Best Board Games for 3 Year Olds 2019

This is an image of a shopping game by Orchard Toys designed for 3 year old kids.

What are the odds you ended up here looking for the best board games for preschoolers because you have a young one that is bored with the games they already have? Parents the world over know these games, apart from the fun and excitement they bring, deliver several benefits to both kids and parents.

All the games we picked, apart from being so much fun to play with, integrate important skills such as strategic thinking, maths skills, color recognition, cognitive development and many more.

In effect, you are not just buying an engaging fun game, the development of the kid is taken care of indirectly. Talk about having fun and getting better at some important life skills.

One thing you’d quickly notice when you go searching for educational games for preschoolers is that there are so many of them competing for your attention. Even restricting your choice to a single category wouldn’t cut down the number to a manageable size. And to be honest, many of them are not worth your kid’s time or the money invested.

The games on our list have gone through a fine toothcomb. Most of them are games that all the family can enjoy as well as learning games to prepare preschoolers for the tough years ahead in school.

So if you want to avoid the stress of having to choose appropriate preschool games for your kids, simply pick any of the 20 we have selected. They are all being proven to be the best and tick all the right boxes in terms of safety standards, durability, design and most importantly, each one is an absolute delight to play with.


20 Best Board Games For 3 Year Olds in 2019

It is time to look at the 20 board games we believe are the best in their various categories. There are several absolute gems that you might be tempted to get more than one as a gift for a friend’s or family member’s kid.

1. Shopping List the Matching and Memory Game by Orchard Toys

This is a great memory game for the mental development of toddlers and preschoolers. Designed for 2-4 players, the game adds a new twist to regular memory games.

The players are required to remember where the items on their shopping list are located on the tiles that were placed face down on the floor. If you want to consistently challenge your 3 year old, make sure 3 or 4 players are involved. It would still be fun though no matter what.

There are four shopping lists for each player with 32 cards. The tiles and cards are very sturdy and would hold up nicely over the years after lots of constant playing.

This is an image of a shopping game by Orchard Toys designed for 3 year old kids.


2. STEM Apple Factory Learning and Counting Games By Skoolzy

If you are looking fun STEM games for 3 year olds, this board game by Skoolzy should be at the top of your list. The 12 brightly-colored apples are cute and are not too big for small hands. Little ones would find them easy to hold.

You would love the action cards designed so you can easily create a customized ‘Apple Factory’. This makes for a wonderful STEM-based learning experience.

You don’t need multiple games to go through the required lessons. One good is enough to go over colors, numbers, and all the problems that require solving.

The pieces are well made with non-toxic plastic and very durable. They can be easily wiped clean and unlike the game, storage presents zero STEM-level challenges

This is an image of an apple toy matching game for kids ages 3 years old.


3. My First UNO Card Game with Spongebob Squarepants by Mattel Games

This is an exciting, fun game and because it is based on one of the best TV shows for kids, children would adore playing it. Kids can join their favorite characters, SpongeBob, Patrick and buddies to learn and play this classic card game.

It is an original UNO game that includes 36 cards that are large and easy to hold. It’s going to be fun all the way as the players get educated on the basic color and number skills required to play the game.

Parents love this game a lot because it brings together many of the characters kids recognize. This generates a high level of interest in the game ensuring they pick up the rules in no time at all.

The whole family can join in the fun too. It’s SpongeBob Squarepants after all!

This is an image of an UNO card game in Spongebob Squarepants edition designed for kids.


4. Candy Land Kingdom Adventures Game By Hasbro Gaming 

Featuring 44 colorful cards, exciting destinations, several fun illustrations, and many more, Candy Land Kingdom is certainly one of the most fun board games for 3 year olds.

One reason this game is so much fun is that kids don’t need to know how to read to get on with it. The players simply move their gingerbread man around the twisting and colorful paths as they race to the castle. Along the way, lots of surprises await them.

Suitable for 2 – 4 players, the pack also includes 4 movers apart from the game board. There is also an instructions manual, but chances are nobody is going to waste precious time on it when there are awesome locations such as Peppermint Forest, Lollipop Palace, and Licorice Lagoon to explore.

This is an image of a Candy Land board game by Hasbro Gaming designed for 3 year old kids.


5. Where’s My Cupcake? Matching and Collecting Game By Orchard Toys

As far as learning games for toddlers go, Where’s My Cupcake? must take one of the top spots for an easy-to-play and fun board game designed without the fierce competitiveness found in other board games for kids.

There are several ways to play this game ensuring there is room for improvisation which would do a lot of good for the kid’s creativity.

