We love to play board games in our homeschool. Always have. And they get their love of playing games honestly. I have always loved board games and so did my dad. So it is not a huge surprise that are constantly on the hunt for games to incorporate into our school. And I figure if we are always looking for them, somebody else probably is too! So, we are going to write an entire series on our favorite fun and educational games… starting with preschool. All of these games we had and played or used in a setting outside of our home. So these are kid tested and have proven to be fun (at least to my three boys). So without further adieu, let’s get to the 10 Fun AND Educational Preschool Board Games list for kiddos aged 3-5 or so.
It was one of our all time favorites. It is easy for little ones to play this because there are pictures on all the tiles and can be matched to the zingo board. It is a very fast-paced, energetic variant of Bingo that does not take too long to play, so it keeps their attention (and yours).
The description from the manufacturer reads:
In this fast-paced, energetic variant of Bingo, kids get a kick out of pulling the Zinger forward to reveal two mystery tiles, and then try to be the first to call out the tiles that match the images on their cards. The first player to fill his or her card wins by yelling “Zingo.” Two levels of play add zing to the competition.
I’ll be honest, my boys were as fast at calling out the pictures as I was. Besides the obvious language and vocabulary benefits, it also develops matching, memory, and concentration skills.
This game was one the boys played all the time at the Montessori school. I was not much into “cooperative” games — Did I mention I’m just a little competitive when it comes to games? Anyway, good thing they learned about it there so they could teach me all about them!
In this game, your forest friends are hungry and they need your help. I appreciate that this game develops matching and sorting skills, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pre-handwriting skills. Yes, it’s fun but also is educational too!
We still love to play Qwirkle! The description says it is for older children, but we played it well before they were in Kindergarten.
Qwirkle can be played as a simple matching colors and shapes game… similar to dominoes, which is how I used it with my preschoolers. But as they get older, they start to develop well-planned strategies when they learn to place a tile that touches multiple pieces with matching attributes. Once they reach the strategy level, this game becomes addictive!
Blokus is still my personal favorite! We have played Blokus for years and absolutely were playing it well before my boys were in kindergarten. I use the age ranges on Amazon loosely. We know our children and their capabilities.
Blokus is a strategy board game that challenges spatial thinking. Bright colors and simple rules make it ideal for ages five and up, but adults will certainly be engrossed by this unique and challenging game. I can assure you it is not Your Average Board Game. It encourages creative thinking and has received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity! That is a game I can support and encourage our children to play.
Chutes and Ladders is a very a traditional board game that is great for teaching numbers and practicing counting. This was one of the very first games the boys asked to play often.
Chutes and Ladders is ideal for younger children who are still learning to take turns and just beginning to recognize numbers (the spinner stays in the single digits). It’s also a gentle introduction to the higher numbers as players climb to 100 at the top of the board.
Candyland is another traditional game that has been around a long time. I hesitated to even put it on my list… but I think this is the game that so many of us start out using with our kiddos!
This game is perfect for non-readers because playing cards are coded with colorful squares matching the jeweled stepping-stone path, so they don’t have to read to be able to play this game… just be able to match colors. So this is a great first game… teaching taking turns, colors and even counting.
We love “I Spy” type games… we actually still play those in the car All. The. Time. So… it’s not a surprise that we love the Spot It games. And there are a bunch of them!
But for preschoolers, I would start with the basics… Shapes, Numbers and Letters is perfect! It is also a great game for honing visual perception and cognitive skills, as well as developing quick mental processing. And, honestly, just like when I played Zingo, I think the kiddos were faster than me at finding them. Maybe I need some of these games more than my kiddos!
There are a ton of different varieties and versions you can choose from. Here is a search for Tangrams and you can see just how many there are to choose from. They vary in skill level and difficulty. What they all have in common is their ability to boost our children’s fine motor and visual thinking skills! I love doing these too. (Have I mentioned already how much I love to play games?)
9. Pizza Mania
Pizza Mania is a fun and quick little game that my boys loved playing. It is definitely an early learning game and counting in the single digits.
The talking chef is quaint, almost old-school… but the boys enjoyed it. As for its educational component, it reinforces listening, counting, and early addition and subtraction.
I am so totally cheating on this one. I know it is not a traditional board game… but let’s be realistic, some children just want to do things.
The Wooden Project Workbench includes blueprints for a robot and an assortment of vehicles, so you and your little carpenter can learn to build together. While the bench, tools, and hardware are suitable for kids, the plans for the additional projects will require parental assistance to complete.
I hope you have enjoyed my 10 Fun AND Educational Preschool Board Games list. I am SURE I missed some. Which ones would YOU add to the list?