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Welcome to a review of the best toddler games!
As a stay at home mom, a typical day in my life revolves around feeding the baby, rocking the baby, changing diapers, bathing the baby, and everything baby.
At a Glance: The Best Toddler Games to Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product.
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Hell broke loose when my daughter turned two…the famous terrible two. You’d think she had suddenly decided to torture my patience. Days were spent yelling “Don’t!”, “No!”, and “Stop!” to keep her from touching things not meant for her (even though we thought we’d thoroughly baby-proofed). Her toys no longer fascinated her,so she went looking elsewhere for entertainment.
I needed to get her something that would at least distract her from all the mischief. Thus, my search for the top board games for toddlers began. I spent more than 48 hours researching the different options available.
I was surprised to learn that these board games were not just for kids. I also enjoy playing most of them! I am happy to report that these toddler games have not only succeeded in stealing my little girl’s attention, they have also made her sharper.
If you are looking for the best toddler games, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. This comprehensive guide will save you the hassle of testing hundreds of games before finding the best ones for your toddler.
My Top Choice: The Best Board Game For Toddlers
I was searching for the best board games for toddlers that were easy enough for my little daughter to play alone without supervision but still fun for us to play together. I also wanted a game that would be educational but still very entertaining.
After testing many of the best toddler learning games, I noticed that my girl had a special liking for one particular game. She would even request to play it alone as I did the dishes—the best relief ever.
After playing several rounds of HABA’s First Orchard game with her, I was surprised at how fast she could match different colors. And, many months later, this game is still her favorite.
A Comprehensive Review Of The Best Toddler Games
There are thousands of games that are recommended for toddlers. Below is a review of the top ten.
1. HABA First Orchard – Top Choice & Best Overall
- Involves one to four players
- Ideal for children above two years old
- Playing time is about 10 minutes
HABA’s First Orchard is a simpler version of the timeless orchard game. This bestseller has been played by millions of toddlers for over 30 years. It is an interesting game that teaches toddlers lessons on turn-taking, counting, and matching colors.
Start by setting out the four trees. Then, place four same-color fruits on each tree. Finish by setting up the pathway from your starting point to the orchard.
To play, roll the die and see what color appears on top. Then, pick a fruit of that color and put it in the basket. In case the image of a basket appears on top of the die, pick a fruit of any color and place it in the basket. But if the raven shows up, move the raven one space closer to the orchard.
To win, you need to get all the fruits before the raven gets into the orchard. During this process, a child learns that each tree bears fruits of the same kind, e.g. apples are only from apple trees, while improving their motor and social skills.
- Game is well built and can withstand mishandling by children
- Fruits are large enough, thus no fear of child choking
- Fun game to teach your child different colors
- Educational since a child is introduced to science at a tender age
- Paint smell on wooden pieces may take some time to go away
This is a good game to introduce your toddler to the world of board games.
2. Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game - Best For Improving Motor & Coordination Skills
- Acorns are made of quality material with a rubberlike feel
- Ideal for children aged three to seven years old
This is another easy board game you can use to teach your child about colors and boost their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills.
The game is made by Educational Insights who have been in the business of creating toys and games for over 50 years.
To win, you need to be the first one to fill your log with the most acorns. Here is how the game goes: start by spinning the spinner. Then, pick the matching colored acorn using the squirrel squeezer and put it in your log.
Your child will learn how to think strategically since the spinner can land them on other actions such as "steal an acorn" or "lose an acorn". Also, this is a fun, addictive, but healthy game that toddlers and older kids can all play together.
Most customers who have purchased this game loved the fact that it is perfect as a family-bonding game, as it can be played (and enjoyed) by all members of the family.
- Set up is easy
- Easy to play for even two-year-olds
- All play items (log, acorns, and squirrels) are made from quality material
- No reading needed
- Game can be too easy for older kids
This is a game that is ideal as a first board game for your kids. They can play alone without the help of an adult.
3. Don't Break The Ice – Best Value
- Needs two to four players
- For children above three years
Looking for a fun, suspenseful, yet educational game? Don't Break The Ice may be exactly what you need.
When you unbox the game, you'll get two mallets, an ice tray frame, four ice tray legs, one large ice block, 32 small ice blocks, and Phillip the Penguin.
The idea of this game is simple. You need to tap out ice blocks one at a time while keeping Phillip the Penguin on top. But, be careful not to tap on the block that will make the penguin fall. If you succeed in keeping Philip on top, then you win the game.
Customers who bought this game for their kids say that it acts as an instant distraction and their kids really enjoy playing this game. Plus, it’s a great value for your money!
- Easy to learn and play
- Boosts strategic thinking
- Toddlers may need help setting up the ice blocks
For anyone looking to boost their toddler’s hand-eye coordination, this would be a great game to start with.
4. Wonder Forge Disney Classic Characters Matching Game - Best For Learning Disney Characters
- Ideal for children three to seven years old
- Quality cardboard tiles with various Disney characters (both classic and new)
You and I already know that Disneyland and all its characters (Mickey, Minnie, characters from Frozen, and many more) are favorites for children. Now, this game brings this experience closer to your little one.
This game is a very easy matching game. There are numerous cards with various Disney characters. Your child is supposed to simply match two characters and keep them.
Customers who purchased this game say it became a favorite for their children. They say that their kids were very excited to see and play with Disney characters that they saw in movies.
Some report that even one year olds enjoy playing with the cards under close supervision.
- Fun for children to play with characters they love
- Easy to learn
- Play cards are made from quality tiles thus very durable
- Kids below three years should only play under supervision due to the risk of choking on tiles
If you want to make this game more interesting, you can subdivide these cards and probably group them into various levels. Then, later increase the number of cards per level, to increase the complexity of the game.
5. Wonder Forge Baby Animals Match - Best For Memory Skills
- Consists of various brightly colored tiles that feature baby animals
- Ideal for children aged three to four years
The Wonder Forge’s Baby Animal Match is another top-rated board game for toddlers. Its concept is very similar to the Wonder Forge Disney Classic Characters Matching Game (reviewed above).
This game is easy thus, some two-year-olds can play it with a little guidance from a parent. To play, let the children flip two tiles to reveal various baby animals. The person who matches the most pairs is the winner.
Customers have reported improved memory and better strategy among their children each time they play this game. And their young ones love it.
- Boosts children’s memory
- Play cards have cute and real baby animal pictures that are appealing to children
- Cards are small enough for toddlers to hold and large enough to prevent choking
- Distinguishing some of the almost similar baby animals, such as a lamb and a kid (baby goat), can be tricky for toddlers
The Wonder Forge Baby Animals Match is an ideal first game for toddlers and would be a great gift for your son or daughter's third birthday.
6. ThinkFun Roll and Play Game for Toddlers - Best For Creativity
- Thorough instructions on how to play the game
- Ideal for children aged above 18 months
- One plush cube and 48 game cards
- Playtime is roughly 15 minutes
Still wondering what gift to get your grandchild? This one is among the best toddler learning games available. It is top of ThinkFun's toddler games and has won various awards.
The game cards come in different bright colors and are divided into six categories: body parts, animal sounds, actions, emotions, colors, and counting.
To play, your child rolls the plush cube and picks a card with the corresponding color shown. They are then required to do what the card says.
- Clear instructions make it easy to learn and play
- Great family bonding game
- Improves creativity, color recognition, and motor skills
- Initially, you will need to spend some time coaching your young one on the rules of the game
You can now incorporate your toddlers into family game nights with this awesome learning tool for toddlers.
7. ThinkFun Move and Groove Dance Game For Toddlers - Best For Family Bonding
- For toddlers from18 months to five years old
- Clear instructions
- One plush cube and 48 dance move cards
The Move and Groove Dance Game for toddlers is a slight variation of the popular award-winning Roll and Play Game by ThinkFun. Its designers are well known for including clear guidelines on how to play their game, so you can start playing as soon as you receive your game.
If you are looking for a game that guarantees a fun-filled family bonding time, consider investing in this board game. Its rules are very easy. Let the child toss the cube. Then, choose a card with the color corresponding to that of the cube. Your child then performs the move given on that card.
This game is guaranteed to offer a session filled with laughter as you watch your little one pull out different moves. And at the end of each game, your child will have better balance, coordination, flexibility, creativity, and self-awareness.
Customers who have bought this game report that it is a great way to get some energy burned off for both toddlers and adults. Others say that they can't stop laughing as they watch their kids dance with the various moves.
- Can be played together with parents
- Great game to boost a child's confidence
- Cards are large enough, no need to worry of your child choking if left unsupervised
Adding some background music when playing this game adds an interesting twist to the game. Players will not only perform the moves on the card but may even choose to follow the rhythm of the current song!
8. The Ladybug Game - Best For Introducing Basic Math
- Needs two to four players
- Ideal for ages three to seven years
- Playtime is roughly 20 minutes
If you are looking for a fun yet educational game for your toddler, consider the Ladybug Game. It is an award-winning game that would be a perfect first board game for your child.
The Parents' Choice Foundation refers to it as "a colorful and lively little board game for beginner game players”. It includes four ladybug pawns and stands, 61 aphids chips, eight praying mantis passes, and 38 ladybug cards.
The players are supposed to help the ladybugs safely find their way home while avoiding predators like the praying mantis. At the same time, they should collect aphids to feed to the ants they find on their path.
