Play is an important part of your toddler's development, and games help parents engage with children in this way. Board games are an easy way to encourage playtime with your toddler, and the best board games for 2-year-olds also teach and foster new skills while your little one has fun.
Board games for this age bracket tend to include memory games or interactive ones which encourage hide and seek, rolling dice, or mimicking behavior. Some games have flexible playing times instead of finite rounds which make them particularly awesome for toddlers.
The best board games for toddlers develop skills appropriate for their age group. Keep in mind the milestones your 2-year-old has met to gauge what board games might be most suitable for your child: following simple instructions, an increased attention span, running, as well as pointing to people, things, pictures, and body parts. Other milestones include constructing short sentences, mimicking behavior, sorting shapes and colors, finding hidden objects, and playing simple make-believe games. Board games can expand on these developments, as well as strengthen cognitive, social, physical, and emotional skills. They'll also help 2-year-olds practice gross motor skills, like jumping, and fine motor skills, like building a tower or pointing.
Games designed for this age range can be played one-on-one or with multiple players to include family and friends. Plus, playing board games is a great way to bond with your child.
With all this in mind, it's time to play the best board games for 2-year-olds.
1. The Best Interactive Game
If you're wondering where to start, pick up My Very First Games' First Orchard, a highly-rated, classic board game that's been around for over 30 years. Parents love the simple game designed to hold a 2-year-old’s attention with big, easy-to-grab pieces and a wooden die with colorful symbols for young ones to follow along with.
In a 10-minute round, a group of up to four players work together to pick fruit before the raven reaches the end of the pathway to the orchard. Parents love that everyone wins or loses together. By playing, 2-year-olds develop social skills, counting, and sorting colors. They also learn how to play a game, follow rules, take turns, and win or lose.
Toddlers can also use the set to play with the wooden fruit pieces. The game comes with instructions, a color-symbol die, a fruit basket, a raven, five path cards, four trees, four green apples, four red apples, four yellow pears, and four blue plums.
Fans say: “My son loves this game. He is almost two, and has asked to play this game every day since we bought it. He needed a little guidance at first, but is quickly grasping the concepts of turn taking and following rules of game play according to dice rolls. The pieces are appropriately sized for a toddler too...Also, the solid wood pieces are lovely, as are the illustrated tiles, which make it a joy to play with.”
2. The Best Memory Game
By age 2, your little one is likely ready for a memory game, and the highly-rated MindWare Seek-a-Boo Game is sure to invite lots of fun and learning. The game comes with 36 pairs of large circular "SEEK ME" and square "FIND ME" cards that are laminated for durability and brightly color-coded to divide the cards into six, easy-to-follow categories.
Show your toddler the "FIND ME" card and have them match it to one of the "SEEK ME" cards. A game guide for parents offers ideas for different ways to play with the set, including hiding the cards around a room to get kids moving. This memory game helps build your toddler's vocabulary and word pronunciation, improve memory skills, and practice gross motor skills. 2-year-olds will also learn how to take turns. This easy game with flexible playing time can be enjoyed with one or more players who are 18 months old or older.
Fans say: “Just buy it! The children love this game, and it can be modified to suit the need of children at varying learning and developmental stages. It is memory and match, and it can be played with a group of children or just one child. It's interactive and stimulating. There is color association, expansion of vocabulary, and cognitive and motor development. I have used this game with children as old as seven years, and they enjoyed as much as my toddlers, they like to make a competition out of it, to see who gets the most matches. It's a fun game and learning tool, and I haven't seen a child disappointed with it yet.”
3. A Family Game To Get Everyone Moving
Think Fun Move and Groove Dance Game is a simple game that engages everyone in movement, creativity, and laughter. Here's how it works: Toss the plush, washable cube to determine a color, then choose a card that matches the color, and perform the move on the card. Moves include hopping like a kangaroo, shaking your shoulders, and playing the air guitar.
For your toddler, the game develops confidence and spatial orientation as well as promotes coordination and balance. Your 2-year-old will also get a kick out of seeing you act silly with them. With 48 cards, the game can be as long or as short as you'd like. Play with one or more players, and feel free to introduce this game to your 18-month-old. There are no winners or losers — just a lot of fun bonding time.
Fans say: “Fun game that is easy to learn/ play for a toddler. My 2 year old loves this game and the other colorful cube game made by the same company! We especially like this one because it gets you up and moving and being goofy. We enjoy playing this game as a family!”
4. A Simple Card Game To Play Outside
How about a game that fits in your pocket or diaper bag? This scavenger hunt card game is a great way to engage your toddler to use all their senses while playing outside, engaging with the great outdoors. Draw a card and have players find something around them that matches the word on the card. 2-year-olds will work on matching, pointing, and sorting as they further their understanding of what words mean.
Play with one to six players for a couple minutes or a whole day; the flexible playing time works really well with toddlers. Such a simple, compact card game is a no-brainer to bring with you when traveling or camping.
Fans say: “My almost 4 and almost 2 year old grandchildren loved this (as did their parents) - and it's good for all ages! You can make the game as sophisticated or as simple as you like. A great way to have quality time with a young child just by going for a walk!”
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