Parents all over the world are fighting the same fight: getting their kids off their devices while still allowing them to have fun. Not only is too much time on the TV, iPad, or mobile device detrimental to their sleep and eyesight, they're also not learning any beneficial social skills.
Board games, card games, and other fun activities may be a great substitute, as they often engage children's minds while encouraging social development. Unfortunately, many of the classic games are just too slow-paced for modern kids' tastes, and they quickly revert to the glowing screen.
However, there are some game manufacturers out there that are tackling this problem with innovative, exciting, and engaging new games specially designed for modern kids. So, if you find your kids quickly growing bored of Monopoly and Yahtzee, these might be the games to save the day (and your sanity).
How We Reviewed
We went straight to the source to find out the best two-player games for kids, combing through hundreds of reviews to find the games that had the best reviews. No matter how new or how obscure, if parents were happy with the results, we were sure to take notice.
Overall Price Range
Depending on the game and the factors like materials, the number of pieces, and size, you can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $30.
Top 10 Best Two Player Games for Kids
If you're looking for two-player games for kids of all different ages, these are some of the best the industry has to offer. Some of these games are so good that even parents might join in the fun!
- Award-winning game of visual perception for the whole family.
- Between any two cards there is always one and only one matching symbol. Spot it fast to win
- Five challenging ways to play for hours of frenzied fun for 2 to 8 players.
Spot It! is a fun, fast game for two to eight players, and is billed as a game that “develops focus, motor skills, and visual perfection skills.”
Using a deck of 55 cards, players must identify matching symbols. Every single card features exactly one symbol that matches another card in the deck. The first one to “spot it,” wins! As a bonus, there are five different ways to play the game, plus easy-to-read, illustrated directions for kids.
Spot It! has become so popular, that the manufacturer is feverishly pumping out new versions. So far, these include Spot It! Splash (for playing in the pool) and Spot It! Jr., which features animals and is geared toward younger children.
If you're looking for a game that's fun, easy to learn, and will keep kids occupied for hours, this is definitely worth your consideration.
- GAME TO TRAIN THE BRAIN: The Q-bitz game is a great way to say goodbye to boredom and challenge your mind all at once....
- THREE WAYS TO PLAY: With Q-bitz, it's not the same game over and over again. You get 80 different puzzle cards that you...
- COMPREHENSIBLE GAME PLAY: Each game contains three rounds, each round with a different card. Players puzzle over how to...
Though most parents would be happy just to have their kids playing nicely and off the television, there are some two player games for kids that have educational or mentally stimulating effects.
One such game is Q-Bitz, a unique pattern-based game that helps children practice symmetry, quick thinking, and visual acuity. Though it doesn't necessarily require math, the spatial reasoning practice a child gets with Q-Bitz has proven beneficial enough to put the game in classrooms around the country.
Q-Bitz is for two to four players, ages 6 and up. There is, however, a Q-Bitz Jr. for younger kids who might want to get in on the fun. Created by the highly-regarded manufacturer Mindware!, the game has earned multiple awards, including the Parent's Choice Gold Award and the Major Fun Award.
If a little education is something you value in your child's entertainment, Q-Bitz would be a great game to include on the shelf.
- A simplified variation of the classic "Orchard" game adapted to suit players ages 2+, this game has been enjoyed by...
- Game Idea: Working as a team, the children try to pick the fruits from the trees before the raven reaches the end of the...
- If the players succeed in harvesting all the fruit before the raven reaches the orchard, they win together! If the raven...
Just because a game has been around for 30+ years doesn't mean that it can't still provide hours of entertainment for the kids of today. That is the case with First Orchard, a traditional German game geared toward kids as young as two.
Unlike most two-player games for kids, which usually feature some sort of competition-based gameplay, First Orchard puts more of a focus on teamwork. This cooperation helps kids learn valuable social skills, understanding of rules, and color recognition.
Most younger kids will find the gameplay fun and exciting thanks to the hand-sized wooden “fruit” that the kids need to “pick” before it's eaten by the hungry raven. While some older kids might still have a good time playing, First Orchard is best suited to kids between the ages of two and six.
- EGG TOSS - Play the classic "Egg Toss" kids game without the mess! It responds to your actions, check out the DEMO...
- SMART SENSORS - Determine a SOFT vs. "EGG-SPOLSIVE" catch! Pass to a friend, catch it softly, take a step back. See how...
- HILARIOUS RESPONSES - Includes 40+ Egg-Mazing puns and sound FX that will "CRACK you up!".
Extreme Egg Toss is a new twist on “Hot Potato” that will provide hours of safe, plush fun for kids ages three and up. Best of all, the game talks to kids as they play, increasing engagement and making the entire experience more fun for everyone. Of course, as this is a game that requires throwing, limiting the location of playtime is a must to protect household items from damage.
Using smart sensors built into the soft plush “egg,” the game can tell the difference between how hard or soft a child catches it, and will tell them when they've “cracked the egg” and lost the game. Plus, as the entire unit is machine-washable, this is a game that can help get kids outside and active.
