This list is by no means comprehensive – these are just a few of our family’s fav games! Elsie is 7 and Loretta is 3, for reference. Each game has an Amazon link but you can also shop at your LOCAL toy store – I know that Nashville Toys and Books carries some of these – Phillips might too!
1. Roll and Play– Okay, if you buy anything off this list BUY THIS!!! My friend, Julia, told me about this game and says it is the perfect 2-year-old game. We have loved it every year and Elsie still plays it with Loretta. Your kid rolls (or throws) the soft cube and it lands on a certain color. Then they pick a card that matches that color. Each card has a different activity – clap 5 times, make a sad face, find something yellow. It. Is. Awesome.
2. Diggin’ Doggies – This is a super fun game since it has little plastic dog figurines and bones. The dogs start in their doghouses and you roll the dice to see how many spaces to go around the circle. The dogs have magnetic mouths and they can pick up the bones to see if the bone’s color matches their dog’s color. Both girls have loved/love this game – Loretta even takes the dogs and plays with them away from the game. I will say… it is a miracle that we still have all the dogs and all the bones!
3. Sequence for Kids – This game is a combination of matching and Connect 4. Loretta matches the animal cards to the board, but she’ll soon be able to play the real way. It requries no reading, so it is fun for all ages – our family still plays it together, or the girls can play it by themselves. The player picks a card with an animal on it, then they lay a token on the picture of that animal. The goal is to get 4 tokens in a row.
4. Connect 4 – This might the perfect game, okay, that is going a little far – but it’s really great. It is good for the littles with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills… and the game grows with the kid. Both girls love to play in their own ways.
5. No Stress Chess – Elsie and Wade love playing this game together. I hope to get in on the fun one day, but I also love that this is their thing. Wade says this is a great way to teach kids how to play chess. You draw a card which has a certain type of piece (pawn, bishop, rook, etc.); it tells you how that piece moves and then you move that piece. It has a handful of ways to continue to progress playing with the ultimate goal of understanding how to play chess and playing without the cards. Your kid definitely needs to be interested in checkers and like strategy, but if they are – this is a win. Checkmate!
6. Battleship – It’s just as fun as you remember! I don’t love the updated board as much but the game is still super fun!! It’s great for all skill levels. Elsie beat Wade (taking all 5 of his ships, and he had only taken 2 of hers the other day), and Wade was genuinely bummed.
Hope you enjoy this list! As a side note, sometimes the girls get tired of these games and they sit on the shelf for months but hang in there – they’ll make a surprise comeback when you least expect it!