Board games for preschoolers are a fun way for the family to sit and play together.  Most board games for young kids are very easy to learn and play, and with bright colors and fun objectives the child can stay engaged long enough to finish a game.  One of the things that makes for a good board game for kids is an ability to have a little competition, but not so much that a preschooler cannot have a good time.  Another thing that makes for a good family board game is for a little complexity that will keep a parent willing to keep playing over and over again.

These six board games provide fun for preschoolers and parents alike due to their look, feel, and fun objectives.

Candy Land

Candy Land(100289)Credit: amazon.comCandy Land has been one of the most popular board games for preschoolers for decades.  The rules are as simple as it gets.  The board consists of a trail of square colors, and players take turns turning over cards that tell which space to move to.

Why This is a Good Board Game For Preschoolers: No reading is required to play Candy Land.  All they have to do it draw a card, look at the color on the card, and move to the next space with that color.  Candy Land also is a race, which in my experience has always been the easiest way to have kids show a competitive spirit.  There are also some fun characters on the game board which provide a break from the colored squares.

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and LaddersCredit:

Chutes and Ladders is a board game that consists of a grid of 100 squares with slides (chutes) and ladders that help the players move quickly from one square to another. The game has a spinner with numbers 1-6 that tell how many spaces to move. If the player lands on a ladder, they get to move ahead a few spaces.  If the player lands on a chute, they have to move back a few spaces.  Each of the ladders displays a child doing something good, and each of the chutes displays a child doing something bad.  Some kids might pick up on that, other might not.

Chutes and Ladders can take a while to play, which can be frustrating, especially if no one can successfully navigate through the chutes on the last row of spaces.  But overall it is a quality game.

Why This is a Good Board Game for Preschoolers: Chutes and Ladders uses numbers to tell the players how far to move, which helps kids learn to count.  The grid also uses a snake-like pattern when moving up the board which requires a little bit of critical thinking, especially for younger players.  It is also exciting when they get to move up a ladder, and very exciting when mom or dad has to slide down a chute.


Trouble(100291)Credit: amazon.comTrouble is a fun board game in which players race around the board to get their four pegs from Start into Home.  The catch is that if you land on another player's piece, that piece has to go back to Start.  But if someone else lands on your piece, then your piece has to go back to Start. 

There is a popper in the middle of the board with a die.  When the popper is depressed, the die pops and the player must move however many spaces shown on the die.  It is a fun alternative to simply rolling a die.

Another fun aspect of the game of Trouble is that there are alternative forms of the game.  Whether it is with the character of Cars, Star Wars, or Dinosaur Train, kids can have fun with this game with their favorite characters from TV or movies.

Why This is a Good Board Game for Preschoolers: Trouble involves counting after pressing the popper.  Kids also learn how to read a die, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but it can be a little confusing at first.  The game involves an exciting race around the board; a race that typically comes down to the wire.  Kids also enjoy landing on a peg of their opponent.

The Ladybug Game

The Ladybug GameCredit: amazon.comThe Ladybug Game is a fun board game in which players race their ladybug tokens around the board while trying to accumulate cardboard aphids that allow them to pass by certain spaces.  There is a stack of cards that are drawn that direct the players on what to do.  Much like Candy Land, there is no strategy to speak of.  You simply follow the directions on the card and hope for the best.  One thing I have started doing with my child is trading certain cards for aphids.  That way there is some sort of thinking and strategy that happens.

Why This is a Good Board Game for Preschoolers: The Ladybug Game is bright and colorful and of course features a "fun" bug with the ladybug.  Quite a bit of counting is involved in The Ladybug Game, whether it is the spaces around the board or the aphids that must be collected.

Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hears a Who Board GameCredit:

The Horton Hears a Who board game is a spinoff of the popular Dr. Seuss book and movie. This is a very fun game for preschoolers for primarily one reason, the elephant mask that must be worn.  The game begins with 6 colored clovers that are hidden around the room.  The nose of the elephant mask has a piece of velcro, and the players must put on the mask, find the needed clover, and pick up the clover with the mask.  Sounds crazy?  It kind of is.  It's not the most comfortable game for adults to play, but I've never seen a kid that didn't like it.  There is an actual board game aspect of the game, but it is secondary to the finding of the clovers.

Why This is a Good Board Game for Preschoolers: The Horton Hears a Who board game is fun for the exact reasons you might think it is fun.  Look at the elephant mask in the picture.  This is a hard game for kids to resist.

Five Little Monkeys

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The Five Little Monkeys board game is more involved than you might think at first sight, but what gets preschoolers wanting to play is the bed.  The bed is pressed down, and during play the players place their tokens on the bed.  After each turn, a red button is pushed, and after a certain amount of button presses, the bed pops up and sends some of the tokens to the ground.  It makes a loud pop and makes a big mess.  A perfect recipe for preschool board game fun.

Why This is a Good Board Game for Preschoolers: Five Little Monkeys uses a spinner which helps with counting.  There are also small tokens that must be collected, which requires some thinking on the part of the player.  But most of all, kids like this game because of the bed.

Board games are great ways for families to spend time with their preschoolers.  A good board game for preschoolers to play with the family can lead to fun afternoons or evenings that everyone will enjoy.