Board games help teach counting, letter recognition, memory, and sportsmanship. These are some of the best board games for preschoolers.
Board games are excellent learning tools for children. Games help them with counting, letter recognition, memory, and learning how to be a good sport. Games are one of my favorite “Mommy and Me” activities with my kids. The time that we spend playing games is focused bonding time. We play and laugh together, learn and just have fun. Here are some of the best board games for preschoolers that help you learn and have fun with your kiddo.
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My Favorite Board Games for Preschoolers
Count Your Chickens
Count Your Chickens is a cooperative game to help preschoolers improve their counting skills. The rules and gameplay 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.
Candyland was one of my favorites as a kid and the first board game for preschoolers that my daughter ever played. It helps with color recognition, counting, and learning to follow rules. We 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 backward, on the game board. The player that reaches the castle at the end first is the winner.
Chutes and Ladders
Chutes 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 with the game board, there are ladders that may allow you to advance further along or chutes (slides) that may cause you to move backward. Of all the board games for preschoolers that we 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 backward on the “slides” so it does make for a great lesson in handling disappointment!
Cootie 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 ahead 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.
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. Both of my girls love Memory and are pretty good at it. Memory not only helps with memory but attention to detail and patience. We started playing this game when they were about 2 in small batches, so like 6 cards (aka 3 matches), and slowly built up as they got older. Now they can play a full game with over 24 matches.
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 my kids a little while to learn, but they 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. My husband 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?