Games my 3-year old loved
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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We all know the value of staring our kids early in things like math, reading, languages, and sports. Well, board gaming requires just as much coaxing and nurturing! These are the games my little girl played when she was roughly 2 and a half. They were still played up through 4 years old. I hope you find it useful!
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1. Board Game: Cariboo Island [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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My little girl LOVES this game, as do her cousins. Bright colors, moving parts, cards, and a bit of luck make for a very exciting 10 minutes.
 
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2. Board Game: Hi Ho! Cherry-O [Average Rating:3.59 Overall Rank:17552]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Colorful little fruits on a game board that's easy to play. The box says it supports math skills, but it does it right by helping the child UNDERSTAND addition and subtraction without actually trying to TEACH it.
 
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3. Board Game: Candy Land [Average Rating:3.17 Overall Rank:17569]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Yes, the game we all hate is great for a 3 year old. It's not her favorite game, but the over-the-top graphics make is irresistible. She loves saying Lord Licorice, but she seems disappointed he's got such a minor role in the game.
 
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4. Board Game: My First Picture Dominoes [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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This isn't the exact set we have but does it matter? This is one of first games we played together, at about 2 years old. It taught her how to take turns and how the orientation of the piece makes a difference.
 
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5. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:221]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Obviously we don't play the game correctly. Instead, we sort the black and white separately, face down, and take turns putting one piece next to the other, like dominoes. This was great for learing about taking turns, and creates a bit of suspense when the little one takes her tile and turns it over to get a bug, which she'd have to name.
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6. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3163]
Andres F. Pabon L.
Colombia
Bogotá
DC
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My 3 year old son loves this one, and demands playing it at least once a week.
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7. Board Game: Don't Wake Daddy [Average Rating:4.44 Overall Rank:17456]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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My son also likes Don't Wake Hulk, mainly because he pops up and knocks the other super heroes off the bed. It is OK but you may not get through it with them. I go as far as we can then just put the heroes on the bed and let him count how many clicks for Hulk to pop up.
 
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8. Board Game: Pop-Up Pirate! [Average Rating:4.69 Overall Rank:17442]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Oh! And I almost forgot the fun of sticking pointy swords in a barrel.
 
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9. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1119]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Great game, very well reviewed here on BGG (for a kid's game). It's a race to get to the finish, but you only advance when you successfully pick an egg out of a basket without dropping the "egg alarm" stick. A fun game that even my 3-year old can understand but is fun for nearly any age kid. Thanks to BGG for recommending this one!
 
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10. Board Game: Funny Bunny [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:15264]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Cute little race game. You try to get one of your 4 bunnies to the top by drawing cards and leaping that many spaces. If someone's in your way, you hop over them. Holes can open up in the path, however, and swallow you up! We found the game a little too long so I removed 15 of the "1 hop" cards from the deck. As a reward for winning the game, we put all the bunnies on the board then click the carrot wheel to cause them to fall into the pit, one at a time.
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11. Board Game: Viva Topo! [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1813]
George Ramos
Canada
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Great cat-and-mouse chase with awesome components. My little one gets angry when the cat eats any of her mice !
 
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12. Board Game: My First Carcassonne [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1333]
George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
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She loves laying the tiles and running along the roads with her fingers. I'm not quite sure she understands the scoring mechanism but that's ok by me.
 
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13. Board Game: Monza [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1997]
I. Withnail
Canada
Montreal
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I got this for my 3-year-old son for his 3rd birthday because he loves cars, and racing vehicles in general (usually buses and taxis, but I digress). He asks to play it about once a week. It's designed for a slightly older audience and he doesn't get all of the rules just yet, but it has several things going for it even at this point, in particular: it has totally taught him the concept of taking turns and turn order, and it has him rolling dice and matching dice results to actions that can be taken according to the dice rolled. The dice have coloured faces, and are matched to coloured spaces on the board that you can move to. You can add fun by making vrooom-type noises, etc as the game progresses, and it can be a one-lap game or multiple laps depending on your child's attention span or whim on the day.
 
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