Board Games for 2-3 Year Olds?

Updated on May 09, 2015
J.K. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

Are there simple board games that 2-3 year olds can enjoy? It's for my 2. 5 year old daughter.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Candy Land and Zingo are good. Chutes & Ladders is good if she can count - not just reciting numbers but actually count to move the right number of spaces. Otherwise I'd wait a little longer for that.

Memory is good if you only use a few cards. We would start with only 8 or 12.

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answers from Norfolk on

The games others have mentioned are great for slightly older kids - 5 and 6 yr olds and pre-readers.
2 and 3 yr olds barely play with each other and they just are not ready for board games yet.
Toddlers are more likely to eat the pieces and they could be a choking hazard.

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answers from New York on

Too young for board games.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

My girl had
Hi Ho Cherry O
Snakes and Ladders
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Toss Across
We also played Go Fish and Old Maid

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answers from Washington DC on

snakes and ladders, candyland, mr potato head, pick-up stix, and go fish.
:) khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There are so many games aimed at the toddler/preschool age group. They are great to introduce the idea of games and taking turns. Go to Target or Toys R Us and check out the game section. The Target I go t has them grouped together.

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answers from Kansas City on

I did start my kids on board games about this age, but you will need to be extremely patient! :) My daughter handled it better than my son.

I agree with Candy Land. I'm not sure if they still make it but there used to be this Candy Land castle game (not the original one) that had shapes that came out of a chute and they placed it on a mat. It was fun, very easy and perfect for 2-3 y/os.

Zingo is also a good suggestion.

We played a lot of Go Fish at that age too. There are lots of different card games out there but we like the eBoo brand. They have cool graphics and very sturdy cards.

Memory is good, and yes you can always modify it by only using some of the cards. My son LOVED memory and even at 5.5 still wants to play it all the time. We have various ones to mix it up and it's always been a favorite with my kids. eBoo also has great memory games too!

Hi Ho Cherry-O and Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel are also good. Hungry Hippos is fun and helps with fine motor skills. I would avoid Chutes and Ladders. My kids had a hard time with it at 2-3. The way they number the squares is confusing, IMO, and it made me frustrated. Choose other games for counting.

Games have come a long way from when we were kids! Just look through the game aisle at Target and you'll fall in love with quite a few, I'm sure! Just look on the box for ones that don't require reading and I have found that for the most part, the age range suggestions on the games are pretty accurate.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I don't know about board games per se, but I played a game of Memory with a 3 year old earlier tonight. She beat me and another adult so badly it was shameful. And it was a HUGE game. Probably 25 sets of matches. And she loved every second of it. It's her favorite game.

My daughter has played several games with her while baby sitting, too (my daughter is 13), and out of all the games they have played, my daughter has only won once (and I mean other games besides just Memory as well). The 3 year old is a pretty good rule follower, too, about taking turns, etc.

When my own daughter was about 3, my Mom taught her to play Mancala (she was watching my mom and son play and daughter wanted in on the action). It's a simple game really, only takes an adult 5 minutes and a game through to learn. Daughter became an almost instant pro. Beat me all the time.
It depends on your individual child though. Can she sit still (relatively) for 15 minutes to complete a game? Does she seem interested when others play games?

For my daughter, we didn't set games up at the table. We put them on the ottoman, so she could stand up/lean on it to play. It was less confining than sitting in a chair at the table.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Too young. Candyland always ended in tears before about age 4.

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answers from Seattle on

I love the suggestions below. Those were some of my favorite when I was that age.

One of my other favorites that Ii played often played with my dad was Uncle Wiggly. It's an old game, but a goodie. You might not be able to find it in a store but you can certainly find it online at Amazon.

I also like Old Maid and Skip Bo.

Have fun finding games! This is a great age to start games!

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answers from New London on

Matching w/ just a few kids cards is good. I used to play a sock matching game when I folded laundry...
Be patient w/ board games....2.5 is still young. Introduce a few simple games.
I like simple puzzles for this age, too.
Good for you for checking into board games and not technology at this age !!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

She's not to young for board games, she's perfect age for:
CandyLand &
Shoots & Ladders!!!

She'll love CandyLand! It's fun.
~Careful tho, mine was a huge cheater once she figured out how to manipulate the cards, I loved this age the best!



answers from San Francisco on

It says 4-7, but I think an almost three year old might be able to do it. One of our family favorites.


answers from Santa Fe on

She probably is a bit too young for board games, but every child is different. My son could not handle them that young but my daughter really enjoyed them starting very young. Of course it took a little help from me! She liked Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherrio, Chutes and Ladders, and Pengaloo. Pengaloo is really cute...your daughter might love that one. When your daughter gets to be age 4-5 another game that is really fun for kids is the Richard Scarry Eye Found It! game. Our kids both loved it.



answers from New York on

Our first "game" I think was Zingo. She might be able to handle that.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Board games require cognitive abilities to think ahead, plan strategy, etc....

Most board games and even group games are well beyond a 5 year olds abilities. One game they can play without too much stress that will stop it from being fun is Old Maid and 8 card concentration. Old maid is a draw a card from your neighbors hand and match it to cards in your hand. But it is above a 3 and 4 year olds capabilities I think. Concentration is a simply memory game. They turn over 1 card and then pick a random card to find the first cards match.

They get frustrated with this game a lot though because they turn over the same 2-4 cards over and over and over. You can't seem to get them to understand they need to pick a different card first then "remember" where the other card that matches could be.

Overall I think you'll be frustrated due to limited cognitive ability on your child's part.

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