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There are many games these days that don’t require competition between family members but instead encourage cooperative play, you and your little one working to beat the game together. In addition, board games can help build motor skills needed during their school years, help your child learn or review school readiness skills like letter, number, and color recognition, and do all this without even knowing they’re learning.
To save you time and hassle, we thought we’d review a few board games for two, three, and four-year-olds and show you what we’ve found.
Board Games for 2 Year Olds
Bunny Bedtime The Make a Choice Game
Peaceable Kingdom has great games that build social-emotional skills and help
young ones learn as they play. This game is not only adorable but also sturdy.
This simple, quick game fosters independence, gives young children an opportunity to make choices on their own, offers situations for solving puzzles, and lets children learn by matching colors and shapes.
Count your chickens board game
This game is perfect if you have several young children. They have to try to get all the chicks back into the coop before their mother hen comes home. Beware, though - there’s a tricky fox that sometimes takes the chicks back out of the coop when you least expect it (we love that the fox doesn’t eat them)!
This game is a real crowd pleaser!
First orchard board game
HABA is another company that makes amazing, appropriate, safe, and fun games
for little ones. Parents love this game because the pieces are perfect for two-year-old hands (and mouths - nothing in this game is a choking hazard!). The brightly colored, fist-filling pieces are attractive and make the interactive cooperative game a pleasure to play.
This game is highly recommended!
Magnetic wooden fishing game
Kids love fishing games, and they are great for building motor control and coordination. This game is colorful and includes a two-sided game board along with two-sided fish. One side of the fish have capital alphabet letters, so it’s a great game for letter identification.
Where's bear game
This adorable hid and seek game includes 5 different ways to play so your toddler can master each one! This is a great game for teaching permanence and problem solving to your little one as they are exploring their world. We are huge fans for Peaceable Kingdom games and this one is sure not to disappoint! Check out the reviews.
Board Games for 3 Year Olds
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
This award-winning game comes with a very adorable ‘squirrel squeezer” which is excellent for building those fine motor muscles your child will need when he or she starts writing.
It’s a matching game that focuses on colors, strategy, taking turns, and hand-eye coordination skills as children “squeeze” the squirrel, pick up acorns, and place them in their own personal stash on a little log. Kids and parents are nuts about this game!
Chutes and Ladders Game
Chutes and Ladders has been a childhood favorite for 60 years now! The current version is colorful and bright with more modern graphics. The positive character traits and kind deeds (like rescuing a cat) that give access to the shortcuts with ladders have been updated along with the negative things (like breaking a window) that send you sliding back down to smaller numbers via a chute.
The learning possibilities grow as your child because while at three, they may not be interested in learning and counting large numbers, but they will still love the idea of getting to climb up ladders and tumble down slides.
Great for Learning
super why ABC Game
This is great for kids who are fans of the show! Many of the parents who have purchased this game say that although it’s labeled for ages three and up, it may be a little better suited for older threes and even four or five-year-olds.
Another parent commented that her little one plays an adapted version of the game, only using the letter identification cards for now. They will add the other cards as the child ages and matures.
Either way, if your child loves Super Why, this may be a great game for them!
Pete the Cat the Missing Cupcakes Game
Pete the Cat is a favorite among this age group! This teamwork teaching game is for 2-4 players and get kids moving by singing songs, acting out physical activities, and identifying animals.
Board Games for 4 Year Olds
Hungry hungry hippos
Another beloved classic is here for the next generation - with a tiny, golden twist! Hungry, Hungry Hippos is the hilarious game where you compete to feed your hippo the most marbles. In this updated version, you can play the traditional way, or a new golden marble can end the game and make one player the instant winner.
The updated version also comes with parent-pleasing, convenient storage container hidden under the “water” base for all those marbles (so you won’t lose yours during cleanup).
feed the wozzle
Feed the Woozle is a fun game that focuses on team building, counting, boosting self-esteem, developing motor skills, and more! The game is so exciting for preschoolers, from the wacky Woozle food to the giant spoon. There are three levels of play, so the game can grow with your child, and it’s the kind of game children will want to play again and again.
We’d give this game two fuzzy Woozle-thumbs up!
ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Award Winning Game for Pre-Readers and Early Readers Age 4 and Up
All of the Zingo games are highly loved by parents and children alike, and Zingo 1-2-3 is
no exception! With two levels of gameplay, young children can work on counting skills,
number sense, pattern recognition, and addition. Zingo 1-2-3 is an award-winning educational game, so you know your child is not only having a fun time, but they are also learning.
Don't step in it!
Why are young children so entertained by bathroom noises and bodily function? No one really knows, but if this game doesn’t fulfill their need for potty humor, we don’t know what will.
The poop is made by participants from dough included with the set and a “poop” mold. The game says kids can play in a group or even play alone, which not many games are able to tout.
If it’s just too gross, you might consider the less “genuine” Unicorn poop edition.
dinosaur escape game
This is definitely a game your preschool paleontologist will “dig”! It’s a cooperative board game in which kids work together to help their dinosaur counterparts escape a volcano.
This is a game that helps build your child’s memory and problem-solving skills, helps them learn to strategize, and is great for building a sense of community.
As with all Peaceable Kingdom games, it’s simple enough to play that adults don’t have to help, but it’s so fun, you’re pretty likely to want to play along anyway!