As your precious little one grows, so does their amazing brain! At three years old, their brain is like a sponge, soaking up everything around them. It’s a fascinating time for their development, and the games you play with them can have a big impact.
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Did you know that during these early years, their brain is forming connections at an incredible pace? Did you know that 80% of a child’s brain develops during the first three years of their life? When your child’s brain produces excess synapses during the first three years, it becomes more responsive in later life. So it is important to stimulate the 3-year-old’s brain as much as possible. And there is nothing better than games for 3-year-olds to develop their mental and physical strength.
This article will take you on a stroll through the best 25 games for three-year-olds to improve their mental and physical abilities while keeping them fruitfully engaged.
Related Reading: Best Fun Games for Toddlers
25 Learning Games for 3-Year-Olds for Fun Learning and Entertainment
It is difficult to grab a three-year-old’s attention for a long time. They have the shortest attention span with interested in everything bright on Earth. Games for three-year-olds have to be fun yet educational. Here are the best games for 3-year-olds:
5 Online Games for 3-Year-Olds
We all love playing online games, and so do our kids. Online games are another reason for screen exposure for our kids and an opportunity for them to learn from it if we, as informed parents, choose the right games for our children. So, it is wise to allocate a portion of the screen time we have allotted for our kids to online learning games. Take a look at some of the best games available online.
Skill: Math and reading skills
Price: Free for teachers and a 7-day free trial for parents. Subscription starts at $4.99 per month.
SplashLearn is one of the best games for 3-year-olds to improve their math and language skills. This platform has interactive visuals, sound quality, and a storyline to engage young children. All the games have a simple interface and language that toddlers can easily understand. In addition, this platform has several helpful resources for parents and teachers to educate young students, like blogs, research notes, curriculums, etc.
Skill: Memory improvement
Balls and Boxes is a challenging and one of the many free games for 3-year-olds available online. It is an award-winning educational game that is easy to play but hard to get right. It has three boxes, and each box has a ball. The balls get shuffled at each level, and players must remember which ball belongs to which box. It is a great brain teasing game to improve your toddlers’ memory and overall brain development.
Skill: Memory and logical reasoning skills
This free game for 3-year-olds online can help them learn colors and improve their logical skills. It is a simple grid of four and six different colors. Children have to follow the color grid and fill in the right colors in the large blank grid in the center of the screen.
Skill: Counting skills
Price: Monthly subscription starts at $8.00 per month
Counting Pizza Party is a fun game where kids make pizzas and improve their counting skills. They get to decide what type of pizza they want to make and select its topping as well. When the customers make a request, it is up to your child to get the correct amount for topping on their pizza.
By playing this game, 3-year-olds can learn basic shapes with the help of animated characters such as squares, rectangles, circles, hearts, and so on. The game has two types of exercises – coloring and shape-recognising activities.
Related Reading: Fun Free Games for Kids to Play Online
After online games, let’s explore kids’ very first and favorite love, toys, and learning toy games for them.
5 Toy Games for 3-year-olds
A 3-year-old kid is exploring their world curiously. Everything from insects to planes piques their curiosity. In this arena, toys cater to their developmental needs and natural curiosity. Toy games provide them with sensory experiences, encourage imaginative play, and offer them a sense of control and mastery. They allow kids to mimic real-life situations, experiment, and create, fostering enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment. Following are some of the most amazing toy games filtered from a whole lot just for you!
6. Toddler Chicken Egg Toys
Skill: Color matching and motor skills
It is one of the top educational games for 3-year-olds and is perfect for stimulating their color senses and motor skills. This game is also ideal for children suffering from sensory disorders. This simple game can enhance their contextual understanding and color-matching skills.
7. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Skill: Math skills, social and strategic planning
A family of four can enjoy this strategic game and improve the mathematical skills of their toddlers. In this game, 3-year-olds will learn to win a game by feeding their squirrels first. The gameplay is simple — spin the spinner, squeeze the matching colored acorn with the squirrel squeezer, and place it into a log. This game involves multiple elements, perfect for entertaining your toddler.
8. The Honey Bee Tree
Skill: Hand-eye coordination, strategic thinking, and dexterity
This honey bee game is educational and fun for a 3-year-old. Your toddler will experience thrill and excitement while removing leaves from the tree without disturbing the honey bees. Players who have fewer honey bees in their trays at the end will win this game. It is a strategic and sensory game that can develop your child’s brain and keep them entertained at the same time.
