motor skills, turn taking, language development, sorting and classifying

Young children grow and change so much from year to year. Each year there are developmental milestones that parents can encourage and support by choosing board games that are suited to their blossoming skills. Children at the age of three have skills that are well suited to some beginning game skills. Their play skills have advanced and they are more likely to join children playing rather than playing alongside. Three-year-olds are able to follow two to three-step directions, and can begin to share and take turns.

Games that Support Motor Skills

Motor skills in three-year-olds have developed to the point where they can stack ten blocks. To continue to develop gross motor skills, games with stacking and balance are a great fit. Fine motor skills also are developing and any game where they can grasp or pick up small items is beneficial to their developing hands. With so many touch screens available to children, the need to develop fine motor skills has increased significantly, impacting writing, drawing, and cutting skills well into school age.

Feed the Woozle

  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • 2-5 Players

With a silly name and adorable art, Feed the Woozle is engaging for three-year-olds. Players roll the dice to see how many snacks to feed the Woozle, but they have to walk them across a distance of a recommended 8-10 feet (which of course can be scaled down at first if that is too challenging). The goal is to get 12 of the 24 snacks to the Woozle. The game also has levels of play, including a spinner that adds movement to the walk across with the snacks, such as March or Bunny Hop. 

Buy Feed the Woozle here on Amazon

2. Boom Boom

  • Blue Orange
  • 1-6 Players

Dexterity and fine motor are at the center of Boom Boom The Balancing Panda. Players need to place different size cylinders only Boom Boom without any falling off. To make it even more challenging the cylinders are different sizes and shapes, plus players pick the next piece for their neighbor to place.

Buy Boom Boom The Balancing Panda here on Amazon.

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

  • Educational Insights
  • 2-4 Players

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game is where you are collecting acorns to feed your hungry squirrel.  At the beginning of each turn, you spin the spinner and that dictates the color acorn you can take or if another event occurs. The first person to fill their log with acorns wins. Buy The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game here on Amazon.

Educational Insights has developed a line of games with a squeezer that also includes: Hoppy Floppy Happy Hunt, Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco Game, Shelby’s Snack Shack Game, and Sophie’s Seashell Scramble.

The tweezer features of this series are amazing for developing fine motor skills by having resistance on their hands.

Big City Builders

  • Ravensburger
  • 1-2 Players

Build your roads and transport materials to the construction site. Building and trucks are a perennial favorite of three-year-old kids. Big City Builders taps into the early skills of this age and incorporates turn-taking, decision-making, and color matching.

This also can be included with other toys to expand its play.

Buy Big City Builders here on Amazon.

Games that Support Memory and Sorting/Classifying

Games geared for this age can help develop skills with opposites, matching, and problem-solving. Many games for this age tap into their beginning skills and can foster strengthening those skills.

Language skills typically have developed to the point where they can answer questions that include what, when, why, and where. By the age of 3 they are beginning to be able to name their emotions and can tell you if they are sad, happy, etc. Three-year-olds can understand the difference in sizes (bigger/smaller), and prepositions (on, under, behind).

Bandit’s Memory Mix-Up

  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • 2-4 Players

Bandits Memory Mix Up is a game for two to four players ages three and up which challenges memory. This game has players take the spyglass and place five garden tiles inside then shake it up. Then one player removes One garden tile secretly. The challenge: remembering the removed tile. The first player to identify the missing tile wins. There are also variants that support solo and large group play. Play reinforces the skills of turn-taking, visual discrimination, and memory.

Buy Bandit’s Memory Mix Up here on Amazon.

Smoosh and Seek Treehouse

  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • 2-4 Players

Smoosh and Seek Treehouse is a cooperative game for 2 to 4 players ages 3 and up. In this game, players are working together to find all the different Woodland animals playing hide and seek in the tree before Mr. Prickles climbs the ladder. Players worked together to remember the location of the different seekers when they think they have located a seeker they state who they think it is pick up the disk and smash it into the smash to to reveal who’s hiding. If they successfully find a hider they place a token to show that the seeker has been found. Gameplay reinforces memory, simple strategy, cooperation, and fine motor skills.

Buy Smoosh and Seek Treehouse here on Amazon.

Count Your Chickens

  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • 2-4 Players

Count Your Chickens is a cooperative game where you are trying to get all 40 chicks back to the coop before the hen reaches it.  On each turn, the player spins the spinner that has various pictures that correspond to pictures on the path.  The player moves the mother hen to the next space with that picture and counts the number of spaces they travel.  The number of spaces is how many chicks they put in the coop. If the spinner lands on the fox one chick is taken out of the coop and put back in the farmyard.

Buy Count Your Chickens! here on Amazon.

Unicorn Glitterluck

Unicorn Glitterluck is a roll-and-move game with some added components for ages 3 and up.  Players move their unicorns along the path and collect crystals.  If they land on a crystal image they have to roll a special die to find out how many crystals to take.  The player who reaches the sun first ends the game and players count their crystals.  The player with the most crystals wins.  The back of the game board also has a counter track so players can lay out their crystals by the player and visually see who has the most.

Buy Unicorn Glitterluck here on Amazon.

Happy Bunny

  • Blue Orange
  • 1-4 Players

Harvest carrots for the bunny and the farmer in Happy Bunny. Players need to work together to pick carrots out of the garden. If a carrot has a bite taken out of it, it goes to the bunny, but unbitten carrots go to the farmers. There are also three different size carrots. The bunny moves along the path as players roll the dice. Once the bunny reaches the end of the path, the carrots are counted for both the bunny and the farmer. If the bunny has more the players win, while if the farmer has more the game wins.

Buy Happy Bunny here on Amazon.

  1. Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Snug as a Bug in a Rug is a cooperative game for players ages 3 and up.  The game is also designed with three levels of play to increase difficulty as players get older. The bugs in the game have multiple features.  They are different colors, have shapes, have different numbers of shapes, and have large or small eyes.

The basic gameplay has the players roll the specialized die to determine the attribute they are looking for in their bug and then spin the spinner to specify the attribute.  For example, if they roll the color attribute on the die, the spinner would tell them to find the blue bug.  Once they find a bug with that attribute it goes under the rug (the game board). If there are no bugs that match that feature a stink bug is placed on the rug.  The game ends when all the bugs are under the run, which means players win, or there are three stink bugs on the rug.

Buy Snug as a Bug in a Rug here on Amazon.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

By Linda Wrobel

Managing Editor: Board Games Mother, Educator, and Board Game Editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *