49 answers

Board Games for a 2 Year Old??

My little one turned two recently and I am hoping that we can soon play some board games to break up the day a bit. I imagine 2 is a little too young for most games, but does anyone have any suggestions on something that your 2-year old liked and was able to play? He knows numbers to 10 and some colors, animals, etc. Much thanks in advance for any help you can give. I bought the Lucky Ducks game---wow, was that a mistake...I can only take about two minutes of that quacking and back to the toy graveyard.

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Thank you so much for all of the wonderful ideas and taking the time to write. I really appreciate it. I am going to try some of these--did not realize there are so many games for a child of his age. You gave me some great ideas and a trip to Target is in order this week and no more Lucky Ducks! Thanks again, K.

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Candyland...you can make it as simple as you want it to be!! I haven't met a child yet that hasn't loved it!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi K.,
I am a mother of three and I can tell you that all three of my children loved the game of memory. You could start off with maybe a few, then as he starts learning how it works, maybe add a few more.
But you're right, not a whole lot of games without small pieces.
Books are a good choice to break up the day and this will help him learn so much more.

sorry, I don't have anything for board games, but I'd like to suggest playing cards, and pass a ball back and forth to each other. This may keep his interest a little longer!

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Candyland...you can make it as simple as you want it to be!! I haven't met a child yet that hasn't loved it!

2 moms found this helpful

All of these games have been mentiond, but I just wanted to second the recommendations of Elefun, Candyland Castle, and Hi-Ho Cherry-O. My daughter is just over 2 and she loves these games. We have memory, but we play it differently...we call it the buddy game and we set the cards up face-up and then we give her the other stack with the matching cards and have her find "the buddies". She can play over and over again for hours. We also have a Melissa and Doug set of opposites cards. She really likes matching those too!

Good luck. 2 is definitely not too young for games!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Ho Cherry-o is a big hit with my 2 year old, they now have instructions that make it a cooperative game where you're not competing, which I think is easier for one that age to understand. He also really likes Go Fish (the one that comes with the fishing pole). Candyland he either didn't get or was bored by, not sure which.

Hi-Ho Cherry-O. It's basically a counting game. It should be fairly easy for him. Our littlest one loved that game when she was 2.

Zingo, its like Bingo but with pictures. My kids loved it when they were younger.

We play Tic Tac Tony with my 2 year old. It's not a board game, but a game none the less.

Candy Land is a good start.

Try hitting up an educational toy store. We have one near us called Educational and Fun, it is like a resource store for teachers. There we found a matching game with larger sized cards that were just the right size for our 2 year old. He won't really sit there and play the game though. I know he COULD, he just will not sit long enough.

My son loved Candyland and Chutes and ladders. he is now turning 7 in a few days and he will still play those games. He loves all board games now. have fun.

My daughter loved Hi Ho Cherry-O.

My daughter liked the computer games at the local library (they have great reading prep games) and also the PBS kids. Good luck!

I agree w/ all the other suggestions. I would add Uno. Sounds crazy but...if you play to match colors, you are all right & they can gradually move up to matching numbers. And...it's a more grownup game so you can play w/ others & just let your little one do the color thing for now.

We have regular Uno & Uno Attacks. My oldest started on Uno around 3 but...it is one of her faves so the little one gets into the game now when her sister pulls it out.

Uno Attacks is fun too 'cause you can end up w/ far more cards & hitting the button alone is great fun for them. My 2 yr old loves to hit the button so the cards fly out & hit her in the forehead, go figure.

There is a company also Gamewright out of MA that has great card games. One we got early on was Wig Out. Matching funny people. The little one likes to play with those. They have games for 3+ but if you are like me, I start things somewhat earlier depending on what it is.

We liked Penquin Pat fishing game. My son loved the penquin and how he talked. We also had Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders which my son was able to learn at an early age. He loved Chutes and Ladders but I didn't like it. It is the longest game and I never wanted to play it. He also reaaly liked Hi Ho Cherry-O but it has very small parts.