9. WinkleStar Dartboard
Skill: Motor skills, color matching, and identifying fishes
Unlike the traditional dart boards with sharp darts, this is a unique kids-friendly dartboard with round balls as darts. So, it is a completely safe and educational game for young children. The dartboard contains different colors, fish images, and patterns to improve toddlers’ color, shape, and print recognition skills. It is a perfect classroom and party learning game for 3-year-olds.
10. Cootie Bug Building
Skill: Color matching and motor skills
Cootie is a classic educational game for three-year-olds. This is a fun party activity for toddlers to learn color-matching skills and improve their hand-eye coordination. Players have to spin the spinner and hope to land on the bug part they need to complete their Cootie bug. The player who builds the bug first wins the game.
Related Reading: Best Educational Toys for Kids That All Parents Need To Know About
5 Board Games for 3-Year-olds
Everyone has fond memories of playing board games as kids. Their popularity lies in their ability to create suspense and happy feelings in moments of victory. Board games enhance children’s strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. Through them, kids also learn qualities like teamwork and sportsmanship. Now that we know how important board games are for children, let’s see a few best ones around.
11. Candy Land
Skill: Color matching and strategies
Candy Land must have brought your childhood’s nostalgic memories back. It is a classic board game that every child has played. Over the years, different versions of the game have been created. But the traditional version with colored cards, sweet illustrations, and four gingerbread players is the best. Children must pick the cards and move their plastic players on the board to explore different landscapes and mountains while targeting the castle.
12. Chutes and Ladders: Peppa Pig Edition
Skill: Counting, addition, and color recognition
Chutes and Ladders is the best party game for three-year-olds. Four players can play this game at one time. There are multiple versions of this game available today. So, based on your child’s interest, you can get the game. This game helps toddlers improve their counting and number-adding skills. Children have to spin the spinner and count numbers to move their player on the board squares and aim to reach the 100th square. This way, Chutes and Ladders inject a dose of thrill and excitement into the gameplay.
13. Magnetic Maze
Skill: Creativity, imagination, and motor skills
As the name suggests, it is a magnetic board with vibrant images and graphics. Your child has to use a magnetic ball to move it from point A to B while crossing a maze. Children will use their imagination and strategic skills to move balls in the magnetic maze. It is a simple game to stimulate imagination and creativity among toddlers.
14. Hi, Ho! Cherry-O
Skill: Math Skills
Hi Ho! Cherry-O is yet another classic board game for three-year-olds. In this game, children have to spin the wheel and pick cherries from the tree based on their instructions, like 1, 2, 3, etc. They will learn to read, count, add, and subtract while picking the cherries.
15. Disney Classic Characters Matching
Skill: Identify similarities and differences
If your child is a big fan of Disney movies, this game is perfect for them. You will get 72 tiles with Disney character pictures like Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Dumbo, The Incredibles, Donald Duck, Goofy, etc. Children have to pick the matching photos and name the Disney character. You can also make this game fun by giving a time limit for finding the right Disney character match.
Related Reading: Best Board Games for Kids to Keep Them Entertained
5 Card Games for 3-Year-olds
Card games are ageless as much as they are entertaining. It is a perfect way to spend quality time with your friends and family. A session of card games builds memories you cherish for years to come. Kids can also be introduced to card games for their age and understanding. Card games often involve memory, math, and critical thinking, entertainingly enhancing cognitive skills. Let’s take a look at a few superb card games we have put together below!
16. Lingo Cards
Skill: Language and memory skills
Do you want to teach your mother tongue to your toddlers? If so, you can play lingo cards with them. These are regular 52 cards with two jokers. However, a phrase from your selected language will be printed on each card. So, you can show different cards to your children and teach them words with phonetic pronunciation. These lingo cards are available in various languages like Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
17. Smack It!
Skill: Memory and motor skills
It is a fast-paced and rowdy card game for three-year-olds. Your entire family can play this game together and spend some quality time. Players must sit in a circle and swiftly swipe cards in the center. But they must remember when to say smack it and win the game. These cards are also perfect for playing classic games like wars and Slapjack.
