If you’re a fan of family game night, you’ve probably been itching to get your toddler into the mix. After all, there’s nothing like instilling the thrill of a little friendly competition early on, by playing games or building puzzles.
The right toddler games offer hours of fun while strengthening motor skills and working on educational concepts through play. From turn taking and communication to learning colors, shapes, and numbers, toddler games are designed to teach at the same time they entertain. Perfect for playdates, games encourage socialization and can bring shy toddlers out of their shells.
See more: Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds
At the same time, it helps if games are simple, straightforward, and perhaps even a wee bit silly, especially if you’re hoping to keep your little one interested for a while.
With dozens of options on the market, you’ll want to select one that’s a guaranteed good time, easy to store, and doesn’t come with a gazillion, potentially choke-inducing pieces. You should also consider if you want to play along, include older siblings, or let your little one entertain himself. We’ve found toddler games that meet that criteria and more. Game on!
This gorgeous puzzle set contains four different vehicle drawings, including a fire engine, a truck, a car and a bicycle.
Pros: The chunky wooden puzzle pieces are perfectly sized for toddler hands. And as they take apart and reassemble the different layers of the puzzle, they’ll see a different type of vehicle. Plus, they learn colors and shapes.
Cons: You know the deal with puzzles. You lose one piece, and you’re toast.
Kids ages three and up can pick pretend fruit from the trees on the game board, and filling their buckets, based on what the spinner says.
Pros: A hilarious take on a classic board game, this toddler game lets players take turns picking pretend cherries, blueberries, apples, and oranges from their trees to fill their basket. The first to fill their basket wins, of course.
Cons: It’s good for older kids, three and up, so not a great choice if you’re looking for something for your younger kiddos.
If your kids loved Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, meet the rabbit version. In the hide-and-seek carrot game, the bunny needs help hunting colorful carrots.
Pros: The game is super-engaging, really fun, and easy to follow. And it also teaches toddlers hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and much-needed social skills.
Cons: It’s too simple and repetitive for older kids, but a great starter game. No reading required.
This award-winning game includes 48 cards which offer equal parts fun and learning opportunities. Tots and parents will have a blast by rolling the plush cube choosing a card with the corresponding color, and then act out the activity shown like making a happy face or roaring like a lion.
Pros: This game is easy to follow and perfect for teaching turn-taking. Families can play together and older siblings enjoy it too.
Cons: Many who ordered through Amazon received the Spanish version, so make sure you check before you open the game.
This bowling set is made of soft, dense polyurethane foam so it’s safe for toddlers and your furnishings but sturdy enough to make it a challenge to knock down the pins. A free drawstring bag is included to store this set and make it easy to carry for outdoor play.
Pros: Families love that this comes with two balls for turn-taking. Older kids and even parents are eager to play along and the balls are pins are soft so you don’t have to worry about scratching the floor or break anything when the ball is thrown.
Cons: Some found the pins difficult to stand up.
Ideal for children ages three and up, this game, designed for two to four players, reinforces important developmental skills like color matching and shape recognition. Because the ducks swim around the circular pond, it’s a bit more challenging than traditional memory games.
Pros: High-quality at a nice price, this toddler game is simple for toddlers to understand. Parents love that it doesn’t have a ton of pieces.
Cons: It comes with sheets of stickers bearing eyes and colored shapes that you have to affix yourself, which can take up to 15 minutes. Quacking gets old fast.
A less-messy, hilarious take on your traditional egg toss, this adorable stuffed animal is made of machine-washable plush so you can take it outdoors without worrying about soiling its feathers.
Pros: Parents like the collaborative spirit of the players are working together towards the same goal. It’s easy to understand so kids get the hang of it quickly and it keeps them busy for a while.
Cons: Some parents find the sound quite annoying.
Think of this as an extension of peek-a-boo as you help toddlers work on their memory while increasing their vocabulary with this game, which includes 36 circle seek me cards and 36 square find me cards. It’s designed for ages two and up and can be used for solo play or with a group.
Pros: Kids 14 months and older love it. It keeps busy little ones moving while improving memory skills. They won’t get bored because of all the creative ways to change the game.
Cons: Some players wish this were printed on heavier cardboard as little hands can be hard on these cards.
A classic that develops hand-eye coordination, this corn hole set is easy and quick to setup. Enjoy it outdoors or use it inside on rainy days. It reinforces simple math skills and builds team spirit. Kids can also play alone if they choose to do so.
Pros: Beanbags are just the right size for children’s hands and are double bagged and thoroughly sewn for safety. Parents love that it’s portable so you can take it with you to the park. It’s great for all age groups.
Cons: It can’t withstand rain so you’ll need to pack it up and bring it inside or store it in a garage or shed.
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