I second the Barnyard Bingo game, it was a big hit here too. We both liked to play.

I started my grandson (now almost 6) on games when he was pretty young. Forest Friends is an easy one. I also used Chutes and Ladders, ignoring the chutes in the beginning and using it partly for a counting learning experience. He loved Go Fish and still does! Even dealing the cards is a good counting practice. You could try Memory but only use a few cards at first. The main thing is to have fun!!! (and the child should win at least half the time)

Hi K.,
I am a mother of three and I can tell you that all three of my children loved the game of memory. You could start off with maybe a few, then as he starts learning how it works, maybe add a few more.
But you're right, not a whole lot of games without small pieces.
Books are a good choice to break up the day and this will help him learn so much more.

I have two words for you--CANDY LAND!!!!!

Hi Ho Cherry-O is a great first game. The pieces are small, though, so if your child has a tendency to mouth things it might not be the best choice for now. CandyLand is also a nice, simple game.

I've heard lots of people say that about Lucky Ducks! Glad I somehow managed to escape that one.

candy land and chutes and ladders are usually good beginner games. I think the age on the box says 3 and up, but if you are playing with them and helping them it should be okay. Candy Land doesn't require any counting, it is all colors.

cars.. lots of cars.. match box,tonka, hot wheels....

Lucky Ducks needs the cotton treatment. (As do many other toys without volume controls.) You take it apart to get to the speaker and cover it with some cotton balls and put it back together. Much easier to take!!

There are two companies I can think of that make really good games geared towards younger kids: Ravensberger and Haba. Haba is a German company, although you can get their stuff through websites like www.funagaingames.com. My kids have loved the ones we've gotten from them (tier auf tier; socken zocken).

I just read through all your responses and saw most of the games we have. And the puzzle idea is good. My daughter was doing 24 piece puzzles at 2 years old. They learn quick. There are two games that we got for her when she was closer to 2 1/2, but your son may be able to pick up on the concept now:

Sequence for Kids - Kind of a cross between Connect Four and Bingo. You play your cards to place chips on the board. You need to get four in a row. My daughter doesn't quite get the concept of four in a row yet, but she still manages to win quite often. It's a lot of fun and the spaces on the board are different animals.

Guess Who? - This game says it's for ages 6 and up, but if you and your husband help him play, he'll figure it out in no time. My daughter loves playing this one. I just make sure I tell her what she needs to do when I answer her questions. For example, if she asks, "does your person have a beard?" Then I will say, "no, so you need to knock down every person who HAS a beard." Or, "yes, so you need to knock down every person who DOES NOT have a beard."

Candyland Castle - You match colors and shapes to fill four spots on your game card. One thing I really like is that it is quick so kids with short attention spans don't get frustrated and it can be played when you only need to fill short time slots.

Memory Game - I pull out 5 or 6 pairs to make it easier.

Two words - Candyland! Oh wait that is one word.


My kids (including a 2 year old) love Elefun, Hullabaluu, and Don't Spill the Beans. We also like Hi Ho Cherry-O. He may not get the whole concept of some of the games but they are fun and Elefun and Hullabaluu get them up and moving.

In addition to all those great games mentioned, how about puzzles...start with the 24-piece ones and graduate to the 100 piece ones when she's ready. Have fun!

You could try candy land, or chutes and ladders. There are some Dora explorer games out there

Wack-a-mole is great, Elefun, and Silly six pins(bowling game), and the Gone fishing game. These are all on the skill level of a 2 year-old.

My kids like the Diego 123 game, and dominoes (with colored dots to match or objects like Dora dominoes have)

Hi! My daughter (2) loves Halabaloo (which works on colors, shapes, following directions, & picture recognition), Candy Land (which works on colors & counting) & Connect Four (counting). It did take a little bit for her to get use to the idea of waiting her turn when it came to Candy Land & Connect Four. Good luck. It is fun to play the games with them!

