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The 10 Best Board Games For 3 Year Olds That Are Engaging And Fun

Board Games For 3 Year Olds

Board games are a great way to have fun with your 3-year-old. 

Kids at this age are growing and learning fast, so this is a great time to teach them about cooperation, math, competition, hand-eye coordination, and winning and losing. 

It’s also a significant time to bond with your little one by playing games and having fun together. A good board game helps with all of the above.

This article will look at some of the best board games for 3 year olds and young children so that you, your little one, and the whole family can have fun together.

Can 3-year-olds play board games?

You may be wondering if 3-year-olds can play board games. 

The answer is yes, but not all board games are suitable for your little one – you’ll have a hard time successfully playing a game of Clue or Monopoly with a toddler! 

Fortunately, there are many board games designed specifically for young children.

What makes a good toddler board game?

The best toddler board games are those that teach and encourage:

  • Communication skills
  • Math skills
  • Taking turns
  • Cooperation
  • Winning and losing
  • Following rules
  • Gross and fine motor skills development

It’s also important that:

  • Playtime is relatively short. Young children may not yet have the attention span to follow a single game play for longer than 20 to 30 minutes, so games that last longer may end up with a tired and frustrated toddler instead of a happy one.
  • Rules are simple. Complicated rules are confusing for your toddler and a source of frustration for parents. Playtime is supposed to be fun, so avoid games that get you hung up on the rules!
  • Playing is also educational. Playing board games is a great way to engage your little one’s attention, so while you have it, it’s wise to help them learn about the world around them. Math, communication, and cooperation skills can be learned through themes such as farm animals, jobs, school, etc., explored through card-pulling, drawing, teamwork, and memory games.

Board Games For 3 Year Olds

Best board games for 3 year olds

Below you’ll find a list of ten of the best board games for 3-year-olds and young kids, all of which are fun and help your little one build important useful life skills.

1. Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Eye Found It!

Richard Scarry’s Busytown books are a classic, and now there’s a fun and immersive board game to match! Busytown Eye Found It! is a fantastic adventure around the famous Busytown that your 3-year-old will love. 

Average playtime is around 20 minutes, but with all the details, colors, and busyness around town, there’s no end to how long your little one will want to play. 

The Busytown board game is unlike any other. The game board is 6 feet long, busy, and packed with interesting characters and things to see. 

Designed for 2-4 players, the objective of the game is to make your way from the bottom of the board to Picnic Island, finding objects along the way and making it to the island before Pig Will and Pig Won’t get there and eat all your picnic food!

Number of players: 2-4

Skills: Social skills, collaboration

2. Skillmatics Memory Match

Skillmatics Memory Match Animal Planet is a fun game that promotes your child’s memory and learning abilities. 

Two types of gameplay:

  • One type of gameplay involves matching animal tiles to corresponding pictures on boards. 
  • The other way to play involves rolling a wooden die with pictures of animal habitats and matching animal tiles to their corresponding habitat.

Skillmatics Memory Match is easy to play with, set up, and put away, and it engages your child’s attention with various animals and colors. The cards, boards, and die are sturdy so that rough-handed play won’t destroy the game.

Memory Match Animal Planet is a great way to teach your little one about the animal kingdom and animal habitats. It promotes memory and observation skills, and tiles can be used outside gameplay to establish familiarity with the animal theme. 

Animal Planet is one of three Memory Match themes. Other themes include ‘Shapes Around Us’ and ‘Where Things Belong.’

Number of players: 2-5

Skills: Memory, observation

3. Snug as a Bug in a Rug!

Peaceable Kingdom’s Snug as a Bug in a Rug is a cooperative game for 2-4 players. Players help cute colorful bugs avoid stink bugs by rolling a die and spinning a spinner. 

The game’s objective is to get all the bugs under the rug before they are caught by one of three stink bugs. Players help bugs get safe by matching attributes, such as color, size, and shape. 

Matching bugs sneak under the rug, but if there is no match, a stink bug is placed on the board.

This fun and simple game helps young children identify colors, shapes, numbers, and the difference between big and little. 

Typical playtime is around fifteen minutes, but the excitement your kids will experience may lead to several playthroughs!

Number of players: 2-4

Skills: Counting, teamwork

4. My Very First Games: First Orchard

First Orchard is a cooperative game that only takes around fifteen minutes to play, is suitable for 3-year-olds, and can be played by up to 4 players. 

To play the game, players roll dice and collect fruit. The game’s objective is to collect all the fruit before the raven lands and steals them.

