Toddlers are known for being active and having high energy levels, which can make it challenging to keep them busy throughout the day. Fortunately, many different games are available that are designed to keep toddlers playing and learning. The best games for toddlers teach them important lessons about counting, sharing and taking turns — and let them have a lot of fun while they’re at it. Here are a few of the top games for toddlers, which stand out for their creative design and quality.
The CozyBomb Magnetic Fishing Toys Game Set lets kids go fishing with magnetic sea life and their own fishing pole. Designed for ages 3 to 6, this product teaches hand-eye coordination, color recognition, interpersonal skills and math. Solid plastic is used for each piece, so they are durable and hold up well with frequent use. The product includes a net to keep all of the accessories together for easy clean-up. The items also float, making them perfect to use in a small kiddie pool or in the bath. The fishing pole is sturdy and operates well as it connects to each object with a built-in magnet.
Candy Land doesn’t require any reading to play, allowing toddlers to play independently once they learn the rules. The game features colored cards, fun illustrations and sweet destinations with a candy theme that includes plenty of treats. The set includes a board, four pawns, a card deck and instructions. New generations can be introduced to the game as they navigate a colorful road and attempt to reach the candy castle. Cards are used to help each player know how far they need to travel up the colorful road while racing to the top. Two to four players can participate in each round. Children will learn important lessons like how to wait their turn, match colors, count and follow rules while having fun.
This squirrel game teaches kids to take turns with other players and develop important social skills while playing along. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game requires two to four players and is best suited for toddlers ages 3 and up. Kids participate by spinning the spinner and squeezing the squirrel’s paws to grab a matching colored acorn to place on their own log. The goal of the game is to be the first to fill your log with acorns. All of the materials are extremely durable, and parts maintain their quality when used frequently by little hands. The graphics are also fun and engaging. As winner of awards such as the Parent’s Choice Award, Dr. Toy Best Picks and Good Housekeeping Best Toy, this game is a great choice.
Children fill their baskets with fruit while also learning how to count, add and subtract. The product includes the board game, spinner with arrow and base, plastic cherries, apples, oranges and blueberries, baskets and instructions. The game is made for kids ages 3 and up, and is ideal for younger players due to simple concepts that are easy for little ones to quickly grasp. Two to four players can participate in each round. The first player to pick all the fruit off their tree wins the game. Each round is quick to complete, which prevents small children from losing their patience as they play. The bright colors make it eye-catching and attractive to toddlers.
Chutes and Ladders is easy to learn: players just spin the spinner to determine how many steps to take towards the finish line. Players must try to get to the top of the board game without taking too many steps backward in chutes that send players back down the board. The game is educational because it requires counting while travelling along the board. Kids can also land on good deeds — with ladders that will send them higher up the board — that can teach them important life lessons and principles. The product includes the board game, spinner with the arrow, four pawns with plastic stands and instructions. Reading isn’t required, which allows kids to play on their own without the help of adults or older players, helping develop their confidence and independence. This game is ideal for kids ages 3 and up.
“Having played all of these games with my own toddlers as well as countless toddlers in our nursery, you will be amazed by what elements of a game truly interest a preschooler. Many times, you will need to adapt the rules of a game like Candy Land, for example, and that is developmentally appropriate. As the child matures, they will be able to play according to the rules. I also recommend letting your child explore the game pieces, board and cards prior to starting the game to help curb curiosity when you are focused on actually playing.”
Our Expert Consultant
Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.