I would highly suggest Candyland Castle or memory. Reduce the number of matches in memory. Barnyard BIngo is also a hit - not sure if they sell it anymore but google it and see!

I think 2 might be too soon for this game, but our children loved the "memory" games. They were very simple, made up of squares that were all the same on one side and had pictures on the other. You laid them out face down, and in your turn to turned two over, if they matched you kept them, and if not, you turned them back face down. You could start by playing with very few cards, so it would be easier.

Our children also liked puzzles -- and there are many sturdy wooden ones that are easy enough for 2 year olds.

Both of those options are good because it helps them to solve problems, and to exercise their brains. :-)

Good luck. Two might be a little young, but having Mom play with you, is a wonderful time for both of you !!!

My daughter is also 2 and she loves to play. I bought the fishing game with the fishing poles and she loves to get the fishes with the magnet and pull them up! I have the wheels on the bus game and I highly recommend Cariboo...its for 3 year olds but....whats nice for a 2 year old is they can open the doors with a key and find the different colored balls. Great for fine motor skills ,cognitive thinking and colors. She loves it! We work on colors,counting the balls and then she puts the balls back in the shoot and then tries to find them again by opening the doors with the key and the excitment when she finds them! You can buy at walmart for 12.95 Toys R us wanted 19.95. I am keeping the extra pieces for game play for when she gets older! Its a treasure hunting game. Hope you get this game you and your little one will really enjoy!

try Memory. there are a lot of cards in the game, but you could easily reduce the number of cards before playing the first time. also, any other kind of card game that introduces the colors/letters/items can be modified for younger ages. my son liked playing with cards, so we found some that had letters on one side and a picture on the other and we could play with those easily at a younger age.

check out the toy companies rossie hippo and nova naturals, they both have websites and have great introductory board games ,which are cooperative and great for those beginning play skills. My nephew and friends little girl both really loved the game "granny's house" at around 2/3 years old.

My son started with Memory, then Candyland (he hates Chutes & Ladders). He also loves Hullabaloo and Cariboo by Cranium. Hungry Hippos is another that he liked early on.

I see that your husband is from Costa Rica - mine too! He was born and has lots of family in San Jose and Santa Ana. Just a question about raising a bilingual child...do you both mainly speak spanish at home? or does he always speak spanish and you speak english? We're trying to get a handle on this, but it's tough because, while my husband was raised speaking spanish and french and I have learned spanish, the language of our relationship is english. so we speak english at home and the only time that we speak another language is when we have family visiting or we go to Costa Rica or Switzerland (my husband has family in both locations). So my 5-year-old is so confused! After we're in costa rica for 2 weeks or more he starts understanding and speaking spanish, but then it doesn't really carry over into our daily lives in west chester. We try to incorporate spanish and french at home, but it's a lot harder than I would have thought. Do you have any suggestions?

sorry, I don't have anything for board games, but I'd like to suggest playing cards, and pass a ball back and forth to each other. This may keep his interest a little longer!

Cranium makes great games for all ages. They also make a product called the super for and mega fort. I purchased one of each before my back surgery (you need to have more than one to make a really cool fort). Anyhow, I have a seven year old and a two year old and they Both love it. The will spend hours building and playing it in the house. Have fun!

How about a Memory Match game? Also Candy Land or Chutes & Ladders might be good. My son LOVES Hullaballoo by Cranium. They follow instructions to get on little mats with different colors/pictures. Helps with following instructions & listening plus it's FUN! There's also a Hungry Caterpillar game that my son got last year but it seems to babyish for a 5 yr old--maybe your 2 year old would like that.

My daughter is also 25 months and for her birthday she got the Cariboo game by Cranium. I highly recommend it! It's a treasure hunt board game that says it's recommended for 3+ but uses colors, shapes, letters and counting. If your little guy is already familiar with these he should really enjoy it. Being 2 it's still a little bit of a challenge to get them to sit still and follow concepts for very long but we play every day and it's a lot of fun.

