Board games are the perfect way to keep preschoolers entertained on a rainy day. At the age of 3, toddlers are beginning to have a slightly longer attention span, which means they are able to follow along a board game reasonably well. It’s important to choose a board game which is suitable for your toddler, and with so many to choose from it can sometimes be difficult to decide which is best. Here, we have reviewed some great games for 3 year olds, as well as answered some questions parents often have about finding the perfect game for their toddler.
Our Top 9 Board Games for Toddlers Aged 3
In the section below, you will find reviews of what we believe are some of the best games for 3 year old boys and girls. There is sure to be something your child will love here.
1. Hasbro Cootie Game
The Cooties game is ideal for children over the age of 3, but it doesn’t require any reading ability. It can be played with 2 – 4 players, and is easy to learn. Simply roll the die and choose the bug part which corresponds to the number shown. The winner is the first player to collect all the parts and make their bug complete. Toddlers are sure to love creating funny bugs with different eyes and goofy mouths.
The Cootie bug game comes with a chart which shows which body part corresponds to each number, so it’s really simple to learn the rules. Toddlers will be able to practice taking turns, and can also learn to count when playing this game. It’s sure to be used for many years – it is recommended for kids up to the age of 6 but we think it’s fun even beyond this age!
2. Pete the Cat Missing Cupcake Game
This Pete the Cat game is a great cooperative game for preschoolers. This means all players work together to achieve the goal – getting back all the cupcakes. Fans of Pete the Cat books are sure to love this game, which brings their favorite characters to life. For children who are not really interested in playing the game yet, they can use the character pieces for their own imaginative games. The cupcakes can also be used as play food in your child’s imaginary bakery or restaurant!
The preschool board game can help children learn a lot – to collect the missing cupcakes they have to perform tasks like singing a song, performing various actions and naming animals and objects. It’s ideal for toddlers who have difficulty sitting still to stay engaged in a game, as they can get up and move around. Parents will love getting involved and playing the game with their kids too, and the kids will love watching mom and dad having fun and joining in.
3. Little Treasures Pizza Balancing Game
Little Treasures is a great brand of games for toddlers. The pizza balancing game is ideal for helping develop coordination and fine motor skills, as well as aiding with social development. Players take turns to roll the die, which shows which topping has to be placed on. The object of the game is to get as many toppings on as possible without the pizza tipping over.
This is a good game for 3 year olds to play alone as well as with friends or parents. They can practice alone, or they can use the pizza and toppings as play food for role playing games. It’s great for using at parties or with groups – lots of laughs will be had!
4. Orchard Toys Shopping List Game
The Shopping List game is great for helping toddlers work on their memory skills. The game is also ideal for helping toddlers learn to match objects, as well as encouraging early reading skills. The aim of the game is to be the first player to fill the cart with all the items on your shopping list. All of the item cards are placed face down in the center, then players take turns to take one and see if it matches an item on their list. If not, it is returned to the center so everyone has to try and remember when the card was placed.
The Orchard game is perfect for building social skills such as turn-taking and waiting. It can help kids learn new words, as well as helping those who have trouble sitting still and focusing improve their concentration skills. It’s worth noting that the game is made in the UK, so some of the terms are different from US ones. Overall, this is a great family board game for parents and children to play together.
5. Little Treasures Matching Letter Game
ABC games are great for helping toddlers develop early reading and spelling skills. The game comes with a set of picture cards, and under the picture the word is written. Toddlers can then copy the spelling using the letter cubes. The spelling of the word can also be hidden for those who are already learning how to spell, so they can try and write it correctly without copying.
This educational game can help with many skills apart from speech and spelling. Preschoolers can also practice hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills and word recognition. There are plenty words to spell – the game includes 30 cards which are double sided, to give a total of 60 words. Half of the words have three letters, whilst the other half have four. So, it’s ideal for a creating range of difficulty levels.
6. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed Game
The Monkeys Jumping on the Bed game is exciting for younger kids, and easy to follow with a bit of help from mom and dad. There is a spinner which shows how many spaces to move around the game board, and which action to perform. Kids might have to pretend to brush their teeth or put their pyjamas on before putting the monkeys in bed.
The exciting part of the game is when the bed shakes and makes all the monkeys fall off and bump their heads! The winner is the player who manages to place all their monkeys on the bed before it shakes them all off. It’s a great, fun family board game which is sure to keep kids entertained and having a laugh – they will love it when the monkeys are thrown off over and over again! The game is also good for helping teach counting skills as well as working fine motor skills and coordination.
7. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is a fun, educational game for 3 year olds. Players take turns to spin the spinner which shows which color of acorn they have to collect. The player then uses their squirrel-shaped tongs to collect the corresponding colored acorn and place it onto their log. The winner is the first player to collect all their colored acorns. Be careful though – you could also lose all your acorns! There are other options to choose any acorn or to steal one from another player, so it’s great for encouraging problem solving skills and social interaction.
The learning game for 3 year olds can help toddlers practice color matching skills, as well as manual dexterity and hand control. They can also learn to count, and practice important social skills such as taking turns. The game doesn’t require any reading, so it’s ideal as a first board game for younger players.
8. Snug as a Bug in a Rug Game
This preschool board game involves counting and matching colors and shapes, as well as understanding the difference between big and small. So, it offers many educational benefits for rapidly-learning preschoolers. Children also learn how to use a spinner and roll a die which can help with physical skills too.
Peaceable Kingdom make great board games for three year olds, which encourage cooperation between players. This is less stressful and competitive for younger players, and can help kids learn to share and work with others as part of a team. The Snug as a Bug game has three different ways to play, each advancing in difficulty, so it can be enjoyed for many years as your child develops their skills.
9. Animal Upon Animal
Animal upon Animal is a great game for building motor skills and coordination in children aged 3. Players take turns to roll the die, which determines how many of their wooden animal pieces they have to add to the pile. The winner is the first player to get rid of all their pieces. The game will hold the attention of 3 year olds, and older children and even adults will have fun joining in with this game which is full of suspense.
For children who are not yet interested in playing board games, this is a great pick. It is different from traditional games, and doesn’t involving using a board or tokens. The games pieces are also great for imaginative play, if your toddler is not yet interested in following the rules of the game. They will love making animal noises and creating all sorts of adventures with the cute wooden animal pieces.
Considerations When Choosing Board Games for 3 Year Olds
Childrens board games vary a lot, so it’s important to choose the right one for your preschooler. Pay attention to the age range suggested on the box, as this will give you a good idea as to whether the game is suitable for your child or not. Try and understand the rules of the game, so you can decide whether or not your toddler will be able to follow it. If it is too complicated, they will get frustrated trying to learn.
It’s a good idea to choose an educational game for a toddler, as they are learning rapidly during this stage. Board games can teach your child early reading and counting skills as well as helping with social development.
What are the Benefits of Games for Children aged 3?
As discussed above, children can learn a lot from playing board games. Every game offers something different – whether it’s helping children learn to read or add or helping them learn new words. Games also help young children learn all about taking turns and sharing, as well as interacting with friends. These are important skills to teach toddlers – as all parents know toddlers often struggle with waiting their turn!
Toddlers can also learn important skills such as coordination and manual dexterity by playing games. Physical games are also great for getting young children away from the television and computer games and interacting face to face with friends and family instead. They’re perfect for bringing the family together to enjoy some after school activity time – toddlers will love when mom and dad get involved and play along with them, giving them their full attention.
Games and puzzles are also great for giving busy, active toddlers the opportunity to sit down and play quietly. We parents all know how difficult it can be to keep a toddler entertained when they are running about all over the place unable to sit still. A game is perfect for focusing their attention and giving them some quiet time in their busy day.
What are the Advantages of Physical Games over Virtual Ones?
Whilst some childrens video games can be educational, physical games offer more social advantages than playing on a screen. Some games are available as digital versions, but it is so important for developing toddlers to have face to face interaction, we strongly believe in choosing their physical counterparts.
Toddlers can also learn and understand more when playing with other people rather than playing online, as they can talk about what they are doing. It’s great to share the joys of winning a game with other people rather than playing alone in front of a screen!
What Should I do if I Lose a Piece?
Some game manufacturers offer a warranty on their games so you can have a replacement piece sent out free of charge. In certain cases, the whole game can be replaced free of charge, but it’s best to contact the manufacturer and check what their policy is. Certain brands such as Orchard Toys have a policy where they will send out up to 3 replacement parts for every game – perfect if you have a young child who has a habit of forgetting where they have put things!
Overall Best Board Games for Three Year Olds
Our favorite toddler board game is the Pete the Cat game. It is fun for toddlers as they can get up and move around when performing the charades or singing a song. It is one of the best games for three year olds who love Pete the Cat – they are sure to want to play it over and over again! We love how to play pieces and cupcakes can be used as part of other games your preschooler might play – it offers great value for money and will provide hours of entertainment.
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