April 23, 2014

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 3-7

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Is there anyone out there who has never played Monopoly? With the advent of computer games, board games are as popular as ever before, many moons ago. Everybody plays them (at least once), even little kids!  And while board games are fun, they can be educational for the little ones, an added bonus.

Chutes and Laddersbest board games for kids

Ages:  4 – 7 (small parts in the game make it not suitable for children under 3).

Educational purpose: To learn to count, take turns and begin to understand consequences and rewards.

As kids go through the game, they encounter situations that reward them for good deeds and then punish them for bad deeds. This game has a single digit spinner so that children can learn to recognize numbers, and players climb to 100, which helps them to count high.

Sequence for Kids

Ages: 3 – 7 years. (Small parts in the game make it not suitable for children under 3.)

Educational purpose: To use visual skills to memorize and put sequences of objects together.

There is a version for the older-than-7 crowd, but in this version, younger children draw a card and then match it to the corresponding spot on the board (i.e. animal to animal) and then make a sequence of four in a row. Smaller kids sometimes don’t understand the strategy for winning, but they like to match pictures and sounds to the same ones on the board.

Cranium Cariboo

best board games for kids

Ages: 3 – 6 years.

Educational purpose: To reinforce basic learning fundamentals such as the ABCs, colors, shapes, and numbers.

This is a great game for pre-schoolers; it can be played in less than 15 minutes and no reading is required. The object of the game is to go on a treasure hunt. The children take turns matching letters, numbers, etc. to unlock doors and hunt for treasure. There are four ways to unlock doors:  Match a letter card to the first letter of the word on a door, match a number card to the number of things on the door, match a color card to the color of the things on the door, or match a shape to the shape of things on the door. It’s a fun game that children can play and learn some basic education with.

Sorry!

Ages: 4 years and up. (choking hazards; not suited for children under 3).

Educational purpose: To count and learn about sportsmanship.

The object of the game is to count the spaces to move your piece around the board until they are all home. The sportsmanship part of the game comes in when an opponent “bumps” another player one all the way back to start or makes them switch places. This can be frustrating for young children, especially since it’s possible to go from first to last in simply one turn. If you can play just two children at a time, it may be easier for them; they will both know who’s going to get bumped and when.

Candyland

best board games for kids

Ages: 3 – 6 years. (A few choking hazards such as a marble or a small ball, and choking or suffocating on deflated or broken balloons makes this game unsuitable for children under three. Adult supervision is required.)

Educational purpose: To learn counting, coordination, and matching skills.

Pre-schoolers love this game! It has bright and vibrant colors and children will encounter magical places along the way as they move their pieces towards the castle. They draw cards with shapes of green stars, yellow circles, purple ovals, and red squares and move their piece to the space that has the same shape. It is a basic counting game and it works. A children’s classic, through and through.

Hi Ho Cherry-O.

Ages: 3 – 6 years. (Small parts make this game unsuitable for children under 3.)

Educational purpose: A first board game to introduce pre-schoolers to counting.

This is a good game to introduce a little one to counting. A player spins the arrow, which tells him how many cherries to pick and put in their basket. But be careful to not spill all of the cherries: First one with 10 cherries in their basket wins. It is an excellent first preschool board game.

There are so many educational tools out there and board games are an effective route to take. The kids learn while they are playing and have fun while doing both. And that’s something you both are happy with.

This post was written and contributed by Karen Bline. Karen has been a stay at home Mom since her first child was born, who is now 12. Karen is always turns to Television Frenzies to keep her kids entertained, where she is able to find things from board games to Squishy Baff.

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