I would try Sorry, which is an easy game for any age group - the only downfall is that it deals with sending people home and that is frustrating for some children, but I feel they need to learn to cope with the feeling of losing - it's just a game. It also teaches chance: you can only get out of your place if you get a one or a two.

After she/he is 3, you can try Scrabble, the very young version - it has pictures and letters

my son loves cariboo! the new candy land castle game is cute as well.

Board games tend to be too much for a 2 year old, but what about Memory?

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

My little girl became fascinated with My Little Ponies at that age, and was immediately obsessed with the show. My mom, being the dutiful grandmother bought into the obsession and gave us a MLP memory game. Now, at 2 she was unable to actually play the game as it was designed but we had a grand old time just sitting down with the cards and naming the ponies. (Of course, I cheated by writing the names of the poines on the back. This will come back to haunt me as she learns how to read I know it. LOL) Anyways, now that she's 3 I can set up the cards, pick on of the matches and ask her to find the pony that matches out of the set of cards I have laid out. I don't know what your little prince is into but Bob the Builder or Thomas the Tanke Engine should be easy to find. If not an actual game, maybe you can make a day of making the cards from printables on the shows' websites. I know my daughter's step-mom did that with Yo Gabba Gabba (that's what her 3-yr-old likes). Disney is also a good choice, they have tons of stuff you can print out or download on their site. Even a spin-off site devoted to Playhouse Disney if your little one is into any of those shows. In any case, hope this helps some. Good luck.

Zingo is really fun for all of my boys - 2, 4 and 7. Rather than really play the game, the 2 year old likes to sort the picture tiles and just match them up to the cards. Best part? No sound! :)

Hey K.! Happy belated b-day to your little one! My daughter just turned three this weekend! We have been playing board games since she leraned her colors and that was about teh same age as yours! The obvious ones are Candy Land and snakes and ladders of course. The Candy land castle game was great too!! We have the candy land dvd game too but haven't played it yer7t... I will update you when we do though! She just got Cranium Cariboo and loves it! I wish I had gotten that one a while back too! It incorporates small bouncy balls (which of course can be a safety hazard if you don't watch them carefully especially when they are that young!!) But she only plays those kinds of games if I am playing with her or her older sisters volunteer... Anyhow, Cariboo has two levels of play the beginner's level deals with abc's, shapes, and 123's. I also like hi ho cherry o but i'd wait at least another year since your little guy is still younger than mine. Hope this helps you a little!

"Snails Pace Race" by Ravensburger


It's good for the little ones because no one really loses. All they need to know is their colors. The games are quick so if you want to play longer you just play another game.

Have fun!

Hi K.,
As the other moms have mentioned, Hi-Hi Cherry-O is a great game for this age! I have a 3.5 year old daughter & a 2 year old son. My daughter got Hi-Ho Cherry-O for Christmas, and both my kids love it----it's a very basic counting game & is fun to play with the kids. My best friend's kids have the Lucky Ducks game-----OMG that quacking drives me up a wall!!
Although it's not a game per se, flash cards are always fun as well.
Oh, and both of my kids absolutely love "Hungry Hungry Hippos"...and we always practice our counting at the end of a "round" by counting up our marbles to see who got the most (gets them to begin to understand the value of numbers--not just what order 1-2-3 goes in---but how much is "more/most"& how much is "less/least").
Have fun---looks like you have a lot of great suggestions--enjoy the game playing!

If your child can sit, and play a game, any childs games are good. Fisher price has alot of games out there that you can buy. They are made for toddlers. I have a daughter and a son that are almost 4 years apart, my daughter loved playing board games, and we would include my son as well. Candy land, and Shoots and Ladders was one of his favorites at that age. Plus you can get creative yourself and make up your own board game that will fit your child, and get him to learn. All you need is cardboard and paint or markers, or crayons. You can even let him color the peices to make it more fun for him.

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