After a day of playing in the sun, when everybody is happy but a bit tired, we love nothing more than to pull out a board game before bedtime. It is fun, gives us a great bonding moment, and teaches the kids some valuable skills and life lessons. We have a great collection of board games for our kids.
During the day, when the adults are busy, we have caught the kids on numerous occasions around the table playing a board game on their own. Sometimes they’ve even pulled out one of the adult games, and made up their own rules! I love how they have caught the bug for playing. They cooperate, learn to play together, deal with winning and losing, and can solve issues. And without them noticing, they are practicing counting, reading, negotiating, issue solving, and many other skills!
I would like to share some of our favorite board games for kids from the age of 3 to 6 with you. In no particular order!
1. Dr. Seuss Pattern Party
In Dr. Seuss Pattern Party, the kids need to match the squares on their goal cards (green playing cards in the picture) with tiles on the gameboard. They spin and match characters, colors, shapes, or patterns on the gameboard to put down their tile.
With 2 to 4 players, games last about 15 minutes.
We love this game because it plays quickly, our kids love it and want to play it over and over again, and they are actually learning something. They are learning to recognize patterns, of which there are basic and advanced versions, so the game is good to have an elder sibling with a younger sibling play together! They are also learning to recognize colors, shapes, and characters.
We have gifted this game a couple of times already to other families, and only heard good things back!
You can get Dr. Seuss Pattern Party for $12.69 on Amazon.
2. Dino Race
Trying to save their dinosaurs from extinction, players in Dino Race run as quickly as possible through plains, deserts, swamps, and jungles while avoiding the nasty tricks of the opponents. Each player must bring his dinosaur couple to the end of the race track, scoring points when one of his dinos finishes the race. Players also score points by bringing the dino egg to safety.
We love this game because it is so easy to adjust the game to any age group. I know the box says age 8+, but that is only if you use all the game components and rules. With our 3-year-old, we only have him move dinosaurs using cards, trying to get his dinos to the end of the path. With our 5-year-old, we have added the trick-taking cards and the volcano. I think that by the time they are 7 years old you can add the twist of the dinosaur egg and the flame drops.
Really, this game with all the components is even fun for adults!
3. Dr. Seuss Thing One and Thing Two Where are you?
In Dr. Seuss Thing One and Thing Two Where are you? the kids have to go look for a squishy foam plush of Thing One and Thing Two. They can get hints on where in the house it is hidden through basic questions about the room: Is there food in the room? Is there a bed? Does it contain plants? And so on.
We love this game as a family because it teaches them to observe their environment, to ask and answer questions. and we get to move around!
You can get this on Amazon for $14.
4. Guess Who
Do I even need to explain this game? A classic that has been around forever, our family still loves it! Only for two players, but at their age, adult help is still very welcome for this game.
It teaches kids how to ask questions, analyze and think logically. We have the ‘extra’ edition, which has multiple boards with household objects, people, animals, and more. This offers variety and widens the scope of possible questions.
You can get Guess Who for $6.97 on Amazon.
5. Acrobat’ (or the wooden tower stacking game)
Here is one that has so many versions, you couldn’t count them all! You throw the dice, and put blocks on the corresponding colors, followed by a new layer. But be careful to keep the balance! We take out this game when we need a good laugh. It is sure to get everyone excited!
A dexterity game that helps develop hand and eye coordination, strengthens fine motor skills and visual-spatial skills, inspires creativity, and promotes color recognition and fine motor skills.
You can get this on Amazon for $15.99.
6. Sushi Dice
In Sushi Dice, the players all get the same goal card and have to throw their dice all together to be the one that matches the goal card as quickly as possible.
Okay, bear with me. This is indeed a dice-rolling party game. But we have learned that it is actually awesome for young children! For the youngest, we remove the time component and just try to match the card with the dice. But as they get older, and you add the time pressure, we have come to know this game as the game that taught our kids how to keep focused under pressure, control their emotions, and play fairly.
And, it is fun for us adults too!
Sushi Dice can be found on Amazon for $24.99.
7. Story Time Chess
You heard me right! Story Time Chess!
This game introduces the game of chess to the youngsters, one character at a time. Each character (or chess piece) can of course only move a certain way, and this is practiced through little stories they can reenact on the board.
I have stumbled upon two 4-year-olds sitting on the floor correcting each other that the king can only move this way, or that they should have done this move to win…I was flabbergasted. Yes, it does require a lot of involvement from the parent, but it is worth it! They will learn how to develop strategies and think logically with this fun game.
Amazon sells Story Time Chess for $39.99.