I love 3 year olds, they are fun, eager to learn, and often sassy… which I think is rad because it shows their need for independence. One of my favorite tools for having fun and connecting with 3 year olds are games, games for 3 year olds aren’t all about fun, or learning, they are about both as well as discovering and testing out their independence.
Here are some of the very best games for 3 year olds both DIY learning games and store bought games you ready to play as soon as you open them.
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This is probably number one on my list of games for 3 year olds because it taps into their creativity and problem-solving. Oh, and if you are worried about using little Lego, no worries, just substitute Duplo and you are good to go!
Most 3 year olds aren’t reading, and we shouldn’t be pushing them before they are ready BUT rhyming is a skill that 3 year olds can have fun with and this free printable board game is perfect for families. You’ll need one reader but little ones can play without being able to.
3. Candy Land
This is the perfect preschool game. It teaches color recognition but my favorite thing about it is that it helps teach children that there are setbacks and the answer isn’t to give up, it’s to keep going! Games like this is a great way for young children to practice losing. It takes time to learn how to be a gracious loser and that’s one of the benefits of games for 3 year olds.
4. Pop The Pig
This game is one of our favorites because it’s exciting, it requires children to recognize numbers then act on it with counting, and you can adapt it for older kids ( see how we did here). This game isn’t just a great game on a list of games for 3 year olds, it will grow with your kids and be used for years to come.
These games take a little bit to put together but they are probably the most important games for 3 year olds you’ll find on this list because they focus on social-emotional learning. Children need to have a chance to practice these skills and these games help them do just that!
6. Roll A Shape
This free printable game is perfect for waits at restaurants, free choice at preschool etc… because your child/ students won’t need help playing once they know the basics. Foster that independence with this great game.
These games are not just for 3 year olds but what I love about them is they get your children learning and MOVING outside!
This game is a baking game where players are trying to get the ingredients required for making a super cool cupcake. this game doesn’t require players to be able to read, it is easy to adapt when children decide to get creative and think outside the box and the pieces are sturdy! The box says ages 5+ but my daughter played this easily at 3.
I include these roll and cover games in many of my printable preschool curriculum units because they are perfect games for 3 year olds. They are simple first of all, they encourage perseverance, build subitizing and counting skills, and this one is FREE!
This game and its Halloween inspired version have been huge hits around my home and classrooms for years and years. Kids love playing these games and I love seeing how they help develop their gross motor skills.
Tell me what makes your list of the best games for 3 year olds?
For more printable activities you can use to learn and play with your 3 year old students or for your homeschool check out our preschool curriculum unit plans.