26 Best Board Games for Toddlers (2 & 3 Year Olds)

26 Best Board Games for Toddlers (2 & 3 Year Olds)
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Even though my kids are getting older, we still play board games all the time. We started playing board games when they were toddlers around 2 years old and they just fell in love with them.

To help you get started playing board games with your kids, here are some of the best board games for two year olds.

Can A Two Year Old Play Board Games?

So I feel like I know what you are thinking…board games for 2 year olds? Can a two year old even play board games?

Turns out, there are loads of amazing board games that your 2 year old can play and they are a great way to connect, interact, learn, and have some family fun.

What are Good Board Games for 2 and 3 Year Olds?

When you are choosing a board game for a toddler, you want to make sure that the game has some of these characteristics:

  • Somewhat quick-play (due to short attention spans)
  • Simple in concept, but great in rewards of knowledge
  • Allows kids to move around
  • Doesn’t have too many game pieces
  • Game pieces are slightly larger, making them easy for small hands to hold
  • Simple, easy to follow instructions

 

Best Board Games for 2 and 3 Year Olds

You may not think your two year old will sit still for a board game, but actually, there are plenty of games out there that cater just to that age group.

 

Best Educational Board Games for 2 and 3 Year Olds

Every game you play with your child is educational. So the following board games all fall into the “best educational board games” category for that reason.

Even if it’s the simplest game, I promise your child will be learning something.

But to help break the games down into categories, I chose to put them with the group I felt the game most represented. That doesn’t mean that your preschooler is only learning that one thing — just that that particular skill is the biggest part of the game.

 

Games for Gross Motor Skills and to Get Your 2 and 3 Year Old Moving

All of these games promote gross motor skills while also encouraging other learning and development.

 

Think Fun Roll and Play – Your Child’s First Game

Think Fun Roll and Play - Your Child's First GameThink Fun Roll and Play – Your Child’s First GameThink Fun Roll and Play - Your Child's First Game

 

This is the perfect board game for young kids. The dice is soft, colorful, and large enough for little hands. The concept is super easy…throw the dice, pick a card, and do what is on the card.

Your 2 year old will have so much fun learning body parts, making animal sounds, working on gross motor skills, identifying different colors, and being creative…all while moving their body.

Amazon reviewer Shannon calls this “the perfect game for active toddlers”:

My daughter is 3 yrs old and she loves this game! It’s easy enough for her to understand but complicated enough for her to feel proud when she finishes her turns. The cards are simple but entertaining.

The dice is plenty big enough and basically a stuffed toy, so no chance in it hitting anything/anyone too hard to cause damage … This would be great for classroom game time, daycare game time, family game time, birthday party, etc.

 

Monkey Around First Game for Toddlers

Monkey Around First Game for ToddlersMonkey Around First Game for ToddlersMonkey Around First Game for Toddlers

 

Monkeying Around is a game that’s going to get your preschooler up and moving.

All they have to do is choose a card, have a parent read it to them, and together, you perform what the card says. From dancing with a banana on your head, to giving high-fives and hugs, this game is great for moving.

 

Mr. Bucket Game — The Spinning & Moving Bucket of Fun!

Mr. Bucket Game -- The Spinning & Moving Bucket of Fun!Mr. Bucket Game — The Spinning & Moving Bucket of Fun!Mr. Bucket Game -- The Spinning & Moving Bucket of Fun!

 

The Mr. Bucket Game will really get your kids moving! As they run around trying to put the balls inside the bucket, the bucket moves, spins, and even spits the balls back out! This game will provide hours of laughter and fun.

 

Richard Scarry’s Busytown — Eye Found It

Richard Scarry's Busytown -- Eye Found ItRichard Scarry’s Busytown — Eye Found ItRichard Scarry's Busytown -- Eye Found It

 

If you and your child have never read any Richard Scarry books, like What Do People Do All Day? or Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, get thee to a library and check them out.

But even if they’ve never seen the books, your two year old is going to love the game Busytown: Eye Found It. The game board is large and gets put together right on the floor allowing kids to move around as they play. It boosts critical thinking, encourages teamwork. It also helps with object identification and matching skills, while fostering attention to detail.

