Research-backed

Top 20 Fun Cooperative Games For Kids

Image: Shutterstock

Cooperative games or co-op games are group games that children can play with you or their friends. They are similar to competitive games, but with an important difference — cooperative games are not about “winning”; instead, the players in these games aim to achieve a common goal.

If you want to teach your child patience and team work, these games are your best bet. They also develop your child’s deduction, communication, and planning skills.

We have made a list of some of the best cooperative games for kids. These games can be played by children of all age groups as well as adults and guarantee enormous fun.

20 Cooperative Games For Kids

1. Tower building

Image: Shutterstock

Tower building is a cooperative game for kids that can be played by adults too. It teaches teamwork and develops your preschooler’s counting skills. Children as young as three years can play this game effortlessly.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A pair of dice
  • Blocks
How to play:
  • Make teams of two. If your child is young, pair them with someone older.
  • Keep the blocks in a common area accessible to all teams.
  • A member of each team rolls a dice.
  • The number on the dice is the number of blocks they must lift to build their tower.
  • The team with the highest tower after every team member rolls the dice wins.

2. Candy Land

Image: Shutterstock

Candy Land is one of the oldest and easiest cooperative games. It doesn’t require any reading skills, and there is no strategy involved. Thus, even very young children with limited counting abilities can play this game.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Candy Land board game set (you can make it yourself at home, too)
How to play:
  • Candy Land comes with a set of cards with colored marks on them and a board with a colorful maze on it.
  • Each player has to pick the topmost card, check the color on it, and move their marker to the next square of that color.
  • If a card has two marks of one color, the player has to move their marker to the second occurrence of that color from their current location.
  • Some cards might have the name of a location. These locations are specified in certain squares on the maze. The player can directly move to that location.
  • The first player to reach the end of the maze is the winner.

3. Dragon’s jewel

Image: Shutterstock

This cooperative game is best played outdoors or in a large play area. It is a great game to teach teamwork and develop communication and quick-thinking skills. You can also develop your child’s ball-handling skills with this game.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Football or basketball
  • Cones for marking
How to play:
  • Make a circle with the cones.
  • Place a ball at the center of the circle. This is the dragon’s jewel.
  • One player is the dragon.
  • Divide the other players into teams of two or three.
  • Each team takes turns to work together and get the dragon’s jewel. The dragon tries to tag them before they get to it.
  • If the dragon tags a player of a team, the team is out, and the next team continues the game.
  • If a team manages to capture the jewel, choose a new dragon for the next round.

4. Bandido

Image: Shutterstock

Bandido is a popular board game for young ones who love mysteries and puzzles. This game makes your child think about their next move and improves their critical thinking skills.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Bandido board game set
How to play:
  • Each player has three cards, and each card has a piece of a tunnel — it could be a bend, a straight pass, a branch, or a dead end.
  • The first player starts with a card, and the other players add their cards.
  • The goal of the game is to prevent the imaginary prisoner at the start of the tunnel from escaping.

5. Airplane game

Image: Shutterstock

Try this game if you want to improve your child’s listening and speaking skills. Listening and speaking are essential components of effective interpersonal communication.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A cloth for blindfolding
How to play:
  • Blindfold a child. This child is the pilot.
  • Select another player as the navigator.
  • Make the other members stand in different places. They are the trees.
  • The navigator has to guide the pilot across the runway without letting the airplane crash into any of the trees. The navigator can give only one instruction at a time.

6. Outfoxed

Image: Shutterstock

Outfoxed is one of the best cooperative games that can be played by children and adults alike. If your child loves playing detective, they will take to this game in no time.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • Outfoxed game box
How to play:
  • One of the foxes in the game has stolen a pot pie. The players have to find the culprit.
  • Slip a card with the name of the culprit into the special contraption provided for this purpose.
  • Each player rolls the dice and decides whether they want to collect clues or reveal the answer.
  • Each wrong answer brings the fox closer to escaping.
  • Every right answer gets the player a new clue of the culprit or two new suspect cards.
  • The player who gets the right culprit or eliminates all of the suspects but one is the winner.

