The Best Board Games for Preschoolers

by Heidi Hoff

Many of us have tattered boxes of board games from our childhoods in the attic waiting for the day when our children are old enough to play. I have a vintage Trouble game from the 70's that I play with my four-year-old daughter, even though the bubble is coated on the inside with twenty years worth of dust, making it hard to tell if she's just popped a 5 or a 6. This past Christmas, Santa brought Emily a few board games and she plays them with enjoyment. Our family is now addicted, and before heading out to the toy store to add to her collection, I did a bit of research to find some of the best board games for preschoolers:

Preschool Board Games
1. Goodnight Moon Game by Briarpatch: If the book is in your child's library, then the board game will be popular too. It is a memory and matching game that doesn't require the players to recognize letters or numbers. In this game, everybody wins so if your Suzy isn't a very gracious loser, the Goodnight Moon Game will suffice until she learns how to accept defeat. For ages 3-6 years.

2. Maisy's Counting Game by Briarpatch: Focuses on learning how to count by matching puzzle pieces. This game can be adjusted according to age and skill level and can be played three different ways. It won the Parents Magazine award in 1997. For ages 3-6 years.

3. Franklin Goes to School - The Game by Pressman: This game has a wide age range making it possible for siblings to play together. The questions are divided into age appropriate categories and also touch on basic social values. Various skills such as spelling, observation and counting are focused on. For ages 3-8 years.

4. I Spy Preschool Game by Briarpatch: Good value for your money as this game can be played five different ways. It is a visual matching game that requires the players to find clues through rhyming and visual discrimination. It won the Parents Magazine Award in 1998 and Parents' Choice Approved 1998. For ages 3-6 years.

5. Colorforms Silly Faces Preschool Game by University Games: A fun, goofy game with no pressure of cards or dice to play. Spin and add the feature that you land on to your blank face and watch the silliness appear! The first person to complete a face wins. A great game for children to play on their own while the siblings are in school. For ages 3-7 years.

6. Mouse Trap by Milton Bradley: When your preschooler reaches the age when they're too old for some games and too young for others, Mouse Trap seems to work as a good transitional game. My daughter doesn't exactly stick to the rules and, instead, rushes through the building process because she finds the end result so fascinating. I just view it as a great introduction to the world of physics! Ages 6+ years.

7. Memory Games: I've always loved the "match the picture" type of memory games and there are several on the market to choose from. Here are some of the more popular ones: Original Memory Game by Milton Bradley 

Pooh Memory Game by Hasbro 
Barney Memory Game by Milton Bradley 
Mickey and Friends Memory Game by Hasbro 
I Spy Memory Game by Briarpatch 
Arthur Memory Game by Milton Bradley 
Busy Train Memory Game by Living and Learning 
Maisy's Memory Game by Briarpatch 
Pokemon Memory Game by Hasbro

You may already have a collection of games that your family likes to gather around the table to play. Perhaps you also have a few classics lurking in the back of your closet. The best thing about games is the way they bring families together. Why not start a tradition and have a game night once a week, starting tonight!

About the Author:
Author Heidi Hoff is editor of Preschool Planet. Subscribe and get "100 Things to Make From a Cardboard Box" free! http://www.preschoolplanet.com