8 of the Best Board Games for 3-Year-Olds

Board Games for 3 year olds

Board games are a favorite pastime across generations. Classics like Monopoly, Battleship, and Risk are commonly found in game closets and storage areas just waiting to be played.

Children who grow up in a home that hosts game nights, whether for friends, family or both, will be intrigued by what they see and want to know more about what is happening.

Luckily, toddlers and young children do not have to wait until they are older to start playing board games and join in the fun.

Toddlers may not be aware of what is happening. Still, board games designed for three years of age and older are not only created for enjoyment but also for learning opportunities to aid personal growth and development.

Whether it is an introduction to letters, numbers, shapes, or colors, the joy that a board game can bring will have toddlers asking to play again and again.

How to Choose a Board Game for a 3-Year-Old

First, it is vital to understand that toddlers, especially 3-year-olds, have shorter attention spans than older kids and adults. If a game lasts longer than fifteen minutes, the toddler may become frustrated, uninterested, or walk away. The more complex the rules are for the game, the less likely any child is to enjoy playing.

Can 3 year old Play Board games?

Next, board games may require skills that a toddler has not had time to master yet. It is essential to reassure them they are doing great and have patience while each person takes their turn. Gross and fine motor skills may be required for certain moves or actions.

Counting, matching, and identifying different things may also be part of the game. Treat game time as a fun learning adventure, showing enthusiasm and joy with each round, and most 3-year-olds will stay engaged, eager, and excited for what is next.

Finally, notice the recommended minimum age on the game box. This is only a recommendation as each kid is unique and learns at a pace that is right for them.

The number of players necessary to start a game is also printed on the box and will let you know if there are variations for more or fewer players to allow for gameplay flexibility. Unless otherwise stated, the youngest player always goes first.

Second, finally, be careful of small game pieces. Babies, toddlers, and even school-aged children put things in their mouths. When playing board games with small children, it is vital to pay attention to where game pieces are being used and stored and that everything is accounted for during and after gameplay.

Choking hazards are not anything that should be overlooked or downplayed. The candy-looking game tokens are not real candy and could result in a hefty ER bill.

Board Games for 3 year olds

  1. Zingo!
    Zingo! is an excellent spin on traditional Bingo but geared towards toddlers and preschoolers. Rather than balls with numbers, players will match pictures on their board to images that the Zingo! box spits out. This game requires no reading, no counting, and no letter or number recognition. Game time can last as long as it takes for the first person to call “Zingo!”
  1. Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Eye Find It!
    This game is best played with four people. The game’s goal is to race across the game board but work together to find different objects hidden within the colorful illustrations. Object identification, teamwork, and enhanced attention spans are a few benefits of this game.
  1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street
    Welcome to Main Street is based on the popular TV series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Up to four players can play this game as Daniel’s friends visit Main Street stores, gather goods for their backpacks, and send thank-you cards after purchases. Counting, visual recognition, and social skills are skills used.
  1. Snug as a Bug in a Rug
    Twenty-four colorful bugs are in danger of 3 stinkbugs! Using a spinner and dice, cognitive and problem-solving skills are needed to save the bugs from unfortunate events. Color, shape, and number identification are a large part of this timeless game.
  1. Animal Upon Animal
    Working with dexterity skills, Animal Upon Animal is a game similar to Jenga but backward. Instead of taking an animal out of the tower, the goal is to use fine motor skills and stack the animals as high as possible without falling over. Two to four players will take turns placing an animal on the stack until it falls over, and a new game begins.
  1. Candyland
    The is a classic game of color matching to get the gingerbread man to the Candyland Kingdom. If your toddler has a short attention span, this one may not be the best option since most games take at least fifteen minutes to complete.
  1. Colorama
    Colorama can have one to six players and takes around twenty minutes to complete, but there is no “winner,” so it may entertain well enough to keep 3-year-olds engaged. In their turn, each player will roll two dies, one for color and one for shape. It is then up to the player to find the correct piece on the board. For example, the color die rolled blue, and the shape die rolled circle, so the player will need to find a blue circle to place on the board in the spot that has a blue circle.
  1. Feed the Woozle
    Children roll a die to find out how many snacks they need to feed the Woozle. The snacks must be balanced on the included spoon and fed in a single motion, not one snack at a time. Dexterity, fine motor skills, and counting are needed for this game.

Remember, when playing games with your 3-year-old, it is essential to have fun and value the time spent with them. Games are meant to be enjoyed and memorable.

Leave a comment below and let us know what your family enjoys playing.

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