Suitable for 2 year olds and above (you can join the fun too!), the game is quick and basically involves collecting and matching as many cupcakes as possible.

It is not a race though. Kids have to share the collected cupcakes with other players; this teaches them the value of sharing stuff. In this game, everybody is a winner.

This is an image of a Where's My Cupcake game by Orchards Toys designed for kids.


6. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Strategy Game by Educational Insights

Kids find cute little animals like squirrels absolutely adorable. And when given the chance to play with one in a board game like this, you can be sure they would take to it like squirrels to acorns.

It is one of the best fun and learning games for preschoolers. It would be love at first sight for kids as even the box is colorful and covered in unique artwork. Inside the box are high-quality plastic pieces including a tree-shaped game board, Squirrel Squeezer, 20 colored acorns, a game spinner, 4 logs to keep score, and an instructions manual.

The game is fun and easy to understand. All they have to do is give the spinner a twirl and then pick up matching acorns using the Squirrel Squeezer. The first player to gather five acorns wins.

This is an image of a squirrel board game for kids.


7. Snug as a Bug in a Rug Colors and Shape Game by Peaceful Kingdom

This game brings lots of variety and flexibility to what at first looks like a simple, dull game. Though it is simple to learn how to play, one thing it is not is dull: it packs several levels of excitement that increases as kids get better.

Suitable for preschoolers and older kids, players have to work together to stop the 24 Stink bugs stinking the place by sweeping three other non-stick bugs under the rug.

This is a game to foster important life skills such as teamwork, shared decision making, creative problem-solving, and emotional development.

This is an image of a Snug as a Bug in a Rug by Peaceable Kingdom designed for kids.


8. Classic Hi Ho! Cherry-O Fruits Game by Hasbro Gaming

Hi Ho! Cherry-O board game is one of the best educational games for toddlers as well as kids up to 6 years old. Your kid would have so much fun picking fruits from the trees in the game board and filling their baskets.

There is a little caveat and that is where the fun is: the spinner either tells each player the number of fruits to pick or return. The first player with a full basket is the winner.

While having all this fun picking and returning colorful plastic cherries, blueberries, apples and oranges, the players’ maths, counting, and cognitive skills are being honed.

This is an image of a Hi Ho! Cherry-O game by Hasbro designed for kids.


9. Stack Up! The Skills Builder Game by Peaceful Kingdom

Stack Up! surely stands apart as one of the coolest board games for 3 years old and older that is at once devoid a stressful playing environment while enhancing several important skills necessary for the development of growing children.

Suitable for 2 – 6 players, the game involves cooperative effort to stack the 12 blocks before everything is brought down by the smasher. The spinner sets the game in motion and difficult moves can be added for added fun and variety.

The pack features durable pieces including the game board, the 12 stacking blocks, 2 stack sticks, a stack smasher, stand and instructions for 3 different playing levels.

This is an image of a Stack Up! stacking board game for kids.


10. Busytown Eye Found It! The Hidden Picture Game by Wonder Forge

Wonder Forge’s Richard’s Scarry Busytown is all about the things kids love doing if left alone: exploring and discovering new stuff in unexpected places.

The huge game board (it is over six feet long!) would push their imagination and creativity to new and exciting limits as they race around Busytown trying to find hidden objects in every conceivable cranny while pausing to solve exciting mysteries along the way.

Suitable for kids 3 years old and above, the game promotes teamwork, builds confidence, aids the development of hand-eye coordination and many more.

The pack features durable pieces such as the 4 movers and mover bases each, a spinner, ferry tile, 10 magnifying glass tokens, 30 goldburg cards, a sand timer, 6 food tiles and instructions.

This is an image of a Busytown kid's board game.


11. The Colorful and Lively Ladybug Game by Zobmondo

Perhaps, this game is such a hit among three year olds and older kids because it was created by a kid. Who’s best placed to know the right kiddy button to press than another kid?

This is an interactive game that stimulates learning while having fun. The game board is beautifully designed to hold the attention of players and to keep interests at high levels; tedium is eliminated as each game takes about 20 minutes.

All the kids need to do is get the Ladybug safely home. That might sound unexciting until children discover they have to avoid lazy ants, praying mantis, aphids and other challenges along the way.

It is a clever game that helps to nurture first reading and cognitive skills.

This is an image of a The Ladybug Game board game for kids.


12. Don’t Break the Ice Preschool Game by Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming designed another winner with Don’t Break the Ice Game. Played by 2-4 players, this is a game of careful strategy to get enough ice blocks for the adorable Penguin, Philip, to build a new home.

