Best Board Games for Kids Who Hate Losing

October 08, 2019 0 Comments

Best Board Games for Kids Who Hate Losing

We went through a phase when our youngest son was around 3-4 years old, where we couldn't play any games where there was a winner or a loser. We would either have to always let him win (not very fair on our 5 year old who also disliked losing), or avoid playing competitive games altogether to avoid the epic meltdown that was to follow. 

Now I knew that this was developmentally normal behaviour but this didn't make it any easier to endure. He insisted on playing games but couldn't handle defeat. My dilemma was that to always let him win wouldn't be teaching him how to deal with the feeling of frustration and failure which he will inevitably have to deal with in life. But was his brain even developed enough to understand the concept of winning and losing?

So for a more peaceful life, I researched alternative board games that are cooperative, where players work together to reach a common goal. Here are my top three picks which are tried and tested in our household:

1. Bandido

This is a great family card game, where you have to work as a team to Bandido family card gameblock off escape tunnels to stop the bandit getting away. You can play 
alone or with up to 4 players (or more) and whilst the box says age 6+ we have been playing it since the kids were 4. It's one of my personal favourites but be warned, you need a lot of space to play it. Cost is around £10 and it's available on Amazon here.





2. Outfoxed

A cooperative whodunit board game, you need to work together to decipher clues to reveal which fox ate Mrs Plumpert's prized pot pie. Outfoxed Cooperative Board Game ReviewYou can choose your difficulty level and kids love using the decoder tool to read the clues - did the fox wear glasses or carry an umbrella? Suitable for 2-4 players aged 5 and above with a playing time of around 15 minutes. It's another fun game for adults as well as kids. It is around £16 and you can buy it here.




3. Mmm!

This is a great little dice game. The mice (players) work together to "eat" all the Mmm! Cooperative Board Game on Amazonfood in the kitchen before the cat gets to you! It teaches children about probability and risk and the double sided board means there is an easier and harder version for different ages. Suitable for 1-6 players, the age recommendation is 7+, although I would say 4+ is more appropriate. Around £20 and available here.



Some other games that aren't officially cooperative but can be modified if necessary to make them less 'winning' focussed include:
  • Ravensburger Labyrinth Junior - work together to retrieve the items rather than race.
  • Bananagrams - there are lots of little games you can play where you can work together or independently but in a non competitive way.
  • Cranium Junior - everyone moves each turn even if you don't get it right. 
  • Cluedo Junior - work together rather than against each other to figure out whodunit.

I'm pleased to report that we seem to have come through the other side of the tantrums now, and although both boys still have a fiercely competitive streak and dislike losing, they can now accept it. Usually. We no longer need to modify games but we do still get plenty of play out of the cooperative games.

Do you have any other recommendations for family board games for kids who hate to lose?

Also in Blog

Baby Led Weaning Eggs Peas and Green Beans
Baby Led Weaning

March 09, 2020 0 Comments

Your baby's first taste of food can be an exciting and nerve wracking time. What should there first food be? Should I spoon feed or try baby led weaning? What equipment do I need? Here we look at some of the common questions about baby led weaning.

Continue Reading

What to pack in your hospital bag
What to pack in your hospital bag

February 26, 2020 0 Comments

There's no guarantee as to when you might go into labour, so it's good to be organised a few weeks ahead of your due date, just in case baby decides to make an early appearance. Here is a list of suggested things to pack in your hospital bag.

Continue Reading

The Christmas Mental Load
The Christmas Mental Load

November 26, 2019 0 Comments

Can we talk about emotional labour, or mental load, specifically relating to Christmas? Organising, remembering and planning is heightened at this time of year.

Continue Reading