Introduce Little Ones to Games
- What: Best Games for Toddlers
- When: 2 to 4 years
- Why: Fun, educational, entertaining
- Where: Amazon
Looking for a gift for toddlers or preschool-aged kids that will keep on giving long past the holiday season? Check out these games. All of them offer an alternative to screen-based entertainment, and most provide multiple levels of play to challenge kids as they get older and gain more skills.
Spot It Jr: If I had to pick one game to play with my kids, I’d choose Spot It. This card-based game depends on matching. Players compare two cards to find an image on each one that matches. This basic concept gives you five different games to play with the same deck of cards, increasing in difficulty. From winning the most matches to getting rid of all your cards, each version differs slightly. The deck fits easily into a small tin for fun on the go or at home. The Junior version has fewer pictures per card, making it easier for little eyes to make matches.
Fairy Queen: This fairy tale card game can be played two different ways, from the traditional memory matching game, to a game resembling Old Maid where players take turns trying to collect pairs. Kids can build basic math skills such as skip counting and addition by using the simple numbers to calculate who wins.
ChickyBoom: This balancing game requires no reading or math skills. Simply stack the different types of wooden pieces on a precarious seesaw without knocking anything over. Players take turns adding pieces until everything comes crashing down. Kids learn balance and practice fine motor skills with these brightly colored pieces.
Four First Games: This box contains four different games based on color recognition. From collecting all the flowers of each color to navigating the path to the castle, kids at multiple ages and stages can join in the fun. The games range in skills required and complexity, so they work well for siblings or to advance as kids get older.
Three Little Piggies: This game, based on the classic fairy tale, requires getting all the pigs in their houses. Place the plastic pieces on the board to fit over the little pigs. It offers two difficulty levels, called night (when the wolf is out) to day, and though it requires zero literacy skills, it can keep adults entertained, too.
Crazy Eights: In this classic card game, players race to get rid of their cards by matching the number or suit to the card on top of the pile. You can use different rules to increase the difficulty, such as drawing one card or drawing until you get a card you can play when you don’t have any matches in your hand. Because the deck fits neatly into a box, it works great for travel and stores compactly when at home.
Rush Hour Jr: If you’ve got a kid who loves vehicles or puzzles, try Rush Hour Jr. With 40 setup cards to choose from, it offers the right skill level for almost any player. Kids don’t need any literacy or number skills to try and get the ice cream truck through the traffic jam. Move pieces around in the tracks on the grid-style board and see how long it takes you to get the truck unstuck.