 

Fine Motor Skills Board Games for 2 and 3 Year Olds

Animal Upon Animal Junior – Toddler Stacking Game

Animal Upon Animal Junior - Toddler Stacking GameAnimal Upon Animal Junior – Toddler Stacking GameAnimal Upon Animal Junior - Toddler Stacking Game

 

This Animal Stacking Game is a super simple game for toddlers. The play time is only about 10 minutes, so it is perfect for the short attention span of a toddler.

In this game, your child stacks animals that are all different shapes. It will help them with fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving (as they figure out how to get their tower the highest), and even the very basic concepts of physics.

And after they’ve finished playing the game, the animals are great for free imaginative play.

 

Hi Ho Cherry-O:Counting, Numbers, and Matching Game

Hi Ho Cherry-O:Counting, Numbers, and Matching GameHi Ho Cherry-O:Counting, Numbers, and Matching GameHi Ho Cherry-O:Counting, Numbers, and Matching Game

 

My oldest daughter went through a period where she loved Hi-Ho-Cherry-O when she was 3 years old.

Well, now there’s a newer version that has a little bit of a modern twist that is sure to make it the best part of the day for your toddler — this is the CoComelon version.

So now your toddler will love getting to help JJ, Cody and CeCe fill their baskets with apples. Just like the original game, this new game version helps with hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, matching, counting, adding, subtracting, and color recognition.

 

Hungry as a Bear – A Memory & Dexterity Game for Toddlers

Hungry as a Bear - A Memory & Dexterity GameHungry as a Bear – A Memory & Dexterity GameHungry as a Bear - A Memory & Dexterity Game

 

What I really like the most about Hungry as a Bear is the simplicity of it. So often games are all about moving parts and flashing lights. But not this one. This calm game is easy to play, with muted colors, cardboard pieces, and simple instructions. The game promotes attention, focus, care and coordination.

And because this game is so compact, it would also be a really great game to take on vacation along with your other travel toys.

 

Yeti In My Spaghetti

Yeti In My Spaghetti — Silly Children's GameYeti In My Spaghetti — Silly Children’s GameYeti In My Spaghetti — Silly Children's Game

 

Yeti In My Spaghetti is one of the best games for your 2 year old to learn about the basic concepts of cause and effect. As they pull out the spaghetti noodles, the yeti weebles and wobbles until he eventually falls into the bowl. Making my kids laugh hysterically!

This game is great for young players, but older kids will love it too.

 

Click here to see a short video clip of this game.

 

Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Snug as a Bug in a RugSnug as a Bug in a RugSnug as a Bug in a Rug

 

Snug as a Bug in a Rug is a great board game for toddlers! And while it’s more appropriate for a 3 year old, a two year old could play with the help of a parent.

The game board is a rug that your child has to get all the bugs under…before the stink bugs get on the rug and stink everything up. It is a fun game that younger children will love as they try to beat the stink bugs!

The game helps kids with the basic concepts of colors, shapes, numbers, counting, and cooperation.

 

Amazon reviewers Ben and Larissa did a thorough job explaining why this was their family’s favorite game to play together:

his is our family’s favorite game to play all together, and we are 2.5, 5, 36 and 37.

There are three levels to play, which makes this work well for families with children of multiple ages (and is promising for long-term use) …

Players spin a spinner and then find a bug of the corresponding color, number, or shape to put under the “rug” (game board). Players work together to try to beat the stink bugs who come out once you run out of bugs …

This is a collaborative game, so everybody wins or loses together. That really helps us keep the fun in family game night and minimizes fighting. My 5 year old still sometimes gets upset when we lose, but since the whole family loses, the adults can model well how to manage.

Each time you play (on Level 1), you roll a die to find out if you will match the bugs to the spinner based on color, number, or shape. That keeps things from getting repetitive for us adults, and helps the kids to recognize multiple attributes …

We have a lot of Peaceable Kingdom Games (Bunny Bedtime, Where’s Bear?, Monkey Around, Count Your Chickens, Feed the Woozle, and Stone Soup) and this is by far the favorite for both the kids and the adults in our family. I can’t recommend it enough.

 

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel GameThe Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel GameThe Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

 

What a cute and fun game The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game is. Your two year old is probably going to be obsessed with it.

Each person has to spin a wheel to see what color acorn will go in the stump. Your toddler will use the squirrel shaped tweezers to move the acorns, giving them a great game for fine motor skills and color matching.

