Top 10 Classic Tabletop and Basement Games for Kids

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by: Erin Dower
Ahh, remember the good old days of playing pool, foosball, and other awesome games in your childhood friend's basement? Visit memory lane and cure your child's cabin fever — and video game addiction — with these 10 classic tabletop and basement games that are sure to hook him on some friendly (face-to-face) competition. Best of all, many of these games now come in shrunken-down, portable versions, so they're great for homes with limited play space.
tabletop game, nok hockey
Nok Hockey
Two words: Nok. Hockey. How cool is this simple game? I spent hours playing it at summer camp and can still hear the clashing of the plastic sticks. Hockey fans in particular will love this durable wooden game. Plus, it's proudly made in the USA.

Recommended age: 6 and up

Price: $40.00

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tabletop game, foosball
Foosball
Do you want to be the red team or the blue team? Kids can now enjoy all the glory of this soccer-inspired table game in a compact size. Mini versions, smaller than 3 feet by 2 feet, have become popular and are just as fun as the full-size original.

Recommended age: 7 and up

Price: $69.00

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tabletop game, tabletop pool
Pool
Turn your coffee table, or almost any flat surface, into your own little billiard hall! This kid-sized pool set comes complete with two cues, cue chalk, realistic balls, a racking triangle, and even a table brush. It's great for families who think they might want a full-sized pool table but can't commit to taking up all that space.

Price: $28.99

Recommended age: 7 and up

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tabletop game, air hockey
Air Hockey
There's nothing fancy about this old-school tabletop hockey game, but the mini air-powered "rink" that serves as the game board will draw your child in. The game runs on eight AA batteries (not included).

Recommended age: 6 and up

Price: $79.00

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tabletop game, table tennis
Table Tennis
Ping-pong — or table tennis, as it's formally known — can now be played just about anywhere, too. This portable set includes a retractable tennis net, rubber paddles, standard-size ping-pong balls, and a mesh bag for storage and travel. Your child could be the next table tennis star!

Recommended age: 8 and up

Price: $17.00

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tabletop game, wooden pinball
Pinball
Who didn't wish for a full-sized, arcade-quality pinball machine as a kid? While those are still quite pricy and hard to come by, there are now several small, wooden varieties of pinball games, such as this baseball-themed game — only about 1 square foot in size. It's a past winner of Creative Child Magazine's Toy of the Year Award.

Recommended age: 8 and up

Price: $34.99

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tabletop game, jumbo checkers
Jumbo Checkers
Did you ever play jumbo checkers as a kid? My grandparents had a fuzzy black-and-red checkers rug and giant checkers at their house, and my cousins and I would fight to take turns playing it. Re-live your checker-playing days of old by playing this nostalgic 28-square-inch game with your kids.

Recommended age: 6 and up

Price: $19.99

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tabletop game, magnetic dart board
Magnetic Darts
Spare yourself from the holes in the wall (and potential injuries) of a real dart board, and opt for the safer magnetic version of this classic basement game. Break out some mugs of root beer and bowls of pub snacks, and you'll have an authentic dart night for kids.

Recommended age: 6 and up

Price: $26.99

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tabletop game, foam bowling
Foam Bowling
Strike! Long before the days of Wii bowling, kids played with plastic or foam bowling sets in their basement or driveway. Bring back the magic of realistic strikes and spares with this set of weighted-foam pins and squishy three-hole bowling balls, safe for indoor play.

Recommended age: 3 and up

Price: $44.00

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tabletop game, beanbag toss
Beanbag Toss
Tossing games, such as ring toss, horseshoes, ladder ball, and Frisbee toss, have become popular with everyone from tweens on up to tailgaters. This version comes with a wooden game board with nets to catch the bags and washers kids toss. It's perfect for basement or backyard fun!

Recommended age: 10 and up

Price: $75.00

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