Top Games For Kids by Age and a BGG Kids Ratings Analysis
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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To produce this list I've looked at kids games in a few different ways and from a few different viewpoints. And I had quite a few goals.

In terms of ways, I've looked at the top rated games for kids by minimum age, a lot of the data for this has come from www.KidGameRatings.com, a site set up by a BGG user, Cull, because BGG did not meet his requirements for giving ratings for kids.

I have also set up another account and made geekbuddies of everyone who has the "Plays Games With Children" microbadge, plus quite a few other people who commented on kids geeklists from a kid viewpoint. Thats 321 geekbuddies. My expectation is that these people are more likely to do their BGG ratings of games thinking about the kids as players. I've looked at the kids games that this group of users rate the highest.

I've also looked at the minimum age rating by manufacturer, by BGG users and by KidGameRatings users.

In terms of different viewpoints I have the manufacturer, BGG users, the geekbuddy group and the users of KidGameRatings.com.

The goals are:
1. To produce a list of great kids games, sorted by age
2. To look at the variances in minimum age rating
3. To look at the variances in game rating to look for quantative evidence for people to support Cull's campaign for Kid's ratings for games on BGG

The list is sorted by minimum age as recommended by KidGameRatings.com users. Towards the end of the list (most of page 2 actually) the games aren't kids games at all, but games that older kids (7+) could enjoy.

In the entries the numbers in brackets are the number of raters and the "BGG differential" is the difference between that score and the BGG score.

Feel free to add other great kids games to this list.

Here are links to Cull's recent forum posts about Kid-centric ratings:
Kid-centric ratings on BGG
Allow "kid-game specific" ratings
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1. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:2011]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 2
KidGameRatings Age: 2
Manufacturer's Age: 3

BGG Rating: 6.65
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.78 ( 36 ) BGG Differential: -0.13
KidGameRatings: 8.7 ( 36 ) BGG Differential: -2.05

Looks like this one is good evidence for seperate ratings for kids - I mean, how many adults would play it?
The manufacturer seems a little cautious on age. Maybe on the old "game contains small pieces" disclaimer.
Of the games on this list this one is the 4th highest rated on KidGameRatings.
 
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2. Board Game: Cranium Cariboo [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3735]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 2
KidGameRatings Age: 2.4
Manufacturer's Age: 3

BGG Rating: 6.34
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.4 ( 35 ) BGG Differential: -0.06
KidGameRatings: 7.5 ( 30 ) BGG Differential: -1.16

Again, another game that seems to beg for a specific Kid Rating. Interesting to note that the Geekbuddys don't rate the game significantly higher than the BGG massive.
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3. Board Game: Monkey Madness [Average Rating:5.30 Overall Rank:9773]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 2
KidGameRatings Age: 2.6
Manufacturer's Age: 3

BGG Rating: 5.4
Geekbuddy Rating: 5.69 ( 14 ) BGG Differential: -0.29
KidGameRatings: 7.9 ( 16 ) BGG Differential: -2.5

Yet another game that points towards the validity of separate ratings for Kids.
 
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4. Board Game: Orchard [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2295]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Obstgarten

BGG Age: 3
KidGameRatings Age: 2.6
Manufacturer's Age: 3

BGG Rating: 6.58
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.32 ( 11 ) BGG Differential: 0.26
KidGameRatings: 8.9 ( 11 ) BGG Differential: -2.32

And another one. Although note that here the Geekbuddies rate it lower than BGG as a whole.
Of the games on this list this one is 3rd highest rated on KidGameRatings.
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5. Board Game: Animal Upon Animal [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:577]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Animal Upon Animal

BGG Age: 3
KidGameRatings Age: 3.5
Manufacturer's Age: 4

BGG Rating: 6.91
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.92 ( 33 ) BGG Differential: -0.01
KidGameRatings: 8.4 ( 24 ) BGG Differential: -1.49

And another game pointing towards the validity of separate Kid ratings. Its starting to look like its a pretty clear analysis.
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6. Board Game: Chicken Cha Cha Cha [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1035]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 3
KidGameRatings Age: 3.5
Manufacturer's Age: 4

BGG Rating: 6.85
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.02 ( 57 ) BGG Differential: -0.17
KidGameRatings: 8.2 ( 47 ) BGG Differential: -1.35

Okay, this is getting silly now. I'd say that the people rating games on KGR at just easier markers than on BGG, but most of them are on BGG too.
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7. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:636]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 3
KidGameRatings Age: 3.5
Manufacturer's Age: 5

BGG Rating: 7.02
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.45 ( 112 ) BGG Differential: -0.43
KidGameRatings: 9.3 ( 82 ) BGG Differential: -2.28

What are the manufacturers thinking here? They've just cut of 2 years of their target market. No wonder it seems to have gone out of print, despite being the #1 rated game that I picked from KGR, plus winner of uncounted kids games competitions on BGG. Its also virtually impossible to find in the UK, I know, I want to get it.
And the rating differences? Well, maybe people just don't want to see Puerto Rico replaced by Gulo Gulo in the #1 spot?
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8. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:428]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 3
KidGameRatings Age: 4.3
Manufacturer's Age: 4

BGG Rating: 7.09
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.1 ( 82 ) BGG Differential: -0.01
KidGameRatings: 8.3 ( 37 ) BGG Differential: -1.21

Another big hit on BGG, but a bigger hit on KGR.
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9. Board Game: Midnight Party [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1598]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Ghost Party

BGG Age: 4
KidGameRatings Age: 4.3
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 6.45
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.96 ( 45 ) BGG Differential: -0.51
KidGameRatings: 8.4 ( 17 ) BGG Differential: -1.95

Again, what are the manufacturers thinking on age?
Snore....another massively different score on KGR.
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10. Board Game: Sherlock [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2494]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Plumpsack

