I have always loved playing games, whether it was a board game or a card game. I had a pretty good collection of board games growing up and still have a few of them today!
Buying a board game for pre-school children for Christimas can be an intimidating thing for first time parents. Most board games are designated for appropriate age groups. However, you can’t always go by the recommendations. For instance, say you have an advanced three or four year old that is already starting to read? Or a five year old that understands logical thinking? They may be ready for games recommended for children age 6-10.
Here are some of my favorite choices in games for children under the age of five and why I chose them. If one or more interest you, be sure and check them out when you are doing your holiday shopping.
Memory is a great game to introduce as early as age two! The basic game comes with small cardboard pieces with pictures of different things. The object is to turn over two alike pictures to form a “match”. The player with the most matches wins the game.
Memory is a simple game that allows children to build upon their memory recognition. It is also fun to play and now comes in a ton of different themes such as Pooh, SpongeBob, Toy Story 3, Thomas the Tank Engine, Spider Man and more!
CandyLand is another fun game for ages two-three and up. This board game requires no reading, the board is made up of colors and you make your way through Lollipop Woods and other fun adventures. The first player to make it all the way to the end of the colorful path wins the game. CandyLand is now available in other themes as well, including Dora the Explorer and Winnie the Pooh.
CandyLand is a great game for teaching children colors and taking turns. It is often a favorite because of the colorful board.
Cootie is a simple game and good for children age two and up. The object of the game is to be the first player to build their Cootie. This game focuses on creativity and gives children motor skills while teaching them to build something.
Tic Tac Toe
This game has the same size cards as the memory game and comes in different versions. I have the Thomas & Friends version that has pictures of Thomas and all his friends for my grandson, who is 3. Get three in a row and you have Tic-Tac-Toe! This gives your pre-schooler experience in matching same objects, reasoning in putting the game pieces in the correct places on the board and motor skills.
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head is another good game to play that brings out the creativity of kids of all ages. Mr. Potato Head (and Mrs.) are available in many different themes. They can be combined to give you more options in dressing your potato. I find that the more you have to work with, the sillier you can make Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head look.
Mr. Potato Head encourages children to use their imagination, creativity and also strengthens motor skills.
Hi-Ho Cherry-O is a game you will want to play with the two and three year olds only with supervision. The game contains tiny cherries which could be swallowed. Hi-Ho Cherry-O is a fun game that also teaches counting.
This is not your ordinary domino game, but one designed for ages 3 to 6. The cards have either two different pictures on them of two of the same that serves as a double. The Domino Game comes in various versions also. Again, we have the Thomas & Friends version.
The domino game teaches matching and also cognitive thinking. Your child has to decide if he can play a card there or not by deciding if it is indeed a match.
A few other good choices in board games that may be of interest to your pre-schooler are Chutes and Ladders, Barrel of Monkeys, Bingo, and Checkers. Card games that pre-schoolers will enjoy are Fish, Hearts, and Old Maid. I’m sure there are many more out there, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind.