Best Board Games for Toddlers (2-5 Year Olds)

If you’re looking for some indoor fun to have with your Toddler that doesn’t include screens, this list of the best board games for kids aged 2-5 years old is your answer.  

With two curious little boys of my own, we’ve spent countless hours playing games with the whole family, and can attest to all the ones on this list being a great choice whether you’re looking for a great gift or something educational.

NOTE: Many games are recommended for 3+ or 4+, but I decided not to split my recommendations into age groups. My boys are 2.5 and 4.5 and they both equally enjoy all these games. The younger one obviously had a harder time losing at first, but after a few days, he got that he can’t always win.

Best Board Games for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Candyland – Best classic board game

A colorful classic board game for 2 – 4 players that doesn’t require reading. Each player picks a gingerbread man as their marker and takes it in turns to choose a card from the pack.

Each chard shows a different color which indicates where your little one can move their marker with the goal of being the first to reach the castle. This is a great introductory board game for kids as young as 3 as it has all the same principles as more complex board games without the need to read or count.

Another bonus is the lack of complex rules which means that it can be played quickly with short attention spans.

Hoot Owl Hoot – Best board game for teamwork

Unlike many other board games out there, in this game, you need to work together to win. Instead of fighting each other, you are fighting the sun to get all the owls to the nest before daylight. 

Each player is dealt 3 cards which could be colors or sun cards. You take turns playing your color cards which allow you to move an owl up some spaces on the board, while sun cards move the sun one step closer to dawn. 

While the game doesn’t require reading, it’s recommended for ages 4+ as it’s a little more complicated than Candy Land for example.

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel – Best board game for preschoolers

If you’re looking for a game that combines a little bit of everything such as physical and social skill development, strategy, and chance in a fun and interactive way, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is a great choice. 

Players take turns spinning the wheel to choose a color, then use the Squirrel to pick up a matching colored acorn from the board to add to their own tree stump. 

You can gain, lose, and steal acorns from other players and the winner is the first person to fill their stump.

Very Hungry Hippos – Best fast-paced game

Another simple game that the whole family can enjoy, the classic Hungry Hungry Hippos can have up to 4 players with the sole objective of gaining the most marbles by pressing your hippo’s tail

This interactive, fast, and somewhat chaotic is a favorite amongst kids from ages 4 and up with a great benefit of developing your child’s reflexes. 

If you played this as a kid, you may notice that not too much has changed except the size. The hippos now easily disassemble for easier storage, making the box much more compact.

board games for 3 year old

Don’t Break the Ice – Best simple strategy game

This game is a great one that kids can play alone or with a friend, meaning you don’t always need to participate for them to have hours of fun. 

Using a plastic hammer, each person takes turns choosing a block to tap while trying to keep the penguin from falling down

While it’s a pretty straightforward game, Don’t Break the Ice is a great activity to encourage decision-making and strategic thinking when it comes to which block to tap.

board games for toddlers

Zingo – Best for learning to read

For those close to or beginning to learn reading, this matching game for 2 players is a fun way to begin matching words to pictures. 

Similarly to Bingo, the aim of the game is to fill your card with tiles by matching the picture or word with one that is dispensed from the Zingo machine. The winner is the first person to yell Zingo after completing their card. 

What’s great about this game as it has a huge variety of objects with both pictures and words so even those who are not quite ready for reading can develop their matching and reaction skills. Plus there are two levels which allows the game to be played for many years.

Twister Junior – Best physical game

Just like the original, Twister Junior is all about getting your body moving and stretching in a fun and entertaining way. The junior version just makes it even more simple and engaging, involving fun animals and two different levels of play on the double-sided mat

Level one has you simply spin the dial to move forward on the animal safari trail, trying to be the first to make it to the other side. 

Once your little one has enough motor development, they can move to level 2 which is essentially the regular game of Twister but with fun animals to match while trying to be the last one remaining standing.

board games for 2 year olds

Crocodile Teeth – Best for individual and group play

While Crocodile Teeth may seem super simple, you might be surprised how many hours of fun it can produce for your toddlers. Most importantly: they can play it on their own making it THE best board game for toddlers!

The mechanical crocodile closes when the correct tooth is pushed down, the trick is that the tooth that triggers the snap is different each time. 

Players simply take turns choosing a tooth to press down and wait for it to snap on someone. While it may sound a little scary at first, the mouth doesn’t actually close far enough to touch your hand while inside (even for adult hands).

Yeti in my Spaghetti – Best for developing fine motor skills

In this simple yet highly entertaining game, you set up a pile of plastic “spaghetti” strands randomly balancing over a bowl. The yeti is placed on top and each person takes turns pulling out a strand from the bowl without letting the Yeti fall in

This game is great for fine motor control and provides a great deal of fun for everyone participating but can be quite tricky for younger toddlers, so is recommended for ages 4 and up.

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