I am fairly minimalist when it comes to buying things for my kids for several reasons. When they have massive amounts of stuff it’s just more for me to clean up and organize. I am all about keeping the cleaning to a minimum! They also seem to get overstimulated and don’t play as well when they have piles of toys everywhere. That’s just how I feel (and can be better explained in this article). If you feel like you need all the toys in the world for your children, no judging here.
Board games (and books!) are one thing that I feel like we can’t have enough of. They are so fun for our three-year-old, Theo. It is a special thing that he can do with us that his baby sisters aren’t old enough for. I talked in this post about how difficult three-year-old’s are, but it is also such a fun age. The rate at which they learn things is absolutely incredible!
Games are great for teaching all sorts of skills such as colors, counting, shapes, etc. I especially love that Theo learns and practices taking turns and being a graceful loser when we play games. He waits patiently for his turn, and we can model for him how to react when we lose. Instead of focusing on losing, we celebrate the winner and tell them good job. I love that he is learning that with us instead of learning how to be a whiny loser from other kids. I mean, I’m sure that time will come, but hopefully, since we are building a solid foundation it will be a brief phase!
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Roundup of Our Top Board Games for Three-Year-Olds
Candy Land is a classic that we all played growing up, and the first game that Theo played. It’s great for teaching colors and counting.
This is one of our favorites! My husband loves this just as much as Theo does and gets into a little friendly competition (with the three-year-old! Haha!). The game is really great quality, unlike most board games. The pieces are heavy duty little wooden tiles with pictures of animals on them. It’s your typical memory-matching game: you turn over the pieces two at a time and try to find matches.
The goal of this game is to collect acorns from the tree to put in your game piece. Players spin the spinner and choose the color acorn they have landed on. There is a squirrel squeezer that must be used to grab the acorns! It’s super fun, and we love it! This game is great for working on matching, counting, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.
In this game, you use the spinner to see how many cherries you can pick from your tree to the basket. It is such a fun way to teach numbers, counting, and simple addition and subtraction. I am always asking Theo questions such as “You have 5 cherries and picked two! How many are left?” He thinks it’s all fun and games, but he’s really doing math problems.
Note: We don’t actually own the next two games, but I have researched them and they are on my list to get. They both look like a lot of fun and have excellent reviews, so I am putting them on here.
This is a cooperative game, so everyone wins. The players work together to help Mother Hen collect her chicks and get them back to the coop. I think it’s important to teach children how to lose gracefully, but it is also important to have games that don’t make winning the focus.
This game is on my list because it has 3 different levels and can grow with your child, and is also a cooperative game. The players work together to get all of the bugs hidden under the rug before the stink bugs stink it up. This game uses a die instead of a spinner and teaches colors, numbers, shapes, and counting.
What are your favorite board games for three-year-olds? I’d love to add some to my list!