Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are working to meet important developmental milestones. They shift from playing by themselves to learning to play with others while developing fine motor control that they'll need to perform everyday skills. They also get better at visually tracking, processing, and identifying shapes, including letters. Board games are one of the best, fun ways to support their development.
The best board games for preschoolers are cooperative games that encourage them to take turns while developing other skills. Card games like Go Fish and Crazy 8's are great games for young children, but you're not limited to just these two choices. There are many other kids board games that are a fun way to help preschoolers learn.
Below you'll find a list of some of the best board games kids can play to develop essential preschool skills.
Board Games for the Youngest Players
Generally speaking, 2 year olds rarely have the attention span for board games. They are very busy developing their gross motor skills and exploring the world around them. They are improving their verbal communication, naming common items, learning to use words to express themselves, and finding new ways to physically move like jumping and spinning.
Best Board Game for 2 year olds
If you have or know little ones who are interested in simple board games, The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is a great starting game. It is one of the very few board games 2 year old preschoolers will be able to enjoy and learn from. It will help young preschoolers identify colors while helping them develop motor skills. In this game, players are invited to use tweezers to pick up apples and match colors. It can introduce little ones to the concept of taking turns and is one of the best board games for preschoolers who are just learning to play games for kids.
Best Board Game for 3 year olds
As children turn 3, they begin to show more interest in playing with other preschoolers. They are better equipped to follow rules and play games with family and friends. Because of this, there are many more board games for 3 year olds. Around age 3, children should be getting better at identifying colors. They should be working on developmental milestones such as ability to identify a wide range of shapes ( including some letters) and counting by reciting numbers and by determining the number of objects or items in a group or set.
Learning to count accurately is an important skill the is easily taught using games 3 year old children find fun. Hi Ho! Cheery-O is a simple board game that focuses on teaching players to count as they pick fruit and try to fill their bucket. This classic game is one of the best games for preschoolers to develop their math and counting skills.
Who says that you cannot have fun and learn academic skills such as early literacy and math skills at the same time? Sequence for Kids focuses on early literacy skills by teaching children how to put events in order. It's one of the best card games for kids to practice sequencing events. Since the cards and events all use pictures, it's the perfect choice for kids who aren't reading yet.
Best Board Games for 4 year olds
By age 4, children are starting to develop an understanding of how taking turns makes games more fun. They are usually developing a sense of fair play while getting better at identifying shapes, like letters and improving their counting skills. This is a great age for a cooperative game that encourages them to work together. It's also a good time for them to learn how to lose with kindness.
For children who love Pete the Cat, this board game is the perfect chance to bring the story to life! Pete the Cat: The missing Cupcakes is a cooperative game in which players must work together to retrieve cupcakes that have been taken by Grumpy Toad. It will encourage basic reading skills while reinforcing children's knowledge of animals and food.
During this game, children will be singing, acting, and having fun as they work together to get back the cupcakes. Be sure to have plenty of Pete the Cat books around to go with this fun board game.
There are many classic board games for kids. One of the best is Chutes and Ladders. It doesn't require reading, has simple rules, and is always fun. Since this game is more luck than strategy, it's a great board game for 4 year old children to practice winning and losing with grace and kindness. The concept fo the game is simple: just twist the spinner and move your player.
While the game is designed to be simple and easy to play, those players will still learn a lot. Preschoolers will practice counting as they move and continue taking turns fairly. They will need to understand the board and follow the rules of the game. These are great concepts for preschools to learn through board games.
Best Board Games for 5 year olds
5 year olds are getting ready to start school. They may be starting to read a few simple words and are likely very interested in playing with friends. This is a great time for faster-paced board games that require a bit of reading, stronger thinking skills, and more advanced hand-eye coordination.
Perfection is a board game with 25 geometric shapes that requires players to match the shapes to the correct slot before time runs out. There is a constant ticking of time that speeds up as the board gets closer to popping. If all of the pieces aren't in place before time runs out, the board will launch them into the air!
The speed and intensity of this game can be overwhelming for younger players, but by age 5 most children find this game to be a lot of fun! The rules are simple, and the game can be played solo or with a friend. The speed encourages children to take their hand-eye coordination and visual processing skills to the next level.
Connect Four is a more advanced board game that many 5 year old children will enjoy. It's one of many classic games for kids that continues to be a great kids board game. It requires strategy and thinking ahead. Players will need to predict where their opponent will move next to defensively block that position while still trying to build their own row of four. This is a great game for children who have already mastered tic-tac-toe.
If you would like to expose your preschooler to computer programming, Robot Turtles is the game for them. It's a card game that teaches the logic and thinking skills used for computer programming. It's a fun game that the whole family will enjoy. An adult will need to help out with reading directions and getting the game started, but once children know what they are doing, this game is a great opportunity to develop your child's logical thinking skills. Children will need to be able to identify a few basic words like "left," "right," and "forward" as they play this game.
No matter which age your preschooler currently is, board games are a great way to get them learning while having fun. The best ones are those that will teach your child to take turns while helping them develop early literacy and math skills.