I created a Listmania! list on Amazon a while ago for games for the younger set, but because they’ve changed their formatting, no one will ever see it. So here is my non-comprehensive, but popular in our family, list of games for the little ones. (The images are all linked.)
1 – 2 Years Old
Bug received this for her first birthday, and it has continually been a favorite of hers and her younger brother. It was a toy that I could put in front of her and know that I would have 20-30 minutes to do something else.
A good game for the very young set. You roll the die, chose a card from the matching stack and do what the card says. Each color covers a different topic – emotion, counting, colors, body parts, actions, and animal sounds. There aren’t a lot of cards for each color, so you’ll most likely cycle through them more than once.
2 – 3 Years Old
This and other Haba “My Very First Game” series are appropriate for a 2-yr old. It’s cooperative in that you have to pick all of the fruit before the crow enters the orchard. It is out of stock at the moment.
3 – 4 Years Old
(We played some of these games when Bug was 2, even though they’re listed for 3 yrs old and up.)
Both my husband and I found this game boring, but my girls liked it. The role of the dice determine which snails move. There is no competition between players.
A cooperative game where you need to get all the baby owls in their nest before the sun comes up.
To win you need to fill your card with “splashes”. It can get messy and somewhat violent since you have to throw a small wooden ball into the pond to spray out the colored water drops.
You need to fill your stump up with the color-corresponding acorns before the other players. A spinner determines what you do during your turn. It is possible to lose all of your acorns, so keep that in mind if you have a sensitive child.
Bug adores this game, but has trouble letting other players steal her tail feather. It is essentially a fancy lotto/memory game.
A current favorite of Bug’s. You collect the fruit, make it home first, and you win. Even though it is a simple concept, it has the potential to be played somewhat ruthlessly (mainly by my husband) in that you can move trees to block the various pathways.
We started playing card with Bean when she was 3 yrs old, so most of these are from when she was this age. We haven’t really played them as much with Bug.
I’m not linking this because you can find Uno anywhere. Even though it says ages 7 and up, it’s easy to simplify it by taking out some of the cards.
I bought this particular set of Go Fish cards because the ones I had when I was little were also fish-shaped (albeit bigger). The only complaint I have about this version is that they give the colors unnecessarily fancy names.
Again, I’m not linking this game because you can find it anywhere, especially if you use regular playing cards.