just beginning to understand and enjoy playing board games. As a parent, it was great when my kids and I could play board games together. But it’s important to choose appropriate board games for kids.
Games that are too complicated, too lengthy, or too mature can dampen or even squash a child’s interest in board games. So choosing the right games is crucial if you want to spend quality time with your children.
Catan Junior is one of the best board games for kids because of its fantastic pirate theme, the level of difficulty, and the high-quality pieces. But it’s not the only board game out there. On the contrary, you have plenty of options for your next family game night.
In this article you’ll find the best board games for 7 year olds. You’ll find information on how to play, why they work well for younger kids, and the best features of each game. I’ll highlight why these board games should earn a spot on your game shelf.
Ready to learn more about board games for kids? Keep reading.
- 1 At a Glance
- 2 Board Games for Kids: Reviews
- 2.1 Catan Junior: Best Board Game for Kids
- 2.2 Ticket to Ride First Journey: Runner-Up
- 2.3 Scotland Yard Junior: Best Cooperative Board Game
- 2.4 Battleship: Best Two-Player Game
- 2.5 Virus: Best for Older Kids
- 2.6 Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza: Best Card Game for Kids
- 2.7 Exploding Kittens: Runner-Up Card Game for Kids
- 2.8 Uno: Best Educational Game
- 2.9 Stuffed Fables: Best Storybook Game
- 2.10 Mice & Mystics: Best Dungeon Crawler for Kids
- 3 Family Game Night Board Game Buying Guide
- 4 Best Board Game for 7 Year Olds: Final Word
At a Glance
If you enjoy dungeon crawlers, I would highly recommend Mice & Mystics. It features immersive campaigns and beautiful artwork.
If you want a narrative-driven game, I recommend Stuffed Fables. It offers a unique storybook game experience that fuels the imagination.
For card games, I recommend Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. It’s easy to learn and full of hilarious interaction.
If you’re looking for an educational game, I’d go with Uno. It’s ideal for teaching numbers, counting, and colors. Perfect for younger children.
Finally, if you’re wanting the best balance of quality, entertainment, challenge, and value, I’d go with Catan Junior. It’s as good as the original game, in a simplified Junior version.
Board Games for Kids: Reviews
Catan Junior: Best Board Game for Kids
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Publisher: Catan Studios
Catan Junior lets younger children experience the world of Catan by introducing a simplified playing style. This junior version is suited for players as young as six, so seven year olds will have no trouble playing it.
Catan Junior takes place on a ring of tropical isles—including the mysterious Spooky Island, home of the Ghost Captain. Each island generates a specific resource – wood, goats, molasses, or cutlasses. You can also find gold. Just watch out for the dreaded Ghost Captain!
Everyone starts with 2 pirate lairs and build ships in order to expand their network. The more lairs you build, the more opportunities to collect resources. Use your resources to build ships, lairs, or to get help from the wise Coco the Parrot. You can even trade in the nearby market. The first player to control seven pirate lairs wins!
Even though this is a simple game, it builds strategy skills and critical thinking. Kids must plan ahead and make decisions about how to use their resources. The pieces are sturdy and should hold up well over time. The interior storage isn’t great, so you might want to invest in a tray, but that’s up to you.
Catan Junior’s streamlined play and fun pirate theme definitely makes it one of the best board games for 7 year olds. It will be a hit at your next family game night.
- Adventure strategy game
- Easy to learn but challenging
- High quality pieces
- Fun pirate theme
- Could use better storage
Ticket to Ride First Journey: Runner-Up
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride is easy for older kids to play, but Ticket to Ride: First Journey is suited for even younger children, with a minimum recommended age of six years. It’s designed for up to four players.
This version offers simple rules for young players. Just like in Ticket to Ride, First Journey has players collecting train cards, claiming routes, and trying to connect cities coast-to-coast. But the routes are shorter and the train cards are drawn straight from the deck.
Each player starts with four colored train cards and two tickets. Each ticket shows two cities, and you’re trying to build railroads to connect those two cities in order to complete the ticket. If you connect one of the West Coast cities to one of the East Coast cities with one route, you immediately claim a Coast-to-Coast ticket.
The first player to complete six routes claims the Golden Ticket and wins the game. Most games last less than 30 minutes. One reviewer suggested changing it to a cooperative game, where you all work together to complete the routes.
The directions could use some clarity, but it’s nothing a quick search can clear up. Overall, if you want a fun way to introduce board games to young kids, Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a great option.
