Do you have a young child who loves board games? This list of board games for toddlers features game that develop teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. These are also wonderful games to play with mixed age groups of children.
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What to Look for in a Board Game for Toddlers
Most toddlers care about what their games look like! We recommend finding games with attractive and detailed game pieces.
Toddlers are also quite young to deal with the complexities of competitive play. Because of this, our list focuses on cooperative board games, where everyone works together to win. Toddlers learn important lessons about patience, teamwork, and turn taking through these games.
Remember, some toddlers are ready to play board games. Others are not, and there is nothing wrong with that! They can learn to play when they are a little bit older.
Cooperative Board Games for Toddlers
I LOVE cooperative games for this age group. While competition is often fun, it’s asking a lot for a toddler to be a good sport when they lose. Cooperative board games are also wonderful for older children who aren’t quite ready to deal with winning or losing. These games are also great for children who just don’t enjoy competition.
Note that many of these games are marketed for ages 3 and over, but I find that younger children do enjoy them. Note that the pieces may not be choking proof, so you’ll need to always supervise game play carefully. I would not recommend using games with small pieces with any child who is still putting pieces in their mouth. Wait until they have outgrown this phase.
Hoot Owl Hoot
Hoot Owl Hoot! is designed for children ages 4 and up, but can be easily adapted for younger children. The goal is to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun rises. Players work together to move the owls to the nest by drawing cards and matching colors.
Rivers, Roads, and Rails
Rivers, Roads, and Rails feels a bit like a puzzle, so if you have a child who enjoys puzzles this is an especially great board game to choose. Players connect the cards to build as large of a path as possible. This is actually designed as a competitive game, but we find it is more fun if players work together cooperatively.
Count Your Chickens!
Count Your Chickens! is a simple counting and matching game. The goal is to help the mother hen collect all of her chicks and bring them back to the coop before the fox arrives. Players work together to move the chicks by spinning a spinner and counting spaces.
Friends and Neighbors
Friends and Neighbors focuses on identifying and expressing emotions. Players take turns picking a card and identifying the emotion on the card. The group then discusses ways to help someone who is feeling that emotion. This is a great game for developing emotional intelligence.
Race to the Treasure
In Race to the Treasure, players work together to collect all of the keys and reach the treasure before the ogre does. Players move around the board by drawing cards and deciding which path to take.
Snug as a Bug in a Rug
Snug as a Bug in a Rug focuses on matching shapes and colors. The goal is to work together to find all of the matching bugs and place them in the correct snug spots on the rug. This game teaches numbers, colors, shapes, counting, matching, and the concept of size (big and little).
All of these games help toddlers learn about teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.
What board games would you add to this list?
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