The game has beautiful graphics and an awesome storyline, making it an interesting game for all children. You will only need to guide them through the first few games so that they can master playing this game independently.
Customers who have purchased this board game for kids say that since no strategy is required (it's merely luck), any child can win. This makes playing fun for kids of all ages.
- A great educational game that helps kids to learn words, symbols, and colors in a fun way
- Awesome way to introduce basic math to your child
- Pretty complicated for three year olds
The fact that this game was created by a child makes it one of a kind. Children playing also learn how to deal with defeat and frustration.
9. Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game - Best for Improving Counting Skills
- For children aged three and above
- Fun counting game
The Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game is a classic from Hasbro Gaming. This is a great and interesting game that will sharpen the counting skills of any preschooler. It is also a good educational game that teachers can use to teach basic math in class.
It includes a game board, 40 fruits, a basket, and a spinner with an arrow and base.
Kids will enjoy taking turns picking fruits from trees on the game board as they try filling their buckets. There is a spinner that lets the kids know how many fruits they need to pick or remove from the basket.
If you land on a dog or bird, you are to remove some fruit from your basket. And if you land on the spilled buckets, then you will have to spill all your fruit! The player who fills their bucket first wins the game.
Customers who purchased this game recommend it as a great first board game for kids. They also advise parents to immediately store the game board and its content when it's not being played, or your child may spill and lose the fruits.
- Players sharpen their counting, subtraction, and addition skills
- Requires no strategy and anyone can win
- Fruits could have been bigger
This is a classic that you can enjoy as a whole family while you watch your young one become a math guru.
10. CozyBomB Magnetic Fishing Toys Game - Best Waterproof
- Can be played by several kids
- For kids aged three to six years
- Made from durable material
If your child loves to accompany you when you are out fishing, the CozyBomB Magnetic Fishing Toys Game is a board game gift that they will absolutely love. They will experience a fun-filled fishing experience catching 3-D fish.
CozyBomb assures its customers of fun, and any unsatisfied customer gets a 100% money-back guarantee if they return the game within 30 days after purchase.
There are 30 waterproof toy fish that can float in water. You can make your toddler's bath time more fun by putting them in the bathtub for him to fish!
- Portable so your kids can play anywhere at any time
- Fishing rod is made from quality PVC, making it durable and flexible like a real rod
- Brightly colored fish are appealing to kids
- Comes with a spare rod
- Initially, younger kids may need help unhooking the caught fish from the rod
This game is very addictive and can keep your kids distracted for up to an hour.
Importance Of Playing Games With Your Toddler
There is a very common saying that goes, "curiosity killed the cat." But for toddlers, curiosity keeps the clock ticking and allows lots of chances for mischief! Games are the best, safest bet in satisfying this curiosity.
Still wondering why you should invest in one of the best board games for toddlers? Here are a few benefits:
- Develops some emotional growth; kids learn to deal with the joys of winning and the disappointment of losing
- Allows children to express their creativity while developing their imagination
- Enhances memory
- Teaches a child how to be patient and take turns
- Offers an awesome opportunity for parents to bond with their young ones
- Boosts a child's self-esteem when they realize that they can play a game on their own and win
- Offers opportunities to play with others, teaching kids about sharing and working with others
- Enhances strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities
- Teaches numbers and colors in exciting ways
- Develops motor skills
Educational Vs Fun Games For Toddlers
The major difference between fun games and educational games lies in the intended purpose. Educational games focus on continuous evaluation and tracking of progress by the parents, while for fun games, the players are lost in the gameplay and will barely be assessed.
A good example of an educational game is one that tests the toddler's knowledge of various colors and numbers.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Toddler Games
Before settling for the ideal game for your toddler, consider the factors below.
The top board games for toddlers should be easy enough for kids to play with little or no guidance by parents.
The attention span of kids is very short. The ideal playtime for any board game for toddlers should be between ten and 20 minutes.
For toddlers, anything that makes its way to their little hands often goes directly into the mouth. The best board games for toddlers should have toddler-proof cards and play items to minimize the risk of choking.
Ever noticed your little girl staring at a red curtain or yellow pillow? Toddlers are amazed by bright colors, so games with bright colors will be more appealing to kids as compared to those with dull color shades.
Some board games are best suited for toddlers over three years, while others can be played by toddlers as young as 18 months. The age grading is dependent on the complexity and safety of the game, so pay close attention to it.
With so many options available, choosing the best toddler games can be tricky. After testing hundreds of them, I settled on the ten games reviewed above.
But, of all ten, my daughter's favorite game is the HABA First Orchard game.
She spends hours every day playing this game. And I have witnessed impressive improvement, as she can now easily identify and differentiate colors and numbers at a very young age!
Remember to always check the recommended age for each board game to ensure you get the perfect one for your kid. Happy shopping!