 

Amazon reviewer Jessica said this game was perfect for her 8 year old son with autism:

My son used this game in his ABA therapy this morning and it was such a hit! This game was not only PERFECT for him but my 5 and 3 year old daughters also had a great time participating in this! The tongs are great for little hands and still quite a task for adults too.. you’ll be surprised!! Seriously, even the therapist had fun lol!

The box the game comes in is unique and the artwork on the box is colorful and fun! The presentation and the feel of the game is quality.. not cheap plastic pieces made in China. It is in such a fun little package you want to open it and play it right away! I would have thought this game was worth twice of what I paid for it!! It exceeded my expectations for sure …

If you’re on the fence, GET this game for your kiddos, you won’t be sorry!! It’s perfect for teaching turn taking, understanding matching colors and they won’t realize they are really working on perfecting those fine motor skills!! Worth EVERY penny!!!

 

Zingo Bingo Preschool Game for Pre/ Early Readers

Zingo Bingo Preschool Game for Pre/ Early ReadersZingo Bingo Preschool Game for Pre/ Early ReadersZingo Bingo Preschool Game for Pre/ Early Readers

 

Zingo was by far one of our favorite games for family game night. It is a matching game that takes matching in a different direction as kids race to get the matching cards they need. The game is great for both younger and older children.

Game play is slightly faster paced when played with older kids, so use your judgment about if this is right for your 2 year old to play with older siblings.

The game works on memory, matching, and hand-eye coordination.

Plus, there are two levels of play. One side of the game card is easier and the other side is slightly harder for more advanced players.

As your kids get older, you can now buy “boost packs” for your game to make the game more challenging and even introduce things like sight words in a fun “Zingo” way.

 

First Orchard Cooperative Board Game

First Orchard Cooperative Board GameFirst Orchard Cooperative Board GameFirst Orchard Cooperative Board Game

 

First Orchard is a cooperative board game where the players are working together to get all the fruit in the basket before the raven (who will eat all their fruit) reaches the finish line…which is the orchard.

This is a good board game for small hands working on gross and fine motor skills. There are also math skills involved and learning to work together.

 

Amazon reviewer Cruxington did a good job describing this game:

Overview: The game is very simple. A bird is attempting to get in the orchard. There are several trees in the orchard with fruit on them. We want to get the fruit before the bird gets into the orchard. On a turn the player rolls a dice that has three types of results: color (fruit), bird, basket (wild). If a color is rolled you pick the associated fruit. If the bird is rolled the bird moves one space closer to the orchard. If a basket is rolled you can pick a fruit of any type.

Components: Haba components are always top notch. The fruit pieces are hefty. The dice is large and easy to handle. My son loves birds so the bird figure is a nice touch.

Gameplay: It’s all about learning. During our play we call out the color on the dice and the associated fruit. The child gets the opportunity to fine tune some motor skills by rolling the dice and placing fruit in the basket. Learning the steps of a turn reinforces routine and also helps the child learn to take turns …

 

Best Board Games for a 2 Year Old’s Imagination

Let’s Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Cards Game

Let's Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Cards GameLet’s Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Cards GameLet's Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Cards Game

 

Younger kids will love the relation between this board game and the famous Eric Carle book A Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Your child will move their caterpillar around the board while collecting puzzle pieces that eventually turn their caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.

While the game play may be slower and more geared toward a more relaxed two year old, the rewards of this game are great. It encourages creativity, imaginative play, collecting, counting, and puzzle building, while also helping kids to learn patience.

 

Candy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board Game

Candy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board GameCandy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board GameCandy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board Game

 

I remember playing Candy Land with both my son and daughters when they were two years old. (My oldest daughter particularly liked me to ready the story to her repeatedly.)

And why wouldn’t they love it? To this day, this classic game still has all the same fun characters that rule over lands made of candy!

The color filled board and “sweet destinations” lend to a great imaginative play board game for all ages. They will learn colors, count spaces, and just have fun playing.

 

Best Cooperation Board Games for Toddlers

Count Your Chickens Cooperative Counting Game

Count Your Chickens Cooperative Counting GameCount Your Chickens Cooperative Counting GameCount Your Chickens Cooperative Counting Game

 

Count Your Chickens is interactive and great for all ages.

