Does your preschooler love to play games? Make your toddler’s day with these best board games for preschoolers.
Playing board games with preschoolers can be a dicey proposition. While they love to play games, many children this age find winning necessary to their enjoyment of the experience. In addition, toddlers and preschoolers usually can’t read and can’t play complicated games with too many rules. So when you shop for board games, make sure to choose board games created explicitly for preschoolers.
Introducing board games to your preschooler will create a lifelong love of interaction and fun that can continue throughout their lives. Board games made for preschoolers and toddlers promote learning in an enjoyable and relaxing environment. They have so much fun they don’t consider the skills they’re learning while playing.
Incorporating many colors and sounds, these games below are favorites amongst all preschoolers and will be played with often by children and adults alike.
11 Best Board Games for Preschoolers and Toddlers
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Candy Land is an excellent game that must be on every preschooler’s board game shelf. It contains absolutely no reading skills but encourages card playing using colors and shapes to match those on the board.
Your preschooler will learn color recognition, simple counting skills, and how to take turns. The win or losing of the game is not too competitive, so every child will have a chance of winning. Incorporating the sweets that children love, they will find this game extremely fun and addictive to play.
There are many variations of this game available. For example, Dora The Explorer has her own Candy Land game for those kids that love Dora.
Don’t Break the Ice
Don’t Break the Ice is a cute game where players tap ice blocks to help Philip the Penguin create a new igloo for himself. But be careful, don’t let him fall through the ice! This strategy game is good for toddlers and preschooler’s who have a little bit of patience and who like to think. No reading is required so preschoolers can play this game all on their own!
Dreading your toddler’s tantrums when they lose a game? Cranium’s Cariboo is a board game that does not have a winner. Instead, it is a cooperative type game where each player matches the card, which has a letter, number, or color, with a corresponding picture on the playing board. During each turn, the player uses a plastic key to open a door and look for one of six colorful balls.
If a player finds a ball, they put it into the “tumbling tide pool,” and with the addition of the sixth ball, the treasure chest opens, and the game is over. I especially like this game for three-year-olds as it helps to reinforce letter, number, and color recognition. Another nice feature of this game is that it can be played on the beginner level, and then when the child advances, they can play it on the advanced level.
Hiss is not exactly a board game; the directions recommend that you play this on the floor. This game, produced by Gamewright, consists of about fifty tiles. On each tile, one side has a picture of a snake part: head, tail, or middle section. On each turn, a player chooses a tile, and if he can add his snake part to an existing snake (by matching colored pieces together), he does so.
The game’s goal is to form snakes with a head, a tail, and at least one middle section. If you put the last piece on the snake, you keep the snake, and the player with the most snake pieces won this way is the winner.
Hi-Ho-Cherry-O is a game that I have not played too often. However, this game would be perfect if your child loves to count and does not like to eat little plastic things. This classic children’s counting game is great for toddlers who are just learning their numbers.
I Spy Eagle Eye
I Spy Eagle Eye for older preschoolers is an excellent game. There are four double-sided game boards and about forty double-sided game cards. Each player takes a game board and a game card and searches the board for the corresponding object. If your child enjoys I Spy books or just looking for things, then I Spy Eagle Eye is an excellent game that you can play in a non-competitive way if that is important for your child.
Chutes and Ladders
Chutes and Ladders is a preschool game that teaches your child numbers, coordination skills, concepts of up and down, and good sportsmanship. Children learn how to count from 1 to 100 by reading all the boxes on the game where their character pieces land. Then, each player takes turns spinning to reach a number between 1 and 6.
Then the players go that amount of space to try and reach the winning spot at the top of the preschool game board. When a player lands on a ladder space, he can go up to the top of the ladder. If a player lands on a chute (or slide) space, he must go all the way down to the bottom of the chute.
The first player to the number 100 spot wins. Your child learns to differentiate between numbers (discovering how to count to 100) and how to play fair and be a good sport when winning or losing. Parents can spend quality time with children while teaching them valuable lessons and skills.
Farm Bingo Game
Farm Bingo is a fun and educational color, picture, and word matching game! Players spin the spinner and try to match the item on their board. This game requires no reading and is a great way for kids to match up animals, colors, and words.
Wheels On The Bus
This Wheels on the Bus board game is perfect for preschoolers. It has a yellow bus that plays this well-known and much-loved nursery rhyme, moving around the board with realistic sounds that your preschooler can sing along to and do the actions.
A set of tokens is placed on the board while each player takes their turn to select from the tokens. As the bus requests a specific action, for example, the “windscreen wipers go swish-swish-swish,” your preschooler needs to use their memory to find the token and collect it. Once all four actions are collected, the game is won.
The best part about this game is the bus. It sings the nursery rhyme, which encourages the kids to sing along with it and do the actions. The recommended age is 3-6, but my two-year-old sings the song and does all the actions as well.
Zingo is a twist on Bingo which has no reading! Instead, two preschoolers can play with no adult supervision as they use a cute tool to dispense tiles with pictures on them. It’s an easy game to learn and play and a favorite in our house.
Connect 4 is extremely simple, easy to learn how to play, and requires no reading- all the hallmarks of a great game for a toddler. Players have to get four of their game pieces in a row to win.
Board Games for Preschoolers
Introducing board games to children from a young age promotes excellent social and interactive skills that are needed throughout everyone’s lives. These best board games encourage fun and learning while also promoting kids’ social skills to learn to share and interact with their peers. You’ll find these recommended board games to fulfill your preschoolers’ needs.