7. All over

Image: iStock

This game is great for sleepovers and family holidays. The more the players, the more enjoyable the game.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Big, softballs according to the number of players
  • A rope
How to play:
  • Divide the players into two teams and make them stand on two sides of the rope.
  • Once the leader shouts, “All Over!” the players throw, kick, or roll the ball towards the opposite team.
  • The players of each team have to catch the incoming balls while launching their respective balls.
  • Once the passing stops, count the number of balls caught by each team. The team that catches the maximum number of balls wins.

8. Pandemic

Image: Shutterstock

If your child often imagines emergency situations and rescue missions, this board game is perfect for them. Pandemic is the right choice for a family game night or a rainy afternoon to engage your children for hours.

Age group:

8 years and up

You will need:
  • Pandemic board game set
How to play:
  • Each player is out in the world as a part of a disease-fighting
  • All the players work together to prevent the outbreak of diseases and keep the world safe.
  • They travel across the board to different countries, treat infections, collect cures, and build research stations within a stipulated time, that is, before the diseases spread beyond recovery.

9. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

Image: Shutterstock

This is another very popular board game that includes treasure and ghosts. Children love finding treasures and are curious about ghosts, so this game is a great co-op game for kids.

Age group:

6 years and up

You will need:
  • Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters board game set
How to play:
  • The aim of the game is for the players or treasure hunters to find all the treasures in a haunted house.
  • If there are three ghosts in a room, that room is considered haunted.
  • If six rooms are haunted before the players get the treasures, all of them lose.
  • You can go together or separately, fight the ghosts, or run back with the treasure. Each step needs planning and strategy for getting the treasure before the ghosts get you.

10. Assassin

Image: Shutterstock

If you have a group of children, this game is a good option for you. Prepare to spend a few hours laughing with your children as they enjoy playing this game.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Make the children sit in a circle with their heads down.
  • One person (preferably the adult) should walk around the circle and tap one child on the head. This child is the assassin. No other player knows who the assassin is.
  • The child looks at the others and assassinates them by winking at them.
  • The other players can guess who the assassin is but are out of the game if they make a wrong guess.
  • If the assassin is successful in assassinating every other player, they are the winner.

11. Iceberg

Image: Shutterstock

This game is fun, especially for younger children. It involves a bit of quick thinking and is best played in large groups.

Age group:

3-10 years

You will need:
  • Bedsheet, tablecloth, etc. for the surface
How to play:
  • Divide the children into two teams. Give each team a bedsheet or a tablecloth.
  • Spread the sheet on the floor. This is the surface for the game.
  • The whole team should stand on the surface. Anyone standing outside the surface is eliminated from the game,
  • Next, ask the players to step off and fold the sheet in half. Stand again on the sheet.
  • Continue in this fashion till there is no space for all the players to fit on the sheet.
  • The team that makes the maximum folds while accommodating the most number of players wins.

12. Race to the treasure

Image: Shutterstock

Here’s another cooperative board game that requires strategic skills but offers loads of fun. This is a great co-op game for the whole family, even if your children are very young.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Race to the treasure board game set
How to play:
  • The players take turns to draws cards.
  • If you draw a path card and not an Ogre card, you move further in the race.
  • Retrieve three keys on the way to get the treasure.
  • The aim of the game is to reach the treasure before the Ogre does. If he does, you all lose.

13. Band-aid tag

Image: iStock

This is a cooperative outdoor game you can teach your children to play. Besides playing together, this game tests and develops your children’s flexibility.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Select one person as “It.”
  • The person must run behind other players and tag them.
  • The tagged person must hold their hand (the band-aid) over the part where the “It” tagged them.
  • When a person runs out of band-aids (gets tagged two times), they freeze.
  • Two other players have to come over to the frozen player and unfreeze them by counting to five.
  • Continue playing the game, changing the “It” from time to time.

