15 Best Board Games for Toddlers: Fun and Educational Games for Young Children

By parentintel
Best Board Games for Toddlers

As we prepare for what seems like an endless winter at home, we’re finding ourselves playing more board games and puzzles than ever before.

With a three-year-old in the house, we’re always on the lookout for board games that are not only appropriate for toddlers but also entertaining for the rest of the family.

However, finding games that are fun for everyone can be a challenge, especially as the older kids have moved past many of the typical board games aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

To help other families in the same boat, we’ve put together a list of 15 board games for toddlers and preschoolers that are sure to be a hit with the entire family.

These games have been favorites in our house for years, and we’ve recently added a few new ones to the mix since Christmas.

From cooperative games to competitive card games, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Key Takeaways

  • Board games can be a great way to entertain the whole family during long winter months.
  • Finding games that are appropriate for toddlers and fun for everyone can be a challenge, but there are plenty of options out there.
  • Our list of 15 board games for toddlers and preschoolers includes both classic and new games that are sure to be a hit with the entire family.

1. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game, 4 players, for Preschoolers & Toddlers, Gift for Toddlers Ages 3+

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game is a fun and simple board game for toddlers and preschoolers.

The objective of the game is to fill your tree stump with each color of acorn by spinning the spinner and following the instructions.

The game is designed to work fine motor skills, color matching, and turn-taking.

This game is recommended for children ages 3 and up, but some children as young as 2 can play (with adult supervision).

However, parents should be aware that the acorn pieces are small and could be a choking hazard for younger children.

The game can be played by 2-4 players and the pieces are made of high-quality materials.

One of the fun twists in the game is the ability to steal other players’ acorns. Players must also watch out for a big gust of wind that can blow all of their acorns away.

The tree stumps are made of cardboard, which is a minor drawback as they may not stand up to rough handling.

Overall, The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game is a great first board game for young children. It is easy to learn, engaging, and educational. It is an excellent way to spend quality time with your child while also teaching them important skills.

You can buy the Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game on Amazon.

2. Memory Matching Game

Disney Classic Characters Matching Game for Kids Age 3-5

Memory is a fun and humbling game to play with toddlers and preschoolers. We are always amazed by our kids’ ability to beat us from a very young age!

Although most memory games are designed for children ages 3 and up, our kids usually got the hang of it as older two-year-olds.

We can easily adjust the difficulty of the game by removing or adding pairs to the deck. It’s a great way to improve their cognitive skills while having fun together!

There are plenty of themed options for memory and matching games out there. You really can’t go wrong with Disney when it comes to toddlers.

You can buy the Disney matching game pictured above on Amazon.

3. Yeti In My Spaghetti

We recently discovered a fun game called Yeti in My Spaghetti. It’s very similar to Kerplunk, which you may remember playing as a child.

The game consists of a pile of spaghetti on top of a bowl with a yeti sitting on top.

Players take turns removing pieces of spaghetti, being careful not to let the yeti fall.

The game is quick, lasting less than 5 minutes, and can be played by two or more players.

Although the age range on the box is 4+, it’s easily played by a two-year-old.

We found that the game helps children develop fine motor skills and practice taking turns.

You can grab Yeti In My Spaghetti on Amazon.

4. Don’t Break the Ice

Don't Break the Ice Game by Hasbro - Fun for Kids

Don’t Break the Ice is a beloved game in our household, especially for my younger children.

The game consists of Phillip the penguin sitting atop a sheet of ice blocks. Players take turns tapping out ice blocks, being careful not to knock Phillip into the water.

Although the recommended age range for this game is 3+, my daughter was able to play this at two.

However, setting up the game can take a while, and younger children may require assistance until they are around 5-6 years old.

This game can be played with two or more players, but with a larger group, each player may not get many turns before Phillip falls into the water.

The game is perfect for developing hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking skills in children.

Overall, Don’t Break the Ice is a fun and exciting game that is sure to provide hours of entertainment for the whole family – you can grab a copy on Amazon.

5. Spot It!

Spot It! Classic Card Game (Eco-Blister) - Matching -Fun Kids for Family Night

Spot It! is a fantastic game that can be enjoyed by people of various ages.

Although the alphabet version seems to be discontinued, the game is still similar.

The objective of the game is to be the first to spot the matching symbol between two cards.

The game comes in a compact tin, making it perfect for travel.

The Jr. version is recommended for children aged 4 and above, but younger children can also play with a slower pace.

We highly recommend Spot It! for anyone looking for a fun and engaging game that can be played anywhere, anytime.

Get a copy of Spot It! on Amazon.

6. Go Fish!

Go Fish Classic Card Game Fun for Children Age 3 and Up, Blue

Go Fish! is an ideal first card game for toddlers.

