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Family Board Games Three Year Olds Can Play

Updated on April 1, 2013

Best Family Board Games The Whole Family Can Play

With three kids that range in age from three to eight family board game night has to be a little bit inventive. Like most three year olds they want to be center of attention and they think they can do anything any other their siblings can do.

So when we play a board game that my three year old can only help with it seemed to be more work then it is fun. If we played only preschool games it seemed that my oldest sons became disinterested faster.

So with a little trial and error we tried different board games to see what board games would be most fun for the whole family. I was looking for board games that would keep everyone involved and looking forward to family fun night. So far what I have learned that its not just about the game itself but how it is played and the attitude toward the game that counts the most.

Carrom Game Board Large
Carrom Game Board Large

An old fashion board game set every family should have. Although be aware that there are small pieces so keep your child's behavior in mind.

While a few of the games will be a little too complex for family time especially with a three year old there are basic games such as billiards and checkers. A game that grandparents will even have a fun time playing with.

 
Toy Story 3 Buzz Lightyear Spaceshooter
Toy Story 3 Buzz Lightyear Spaceshooter

A game geared to five through twelve years old can can be fun for the whole family. I mean who would not want to shoot like Buzz Light Year.

 
Qwirkle Board Game
Qwirkle Board Game

Qwirkle Board is a simple game to teach and can be taught withing minutes. The game it self can be addictive, there are even clubs focused around the game.

The basic of the board game is similar in strategy of matching games and get points. A child can play the game well but the game improves with skill.

 
Three Year Old Playing Family Board Game
Three Year Old Playing Family Board Game

Make Family Board Games Fun For A Three Year Old

Family Board Games Three Year Olds Can Play

While we play younger games for my three year old son we also play games my oldest sons like. When he started to get a little older and started to want to play it became difficult to play a game because he always wanted to be right there in the middle of everything, causing the other boys to get upset because he was moving their game pieces. Causing family board game night to not be as much fun.

After a little trial and error I found a few things that worked. Below are things that worked for my family, go ahead and change them around for something that works for yours.

1. I let my three year old know he gets a turn too. If my oldest sons want to play a long board game we let the youngest go first. This lets him know he was not forgotten and his games are usually short, if he leaves the game early he picks someone to play him. This way he can return if he wants to later.

2. We sometimes play in groups, he gets to choose if he wants to move mom's or dad's game piece.

3. Family rules trump game rules. While we do not let the boys cheat on the board game because it just sends a bad message, we do not make kids follow rules to a game they can not understand. When sitting down to a game we go over the rules and agree to rules that match the players. While my oldest kids are usually able to follow all the rules, giving everyone the same rules helps prevent fights.

4. A superman cape can work wonders. My three year old boy loves to wear a costume, so wearing a costume during family game time usually keeps him preoccupied enough not to mess up the game board.

5. Probably the most important ground rule we set with our kids is that when playing games as a family there should be no one bragging about winning or whining because they did not win. While this did take some getting use to, this rule helped prevent issues of someone getting upset because they did not win.

Fun Board Games For The Whole Family
Fun Board Games For The Whole Family

Making Games For Preschoolers Also Fun For Older Kids In The Family

During family night each child gets a turn in choosing a game. When my youngest picks a game it is probably going to be a younger game, a game my oldest two may not be so excited about playing.

To mix it up and keep board games fun there are a few ways to create more fun for the older kids while playing a game meant for preschoolers. Below are a few samples of what I do, go ahead and make them your own to make them work for your family.

1. Use treats: During the holidays when there is lots of candy in the house such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter, we put candy pieces on a few random spots. I put enough candy on the spot to give every one a small piece of candy. The one that lands on it will give the candy to everyone. This also helps to prevent the kids from eating candy the whole time we are playing.

2. Use stickers using the same methods above. Many times I use stickers as well as small treats, it keeps the junk food to a minimum.

3. Ditch the preschool board game pieces and let them pick something from around the house that they want to be their playing piece. Just give an object in reference that it can not be any larger then, or you may end up with a three year old wanting to use a monster truck.

4. Put some music on and let them be silly while playing the game. Preschool games are often made of funny characters and ideas, let them go with it and have fun with it. Kids can really follow a parents lead here.

5. Play the board game on the floor instead the table. When playing on the table it seems all my three year old can think to do is mess with the game, sitting on the floor he feels more comfortable and does not mess with the pieces he should not.

6. Positive reinforcement is best. Instead of getting mad about game pieces getting thrown or tearing a card we try to stay positive and redirect instead of getting mad. This helps keep the night fun, which is what family game night is all about anyway.

Pre-School Game That Older Kids Can Have Fun With

Let's Go Fishin'
Let's Go Fishin'

A game that was made for preschoolers but can hold the attention of an older child playing their younger bother or sister. The musical tone of Row Row Row Your Boat is fun and not too loud, great for building eyes, hands, ears and patience.

The key of the game is to use your fishing pole and hook to catch a biting fish. The game is fast acting without out a boring long between turns. Kids tend to cheer others on and eagerly awaiting their turns.

 
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hungry Hippos

The real down fall to this game is that their is only four players at a time. The great part is that all players are playing together and not really having to take a lot of turns.

Again the small parts in the game is not for a child that is still having trouble with putting things in their mouth.

 

Tell Me About Your Family Game Nights: - What Kind Of Family Board Games Have You Played That The Whole Family Has Enjoyed?

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