Here are the games I’ve tried with children, and my thoughts on what age range is best (keep in mind, Benny has been playing Magic the Gathering since he was 4, so some of these age ranges might be a few years ahead of kids from a non-gaming house):
Animal Upon Animal (4-7) – Simple stacking game with wooden animals. Pretty easy to avoid knocking the stack down, so a little tough to play with kids without purposely throwing the game, but it’s still usually a hit.
Bugs in the Kitchen (4+) – Great game with a motorized bug that moves randomly as you constantly rotate the walls of a kitchen maze. Great fun for all ages, but, warning, the bug is prone to wearing out and just getting stuck in the corners constantly.
Chateau Roquefort (6+) – Maybe a little complicated for very young kids who aren’t ready to wrap their heads around the combination of simple action points, memory, and manipulating a shifting maze, but it looks amazing, it’s very fun, and kids LOVE trapping you in the dungeon.
Electronic Labyrinth (6+) – A bit more complicated than vanilla labyrinth, but the talking book is worth it. Brilliant implementation of the electronic book and a classic game, this one is great fun for adults too.
Go Away Monster (2-3) – Barely a game, but very young children can grasp and enjoy the act of drawing tiles out of a bag and hoping not to get the monster. This will be quickly outgrown, but right around the age of two, there will be a time that this might just be a favorite.
Gulo Gulo (4-7) – Simple dexterity game of pulling small colored eggs out of a bowl and trying not to knock over a stick standing up in the middle. The amount to which some reviews have claimed small fingers can balance the game against adults is overblown, but it’s still a reasonably fun (if a bit overrated) kids game.
The Magic Labyrinth (4+) – Very cool hidden maze game that uses walls under the board and magnets to let the players find out where the walls are through trial and error. Surprisingly hard to remember everything, and the placement of the stuff you are trying to find can be swingy, but overall it’s a lot of fun.
Rhino Hero (5+) – Stacking game that uses bent playing cards to make a tower. Very cute, but in games against children the “empty your hand” win condition rarely seems to work as well as you would think it would as the game is usually over before you can use up your cards.
Skunk Bingo (3-5) – Very simple game where you put tiles in a line in a log so they can slowly get pushed out the other side in order to give a bit of a memory element to the bingo game it is built around. Perfect for early gamers as there are even a few decent decisions to be made and the whole game is very quickly grasped.
Enchanted Tower (4+) – Odd game where one person hides a key and then gives the other player a head start in a race to find it. Sometimes it’s over right away, but sometimes there is even a bit of good bluffing gameplay to be had–overall a great looking hit, and it’s fun for adults too.
No Thank You Evil (4+) – Children’s role playing game that uses all the same elements modern adult role playing games use (dice based skill checks with “assist” tokens if you can think of a way to use your skills to lower the difficulty of a check). The mechanics are nothing special, but the world building and cards are actually pretty great. Everything has a charming cartoonish quality and kids will love exploring the map of Storia with the included cards for them to encounter along the way.