Board games can be a fun way to spend time with your child and teach them at the same time. Classic board games are often easiest for young children to play. For many of the games listed below, children 3 and older should be able to play. For those under that age, why not team up with them so you can help them play the game, especially if you have older children to join you in the fun.
Here are some good starter board games for your toddlers:
Hi Ho Cherry-O
Each player spins a spinner. If they land on the numbers one, two, three or four, those are the number of cherries they can put in their bucket. If they land on a crow or a dog, they have to put two cherries from their bucket back on the tree. If they land on a spilled bucket, all of their cherries have to go back on their tree.
This game teaches children counting as well as how to take turns. As your child gets older, you could also use it to practice addition and subtraction.
Chutes and Ladders
In this game, children see a board with 100 spaces. The player who gets to 100 first wins. Players use a spinner to move; numbers on the spinner range from 1 to 6. However, this game isn’t as simple as that. Throughout the board, there are chutes (think slides) and ladders. If the child lands on a number where a child on the board is doing something good, the player can climb the ladder and move up to a higher number. If the player lands on a picture where the child on the board is doing something naughty, the player must slide down the board, moving further from the number 100.
On a practical level, this game teaches counting skills. On an emotional level, this game teaches kids that they should never give up. You never know when you might land on a ladder and take the lead.
This game is an excellent way to teach colors, shapes, numbers and letters. It also helps children develop fine motor coordination.
In the same vein as Bingo, in this game, each board contains nine squares with a picture and the word for that picture underneath it. Players take turns revealing two tiles that have pictures on them. If one of the tiles has a corresponding picture on the player’s game board, the player grabs the tile and places it on the board.
The first player to fill their board wins.
This game is a fabulous way to teach children sight word recognition, but the pictures make it easy for even the younger set to play.
With these games, you can have fun with your toddlers, and they won’t even realize they’re also learning!
What are your favorite toddler board games?