The primary aim is to make sure Philip doesn’t fall. The player that can keep Philip from falling wins. Sounds easy enough but it can be tricky as players take turns to knock down blocks of ice while making sure Philip doesn’t topple over.

The set is made from durable, non-toxic plastic material and includes 2 mallets for knocking down the ice blocks, an ice tray frame to hold the 32 ice blocks, a larger ice block for Philip to stand on, 4 ice tray legs to support the frame, and Philip the Penguin.

This is an image of a Don't Break the Ice Game board game for kids.


13. Chutes and Ladders with Spinner Board Game by Hasbro

Only a few games can set the pulse racing better than a chutes and ladders game. And this one from Hasbro doesn’t disappoint with the beautifully-made plastic figures and a nicely-illustrated board.

This classic game easily combines simplicity with tons of fun. The many twists, turns, climbing up ladders, sliding down chutes can keep players engrossed for several hours in a day.

Children would love to see how their luck holds up as the spinner is spun. Would they get lucky and land on a square of good deed to send them scrambling up the ladder or get unlucky and fall on a candy square to send them sliding down the chute? These and many more unknowns make this a really fun, learning game for toddlers and older kids.

This is an image of a Chutes and Ladders Game by Hasbro designed for kids.


14. Monkey Balance Board by Alex

It is never early to help kids improve their coordination and balance once they start walking. Alerts Active Monkey balance board is exactly the type of board game to achieve that objective.

It doesn’t seem like a lot if all the kid has to do is stay on top of the 16.5 x 9.5″ colorful board. But the fun would be non-stop once your kid discovers that preventing the board from wobbling every which way is hard.

Made for ages 3 and above, the board is sturdy enough to hold up to 200 lbs: cue the whole family taking turns to balance on it. Who can stay longer on the board becomes the objective?

The game is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use and it is not hard to assemble as it comes with the necessary screws, dowel, and easy-to-follow instructions.

This is an image of a Monkey Balance board game by ALEX for kids.


15. Moving Lucky Ducks Memory and Matching Game by Pressman

Who is going to be the lucky duck? That is entirely up to how well your kids can remember to match colors and shapes. The game is quite easy to play and the first player to get three matching ducks is the winner.

Designed for kids 3 years old and above, the whole family can join in the fun too. There are 12 colorful ducks with the color and shape stuck beneath them.

The spinning plastic ‘pond’ adds a layer of challenge as players try to figure out which ‘swimming’ duct is the right one.

For toddlers who are just learning to recognize colors and shapes, this would aid the development of color and shape recognition while also improving their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills.

This is an image of a Lucky Ducks memory board game by Pressman designed for kids.


16. Dinosaur Escape Team Game by Peaceful Kingdom 

This award-winning game is all about teamwork and strategy. How hard can it be to get three dinosaurs safely to Dinosaur Island before a smoldering volcano erupts? It turns out the job can be executed far easier if a group of smarties bring their skills together and actively work towards a common goal.

Along the way, with the roll of the dice, the little ones might have to use all their wits to escape lurking dangers such as a T-Rex. Everybody is a winner if the dinosaurs are ensconced on Dinosaur Island before the 3D word puzzle is completed. Completing the puzzle adds another layer of fun for the kids.

Suitable for 2 – 4 players, the game features one die, 12 fern tokens, a volcano stand, 5 volcano pieces, and game instructions.

This is an image of a Dinosaur Escape board game by Peaceable Kingdom for kids.


17. First Orchard Collaborative Game by Haba

This is another awesome cooperative game that on average takes about 10 minutes to complete. This makes it easy even for kids with a short attention span to be part of the fun for the duration of each game.

In this game, it is kids or the players (maximum of 4 players) working together to try and outwit the raven. They must pick all the fruits on the trees before the raven reaches the end of the path to win.

The game comes with cards with different tress drawn on each; 16 different fruits with varying colors to match the trees (4 fruits for each tree); 5 path cards, 1 dice, and a raven.

Like all the best cooperative games, kids develop their social skills and how to work in a team while enhancing their color recognition and counting skills.

This is an image of a First Orchard board game by HABA for kids.


18. Feed The Woozle Skills Building Game by Peaceful Kingdom

‘Feed the Woozle’ would definitely become an instant hit with the kids in any household with kids of  3 years and above. Kids would love it that the game difficulty level increases as they get better at playing it.

Another awesome cooperative game, restless kids would be forced to relax to successfully transfer the food to the hungry woozle; or else, the food falls off the spoon.

This is a multiple award-winning game that encourages children to work together. The silly snacks add to the fun that lasts about 15 minutes per game.

This is an image of a Feed The Woozle board game for kids.


