Games for young children

I was asked for kids games recommendations for a four year old. I have played quite a few, mostly two player, games with my daughter, who is now 6 and a half. Most of the these are fine for the very youngest kids, especially if you adapt the rules:

* Viva Topo! – Clever little race game. Not as good as I thought it would be. Probably better with more.
* Snail’s Pace Race – Totally non-confrontational and very simple, which is very important for their first multiplayer games.
* Schildkrötenrennen – Good, Knizia racing game. You have to keep secret which is your racing tortoise, which is a struggle for very young kids.
* Rüsselbande – Alex Randolph. I prefer Schildkrötenrennen.
* Piratissimo – Nice components, but this race game takes too long and has almost zero skill. Nevertheless my kids often ask for it.
* Monkey Madness – Works for the youngest kids. Small and simple. Highly recommended.
* The Kids of Carcassonne – Quite good, but you might as well buy regular Carcassonne and play simplified rules.
* The Kids of Catan – Beautiful components and simple enough for the youngest kids, but large and pricey.
* Happy Families – My kids love playing with me and my wife. The oldest designs are usually famous for a reason.
* Gulo Gulo – Not quite as good as it’s rated. The core dexterity game is great, but the game surrounding it isn’t so good.
* Giro Galoppo – A great first racing game.
* Flinke Flitzer – Fine for the youngest kids.
* Enuk – Inelegant game design. Not recommended.
* Elefun – Lovely dexterity game. Excellent, but you’ll lose all the floating shapes.
* Click Clack – Excellent for very young children. Beautiful components. Vast, poorly made box. My kids love it – even though I’ve had enough.
* Chateau Roquefort – Another inelegant design. Probably better with more than two.
* Chicken Cha Cha Cha – Excellent memory game. I played this with a few friends and they want to buy it for the kids in their lives.
* Capt’n John – Not much of a game.
* Buckaroo – Old favourite. More of a toy.
* Barnyard Critters – Stressful speed game. My daughter suggests this, but she nearly blows her top when she’s playing.
* Au Backe! – OK memory game, with lovely art, but a bit clumsy. Chicken Cha Cha Cha is better.
* Let’s Catch the Lion! – Lovely introduction to Shogi/Chess. My girl likes it, but it’s a challenge.
* Loopin Louie – Excellent dexterity game, but we lost all the plastic coins within a month.
* “Piccobello”:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/24656/piccobello – Lovely little game for the youngest children. Highly recommended.
* “Wooly Bully”:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3243/wooly-bully – Played this a couple of days ago with my daughter. Not bad but better with four.
* “Villa Paletti”:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2596/villa-paletti – My kids enjoyed this very much. Jenga but more interesting.