The competitiveness, the excitement, the fun, the uncertainty of victory; these are the feelings that someone who grew up playing board games was exposed to every time they took out Monopoly or began playing Twister. However, why limit ourselves to these well-known and overplayed games? Here is a list of 5 popular board games from around the world that you can play with your kids!


  1. Mancala

This two player, strategy game is thought to have originated in African or Arab cultures over 5,000 years ago making it one of the oldest board games. The game is made up of a wooden tablet with fourteen dents (which can be mimicked on paper) and is played with small pebbles, marbles, or beads. The purpose of the game is to try and collect all of your opponent’s pebbles by planning ahead your next move. You can purchase a fun version of this game for kids and learn more about the rules of the game here.

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  1. Backgammon

Believed to have originated in Mesopotamia, Backgammon is also a strategy game but it also involves a bit of luck. Players combine decision making skills with gambling and probability to try to be the first to move all fifteen checkers off the board. Backgammon is available for purchase here.


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  1. Pachisi

This game dates back to medieval times and is described as the “national game of India”. It’s a race game that can be played by 2 or 4 players. The objective of the game is to be the first player to navigate your eight pieces around the board and back to the starting place. There are various versions of the game; in the United States, it’s known as Parcheesi, in Spain it’s called Parchís, and in France it’s Jeu des petits chevaux (Game of Little Horses). You can get the game here.

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  1. Chinese Checkers

Not to be confused with checkers, this game has a German origin and is played on a star-shaped board. The point of the game is to be the first player to transfer all your pieces from your corner of the board to the one in front of you. Watch out for the traffic jam that will be created when all your pieces meet in the middle! The game can be played by up to six players. Get one here!

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  1. Go

Last but not least, Go is a two-player game of abstract strategy. It originated in China and is even more ancient than Backgammon! Even though the game was invented around 5,500 years ago, it is still played not only by game lovers but by creatives and innovators who seek to keep their minds sharp. To win this game, you have to cover most of the board space with your pieces. Get the game here.

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Board games are a classic way to bring families together. They appeal to children and adults of all ages and are good ways to keep children’s minds sharp and enhance their problem-solving skills. Why not try one of these games on the next family game night?


Isabella Arteaga


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