19. Count the Chickens Cooperative Game

Who let the chickens out? That doesn’t matter at this point; the priority is to round up all the baby chick’s and bring them back to mother hen in Peaceable Kingdom’s Count the Chickens game.

This is another cooperative game that children would have fun playing together. They must look out for each other while chasing 40 baby chicks. The game features the board, a mother hen, one spinner, and the instructions.

Suitable for kids 3 years and above, a single game lasts for about 15 exciting minutes and can be played by up to 4 players.

Important skills that children learn include counting, social interaction, teamwork, and creative problem-solving in a stress-free game environment.

This is an image of a Count Your Chickens board game for kids.


20. Marvel Superheroes Chutes and Ladders by Hasbro Gaming

Any Marvel-themed game featuring children’s favorite superheroes doesn’t require much to have them gathering around with excitement to play. Who gets to be Spider-Man? White Tiger? Venom? Black Cat? Etc.

Whether hero or villain, spinning the spinner and reaching the last square is the goal while aiming for the ladders to achieve the ultimate objective faster and hoping the chutes don’t bring them crashing back.

This exciting board game is suitable for 3 years old children and above. It comes with 8 characters, 4 pawn stand, a spinner with the arrow and base, the game board and instructions.

This is an image of a Spider-Man Chutes & Ladders board game for kids.

Best Buy Overall

We ranked the Dinosaur Escape Game by Peaceable Kingdom the overall best buy. We love that it is a cooperative game with players working together to achieve a common objective.

The game is well-made, beautiful and not too pricey. And of course, it is a dinosaur-themed game. We all love our dinosaurs, especially if the fearsome and exciting T-Rex is likely to make a sudden appearance.

This is an image of a Dinosaur Escape board game by Peaceable Kingdom for kids.


Best Budget Buy

We had to hand it to the Sneaky, Snaky Squirrel Strategy Game by Educational insights.

The game is colorful, exciting and the plastic pieces are made from high-quality material. And you just know children would love playing with the adorable squirrels.

This is an image of a squirrel board game for kids.

Considerations when Choosing Board Games for Toddlers

Choosing board games for 3 years old kids isn’t just about how much fun or learning they would be exposed to. Other important considerations come into play too.

For instance, you ought the make sure the toys or games you decide to purchase were made for kids of that age. Age-appropriate games are crucial or the essence of buying them for the kid would be lost.

Games that are too advanced {made for older kids} won’t be much fun to the kid. Neither are games that are made for kids much younger. One way to check for age-appropriateness is to look at the pack. The age range should be written on it.

Safety concerns are also important. Toys with too many small parts should be avoided as they constitute a choking hazard. Also, give toys with sharp or pointed edges a wide berth as these could hurt the kid.

Finally, always aim for toys with bright colors. Kids are naturally attracted to vibrant colors.


What are Some Board Games for Preschoolers Where Everyone Wins?

Some kids thrive best in a calm environment where the pressure to beat an opponent is non-existent. While some folks love competitive games, many others would prefer that kids are not thrust into a world of winner-takes-all as such an early age. They just want kids to have fun without pressure.

This is where cooperative games take the front seat. In these games, everyone is a winner as the emphasis is placed more on teamwork than individualism. These games teach kids how to brainstorm with team members and the value of sharing, in addition to building their self-confidence.

Some of the games in this category include:

  1. Orchard Toy’s Where’s My Cupcake?

A simple sharing game involving collecting several cupcakes and sharing them with other players

  1. Peaceable Kingdom Snug as a Bug in a Rug Game

In this exciting board game, players must work together to prevent two dozen bugs from sticking the whole place by sweeping other bugs under the rug.

  1. Wonder Forge Richard’s Scarry Busytown

This is arguably the most exciting game in this category. It is an adventure game played on a huge board. Kids have to collaborate to find hidden items and solve interesting puzzles all over the board.

  1. Dinosaur Escape

Bringing together three dinosaurs, a raging volcano, and a sneaky T-Rex is a sure recipe for non-stop excitement. The players have to race against time to get the dinosaurs to safety. To succeed, they must combine their resources and work towards the common goal. A win for one is a win for all.


Why Board Games are Good for Preschoolers?

There are so many things that can be said in favor of board games for three year olds. You’d want to have one or several in your home because they are easy to learn, play and master. There is no requirement for literacy for kids to fully enjoy them.

Preschool kids, the majority of them at least, are just developing their maths, counting, and reading skills. These games further that development including their ability to recognize colors, animals, and plants.

For most parents, apart from keeping kids occupied with safe fun games, these games also help to bring all the family together thus making the family bond stronger and enhancing the child’s social skills.