We are a game playing family. It took Grace a few years to catch on to taking turns and good sportsmanship, but then no kid grows understanding those innately. Allie is a little better at this age than Grace was, but she still needs a lot of encouragement and sometimes walks away in the middle of a game.
We play on. I think it’s really important to play games as a family.
We even play games with Old Grandma when we visit her.
The Best Games for Preschoolers
- Candy LandÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“Ã‚ I played this as a kid, and my kids love it, too.
- Connect 4 GameÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ Same as above. This is the game we all played as kids.
- Spot ItÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This is a fun game where you flip over two cards and try to be the first to find the one match between them. My girls like the animal version and the princess version best.
- Hungry Hungry HipposÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ My kids like this one so much that they’ve lost all the marbles, and our hippos are hungrier than ever. I need to find out if IÃ‚ can buy a new set of marbles.
Update – You can! I bought 4 sets of new marbles for $12 directly from Hasbro’s customer service. Now I have extras.
- Cranium Hullabaloo – This is one of my kids’ favorites. You spread out a bunch of large tokens, and a computer voice tells you what to do – run, jump, crawl, and slither from one token to another. I’m not sure why it’s so expensive on Amazon. Try ebay to get it for less.
- Fairy Tale Spinner GameÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ All little kids like to tell stories, right? Stories are central to this beautiful game.
- The Fishing gameÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ Another classic. You stick out your fishing rod and try to catch little fishes as they open and close their mouths.
- ZingoÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This is bingo for wee ones. The cards have only 9 squares, and you take turns picking out little tokens that cover the squares to make bingo.
- Trouble (there’s a cute new Frozen Olaf’s in Trouble version) Ã¢â‚¬“ My kids love all things Frozen, so there’s that. But beyond that, Trouble is a simple (classic) board game. All you have to do is get your markers around the board and into your home.
- Dominoes with Wooden Domino RacksÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ Simple and classic. There are all kinds of different ways to play dominoes, but I don’t know any. We just match up numbers with numbers.
- The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel GameÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ Every kid I know loves this game. You try to gather colored acorns while your opponents try to steal them away.
- Snail’s Pace RaceÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This is a cooperative game (no winners and no losers) where you move snails across the board. It’s really quick and perfect for very young players.
- Card games like Animal Rummy, Old Maid, and Crazy Eights with Little Hands Playing Card HoldersÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ First, card holders allow littles to play just like the grown ups, so those are a must. Simple card games are best, and I like that these are classics. (The ones I linked are from eeboo and quite beautiful.)
- Hoot Owl Hoot!Ã‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This is another cooperative game where players work together to get a bunch of baby owls back into their nest.
- Duck Duck 123Ã‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This has been one of our treasured games for at least five years. You start with a momma duck, and she has to get around the board and pick up all of her babies before going to the big duck party. I had to hide our ducks because the kids wanted to play with them all the time (apart from the game, I mean. I was afraid they’d get lost.).
- Who Shook Hook?Ã‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ Allie got this for Christmas last year, and she still loves it. It’s a basic game where you try to pick up treasures without knocking old Captain Hook off his hammock.
- Good old TwisterÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ You know, Twister, the game with the big circles. Right hand on red and left foot on green. Kids love it.
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed GameÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ This is another one that has been treasured in my house for a long time. We don’t play by the rules most of the time, but we go around the board and try to get all our monkeys onto the bed. The bed occasionally pops up and knocks all the monkeys off, challenging the patience of young players. It’s good.
Looking for something for older kids? Check out my Top 12 Games for Elementary School Kids!
What games do you love to play with the preschoolers in your life?
© 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.