BGG Age: 4
KidGameRatings Age: 4.4
Manufacturer's Age: 5

BGG Rating: 6.48
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.7 ( 22 ) BGG Differential: -0.22
KidGameRatings: 8.3 ( 14 ) BGG Differential: -1.82

And another.
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11. Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Amazing Flea Circus [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:4763]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Amazing Flea Circus

BGG Age: 4
KidGameRatings Age: 4.6
Manufacturer's Age: 6

BGG Rating: 5.99
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.62 ( 26 ) BGG Differential: -0.63
KidGameRatings: 8.3 ( 13 ) BGG Differential: -2.31

Again the manufacturers underrate kids intelligence. And BGG underrates the game for kids.
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12. Board Game: Rat-a-Tat Cat [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:1949]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.1
Manufacturer's Age: 6

BGG Rating: 6.29
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.59 ( 67 ) BGG Differential: -0.3
KidGameRatings: 7.5 ( 31 ) BGG Differential: -1.21
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13. Board Game: Attacktix Battle Figure Game: Star Wars [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3997]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.2
Manufacturer's Age: 6

BGG Rating: 6.34
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.64 ( 15 ) BGG Differential: -0.3
KidGameRatings: 8.2 ( 12 ) BGG Differential: -1.86

So that's 13/13 games so far rated higher on KGR than BGG, with an average difference of -1.8.
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14. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:694]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Incan Gold

BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.3
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 6.9
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.06 ( 121 ) BGG Differential: -0.16
KidGameRatings: 8.5 ( 42 ) BGG Differential: -1.6

Okay this one isn't so obviously a game for kids. But kids love it!
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15. Board Game: PitchCar Mini [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:713]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.3
Manufacturer's Age: 6

BGG Rating: 7.17
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.3 ( 24 ) BGG Differential: -0.13
KidGameRatings: 8.2 ( 14 ) BGG Differential: -1.03

Pitchcar is on KGR too, but PitchCar mini gets higher ratings. This is the lowest differential so far. Its also not hard to see why kids can play dexterity games well and why they would appeal to them - this kind of game they have a good chance of beating their parents!
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16. Board Game: Villa Paletti [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1047]
 
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.3
Manufacturer's Age: 6

BGG Rating: 6.63
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.81 ( 55 ) BGG Differential: -0.18
KidGameRatings: 8.1 ( 14 ) BGG Differential: -1.47

Another dexterity game that works for kids.
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17. Board Game: Circus Flohcati [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1172]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.7
Manufacturer's Age: 7

BGG Rating: 6.65
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.91 ( 56 ) BGG Differential: -0.26
KidGameRatings: 8.1 ( 20 ) BGG Differential: -1.45

Another game where the manufacturer underrates kids intelligence and BGG underrates the game for kids.
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18. Board Game: Pick Picknic [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1046]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Hick Hack in Gacklewack

BGG Age: 5
KidGameRatings Age: 5.8
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 6.7
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.05 ( 64 ) BGG Differential: -0.35
KidGameRatings: 8.4 ( 17 ) BGG Differential: -1.7

I don't have to keep pointing out the same things do I? This is getting boring.
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19. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:367]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6
Manufacturer's Age: 5

BGG Rating: 7.38
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.42 ( 142 ) BGG Differential: -0.04
KidGameRatings: 7.8 ( 63 ) BGG Differential: -0.42

The first game where the manufacturer overrates kids (or underrates their game?) and the smallest BGG Differential so far. I've seen some comments about this game where parents say their kid is just happy to sit there and fill the whole board in on their own.
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20. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:473]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Penguin

BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.2
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 7.12
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.26 ( 145 ) BGG Differential: -0.14
KidGameRatings: 8.3 ( 52 ) BGG Differential: -1.18

Another game playable by kids younger than expected.
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21. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:770]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.3
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 6.75
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.67 ( 110 ) BGG Differential: 0.08
KidGameRatings: 7.4 ( 16 ) BGG Differential: -0.65

Another low differential, but kids seem to enjoy this dicefest.
 
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22. Board Game: Apples to Apples Junior [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2994]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.4
Manufacturer's Age: 9

BGG Rating: 6.72
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.03 ( 38 ) BGG Differential: -0.31
KidGameRatings: 8.5 ( 13 ) BGG Differential: -1.78

Apples to Apples standard is also on KGR and doesn't score much different - an 8.1 rating for kids and an age of 7.7. In other words it isn't a much harder game.
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23. Board Game: Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1246]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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aka Das Verr

BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.5
Manufacturer's Age: 8

BGG Rating: 6.31
Geekbuddy Rating: 6.52 ( 79 ) BGG Differential: -0.21
KidGameRatings: 7.9 ( 26 ) BGG Differential: -1.59

I'm glad I did this research if only because I was thinking of trying this game out on my 3 year old. Maybe I'll wait a few years.
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24. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:485]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.5
Manufacturer's Age: 10

BGG Rating: 6.99
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.16 ( 102 ) BGG Differential: -0.17
KidGameRatings: 7.4 ( 16 ) BGG Differential: -0.41

This game has the lowest BGG-KGR differential on this site. Yes, that means all the games on this list are rated higher on KGR. Maybe that is not too surprising when looking at a list of games for kids vs. ratings of games from a kids point of view, but it gives complete support to separate ratings for kids.
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25. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:39]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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BGG Age: 6
KidGameRatings Age: 6.5
Manufacturer's Age: 5

BGG Rating: 7.8
Geekbuddy Rating: 7.84 ( 58 ) BGG Differential: -0.04
KidGameRatings: 8.3 ( 27 ) BGG Differential: -0.5

Another dexterity game, but maybe more difficult for kids than the manufacturer thinks.
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