Board games are a great way to have fun while building important developmental skills at the same time, but it can be challenging to find games that preschoolers are able to play.
When the rules are too many or the play is too complex, young kids will get bored and discouraged.
In this article I’m sharing 10 age-appropriate, fun board games for preschoolers. (The links are placed for your convenience to find the games on Amazon).
But just before I share them, here’s a quick look at some of the skills your kids will learn while playing board games:
- Taking turns
- Following rules/directions
- Being a “good loser”
- Counting/number sense
- Identifying colours
- Strengthening memory
- Developing eye-hand coordination
What are the best board games for preschoolers? Choose from those that address many of these skills, including those your child has already mastered and those toward which they are still working.
The following descriptions are some of the best board games for 4 and 5 year olds. A few of them are also suitable for 3-year-olds.
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1. Sequence for Kids
Taking turns, each child plays a card from their hand, then places the matching character on the board.
The first player with four chips in a row is the winner.
This non-reading game is great for practising logical thinking skills and accommodates up to 4 players.
2. Chutes and Ladders
Still a favourite preschool game, 2-5 players spin the numbered spinner to determine how many spaces to move.
Ladders help kids reach the top of the board, but those chutes sometimes slide them back towards the bottom. The first to reach the top is the winner.
This is a non-reading game that helps children practise number recognition and counting.
In this cooperative game for 2-4 players, kids work together to figure out which fox stole the pie before it escapes into the foxhole.
The game is great for building deductive reasoning skills and logic, much like a preschool version of the game Clue.
Another old favourite, 2-4 players draw cards to determine the movement of their tokens along the path.
Play offers children practice with colour recognition and easy counting skills, such as first and second.
The first player to reach the castle is the winner.
5. Hoot Owl Hoot!
In this colours matching game, 2-4 players draw cards to help the owls fly back to their nest before sunrise.
With a focus on cooperative play, the game helps to exercise problem-solving skills in a fun way.
It also offers two levels of play, to fit with various ages and abilities.
6. Hi Ho! Cherry-O
Up to 4 children play this traditional game to see who fills their basket with fruit first to win the game.
Players spin the numbered spinner to find out how many fruits to take or return, giving them valuable practice in counting, adding, and subtracting.
As an option, the game may also be played in teams.
7. Shopping List
In this memory game, 2-4 players pretend they’re shopping at the grocery store, filling their carts with items on their shopping lists.
Both images and words are used on the cards, building children’s reading skills.
8. Snakes and Ladders
Up to 6 children can take part in this classic game.
They roll a die to find out how many spaces to count and move their tokens.
Ladders take players up more quickly, and snakes make them slide backwards.
The player who reaches the 100 square on an exact number is the winner.
9. Scrabble Jr.
This is a great 2-sided board game to meet the needs of children at various stages of development.
Beginners gain practice in matching letters. Players who are more advanced can experience spelling their own words.
Each round allows play with 2-4 players.
Instead of a regular die, Trouble features the fun pop-o-matic bubble die that kids love to pop, telling them how many spaces to move their coloured tokens.
Depending on where players land, they can send an opponent’s peg back to the beginning.
The player whose pegs all reach the finish line first is the winner.
Choosing from several different versions of play, 2-4 children follow the classic rules or agree to use power-up spaces.
Choose from these classic or newer board games for preschoolers. They all offer many of the same advantages: family fun, clear communication, and life-long learning!
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