18. Gimme 5
Skill: Counting and patterns
This game is a toddler version of Snap. It has a hundred colorful cards that you can divide equally among your toddlers and let them put cards individually in the center pile. However, they will try to use their power cards to make their opponent give away their card as a punishment. It is the perfect classroom card game you can play with over ten kids.
19. Steal The Bacon
Skill: Matching skills
Steal The Bacon is the tastiest fun game for 3-year-olds. This card game contains delicious breakfast cards like pancakes, bacon, etc. Players have to match breakfast cards, and when their breakfast plate matches their opponent, they rush to steal the bacon from their plate. The player who steals the bacon first obviously wins the game.
Skill: Matching and memory skills
BLINK is a fast-paced family card game. In this game, two players race against one another and try to match different colors, shapes, and counts of two cards. You can play a card with four yellow stars on any card with yellow symbols (color), on a card with any number of stars (shape), or a card with four symbols of any kind (count).
It’s a game of speed & focuses with no reading or counting, so it’s perfect for young children.
5 Active Games for 3-Year-olds
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
Yes, active games make children anything but dull. When children involve themselves in active play, they experience an adrenaline rush that makes them more robust, confident, and intelligent. Therefore, there should be no undermining of physically active play for children. Qualities a child does not learn in the physical constraints of a classroom; he learns effortlessly in the playground. Following are a few great active games for 3-year-olds:
Skill: Color matching and motor skills
Elefun is a cute elephant that produces butterflies from its trunk. It is the best activity game for toddlers. The game is pretty simple, you have to plugin the Elefun, and it will first produce a trumpet sound before throwing butterflies out of its trunk. After that, children can use a net to catch butterflies, and the one who catches the most butterflies will win the game. With this game, you will get 20 butterflies and three nets. So, three-year-olds can play this game with their friends and do some physical activity.
22. Toy Rocket Launcher
Skill: STEM skills
For unlimited outdoor entertainment, you can give this toy rocket launcher to your toddler. It is not only a fun toy to create foam rockets. It is a scientific and technical toy that teaches children how to apply the right amount of pressure at the right angle to fly a rocket. Also, assembling this toy rocket requires some basic engineering skills. So, if you have a little engineer or scientist in your family, you should definitely play this activity game with them.
23. RaboSky Bean Bag Toss
Skill: Motor skills and important sensory development
When toddlers toss bean bags into the interactive holes, this will not only improve their motor skills. But it will also improve their tracking, visual, coordination, and aiming skills. It is a perfect party and classroom game to keep energetic three-year-olds active all day.
24. Whack A Mole Game
Skill: Motor skills
Whack A Mole Game is the best educational and entertaining game for 3-year-olds. It is an electronic game that automatically pops up moles, and children have to use hammers to whack them all. You can set the game’s speed based on your child’s ability. It is also available in eight languages that help improve language skills among children. With hand and eye coordination improvement, this game improves visual and tactical senses in young children.
25. Hover Ball
Skill: Motor skills
To tire out energetic toddlers, this is the perfect indoor soccer game. It is a football, but it is made of foam and travels in the air. Kids will have a blast kicking around this hover ball. The best thing about this ball is that it travels in the air. Therefore, it is perfect for playing indoors without breaking anything.
“Play is the primary way children were designed to learn” – Kathy Hersh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff
Related Reading: Top 15 Fun Learning Activities to Energize and Encourage 3 Year Olds
These captivating learning games are tailored for the enjoyment of 3-year-olds. They effectively blend education with entertainment, ranging from engaging board games to interactive online experiences. With a variety of options available, some offered at no cost while others require a fee, you can immerse your toddlers in these games and witness their developmental progress firsthand.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I pick the best games for my three year olds?
While selecting the best games for three-year-olds, check the educational and entertainment levels in the game. The game should teach a skill or value to children. In addition, it is an advantage to have some entertainment value in the game because it is hard to retain the attention of young children.
Should I allow my kids to play online games?
Online games are helpful to entertain and educate children when parents are busy with other errands. Having said that, monitoring your child’s screen time is equally essential.
How many hours of play does a 3 year old need?
Toddlers should be allowed at least one hour of free, unstructured play and at least half an hour of structured adult-led structured play.