Board Games That Build Skills
- What: Board games for toddlers
- When: Before they can read
- Why: Build literacy and logic, grow with your child
- Where: Amazon
If your child isn’t reading yet, but you want some fun in games, try one of these three favorites to get going.
Chickyboom: No one needs to read in this balancing act, but it keeps the playing field leveled for kids of all ages and adults. Stack the chickens, bales of hay, and wagon wheels anyway you want. Then lift the platform onto the perch. Each player takes turns removing pieces until the platform falls. Anyone can play this game (though some of the round pieces present choking hazards for the under three set), but the fun lasts much longer. Each piece has a number, so kids can start with number recognition and work their way up to addition practice by adding points to compete.
Three Little Piggies: In this game, you set up the pigs using pictures and try to get the three house pieces on the board around them. It has four different levels and can also stump adults. It builds spatial relations skills in the context of a familiar story. Even if your kids don’t want to solve the logic puzzles, they love playing with the pigs, wolf, and brightly colored houses. Kids can solve the game by themselves or work cooperatively with more than one player to keep the pigs safe from the wolf.
Four First Games: I love this set of four board games in one box for pre-literate kids. As long as you can keep up with the multicolored die, you can play all four games even if you end up losing another piece (or four!). The games start very simply and work up to complex rules and moves, but none of them require any reading. They reinforce color concepts and recognizing and matching shapes, as well as taking turns and following rules.
All of these games have small pieces that present choking hazards. But they will all also grow with your kids for many years of fun and games individually or in a group.