The rules are straightforward, and it’s easy for kids to recognize different cards with a kid-friendly deck of cards.

Our kids learned how to play Go Fish! when they were around three years old, and the biggest challenge was holding the cards in their hands.

We highly recommend using a card holder to help little hands hold playing cards.

Get Go Fish on Amazon today.

7. Picture Charades

Picture Charades for Kids - No Reading Required! - Contains 4 Deck, 192 Cards Total

Picture Charades is a simple yet entertaining game that is perfect for families with young kids.

To play, players spin a spinner and draw a card in the selected category.

Each card has a picture, which the actor must act out for the remaining players to guess, and with pictures it makes it great for toddlers because there is no reading required.

The game is recommended for children aged 4 and up, and we found this to be accurate in our experience.

Our three-year-old (who is a few months shy of four) is just starting to grasp the game and prefers cards from the animal category.

The cards have easily identifiable pictures, but some can be challenging to act out, such as frying pan, carrot, and leaf.

This game is a great way to put your acting skills to the test and keep the whole family entertained.

Get a box of picture charade cards on Amazon.

8. Zingo!

Zingo! is a fun and engaging game that can be played independently by children.

The objective of the game is to be the first to cover all the spaces on your Zingo! card with the corresponding tiles.

This game is similar to classic bingo, but with a twist that makes it more exciting.

The Zingo! zinger is a fun and interactive way to play the game, and the words and images on the Zingo! card make it suitable for pre-readers and readers alike.

The recommended age for this game is 4+, but even younger children can play with supervision.

However, since the tiles go to the player who calls for it first, younger children may have a hard time keeping up with the pace set by older players.

There are different versions of Zingo! available to cater to different age groups, such as a number version, sight word version, and word builder version.

Overall, Zingo! is a great game for children to develop their cognitive and social skills while having fun.

Get Zingo on Amazon.

9. Race to the Treasure

Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Cooperative Path Building Game for 2 to 4 Kids

Race to the Treasure is a cooperative board game suitable for children aged 5 and above.

The game requires players to work together to beat the ogre to the treasure.

The game is won by building the best path to the treasure, and players will need to strategize to achieve this.

The game is suitable for the entire family, and it is one of those rare board games that are fun for both toddlers and older players.

Although the suggested age range for the game is 5+, it is perfect for younger children too.

We have found that even our three-year-old can play the game with her older brothers without assistance from us.

The game is advertised as suitable for 2-4 players, but we often play as a family of five, and it can be played by a larger group – especially if you are pairing up your toddlers with an adult to make it easier for them.

Race to the Treasure is still available on Amazon.

10. Candyland

Hasbro Gaming Candy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board Game

Candyland is a delightful board game from Hasbro that brings families together in a race through a whimsical land filled with sweets and surprises.

Designed for children ages 3 and up, it’s a perfect introduction to board games for the youngest players.

Much like Hoot Owl Hoot!, Candyland offers a cooperative play experience, but with a simpler, more accessible strategy that captivates both young children and those who are young at heart.

The game supports 2-4 players, making it an ideal choice for family game nights or playdates with friends.

In Candyland, players draw color cards to advance along a rainbow path, navigating through magical lands filled with gumdrops, peppermints, and other sweet treats. The goal is to reach King Kandy’s castle and bring the adventure to a triumphant conclusion.

Included in the set are a colorful game board, 4 character tokens, 64 color cards, and easy-to-follow instructions. It’s a beautiful game to play together with toddlers.

Get a copy of Candyland on Amazon.

11. Sequence for Kids

SEQUENCE for Kids -- The 'No Reading Required' Strategy Game

We were thrilled to discover Sequence for Kids, a game we’ve loved for years.

The objective of this game is to play the cards in your hands, placing your token on the corresponding animal on the board.

The first player to get four in a row wins.

The game is suitable for ages 4+ and can be played by 2-4 players.

While the suggested age range for this game is 3 to 6, we think that’s on the young side.

Our three-year-old is able to match her cards to the characters, but isn’t yet able to strategize effectively and has difficulty recognizing the diagonal lines.

Sequence For Kids is available on Amazon.

12. Guess Who?

Hasbro Gaming Guess Who - Animal Friends Game, Includes 2 Double-Sided Animal Sheets, 2-Player Board Games for Kids

Guess Who? is a classic game that many of us played as children.

Although it is recommended for ages 6 and up, older preschoolers may enjoy it as well.

It may be too difficult for most toddlers, but my younger son started playing around age 4-5.

It’s a fun game that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Get your copy of Guess Who? on Amazon.

