We LOVE to play games! But then again, most people do. The tricky part can be finding good games for all the ages that may be in your family. And at what age do you start playing “actual” games with your kids? We’re here to help with our 5 Days of Games for Kids! During this 5 days series we’ll be sharing some of our favourite games, and ones recommended by friends that we’re just dying to try out. If you’re ever stuck for a birthday or Christmas present for anyone on your list, this guide is chock-full of ideas for all age ranges.
Keep checking back for updates and additions as we try more games.
5 Days of Games for Kids
5 Days of Games for Kids Ages 3 to 5
Most of the games in this age range are geared toward the preschool age, BUT I will tell you that our older boys certainly do not mind playing a lot of these alongside younger siblings (or even just amongst themselves :D). So the suggested age is really quite flexible, but if you’re looking for a specific game for a 3-5 year old, choose one of these!
*All of the text links go to Amazon.com. For my fellow Canadians, click the picture links for Amazon.ca listings or where to buy if available in Canada. This is the easiest way to show you the full game details, but of course, there are always deals to be had on games at thrift stores, garage sales, Kijiji, ebay and, of course, sales and deals at other stores. Shop around and keep your eyes open!*
Balloon Lagoon – (though the price on Amazon is steep, you can usually find it for sale used somewhere) – teaches time limit, spelling, hand-eye coordination and picture recognition. Collect balloons by playing mini-games, first to fill his mover with balloons wins (about 35-45 minutes).
Candyland – Oh, Candyland. The game that makes parents cheat just so it will be over. Tell me I’m not alone?! It is a fun game, but my goodness it can go on forever with those cards that send you back! Simple pick the card, move the play around the board, fun for everyone.
Chutes and Ladders – Rolling, climbing and sliding. This is a good one for teaching patience, waiting your turn, and good sportsmanship :D
Cranium Cariboo – This is a simple, fun, seek and find treasure hunt game that our kids have loved over the years. Unfortunately it, and the Cariboo Island version are discontinued, but keep your eyes open at yard sales, online, or pick one up from ebay.
Cranium Hullabaloo – This is another one that’s a bit pricey, but can usually be found second hand. Our kids have always loved playing it with a bigger group at co-op, and it’s a great game for getting wiggles out. Think musical chairs and dancing – just make sure you have plenty of room to move around!
(There is also a DVD version of this game, which essentially eliminates the need for an adult to be there, and in my opinion that’s not as fun, BUT I could be wrong ;D).
Don’t Break the Ice – (warning: bit of a pain to set up! But promises to be lots of fun) This is a bit like a simplified version of Jenga. The kids are on edge waiting for the removal of the block that will send their guy crashing through the ice!
Hi-Ho Cherry-O – This was one of the first games we bought for the boys, and it’s still a favourite among them all, years later. Spin the wheel, pick cherries from the tree or remove them from their bucket. Great for learning simple numbers and counting. ($19.99 Mickey Mouse Version at Toys R Us Canada.)
Hungry, Hungry Hippos – A classic! I always loved this game! It’s smashing good fun. No literally. You might have a headache. But the kids will love it! And you might have marbles all over your house. But the kids will love it! :D (This one is also usually easy to find from Target, Walmart, Toys R Us in Canada.)
Katamino – Katamino is a building game that helps children understand basic concepts of geometry. It’s not one we’ve tried ourselves, but it comes highly recommended, and is great for all ages. It looks REALLY intriguing and we’re hoping to add it to our collection soon.
I would say this is a little more for the higher end of this age range, but still appropriate for young kids and all the way up to adult!
The Ladybug Game – Learn to count forward and backward, read and learn about ants.
Set Junior – Create sets of three cards, with each card in the set having the same feature as each other card in the set or a different feature. For example, all three cards have green symbols on them, but they have 1, 2 and 3 symbols and the symbols are all different shapes (oval, squiggle and diamond). Great for sequencing and pattern recognition.
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game – Our girls are getting this one for Christmas! It looks like so much fun, and who doesn’t love the opportunity to be sneaky when playing a game (and legally, too!). Matching and sorting skills, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pre-handwriting skills.
Zingo – It’s like Bingo, but with pictures! 1 dealer draws the 2 chips, the players have to claim the chips as they match their boards. Fast paced and fun! There are also other versions of this game – Sight Words, 1-2-3, Word Builder and Telling Time.
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