- Easy setup
- Quick game times
- Simple rules
- Colorful game pieces
- Some instructions are lacking
Scotland Yard Junior: Best Cooperative Board Game
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Scotland Yard Junior, published by Ravensburger, is the Junior version of the original Scotland Yard game published in 1983. This kid-friendly version can by played in as little as 15 minutes, making it short enough to keep your budding detective engaged.
The game board features a simplified map of London, with landmarks like Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. Players work cooperatively to catch the master criminal Mister X by arriving at the same place at the same time.
If you can all land on the same space three times, your team will win the day. However, if Mister X evades capture nine times, he escapes!
This cooperative strategy game is great for kids who might struggle with direct competition. The map is colorful and easy to see, and the pieces are made of high-quality, thick cardboard. It’s a fast-paced game that’s easy to learn.
It is a little pricey for a board game for kids. However, it stays true to the original game. It’s a good idea to use a privacy piece to keep your game pieces from prying eyes, but the gameplay is fairly seamless.
This kid version always plays with four detectives. So if you are only playing with two players, the other detectives are played by “bobbies,” which are free to move at will without needing to use tickets.
If you’re looking to share a piece of your own childhood with your kids, playing Scotland Yard Junior is a great way to do that.
- Great for kids
- Quick gameplay
- Simples rules
- Cool artwork
- Cooperative play
- Easy to see everyone’s pieces
Battleship: Best Two-Player Game
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Many of us grew up playing the classic Battleship game. This Hasbro version adds a fun twist by featuring airplanes in addition to ships for an entertaining strategy board game for kids.
The gameplay is simple enough. Each person secretly hides their ships on the game board, which is laid out like a grid of coordinates. Then, players alternate turns guessing where their opponent’s ships are by calling out coordinates. Use the letter and the number to call out the strike, such as “A2.”
If you get a hit, you know you’re on your way to sinking the ship! When a player sinks the ship, the other player must call out, “You sunk my battleship!” The first person to sink all of the other person’s ships is the winner.
This exclusive edition of the Battleship game includes 2 planes in addition to ships, for exciting aircraft combat. In head-to-head battle, players search for the enemy’s fleet of ships and aircraft, and destroy them one by one. Position ships strategically to survive opponent’s relentless strikes, and track hits and misses with red and white pegs on the ocean grid.
This game is good for improving the fine motor skills of younger children through the placement of pegs and ships in the coordinate grid. It’s also good for letter and number recognition and spatial reasoning. Plus, it’s just plain fun.
The only drawback? This board game won’t work for the entire family. Unless you play in teams, it won’t support more than two players. Even so, if you’re searching for something fun for kids, Battleship is a good board game.
- Easy to learn
- Fast-paced game
- Good for fine motor skills
- Good quality pieces
- Only for two players
Virus: Best for Older Kids
Playing Time: 15-20 minutes
Publisher: Goliath Games
Virus is a small card game that brings loads of competitive fun. Your goal is to protect your organs while attacking your opponents. Even though the box has a recommended minimum age of 8 years, I’ve played this game with kids younger than that, so seven year olds should have no problems playing.
In Virus!, you’re trying to be the first player to collect one of each healthy organ while preventing the other players from doing the same. The game is comprised of a deck of 68 cards, which is made up of four different types and four unique colors. Shuffle the deck together and deal three cards to each player. Set the rest of the deck in the center of the play area as a draw deck.
On your turn, choose between playing a card or discarding. Then draw as many cards as you need to complete your hand (3 cards), and your turn is over. There are several types of illustrated cards: organs, medicines, viruses, treatments and multicolored cards.
Play a virus card on top of another player’s organ card to affect it in a couple ways. If it is the first virus on the organ, it becomes infected. A second virus on the same organ will destroy it and send it to the discard pile. If the organ was protected by a vaccine, that vaccine is destroyed, leaving the organ unprotected but healthy. Except for wild cards, all viruses must match the color of the organ card.
Play medicine cards on your own organs to vaccinate them. A second medicine card permanently protects the organ by making it immune for the rest of the game. If a medicine card is placed on an infected organ, that cures the virus. Medicines must also match the color of the organ card.
The fourth card type is treatments, which are essentially wild cards. Treatments might allow you to switch organs with another player, steal an organ, or even cause everyone to discard their hand! Figuring out the best time to use a treatment card requires strategy.
Be the first player to complete your body with 4 different healthy organs to win. It’s fast-paced and easy to learn, making it great for a wide range of ages and experience levels.
