Christmas is just around the corner, and every year I like to request at least one new board game for the family for Christmas. Why? Well, to begin, I enjoy playing board games and board games provide a constructive opportunity for me to spend quality time with my girls. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Board games have a LOT of benefits besides just being fun.
Benefits of Board Games
- Strengthens relationships between family and friends.
- Engage the mind.
- Improve memory.
- Increase problem solving skills.
- Build hand/eye coordination and hand dexterity.
- Encourage goal setting.
- Demonstrate that actions can lead to both rewards and consequences.
- Provide fun practice opportunities for school subjects like math, English (story-telling and letter recognition for example), and history.
- Teach important social skills such as taking turns, working as a team, and being a good sport.
So what are our favorite board games? Well, so far we are building our board game repertoire from the ground up. Thus, most of our games are geared for the 4-6 year old right now. That said, here are some classic games you will find around our house.
Our Top 10 Favorite Board Games for Preschoolers
Listed in no particular order.
A classic. Would you believe it if I told you I never played this game until I had kids? So true! Appropriate for ages 3 and up, this game is a great way to reinforce color recognition and introduce your child to the importance of taking turns. It’s a great first board game as the child doesn’t even have to know how to count.
It’s fast. It’s furious! It’s Hungry Hungry Hippos! Just be the first hippo to gobble up the yellow marble and you win. While not appropriate for children under 3, due to a potential swallowing hazard, younger kids LOVE this game because there’s nothing more to it than slam the hippo lever as fast as you can. When my girls first started playing this game they just giggled and giggled and said, “Again. Again!”
My favorite trait about this game is that EVERY player is on the same team. Your goal is to work as a team to get all the baby owls in the nest before the sun comes up. You can also adjust the game to be as simple or complex as you like. The box says it is for 4 years and older but my daughter loved it just as much when she was 3.
This game was my go-to game when trying to teach the girls how to count objects one-by-one. The nice thing is they got a lot of practice and the counting only went up to 4. The goal? Be the first person to pick all the fruit off their tree.
Once your child can count up to 12 then it’s a great time to pull out this classic game. It took my girls a few times to understand that the board went back and forth, but once they got the hang of that, they love taking the ladders and the slides to the top.
6. Guess Who?
We got our Guess Who? Board Game from a garage sale for $1 and it was the best $1 we ever spent. My girls love asking questions to try and figure out who the other person has. It’s a great game for teaching children to be observant and ask detailed questions.
We learned about this upon reading the book, Uncle Wiggly. My girls loved the book so much they have enjoyed playing the game to come in contact the characters in the story. It’s a game of chance so everyone has a chance to win. Kids only need to be able to count up to 20 to be able to play.
8. Peanut Butter and Jelly Card Game
This is technically not a board game, but a fun family game just the same. We were recently introduced to this unique card game, and we immediately liked it so much we played it every night for a week afterwards. Be the first player to build 3 sandwiches and you win. But beware! There are flies and ants who may get to eat your sandwich before you do. It’s a great game for 3 and up.
We learned about this game upon reading Mo Willem’s book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. It is a good introductory game for teaching social skills, consequences, and only involves counting up to 4. It’s a fun game for Mo Willem’s lovers ages 3 and up.
10. Old Maid
Again, not “technically” a board game, but a fun family game. While my girls like both “Go Fish” and “Old Maid”, my youngest especially likes Old Maid because she doesn’t have to know what fish to ask another player. She just has to draw a card and find a match. It’s a great first card game for 3 and up. By the way, if your child is having a hard time holding cards, try creating an egg carton card holder. We did and they work great!