Best Games for Preteens

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In this game, players are dealt a handful of caption cards that they use to caption a picture. A judge is selected for each round and will select the funniest caption to the meme, and the player who played that caption will earn a point. Kids will love to see their favorite popular memes and be able to play their own witty captions. This game is designed to be played with three or more players age 8 and older.

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Some preteens might be reluctant to play games, but this is a great one to start with. It is easy to learn and has simple rules, yet a lot of room for strategy. This game was designed to be played with two to four players, and gameplay only lasts 10-15 minutes. This game is card-based, and action cards make it fast-paced. Kids aged 7 and older will enjoy playing this game.

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Anybody who knows how to play tic-tac-toe will have at least a basic understanding of this game. The aim is similar: You want to be the first player to line up five of your chips on the board, creating a sequence. However, players are limited in where they can place their chips by the cards they draw. In addition to thinking about how best to create a sequence, critical thinking and strategy are also necessary. Players must work to actively block others and keep them from getting a sequence first. This is a particularly great option for preteens as it features quick and exciting gameplay. Sequence is recommended for players ages 7 and up.

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ThinkFun’s Gravity Maze is a game that’s quick and easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. Many different challenges come with the game, which start at the beginner level and become increasingly difficult. The game encourages logic, as preteens must use reasoning to determine where every piece should be placed for the marble to make it through the maze. This game is ideal for players over the age of 8.

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The Ravensburger Disney Villainous board game is a strategy game masquerading as a good story. While anybody can enjoy this game, it is particularly great for Disney lovers. It features some of the brand’s most iconic characters, including Maleficent, Captain Hook and Ursula. In addition to trying to complete their own villainous objectives, preteens have to think critically while using the Fate cards to block their opponents from achieving their goals. As an added bonus, this game can be used alongside other popular Disney games from the Ravensburger line, including Evil Comes Prepared and Wicked to the Core. This option is recommended for players ages 10 and up.

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Not Parent Approved draws its inspiration from the ever-popular Cards Against Humanity, but provides an option more appropriate for preteens and families. Fun as it may be, there are plenty of surprising benefits to this game. Preteens are challenged as they read the various cards and use critical thinking to make the best match. It can help boost preteens’ reading skills, especially when played on a regular basis. This option is recommended for players ages 8 and up.

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This game allows preteens to think carefully about the potential answers to the prompt that’s selected. Prompts can vary widely, asking the players to name things such as “Things You Put On Your Head” or “Commands You Teach Your Dog.” This game is great for socializing and getting to know other players, as it requires them to know more about each other so they can make accurate guesses. Additionally, because it requires plenty of reading and writing, it’s a great option for practicing those skills. Double Ditto is recommended for players ages 10 and up.

Expert Commentary

“It can be challenging finding the right level of activity or game for your preteen, who is past early childhood but not yet an adult. These games are the right level of challenge and fun for your middle-school or junior-high preteen, and they teach some educational skills along the way. It’s a tall order these days to get kids off their devices, but these games deserve a shot!”