One of the few games that my sons, ages 3 and 7, can play together is Rivers, Roads And Rails. Players work cooperatively or competitively, matching tiles to create a twisting, continuous network of rivers, roads and railroads.
The kids get so into this game that sometimes the tiles end up branching out across the entire table or floor! This game challenges kids' observation and spatial skills because not all tiles match: some have only one river, road or rail, other may have 2, 3 or a combination. (Note: Affiliate links included below.)
Rivers, Roads And Rails is one of New Kid and Kiddo's favorite games because it is easy enough for both of them to understand and challenging enough for Kiddo to not to get bored. It is one of my favorites because there is little fighting between the two of them when they play!
- The official Rivers, Roads And Rails rules of include three variations of game play, but we have found that the less competitively you play, the more enjoyable the game.
- The rules state that when a player cannot play, he draws only one card and if he still cannot play the next player takes his turn. We find the game works better if a player simply draws until he chooses a card he can play.
- The boys' favorite way to play is simply to spread out all the tiles and create the most intricate routes they can.
- There are two tiles which branch off in three directions. We like to start with one of those tiles and set aside the other for the midway point of the game.
- Kids who are fascinated with maps and vehicles (not that I know any kids like that...) will LOVE this game.
Tips for Playing with Younger Children:
- Rivers, Roads And Rails is great for playing on the floor -- perfect for little bodies who can't sit still in chairs.
- New Kid is almost 4 and can play with his brother without me, but when he was younger we played in teams.
- If you have children younger than 3.5 give them a few tiles on the side to match, while older kids play.