My son is an intellectual. Forget team sports or laser tag, Cub likes books, animals, video games, superheroes and puzzles. For his 10th birthday, we took his friends to an escape room.
Being the oldest of 4, he doesn’t get a ton of one-on-one time with us to play board games, so when he needs to occupy himself without screens he will often pick up a single-player logic game from our collection. These games of his 4 favourites, and he has been playing them on his own since he was 8.
The best logic games for kids are the ones that have long-term play value. Because they have levels ranging from beginner to expert, the games grow with the child and even challenge adults. (He is way better at these games than I am!)
Our version of Rush Hour once belonged to my little brother. It was a Christmas gift at some point, and was played with by us, and then by all of our younger cousins when they would come to my parents’ house. Eventually Cub inherited it, and while the box has been destroyed and the cards chewed (by the twins … not by him), this game still gets lots of use.
You set the cars up on the board as shown on the challenge card, and your goal is to move the cars around the grid to allow the red car to escape. My son likes to time himself to see how long it takes him to solve. I just realized there are « expansion packs » with additional challenges so I will be grabbing one for him for Christmas!
Buy Rush Hour: (~ $35)
Minecraft Magnetic Travel Logic Puzzle
My son is a huge Minecraft fan and has been since he was just 6. This puzzle game doesn’t really have anything to do with Minecraft except that it uses the classic Minecraft iconography of pickaxes, swords and armour. Using a process of elimination you must set up your magnetic tools in the correct arrangement. The magnets and small format make this a great roadtrip game but my son, like me, is easily nauseated in the car!
Buy Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle (~$20)
Cats? Check. Mystery? Check. I chose this game for him based solely on its feline thematic, and luckily it turned out to be purrrfect for him. To figure out which cat committed the crime, you must use deductive reasoning to eliminate the suspects. One of the puzzles in our escape room birthday party was just like this!
Buy Cat Crimes (~$25)
Again, a logic game featuring cats. A must-have at our house. (There is a dog version, but we are die-hard cat people.) You need to arrange the cats so that they fit purrfectly (sorry, I did it again) on the challenge card. My spatial reasoning is … TERRIBLE, so I am not very succesful with this game. My son does much better!
Buy Cat Stax (~$25)
The best logic games for kids are going to mix something that hooks them in (in our case, cats, cars and Minecraft) and then puzzles that meet them where they’re at and increase in difficulty as they practice and get older. These 4 games are fun to play alone but of course are also super enjoyable when you team up; if you’re anything like me, your kid will be solving the puzzles faster than you in no time.