Favorite Board Games for Little Kids

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Favorite Board Games for Little Kids

My oldest kiddo stopped napping pretty much the day she turned two. As a stay at home parent, this made for some really long days. One of the ways I try to fill up these extra long, no-nap days is with board games. For little kids who can’t read yet, good board games can be hard to find. We’ve had enough experience at this point where I feel like I can definitely share some of our favorite board games for little kids. Here we go!

Sequence for Kids

In this game, no reading is required. You match your card to an animal on the board. On your turn, you play a card and play a corresponding chip on the board. To simplify this game for little ones, we usually only do three chips in a row for a WIN, instead of the five the directions say are necessary. We also started off by not using the “wild” cards, to keep it really straightforward. We also play “open hand” so I can offer a little guidance on what cards might be more beneficial, and not just because my little one thinks pandas are cute that day.

Matching Games

I love a good Matching Game, and it’s definitely a favorite here. We went with a game that corresponded with our favorite TV characters, because they were a little easier to remember than random ones. Another reason Matching Games are a favorite game here is because you can build from only five or six matching sets to twenty or more! We usually only play two rounds, because it gets hard to keep track of where everything is and keep focus after that.

Zingo

We love to play Zingo. When we first got the game, it was great because, again, no reading is required. It’s a Bingo-like game with pictures that make it easy to match. It’s a favorite game because it has the added fun of a sliding dispenser for the Zingo tiles. Now that my little has gotten a little bigger, she can also use the tiles to start understanding spelling of sight words like “cat,” “bat” and “house.”

Hi-Ho Cherry-O

This was a favorite game of mine growing up. They’ve made some updates for the modern version like making each player’s tree a different fruit, but the premise is the same. Spin the spinner, and add or subtract fruit from your tree until your basket is full. It’s great for beginner counting and early color recognition. We love this one.

Candyland

You really didn’t think I could have a list of children’s games without adding Candyland, did you? This game was SO FUN when I was a kid and it’s considerably less fun as an adult but it’s definitely a favorite game at our house. Not only does it also have great counting and color learning skills, it’s also fun to look at the board and see all the little details on the game board as well.

We have a couple of other favorite games here too, but I’m hesitant to mention them because they’ve been discontinued.

Playing games with your kids doesn’t have to be expensive. With the exception of our Candyland board which was mine as a kid, I’ve found all our favorite games at local thrift shops or used from buy, sell, trade groups online. That’s a good place to find them because if you’re less impressed by a game, you can donate it back or give it away without much of a financial loss.

What are some games you love to play with your little kids? I’m always looking for more games to add to our list!

1 COMMENT

  1. Love this!! We are big fans of the “Who Pooped” game (yes, we have a 3 year old). What I like about it is that we can play it many ways. Our 3 year old is a little too young to play it the way it’s intended, so instead we lay all the tiles face up, look at the booklet and choose an animal (the booklet shows the animals with their matching poops), and then we try to find the tile for that animal and the tile with the poop that goes with it.

    We also love (and can actually play) Button, Button, Belly Button and Bunny Bedtime. Both of these games are simple enough for a 3 year old to play and enjoy and are very cute.

    Thank you for this column! Always looking for more games we can play together.

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