It does reward backstabbing, so if your group can’t handle that type of competitive game, I would pass. If you like that element, however, this might just become your favorite game.
- Easy to learn
- Strategic game
- Good for older kids
- Might be too competitive for some children
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza: Best Card Game for Kids
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes
Publisher: Dolphin Hat Games
If you think the name Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is quirky, just wait until you play it! This hilarious card game is loads of fun for the entire family. It requires you to move and think fast!
This fast-paced social card game requires quick thinking, but it’s easy to learn. Players flip cards one by one, saying the words “taco cat goat cheese pizza” in turn order, regardless of what the card shows.
As soon as there is a match between a card and a spoken word, players race against each other to slap their hands on the central pile of cards. The last player to do so must take all the cards! Your goal is to be the first person to run out of cards.
There are three special cards that don’t show one of the five title words. The gorilla, narwhal, and groundhog each require a different hand motion, followed by a slap. Again, the last player to slap the pile must take the cards. If a player does the incorrect action, they must take the cards.
Usually this game ends in bouts of hysterical laughter. But it can also end in a hand injury. Scratches and bruises are possible. If you want a nice, calm game, this one won’t be a good fit. But if your child can handle chaos and some accidental hand-to-hand combat, they’ll love it!
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is so much fun. It’s perfect for family game nights and parties with mixed age groups.
- Simple game
- Quick playing time
- Hilarious, great interaction
- Fun for kids and adults
- Gameplay can be intense
Exploding Kittens: Runner-Up Card Game for Kids
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Publisher: Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is quirky, competitive, and hilarious. This new game has won multiple awards, and it’s one of the best family games for laid back game nights. You can play with up to five players, and it only takes two minutes to learn.
If you love cats, explosions, and random goats, you will appreciate the pun-filled humor and zany artwork on the cards.
The premise is simple: If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you lose. All the cards in the deck help you avoid or mitigate your risk of drawing an Exploding Kitten. Play continues until there is just one player left standing.
You’ll need to use strategy to play the game and avoid the exploding cat. You’ll never know quite what to expect with this charming game. This family game has enough luck in it to mitigate the strategic advantage adults might bring to the table.
Since the winner could be anyone, it will have your kids wanting to play over and over again. This game can be played in 15 minutes, so it moves quickly. It doesn’t require a lot of table space, either. Just deal the cards and let the explosions begin!
Exploding Kittens is a little pricey, considering it’s a card game. Still, it’s such a fun game, you might not even notice. There are also several expansion games that can be played stand-alone or combined with this original version for an epic exploding battle!
When it comes to card games for 7 year olds, Exploding Kittens is toward the top of my list. It’s fun, easy to learn, and simply hilarious. It can get a little intense, so be prepared. But it’s so funny, it’s tough to take the game too seriously.
Check out more games like Exploding Kittens.
- Hilarious fun
- Easy to learn
- Portable, easy to store
- Several expansions available
- A bit pricey
Uno: Best Educational Game
Playing Time: 15 minutes
We’ve all heard of the classic game Uno. Perhaps like me, you grew up playing this card game with siblings or friends. In Uno, players race to match numbers and colors in an attempt to get rid of their cards. It’s a fun game that doesn’t take long to play, making it perfect for the whole family.
The object of Uno is to be the first player to run out of cards. To achieve this, you must match one of your cards with the current card sitting face-up on the deck.
Special action cards allow you to skip another player, reverse the direction of play, play a wild card, or force another player to draw cards. When you get down to one card, you must yell “UNO!” to avoid drawing another card. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
Uno works as an educational game because it encourages color and number recognition. Players must also use strategy to decide when to play special action cards. But it’s still simple enough for children to pick up easily.
Uno is a fun game, but it can get repetitive after a while. Still, if you want games for 7 year olds, this one is tough to beat. There’s a reason it’s one of our favorite games.
- Easy to learn
- Great for math skills
- Might get repetitive
Stuffed Fables: Best Storybook Game
Playing Time: 60-90 minutes
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
Stuffed Fables is a narrative-driven cooperative game that’s perfect for the whole family. It’s full of beautiful artwork and imagination, and it features a unique adventure storybook format.
in Stuffed Fables, players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. They enter the fantastic realm of the Fall, which is ruled by the Lord of Nightmares.
Players roll a color-coded dice to take a variety of actions. Make daring melee attacks, leap across conveyor belts, or even steer a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.
This cooperative board game is driven by player choices. Players explore a world of wonder and danger, unlocking curious discoveries. Each chapter explores a different milestone of a child’s life, creating a memorable tale for everyone.
