Candyland again?! Nooooo!
Chris Bizon
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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Our daughter will turn 3 in a few months, and she's a Candyland junkie. It's been a good game to introduce her to, and she can now understand taking turns, winning and losing, and so forth. She can move her piece around the board like a pro, with basically no help from us. However, if I have to play this thing again, I may go mad.

So, help us pick a new game for a Christmas present. It needs to be quite simple for one this young, but maybe some light decision-making would be ok. Here's a few that we've tried or are thinking of. Feel free to add more.
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1. Board Game: Chutes and Ladders [Average Rating:2.79 Overall Rank:15326]
Chris Bizon
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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Picked this up one day when we happened to see it in Wal-Mart. Thought that it would be at least as good/simple as Candyland, but it really is much harder for the very young. First, it's counting based rather than using a color scheme. Second, the visual design of the board makes the track quite obscure (it's a 10x10 square grid. You alternately go left and right down the rows). Not a big hit with the young or old.
 
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2. Board Game: Madeline [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:12749]
Chris Bizon
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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Thinking of this one for xmas. The theme should go over well, and it's got (only?) cooperative play, which is probably a plus. Is it too far past candyland for a 2-3 year old?
 
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3. Board Game: Orchard [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:3156]
Chris Bizon
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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Many of the Haba games look nice. The one I think might go over the best though is NaschKatze. Doesn't seem to have a geek page, so here's a link to funagain:
http://kumquat.com/cgi-kumquat/funagain/13399
 
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4. Board Game: The Kids of Catan [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:14920]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Catan, man, Catan!!!
 
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5. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.35 Overall Rank:15215]
Jody Ludwick
United States
Indiana
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Uno is a great way to indroduce a child to the primary colors and basic sequence of numbers with a little twist in the direction of the game.
 
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6. Board Game: Elk Fest [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2486]
Jody Ludwick
United States
Indiana
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A fun dexterity game for all envolved.
 
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7. Board Game: The Legend of Landlock [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:7355]
Hammock Backpacker
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My kids were able to pick up the basics of the tile laying in this game when they were very young. The scoring came later, but they loved finding those dwarves...
 
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8. Board Game: Tales of Ulysse [Average Rating:4.34 Unranked]
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
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I haven't tried it but hear it plays like advanced Candyland. You also get to sneak in some Greek mythology lessons. It's for five and up so you might just keep it in mind 'till your kid has a few more birthdays. Odd that there is no picture at the Geek since it's a recent Tilsit release.
 
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9. Board Game: Guess Who? [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:15296]
 
Bill Skulley
United States
Westminster
Colorado
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I introduced this to my four year old as a way to escape CandyLand, Chutes and Ladders, and Hi-Ho Cherry-O. He gets it, and is capable of winning. He still also likes the other games, but he likes this one too. Its not like its a great game, but it whomps over the other choices I have...
 
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10. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
 
United States
Aventura
Florida
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i wonder if a 3 year old could get addicted...
 
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11. Board Game: Snail's Pace Race [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:14938]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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This was my daughter's first game, and she's been playing it about a year and a half now (she is 3 1/2). Great quality wooden pieces, cooperative play, no reading, short playing time all add up to this game gets pulled out 3 or 4 times a week.
 
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12. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:945]
Tim Thomas
United States
Oceanside
California
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My 3 1/2 year-old son is obsessed with this one, plus my six year-old daughter also enjoys it. There is some introductory decision making here. Because it features a dexterity element, you can try your hardest and still lose most of the time (at least I do). Those little fingers have a big advantage!
 
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13. Board Game: By Golly! [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:5927]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Memory game with great artwork
 
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14. Board Game: Junior Labyrinth [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:8210]
Stacy Whiteman
United States
San Jose
California
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Simple maze game with no reading required (and you can help the little ones win without them noticing)
 
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15. Board Game: Savannah Café [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:12165]
Rob Rob
United States
Tampa
Florida
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Fun for young and old. For the younger set, just remember to explain that the gazelles are just "scared away" by those hungry lions!
 
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16. Board Game: Cuckoo Zoo [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:11314]
Vince Bamford
United Kingdom
Brighton
Unspecified
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I got this for my daughter on her fifth birthday and I've lost couunt of the number of times we've played. Basically it's Uno with animal noises - but that seems to make all the difference when you're five!
 
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17. Board Game: Chicken Cha Cha Cha [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1381]
 
Mike Hutton
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
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An excellent edition of an excellent memory game.

This, to me, has more appeal to a child than Au Backe.

The game improves if you add the expansion set (Hicke Hacke EntenKacke).

The artwork alone makes it a joy.
 
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18. Board Game: Princess [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:11509]
Lori
United States
Durham
North Carolina
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This is a great cooperative game for young kids. I haven't played with any as little as your daughter, but I think it would be OK. The princess is under a spell in the castle, and you have to rescue her before nightfall. There's an assortment of items to collect and use to deal with obstacles on the way to the princess. It's up to the players to talk it over and figure out how they could use the different things, so the game also fosters creativity. Somehow along the way (it's been a while) there are darkness tiles that get played one by one so you can see the night advancing. Nothing violent or too scary in the theme--if you don't get the princess rescued before dark falls, well, you'll have to come back and try again some other day. Nicely made and attractive parts.
 
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