The first player spins the spinner and moves the mamma hen piece to the matching animal square. As the piece is moved, all players count the number of spaces. Together, the players then collect the number of chicks that corresponds to the number of spaces moved and place them in the coop.

At the end of the game, if all the chicks are in the coop before mamma hen gets there, then everyone wins!

 

Click here to see photos of kids enjoying this game together.

 

Pete the Cat Missing Cupcakes Board Game

Pete the Cat Missing Cupcakes Board GamePete the Cat Missing Cupcakes Board GamePete the Cat Missing Cupcakes Board Game

 

I remember my son coming home from pre-school singing, “I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes ….” And now, years later — literally this week, in fact — I’m doing an activity with one of my elementary classes where they sing and play instruments to that very same book.

Yup, everybody seems to love Pete the Cat.

This is a great family game night game because all the players — or family members — have to work together toward a goal. And that goal is to get Pete’s cupcakes back from Grumpy Frog.

Each player has to do fun things like sing a song or make crazy animal sounds to help win the cupcakes back. And in the end, everyone wins!

 

Best Hand-Eye Coordination Games

Let’s Go Fishin’

Let's Go Fishin'Let’s Go Fishin’Let's Go Fishin'

 

Let’s Go Fishin’ was one of the first games my kids had…and absolutely loved. Admittedly, it was a tough game for them at first because it requires a lot of hand eye coordination. But once they got the hang of it, they loved it!

The game consists of fishing poles and fish that open and close their mouths. Your toddler will try to get the fishing line inside so the fish will chomp down on it and they can pull the fish out.

My suggestion is to start with the game turned off so the fish are not moving. Then once they get the hang of it, make it a little harder by turning it on so the fish move around.

 

Click here to see a video clip of this toy in action.

 

Here Fishy Fishy! Magnetic Fishing Game

Here Fishy Fishy! Magnetic Fishing GameHere Fishy Fishy! Magnetic Fishing GameHere Fishy Fishy! Magnetic Fishing Game

 

If Let’s Go Fishin’ (from above) was a little too hard for your two year old, then Here Fishy Fishy may be just right.

Unlike the other game with its constant movement and speed of play, this game is stationary ocean life pieces that must be picked up with a string and magnet.

The concept is the same, but the method is easier.

 

Feed The Woozle

Feed The Woozle Cooperative GameFeed The Woozle Cooperative GameFeed The Woozle Cooperative Game

 

What’s a Woozle you ask? According to Feed the Woozle Game, a Woozle is a furry loveable monster that needs to eat!

Kids are challenged to roll a dice, count out food pieces and then balance them on a spoon to feed the Woozle.

This game works on your child’s gross and fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination and counting.

 

Best Toddler Memory and Matching Board Games for 2 Year Olds

Ladybug’s Garden Memory Game

Ladybug's Garden Memory GameLadybug’s Garden Memory GameLadybug's Garden Memory Game

 

Just like the memory card game we are all used to playing, this Ladybug’s Garden Memory Game challenges kids to remember where things are.

But unlike the old game, this one uses interchangeable cards that depict colors, shapes and numbers. And instead of turning over a card, you remove the ladybug.

This is hours of fun for young players. but older players will love it too.

 

Seek a Boo

Seek-a-BooSeek-a-BooSeek-a-Boo

 

Seek A Boo is a giant matching game for toddlers. Place the large tiles on the floor and let your child walk around turning them over one by one. When they remember where a match is, celebrate!

 

Lucky Ducks — The Memory and Matching Game that Moves

Lucky Ducks -- The Memory and Matching Game that MovesLucky Ducks — The Memory and Matching Game that MovesLucky Ducks -- The Memory and Matching Game that Moves

 

The Lucky Ducks game is a simple matching game. Your little one picks up a duck and checks to see if the color and shape match the one they are looking for. If it matches, they keep it. If it doesn’t, they put it back. First one with three ducks wins.

 

Games to Promote Following Directions

Zoo On the Loose

Zoo On The Loose – Stuffed Animal GameZoo On The Loose – Stuffed Animal GameZoo On The Loose – Stuffed Animal Game

 

These cute little stuffed animals have escaped from the zoo and your child needs to help them get back.

Zoo on the Loose is a great game to help kids learn to follow directions along with learning other things like directional words, colors, shapes and more.

