Playing Board Games with Preschoolers

When I started dating my husband, he taught me to play Scrabble.  He thought it was very funny that a writer and English major like me had never played Scrabble before, but I caught on quick enough.  We played a lot while we were dating, and frequently talked his mom (and less frequently his dad) into joining us.  Then Sunshine arrived… and Scrabble games (or any board games) became less frequent.

It’s hard to play games while trying to keep pieces away from little hands.  If we do pull out the game, Sunshine wants to help play, as in this picture from her birthday last year, when she was helping Grandma put words on the board. Playing board games with preschoolers can be both frustrating and fun.

Playing board games with preschoolers - a child helps Grandma with Scrabble pieces

Recently, though, we ventured into playing board games with preschoolers by trying to teach Sunshine to play Sorry.  It’s a fairly simple board game that I enjoyed when I was growing up (in fact, I have every card and move in the game memorized).  So we pulled it out.  Lily had fun rearranging her four pieces while we attempted to teach Sunshine about turning cards, following instructions, taking turns, counting spaces… maybe it was more complicated than I had thought.

Lily wanted to flip cards too.  One game took much longer than I remembered.  But the girls enjoyed it, so we’ve pulled the board out a few times since that first attempt.  It’s a good learning tool; they work on their counting and turn-taking skills and Mommy works on her patience.

For her birthday, Sunshine received Chutes & Ladders from one of her little friends.  She beat me at it the first time we played (while Lily was napping, so I only had to coach one child).  Again, it was good for some lessons; Sunshine had to learn to count and think about what moves belonged on which space (climb a ladder or slide down a chute) and Mommy had to work on not cheating so the game wouldn’t end sooner.Playing board games with preschoolers - teaching a toddler how to play Chutes & LaddersI’m looking forward to playing more board games at the girls continue to learn and grow.  Now we have another option for family nights or rainy days.  Just gotta teach them to spell so we can start some Scrabble marathons…

What board games do you and your preschoolers enjoy playing?  At what age did they become interested in board games?

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