For parents who want two-player games for kids that build both excitement and encourage physical activity, this is a great choice.
- Value Pack, 2-in-1 Emoji Card Game, Beginner And Advanced Levels
- Emoji Party Card Game
- Helps Develop Identification Of Feelings And Emotions, Promotes Turn Taking
Another lightning-quick card game that kids will love, Emojinks! uses familiar emoji images to create a fun match game that can be enjoyed by two or more players.
One of the things parents seem to like about Emojinks! over similar card-based games is the practice it gives kids in identifying emotions and symbols. The game comes in two levels—Easy and Advanced—and assists kids in areas like coordination and turn taking.
Perhaps the best part about Emojinks! is the clever use of images kids see on phones and other devices. While they certainly won't see it as a substitute for endless texting and YouTube videos, the faces and shapes will at least give them something to do with all their emoji knowledge.
If you're looking for a game that's perfect for parties and suitable for virtually all ages, this is one that will see a lot of use.
- TACTICAL STRATEGY: Featuring a massive amount of in game choices, including three tiles each of thirty six possible...
- EASY TO FOLLOW RULES: An engaging game with easy to follow rules, Qwirkle is great for younger players. The rules of the...
- GAMES THAT TEACH: Qwirkle is playable from early ages up, allowing young children and older individuals alike to develop...
Qwirkle is another game from the people at MindWare that is not only fun to play but also secretly educational. Especially when it comes to younger players, this game is designed to help develop strategic planning skills, tactical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Best of all, the game has received a range of awards, including the Major Fun Award, Mensa Select Award, and Parents' Choice Gold Award.
Though it only takes two to play, Qwirkle can be enjoyed by up to four players, which makes it perfect for parties, sleepovers, and family game nights. Using the provided blocks, players are tasked with building lines by matching colors or shapes. The more complex the combinations, the more points they score!
If you're looking for two player games for kids that will engage their minds as well as keep them occupied for hours, Qwirkle is a must for any playroom.
Monopoly is a classic, but it can take hours to play, even with two people. Monopoly Deal solves this problem by dramatically speeding up gameplay to around 15 minutes.
Using cards instead of pieces, kids and adults alike can compete with each other in a lightning-fast contest of property swapping and rent raising. Not only is it more exciting than the traditional game, but it's formatted in such a way that it will keep younger children engaged despite the lack of flashy photos and colors.
If you're looking to introduce your kids to an old favorite with a new twist, Monopoly Deal is an excellent example of a modern update done right.
- Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board - when you have five in a row,...
- Each player or team tries to score the required number of five-card sequences before their opponents.
- Exciting gameplay develops STEM skills like Strategy
Sequence is an exciting and imaginative game that is perfect for kids ages seven and up. Though it is easily played with two players, as many as 12 can join in the fun, which makes this a perfect option for family game nights or sleepovers.
Using a combination of cards, colored chips, and a game board, players are tasked to use a combination of luck and skill to build sequences from the cards they draw. The catch? Each card has two corresponding spaces, so players need to choose wisely to win.
All in all, it's great fun and a wonderful way to build skills like strategy and critical thinking. There is also a version for younger children (Sequence for Kids) as well as specialized educational versions like Sequence Numbers and Sequence Letters.
It's no secret that older kids are among the hardest to motivate when it comes to playing games instead of playing on their phones. Luckily, there's an award-winning game for teenagers that's so engrossing, it will keep them busy for hours.
Suitable for two to eight players, Codenames is a fast, fun, and challenging. Participants play spymasters who know the secret identities of various undercover agents and must contact them all before their competitor. To keep things fun, there both an “assassin” and “double agent” card which can dramatically change the game.
Though Codenames deals with slightly-adult subject matter, it's all portrayed in a humorous and engaging way. Obviously, enough parents have deemed it suitable for the game to earn a stack of accolades, including being dubbed the world's #1 Part Game.
- Fun play experience – in labyrinth, ravensburger’s hugely popular board game for kids and adults, You have to find...
- High quality components – contains a playing board, 34 maze cards, 24 Treasure cards, 4 playing pieces.
- Easy to understand instructions – high quality, Easy to understand instructions make it easy to start playing right...
There is no shortage of board games out there, but when it comes to choosing the right board games for young children today, excitement is a crucial factor. Labyrinth from Ravensburger games has excitement in spades, and tasks players with finding treasure in a moving maze.
With lots of replay value and relatively short game times, Labyrinth has become immensely popular among kids ages seven and up. Despite its humorous and reward-based gameplay, Labyrinth also teaches cause and effect, planning skills, and strategy.
If you want a game that will keep kids on edge each time they play, Labyrinth is a maze worth navigating.
What’s our verdict?
Looking at our list of best and most exciting two-player games for kids, the top choice is Qwirkle. With exceptionally high replay value, a relatively low cost, and an impressive number of awards to its credit, Qwirkle is educational enough to make parents happy and exciting enough to keep kids wanting to play over and over.
That said, any of the games on this list would be a perfect way to keep children engaged, learning, and using their minds instead of their thumbs. Here's to days of peace and quiet and long nights of fun with the family. Game on!