This fun game promotes teamwork and social skills, is easy to learn and play, and with bright colors and simple illustrations, will hold your little one’s attention. 

In a cooperative game, everyone wins or everyone loses. The raven slowly moves closer to the fruit, and everyone wins if all fruit is collected before the raven has a chance.

Number of players: 1-4

Skills: Teamwork, counting

5. Candyland

Candyland is a classic board racing game designed for young kids but makes a great addition to an all-inclusive family game night. 

Gameplay is incredibly simple. No reading or learning is required. Players simply draw a card and move their chosen pawn per the card’s directions.

For example, if you draw a single yellow block card, move your pawn to the next yellow block on the board. If you draw a double yellow block card, move your pawn to the second next yellow block on the board.

The winner of the game is the first player to arrive at King Kandy’s Castle. 

Candyland is one of the best family board games because it’s unpredictable; winners win by luck, not skill, so there’s no telling who will win based on skills alone!

Number of players: 2-4

Skills: turn-taking, color matching, counting

6. eeBoo Create a Story Cards

eeBoo’s Create and Tell Me A Story: Animal Village cards offer endless fun and exploration for your little one. This imaginative board game features 36 exciting cards, which, when drawn in random order, lead to a unique story each time.

Parents can make up a story as they go a long way and tell it to children, or children who are already talking and telling stories can lead the story. 

Recurring characters and props help young players connect cards and think of new narratives. 

A fun, creative, screen-free game that encourages thinking, imagination, and communication.

Number of players: 2 or more

Skills: Imagination, narration, creativity

7. Monkey Around: The Wiggle and Giggle Game

Another great game for toddlers from the family’s favorite board games publisher Peaceable Kingdom. Monkey Around: The Wiggle and Giggle Game prompts players to move around in fun and exciting ways, from balancing to hopping to giving high fives and marching around!

Players pull a card from the box, which directs a specific action. Once the action has been completed, the card is placed on the tree. A full tree is the end of the game.

This physically active game has no winners – it’s about having fun and monkeying around! 

Toddlers get the chance to improve their gross motor skills, spatial awareness, and hand-eye coordination. 

The game is designed for 2 to 4 players, so it’s perfect for a toddler playdate or if you have more than one young child in the house. 

You can also monkey around yourself or join your little one in the fun!

Number of players: 2-4

Skills: Imitation, coordination

8. Friends and Neighbors – The Helping Game

Friends and Neighbors – The Helping Game is a great way to teach your little one social-emotional skills. 

This matching game requires players to work together to help friends and neighbors.

Players take turns pulling a token from the helping bag and matching it with their friend or neighbor’s token. This sweet game encourages empathy, compassion, and cooperation and only takes 10 minutes to play and can be played by 1-4 players.

The fact that this game can also be played alone makes it a versatile activity to pass the time in your household. 

In addition, the tasks for which friends and neighbors also familiarize your little one with daily tasks that need to be done, which translates well to real life.

Number of players: 1-4

Skills: Empathy, cooperation, social skills, matching

9. Pete the Cat – The Missing Cupcakes Game

If your little ones like the Pete the Cat book series, they’ll love Pete the Cat: The Missing Cupcakes Game

If you don’t know about Pete the Cat books, make sure to check them out. Kids love them, and they can make a great gift and a fun screen-free way to pass the time. 

The game’s objective is to work together to take back the 14 missing cupcakes Grumpy Toad stole from Pete the Cat. Songs, activities, and card pulling make this an exciting and immersive game perfect for 2 to 4 players and three and over. 

No reading is required to play. Game rules are easy to learn, so your youngster will be ready to play in no time!

Number of players: 2-4

Skills: Cooperation, memory, math

10. Zingo!

Zingo! is an entertaining board game for toddlers and parents alike, making it one of the best family games on this list. 

Zingo works like the classic Bingo. 

Players have a board with a variety of pictures and associated words. Instead of calling a number, a card box distributes two different cards. 

Players must identify the pictures on the two cards and pick up one that matches an image on their board. The winner is the first player to cover all the squares on their board with matching cards.

Number of players: 2 or more

Skills: Concentration, memory, literacy, matching

Takeaway

These fun board games can offer so much fun to your little ones and the whole family. While the pace and excitement of these games may be slow for older children and adults, they’re great for toddler inclusion on family game night. 

You can bring out the more complex games when your little one has gone to bed, but start with these simple ones to ensure they feel included in the evening’s fun!

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