14. Rope circle

Image: Shutterstock

This is a cooperative game for kids of all ages. It is best played when there is a large group of children. Adults can play it at gatherings, too, for a good time.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Jump ropes
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of two players each.
  • Tie one wrist of each partner with the jump rope – the left wrist of one person and the right wrist of the other person.
  • Then tie a second jump rope joining the other wrist.
  • Make sure the ropes are not tied very tightly.
  • The players should attempt to free themselves from one another without actually untying the ropes or breaking out from the circle.

15. Barnyard

Image: iStock

If you want to teach animal names and sounds to your children, play this game with them. This game is perfect for sleepovers and birthday parties when there are many children.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pen
How to play:
  • Write various animal names on the pieces of paper. Include four to five pieces of paper for each animal name.
  • Ask each child to pick one piece of paper. The child is the animal mentioned in the paper. No other child must know what animal another child is.
  • Next, ask the children to scatter over the play area.
  • Once the game starts, each child wanders over to other children and tries to determine the similar animals like
  • Children who find all the members of the same animal are the winners.

16. Ball builders

Image: iStock

This is a game that children of all ages love. It teaches children the value of teamwork and develops their communication and gross motor skills.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Tennis balls
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of two or three.
  • One player in each team will be the holder, and the others will be the builders.
  • The builders start handing over tennis balls to the holder.
  • The aim is to see how many balls the holder can hold without using their pockets or other clothing. They cannot hold the balls against any other surface other than their own bodies.
  • Each ball must be held for at least 10 seconds.
  • The players can take turns doing it.

17. Bedsheet ping pong

Image: Shutterstock

This is a great game for family game night. As versatile as this game is, it is also very simple. You can use household items to play the game.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A bedsheet
  • Ping pong balls or even crumpled balls of paper will do
How to play:
  • Divide the players into two teams.
  • Each team holds the opposite sides of the sheet.
  • Put the balls in the middle of the sheet.
  • Each team has to raise or lower their end of the sheet. The aim of the game is to get the balls to fall on the other side of the sheet.
  • The players must take care not to launch the ball during play.

18. Crossing the river

Image: iStock

Crossing the river is a cooperative game for kids that can come in handy in actual life too. This game is excellent for developing their communication skills.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Rope (optional)
How to play:
  • Divide the players into groups of two to five players each.
  • Each team joins hands, touches legs, or uses a rope to get across the “river”(the play area) around 20-30 feet across.
  • Each group must move to the other side without losing contact.
  • If a player loses contact with other players, the team must start over from the beginning.

19. Birthday line-up team building

Image: Shutterstock

When you have a large group of children with you and want them to get along with each other, this game is an excellent option for you. It acts as an ice breaker and gets your group to mingle with each other easily.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Once the game starts, the players shouldn’t talk until you permit them.
  • Make all the children stand in a line.
  • Next, get them to stand in a line based on their height, in silence.
  • You can give them different challenges, such as lining them up by birthday month, the initials of their names, etc.

20. Shipwrecked

Image: Shutterstock

This is another game that you can play when you have a lot of children with you. It is a great game to develop teamwork in a fun way.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • Large hoops
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of 8-10 players.
  • Give a hoop to each team. This hoop is their spaceship.
  • Once the game begins, each team should grab their spaceship and race to the finish line.
  • All the players of the team should be in contact with the spaceship at all times.
  • Once they cross the finish line, they put down the hoop, call out “Shipwrecked,” and try to get within the hoop.
  • The first team to get all the players into the hoop is the winner.

These cooperative games for kids are fun and easy to play. Most games can be played by children and adults alike. These games are also great for family game nights, increasing the bonding between your family members, or for big gatherings, breaking the ice between guests.

Play these cooperative games with children who don’t like losing in competitive games to give them the satisfaction of playing in a team and teach them teamwork and communication skills.

Recommended Articles