13. Connect 4

Hasbro Gaming Connect 4 Classic Grid,4 in a Row Game,Strategy Board Games for Kids

Connect 4 is a classic game that many of us enjoyed playing in our childhood.

While toddlers may not understand the rules, they will still have fun dropping the pieces into the grid.

Although it’s recommended for ages 6+, we found that older preschoolers can quickly pick up the rules.

It’s a great game for developing strategy and critical thinking skills.

Get your Connect 4 game delivered from Amazon.

14. Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hasbro Gaming Hungry Hungry Hippos Tabletop Game

We debated whether to include Hungry Hungry Hippos on our list, but ultimately decided to include it due to its popularity among kids.

While it may not be the most exciting game for adults, young children will enjoy the feeding frenzy as they try to make their hippo chomp the most marbles.

The game is suggested for ages 4+, but can work for younger toddlers as well.

Parents should be aware that the game uses marbles, so be cautious of the choking hazard if your child is likely to put small items in their mouth.

We recommend playing with other kids to keep the game fun and engaging. Our 3, 4, and 7-year-olds play Hungry Hippos together after they got it for Christmas last year. The laughter and giggling that happens while they play is fantastic!

Get Hungry Hungry Hippos on Amazon.

15. Jenga

Hasbro Gaming Jenga Classic Game with Genuine Hardwood Blocks, Stacking Tower Game for 1 or More Players

Jenga is a classic block-stacking game that is perfect for mixed age groups. Although it is suggested for ages 6 and up, older preschoolers around ages 4-5 can quickly get the hang of it.

Toddlers may not have the manual dexterity to play the game as intended, but they can still enjoy building and knocking over their wooden block creations.

Jenga can be played with two or more players, making it a great game for families or playdates. It’s a fun and exciting game that can keep everyone engaged for hours.

Be careful with cheap Jenga knockoffs. We bought one on a trip called Jengo once, I don’t think there was a single straight block in the box, and even without touching a piece the whole tower leaned when you put it together to start the game!

Grab a box of Jenga blocks on Amazon.

A family game night with a toddler and her parents engaged in a board game, set in a bright and cheerful living room filled with books and family photos

At What Age Can Toddlers Play Board Games?

As parents, we always want to provide our toddlers with fun and educational activities. Playing board games is one such activity that can help in the overall development of toddlers. But at what age can toddlers start playing board games? Let’s find out.

According to Celebrating with Kids, the consensus seems to be that toddlers can start playing board games at age 3. At that point, they should be able to handle multi-step instructions and have a bit more patience.

However, it is important to choose board games that are age-appropriate and have simple rules.

Some factors to consider when selecting board games for toddlers include:

  • The number of players: Toddlers may not be able to play games that require many players.
  • The duration of the game: Toddlers may not have the attention span to play games that take too long.
  • The complexity of the game: Toddlers may not be able to understand complex rules.

Playing board games with toddlers can help in their overall development. Board games can help in developing cognitive skills, social skills, and emotional skills. It can also help in improving their attention span and concentration.

How to Introduce a Toddler to Board Games

If you’re looking to introduce your toddler to board games, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a fun and positive experience. Here are some tips:

  • Start with simple games: Toddlers have short attention spans, so it’s best to start with games that are easy to understand and quick to play. Games that involve matching colors or shapes are a good place to start.
  • Choose games with age-appropriate themes: Toddlers love animals, vehicles, and other familiar objects, so games with these themes can be engaging for them.
  • Make it fun: Toddlers learn through play, so it’s important to keep the experience fun and lighthearted. Use positive reinforcement, such as clapping or saying encouraging words, to reinforce the joy of playing.
  • Keep it short: Toddlers have short attention spans, so it’s best to keep game sessions short and sweet. A few minutes of playtime can be enough to keep them engaged and excited.
  • Play together: Playing together can be a great bonding experience for parents and toddlers. It also helps toddlers learn important social skills, such as turn-taking and sharing.

Wrapping Up The Best Board Games For Toddlers

In conclusion, board games are a great way to engage toddlers and help them develop important skills such as turn-taking, problem-solving, and socialization.

When choosing board games for toddlers, it is important to consider their age, interests, and skill level. Look for games that are easy to understand, have simple rules, and feature colorful and engaging visuals.

Some of the best board games for toddlers include First Orchard by HABA, Pete the Cat The Missing Cupcakes Game, Ravensburger Colorama, and Feed The Woozle by Peaceable Kingdom. These games are designed to be fun and educational, and they can provide hours of entertainment for toddlers and their families.

When playing board games with toddlers, it is important to remember to be patient and supportive. Encourage them to take turns, help them understand the rules, and celebrate their successes.

By playing board games with toddlers, we can help them develop important skills while also creating lasting memories and strengthening our relationships with them.

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