Getting your preschooler to sit down for family game night may be a challenge, but it helps if you have games that are at the right age level for these younger competitors. Consider one of the following toddler/preschool games for your next family game night. They're easy for the young ones and still fun for your older kids, too. As always, beware of small parts that pose a choking hazard.
Candyland - This classic game requires no reading and reinforces colors and matching. It also teaches beginning counting skills as players choose a card, determine if they get to move one or two spaces and then look for the matching color.
Hi Ho Cherry-O - The object of this early childhood game is to be the first to have 10 cherries in your basket. It introduces children to counting and refines their motor skills as they pick their trees clean of cherries.
Super Why ABC Letter Game - Based on the Emmy-nominated Super Why TV show, this game is designed for children ages 3 to 8. Players practice key reading skills by identifying letters, rhyming, correcting silly sentences and learning how to read basic words. This is a great one-on-one game you can use to reinforce your child's early literacy skills.
Memory - The great thing about memory games is that they are easily adaptable for the age and attention span of your child. If, for example, a game comes with 50 pairs of matching cards, use only five or 10 pairs for your toddler to match. Look for games that do double duty like those with numbers or letters so that your child is learning while playing. You can also create your own memory game as simply as placing matching stickers on index cards. Get more creative and use decorative scrapbook papers printed with letters or numbers and take them to your local office store to get them laminated.
These games are great for kindergarten and elementary school-age children and still provide enough competition to keep the older kids involved, too.
Connect 4 - Who can resist a quick game of Connect 4? Perfect for children ages 6 and up, older kids will enjoy seeing how few moves they can make to get four in a row while younger children will enjoy dropping the checkers into the grid. This game is just for two players, so consider buying two or setting up a tournament-style schedule so everyone gets a chance to play.
Bananagrams - This fun take on Scrabble is for two or more players and is recommended for ages 7 and up. Players draw letter tiles and then create words, building off the words that have already been played. The tiles zip up in a funky banana pouch and since there's not game board to bring along, it's the perfect travel companion for hotel rooms, grandma's house and restaurants.
Cranium Hullabaloo - A pick from the Cranium family, Cranium Hullabloo is intended for children ages 4 and up but we think it's best for ages 6 and up unless you can pair older and younger players together. Players will bounce, spin and jump between colorful pads and listen closely for their next directions from the talking console.
Yahtzee Jr. - Yahtzee Jr. takes this classic game and brings it down to a kid's level using pictures on the dice. It's fun that everyone from your toddler to your grandpa can enjoy. There are countless versions of Yahtzee Jr. available, including the Disney Edition, Mickey Mouse and Animal Yahtzee. Once your kids are a little older, you can graduate to traditional Yahtzee.
Monopoly - This game is best for ages 8 and up and is for two to eight players. It's a great way to reinforce counting and money values. There's literally a version for every family: the Here & Now edition uses airports instead of railroads and features properties like Times Square and Fenway Park; the Monopoly Disney Pixar Edition will appeal to younger players.
Lego Creationary - This game is like Legos and charades rolled into one. Roll the Lego dice to select one of four exciting building categories: vehicles, buildings, nature or things. With three levels of difficulty you can show off your building skills, while the others guess what you are creating. Designed for three to eight players, ages 7 and up.
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