What age range does the word “toddler” refer to?
Is a toddler really old enough to play board games?
What are the skills and abilities your toddler needs to be able to play a board game?
A “toddler” is generally considered to be any child ranging from 2 to 4 years old. However, this age range may vary a little bit depending on the situation, but for our purposes, we will stick with the two to four definition of this word.
Toddlers are old enough to play board games if you know which games are right for them and their needs. It’s also a good idea to gauge your individual toddler and determine what skills they may already have before you choose a board game.
Here are a few abilities to keep in mind when judging whether or not your toddler should play board games:
- The ability to sit still and pay attention well enough to get through the game. If your child is too energetic or has trouble paying attention for the length of time it would take to progress through the board game, then it may be too advanced for your toddler at this time.
- The ability to mimic physical actions shown by an adult. For example, if you teach your toddler how to roll the dice, your child should be able to mimic this (even if they don’t get it right immediately).
- The ability to recognize pictures, colors, and names or words enough to understand what’s going on in the game. This will develop more over time the more often you play the game, but beginning with a little bit of this skill already is a good way to set your toddler up for board game success.
By paying attention to the development of these skills, you’ll be able to help your toddler succeed in board games in no time.
Read on to discover some of the best board games for toddlers around.
Option #1: Don’t Break the Ice
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This is a modern version of the classic Don’t Break the Ice game. The game is played by using a small hammer to knock little “ice cubes” out of their spaces on the board until it all comes crashing down. The game is quick to play and entertaining to young kids and can be played by ages 3 and up. Just be careful because the frame doesn’t hold together very well and the legs come off easily.
Option #2: Snail’s Pace Race
Snail’s Pace Race is a simple game about rolling dice and taking turns moving as well as guessing and prediction. This option teaches color recognition, counting, and motor skills to toddlers and preschoolers. Up to six people can play this simple and fun game and it only takes 15 minutes to complete. Remember though that younger kids may have trouble moving the snails easily in this game.
Option #3: Hi Ho! Cherry-O
Hi Ho! Cherry-O is a counting game that teaches kids turn-taking, simple math, and matching. Spin the spinner to find out how many cherries to add or subtract from your basket. This game is simple but engaging for toddlers and preschoolers because it’s colorful and keeps kids’ interest. Just take care because some of the pieces are small and could be dangerous. Jostling the game board can make the “cherries” roll away too easily as well.
Option #4: Sequence for Kids
Sequence for Kids is a shorter and more kid-friendly version of Sequence. This game is meant for children from ages 3 to 6 and is simpler for little ones to understand than classic Sequence. This game is fun for the whole family to enjoy together and encourages strategy and logical thinking. Unfortunately, the game may be boring for some younger kids.
Option #5: Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt
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Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt teaches matching and motor skills. Kids are instructed to pick up certain items and place them in their baskets to help the bunny find all his carrots. This game is colorful and engaging for kids and can be played with 2 to 4 children. Just note that the game may be too long for some younger toddlers.
Option #6: Funny Faces Puzzles
These simple and easy to use Funny Faces Puzzles can help teach kids colors, motor skills, and sorting. The puzzles are quick to put together and kids can stack items to create silly faces to use as masks for playtime. The pieces are soft and large enough for children to play with safely and seem very durable so they won’t break easily. Just remember that there is assembly required before children can play with this game.
Option #7: The Ladybug Game
The Ladybug Game utilizes a kid-friendly game board and several pieces that are big enough for little hands to work with easily. This game is about helping ladybugs get home without running into a praying mantis that will steal all their aphids. This game helps teach simple reading and counting and encourages children to follow rules and take turns.
Option #8: Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game
Encourage your toddler to learn many useful skills with this Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game . This game comes with magnetic “fishing poles” children can use to pick up individual fish toys throughout the gameplay. The fish are brightly colored and will definitely keep children’s interest for a while. The pieces are made of wood and are durable but the magnets may fall out of the fish easily so be careful.
Option #9: Feed the Woozle
Feed the Woozle is a game about matching and movement. Children spin a spinner to find out which foods the Woozle wants to eat, then use a plastic spoon to pick up pieces and “feed” the cardboard monster. This game teaches children motor skills and matching as well as counting, and best of all it is a cooperative game that teaches teamwork. Just do be aware that the game is all made of cardboard so may not be very durable.
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Option #10: Paw Patrol Look-A-Likes Matching Board Game
Paw Patrol Look-A-Likes Matching Board Game is a Memory-style game that young kids can learn to play easily. Simply turn over the cards one at a time to match the pictures for a quick and easy game. This game can be played in several ways with different rules and it helps children learn to wait their turn. Do remember though that the cards are a little flimsy and can be damaged easily.
Option #11: First Orchard
First Orchard is a teamwork-based game that encourages toddlers to play nicely with friends, siblings, or parents. This game teaches children how to sort based on shapes and colors as well as how to take turns. This game is good for ages 2 to 4, so it can grow with your child. It teaches names, colors, shapes, and more but be careful that the fruit pieces do not get lost easily. Also this game may be too simple for older toddlers.
Find the Best Board Games for Toddlers Today
Did you find the right game for your child? How can you tell if a game is too challenging or too easy for your toddler? Consider whether or not your child already knows every skill required to play a game. If so, the game may not offer much for your quickly developing toddler and may be boring. However, if your child doesn’t have even one skill required for playing the game, then it may be too difficult at this time.
Judging your own toddler’s skills and abilities is the best way to make sure you get the right game.
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