To play, choose the most appropriate mat for your child to play on and then as the parent, you read off the actions for your little one to follow. They are simple instructions like, ‘place the polar bear under the chair’, and ‘put the monkey in the blue circle’.

Speaking of animals on the loose, here are some great dinosaur toys for boys!

 

Acorn Soup Game

Acorn Soup GameAcorn Soup GameAcorn Soup Game

 

Is your little one ready to make some nature soup?

The Acorn Soup Game is a great game that is all about following directions, but goes about it in a slightly different way.

With this game, your child gets to follow the recipe cards to create a unique soup made of things like leaves, acorns, pinecones and more fun nature items.

 

Games That Encourage Emotional Wellness and Empathy

Friends and Neighbors: The Helping Game

Friends and Neighbors: The Helping GameFriends and Neighbors: The Helping GameFriends and Neighbors: The Helping Game

 

Friends and Neighbors is the perfect game to promote your child’s social-emotional skills in a fun way.

Complete with an emotional intelligence guide for parents, this game provides a great opportunity to help your young players with the basic concepts of empathy, compassion and cooperation.

My favorite thing about this game is its simplicity. The simple board and tokens make it so easy for young children to understand… and therefore have fun while gaining insight into what it means to be a good friend and neighbor.

The box says it’s best for 3 and up, but the game is so easy, it’d be great for a 2 year old as well.

 

Panda’s Picnic in The Park

Panda’s Picnic in The Park - Game of Matching Colors & ShapesPanda’s Picnic in The Park – Game of Matching Colors & ShapesPanda’s Picnic in The Park - Game of Matching Colors & Shapes

 

Whether the weather is nice and you want to get outside or the weather is terrible and you need to stay in, Panda’s Picnic in the Park is a great make-believe open-ended game. The pieces are made to look like plates and food so your child can serve a picnic lunch anywhere you are.

 

Fantastic Benefits of Board Games for 2 Year Olds

According to Scholastic, “Even simple games help young players identify colors, count spaces, and develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity in moving cards and pieces around the board.”

Some other things they mention are that board games create better focus, boost language skills, teach the value of teamwork, and help kids learn how to be a good loser.

 

Best Board Game Companies for Toddlers

Two very popular board game producers for toddlers are Peaceable Kingdom and HABA.

Peaceable Kingdom just seems to “get” toddlers and what they will be interested in. All of their games are perfectly aged for 2 year olds.

HABA makes games that are both simple and often allow for open-ended play. They’re a German company that really caters to the simplicity of learning versus all of the electronics and moving part games.

 

Board Game FAQs:

Why Do People Play Board Games with Their Kids?

Most children learn best through play. So playing board games is a great way to help promote learning in a fun way. But these games are not limited to learning just colors, shapes, numbers, and counting. Playing games also helps kids learn cooperation, emotional wellness, how to be a good loser, critical thinking, and so much more.

And for us parents, it’s a chance for us to interact with our kids in a fun way. It gives us insight into what areas they need more help with, and engage them in conversation with us and other family members to boost emotional IQ and vocabulary.

 

At What Age Are Board Games Appropriate?

I say, start playing board games with your kids as soon as they’re ready. That age could be 2, or even younger.

 

Can a 2 Year Old Play Candy Land?

Well, my kids certainly did!

Keep in mind that if something is slightly too hard for your child, you can change the rules just a little to make it easier until they can get it.
For instance, just start off by jumping to the different colored squares and naming the colors. Or counting out loud when you move your piece.

 

Can a 2 Year Old Play Chutes and Ladders?

When I was 9 years old, I would go across the street to my friend’s house, where we’d sometimes play Chutes and Ladders. So I always thought of it as a school-age game.

Actually, though, it’s designed for kids 3 and up, which kinda makes sense because there are no words — only pictures. Plus it’s a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to practice number recognition and counting.

And if they have an older sibling who’s anything like I was, they’ll love playing it too!

 

How Do You Entertain a 2 Year Old Indoors?

With board games and toys of course!

But there are plenty of other options as well:

 

Final Thoughts

There are so many fantastic games out there for your two year old. And board games are just a start. When you play and interact with your children as a parent or as a family, they tend to learn faster because they are in a fun atmosphere. So get to helping your kids learn through play!

 

 



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