The storybook acts as a rule book, story guide, and game board. The game pieces are beautifully crafted with plenty of detail to make the story come to life.
Even though this game is supposed to be for children as young as seven, it does have a lengthy playing time. You’ll want to make sure your child can sit for at least an hour before beginning. Or you might want to spread play out over multiple sessions, with breaks in between.
But anyone who can sit for an hour and wants to draw upon their sense of childlike wonder would enjoy Stuffed Fables. It’s a truly unique gaming experience and a great kids board game.
- Beautiful artwork and imagination
- Story-driven adventure game
- Simple rules, easy to learn
- Games can be lengthy
Mice & Mystics: Best Dungeon Crawler for Kids
Playing Time: 60-90 minutes
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
If a storybook adventure dungeon crawl board game appeals to you, you can’t beat Mice & Mystics. It’s an interactive game that’s fun for the whole family.
In Mice & Mystics, players advance through the chapters of a storybook and take on the roles of heroes who were turned into mice by the evil Queen Vanestra. These cunning field mice must race through a castle that is now twenty times larger than before to warn the King Andon.
Along the way, the mice must face countless adversaries like rats, spiders, cockroaches, and the castle’s formidable house cat. Player can choose to play as different characters, like the agile Prince Colin or the tough New Bellows. Each has a vital role in finding Vanestra’s weaknesses.
Mice & Mystics has no player elimination, so younger players can stay in the game regardless of skill level. Mice are simply captured. This is a cooperative game, too, so children learn how to work together.
This cute story-driven game is one of the best games to introduce the world of dungeon crawlers, but it does take some time to learn. One reviewer recommended reading the rules ahead of playing with the family to avoid frustrated, bored kids. There is also an instructional video to help.
The pieces are of good quality. They come unpainted, so you can paint them with your kids. There are several of them, however, so it might take some time to complete. This game takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, so it might be too long for some kids. But for seven year olds who can sit for an hour, this is a great game.
In comparison to other children’s games, Mice & Mystics is pricey. But in contrast to other dungeon crawler board games, this one is a steal. If you’re ready to introduce the world of dungeon crawling cooperative games to your kids, Mice & Mystics is a great board game.
- Vivid artwork
- Campaign-driven, cooperative
- Great narrative play
- Ideal for different ages
- High replay value
- Learning curve
Family Game Night Board Game Buying Guide
Board games offer a lot of benefits, but only if you play them. So finding a game you’ll actually play is the biggest hurdle. Use this buying guide to help you choose the best board game for your seven year old.
What to Look for in Board Games for Kids
High-Quality Game Board & Pieces
I love my kids, but they’re the reason we can’t have nice things. We all know children can be hard on their toys, and board games are no different. If a board game has cheap or flimsy game pieces, it will get destroyed. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. We’ve ruined too many game boards learning that lesson the hard way. Having a sturdy game board and game pieces is an absolute must.
The best game for kids is one that can keep their attention. If turns take too long, younger children will quickly lose interest. The best board games for kids will keep the action moving. The more interactive, the better!
Simple but Fun
Let’s face it: some board games for kids are absolute torture for adults. They’re way too easy, boring, and sometimes even downright annoying. The best board games for 7 year olds are easy to learn, but they have enough appeal for adults that you actually want to play them with your kids. After all, isn’t bringing families together the point?
Board games are great for brain development and teaching cooperation, dexterity, math skills, critical thinking, and strategy. Games also help kids learn how to interact with others, and those social skills can transfer to all types of settings.
Board games also teach kids how to regulate negative emotions. Learning how to win and lose is an important life skill, and games are a great way to teach children to manage their emotions in both situations.
What About Children with Special Needs?
Playing board games is great for kids with special needs! A child with special needs might require a shorter game or larger pieces that are easy to handle. They might need simplified rules or to play in teams. It might take some trial and error to find the right fit, but games can be modified to work for whoever is playing them.
You know your child best, so use your judgment and make adjustments as needed. If there are too many pieces, only use some of them. If the game board is overstimulating, try playing the game without it. The best way to find which game works for your child is to experiment and try out different board games.
Best Board Game for 7 Year Olds: Final Word
What’s the best game for your next family game night? If I had to choose, I’d go with Catan Junior. It’s one of the best board games for kids in terms of entertainment value, age-appropriate strategy, and overall value. Ticket to Ride: First Journey is another fun game I highly recommend.
Read more about playing board games with children.