Board Games for Preschoolers

Board games are excellent learning tools for children. They can help them with counting, letter recognition, memory or just learning how to be a good sport. Games are one of Mara and I’s favorite “Mommy and Me” activities. The time that we spend playing games is focused bonding time. We can play and laugh together, learn and just have fun. There are a lot of fun board games for preschoolers that can help you learn and have fun with your kiddo. 

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My Favorite Board Games for Preschoolers

Count Your ChickensCount Your Chickens is a cooperative game to help preschoolers improve their counting skills. The rules and game play are very simple and easy for kids to remember. They spin a spinner with pictures on it that coordinate with pictures on the game board. Then, they count as they move to the coordinating space on the game board. However many spaces they move is the number of chicks that they return to the coop. The goal is to get all of the chicks back to the coop before the mama chicken (the moving game piece) gets back. 

CandylandCandyland was one of my favorites as a kid and the first board game for preschoolers that Mara ever played. It helps with color recognition, counting and learning to follow rules. Jesse and I don’t let her win, so she’s also learning to cope with the disappointment of winning when one of us beats her. If you’re not familiar with Candyland, kids draw cards with colors on them and move to the next space of that color on the game board. There are also cards with pictures on them that can move a player further along, or backwards, on the game board. The player that reaches the castle at the end first is the winner.

Chutes and LaddersChutes and Ladders focuses on counting skills and handling the ups and downs of the game. There is a spinner with numbers and you move the number of spaces that you spin. Along the game board there are ladders that may allow you to advance further along, or chutes (slides) that may cause you to move backwards. Of all the board games for preschoolers thatwe own, this one takes the longest to play. That means it doesn’t hold our daughter’s attention very well. However, we still pull it out every few weeks and see how far we can get! She really doesn’t like being sent backwards on the “slides” so it does make for a great lesson in handling disappointment!

CootieCootie is another of my favorite childhood board games. You roll the dice and it reveals a picture of a bug part (head, leg, antenna, mouth and eyes) and you assemble a little Cootie bug. The first player to complete their Cootie bug is the winner. Players start the game with a body and add to that body. You have to roll a head before you can collect a mouth, eyes or antenna. This game is just fun! Since there is a winner, it can help teach kids to cope with losing. 

Memory – There are so many different versions of Memory (I think we have at least 6!) but they are excellent board games for preschoolers. Memory is a matching game where all of the cards are face down and you have to find the matches. Mara loves Memory and is pretty good at it. Memory not only helps with memory, but attention to detail and patience. We started playing this game when Mara was about 2 in small batches, so like 6 cards (aka 3 matches), and slowly built up as she got older. Now she can play a full game with over 24 matches.

Go Fish – We don’t play Go Fish with a traditional deck of cards, but with a little preschool deck. The pictures are easily recognizable, making it a simpler game for little ones. I expected this game to take Mara a little while to learn, but she grasped the concept pretty quickly. Since the game just consists of a deck of cards, it’s great for playing at restaurants or any other public setting that requires a lot of waiting. Depending on the cards you’re using, Go Fish can help with number recognition, matching, patience and paying attention. 

Even though these are board games for preschoolers, I believe the whole family can enjoy them. It’s a fun way to learn and grow together. I see many family game nights in our future. Jesse and I already play board games weekly, so it will be fun to add the kids to the fun as they get older.

What are some of your favorite board games to play with your kids? Or what was a favorite of yours growing up?

1 thought on “Board Games for Preschoolers”

  • This board game for my preschooler is perfect especially now that we are staying at home all the time. I particularly like the Count your Chickens board game, but the other games are worth to try as well! Thanks for this!

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