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Updated by Nick Kellet on Nov 13, 2015
Headline for Board Games to Play with Kids to learn Strategy & Failing
Nick Kellet Nick Kellet
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Board Games to Play with Kids to learn Strategy & Failing

During #beonfire with @bfeld as guest the topic of kids needing to learn to fail came up. I shared how I play strategy games with my kids.

I don't let them win. They earn/learn their way to victory

I've put together my favorite strategy & party games


Power Grid

Power Grid is the updated release of the Friedemann Friese crayon game Funkenschlag. It removes the crayon aspect from network building in the original edition, while retaining the fluctuating commodities market like Crude: The Oil Game and an auction round intensity reminiscent of The Princes of Florence.




In ancient Greece - the cradle of European culture - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes compete for dominance of the Greek peninsula and influence on the shrines. Each player oversees the building of his city-state. Temple, theater and oracle, a harbor with ships, vineyard with vintner, and many more must find space on the Greek peninsula.


Bohnanza is the first in the Bohnanza family of games and has been published in several different editions. As card games go, this one is quite revolutionary. Perhaps its oddest feature is that you cannot rearrange your hand, as you need to play the cards in the order that you draw them.

Ticket to Ride

With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in 3 minutes, while providing players with intense strategic and tactical decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.


GiftTRAP won a special Spiel des Jahres prize in 2009, and was voted "Best Party Game of the Year" by Games Magazine in 2008, proving that while buying real gifts can be traumatic, giving virtual gifts to find out how people really feel is heaps of fun. Be prepared for some surprises!

Confession. This is my game. As in I invented it. I've included it as it teaches kids important skills about learning about people andmaking decisions with partial data. Not to forget that adults will learn about their kids

Stone Age

Players struggle to survive the Stone Age by working as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers. As you gather resources and raise animals, you work to build the tools needed to build your civilization. Players use up to 10 tribe members each in 3 phases.

The Settlers of Catan

In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.


"What's that game with these cute little figures?" "You mean meeples?" "Yes, I see them everywhere on the Geek!" "They are from Carcassonne." Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it.


Elfenland is a redesign of the original White Wind game Elfenroads. The game is set in the mythical world of the elves. A group of fledgling elves (the players) are charged with visiting as many of the twenty Elfencities as they can over a short period of time.


Le Havre

Le Havre

Another great Ewe Rosenburg games.. this one teaches the Web of Connections that is an Economy... Simple Mechanics, interesting cards and lots of player interaction make this fun and challenging. Definitely for older kids though.

Funagain Games: Dominion (AKA: Game X)

Dominion (AKA: Game X)

Blokus Classics Game Blokus Classics Game: Toys & Games

Walk the Dogs

"From the SimplyFun website" Walk the Dogs™ Unleash 63 Miniature Dogs That Won't 'Flea' From Your Table Grab your leash and get ready to Walk the Dogs! Play cards to take the best dogs and include them in your line. Yes, the dogs are very cute but can you get five of the same breed in a row?


A very simple railway game. Each player has a set of 5 cities strung across the US that need to be connected by rail. Players place either 1 or 2 rails each turn. The game ends when the first player completes a connected route between his 5 cities.

Ca$h 'n Gun$

In an abandoned warehouse a gangster band is splitting its loot, but they can’t get an agreement on the split! It’s time to let the guns talk and soon everyone is aiming at everyone. The richest surviving gangster wins the game! Ca$h 'n Gun$ will make you relive the best scenes of your favorite gangster movies.


You are specialists at the CDC/Atlanta where you watch several virulent diseases break out simultaneously all over the world. The team mission is to prevent a worldwide pandemic outbreak, treating hot spots while researching cures for each of the four plagues before they get out of hand.

Wits & Wagers Family

Wits & Wagers Family is the family version of the most award winning party game in history. This edition is more simple, has less down time, and is more portable than the original Wits & Wagers. It also removes the "gambling" element and has questions that are appropriate for kids and the whole family.

Scotland Yard

Great game! I was introduced to it by some family friends in Toronto, Ontario in the early 90's and loved it so much I hunted for a couple years until I found a fully intact game at Goodwill, still have it today! Sequence Game: Toys & Games Sequence Game: Toys & Games