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11 Board Games for 3 to 4 Year Olds

Little boys playing board games at home.

When your kids hit a certain age, keeping your little ones entertained can be difficult. And when they struggle to concentrate or sit still, those ants in their pants can be a nightmare! So why not try a fun and exciting board game to keep them interested and help them learn some new skills at the same time?

There are a few great board games for 3- to 4-year-olds, including Operation, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game, The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! card game, and Shopping List, among others. These board games are entertaining and will help to advance or teach your child new skills.

So, if you’re looking for a few boredom-buster games that can help your child build on their basic skills like counting, motor skills, following instructions, and color recognition, we have something for everyone!

Operation Board Game (2005)

Classic Operation Game

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 15 minute playing time
  • Ages: 4+
  • Teaches: Hand-eye coordination

I think as parents, we have all played the classic game of Operation in our time. The specific version of the game we are talking about was launched in 2005 and is a much simpler version than what you may be thinking of.

Although the age rating says four and over, three-year-olds should be encouraged to try their hand at the game, even if it isn’t played for points; it’s a great way to get your children interested in learning new skills in a fun and exciting way.

Playing the game is simple enough to understand, too. To play the game, players first draw a card that will tell them what discs to use. They will take the corresponding discs and slot them into the entry points of their patients, which are at the hands and feet.

Then, using the stylus, they must move the disc through the body and to the stomach without having any of their discs set the buzzer off (much like the original game).

When the discs reach the patient’s tummy, you simply count how many discs made it there without sounding the buzzer. And for each one you got through without getting caught by the buzzer, you earn a point!

It’s as simple as that. Your kids will have a blast, and despite the box indicating you need 2 to 4 players to play the game, your kids will enjoy playing solo just as much. You can even make it a fun challenge to get as many points as you can within a specific time limit. Whichever way they play, they’ll be begging you to play it again and again.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game

Briarpatch The Very Hungry Caterpillar - What Can You Do? Game,Multi

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 15 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Decision-making

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a storybook that your young children are more than likely familiar with. And if not, they’re in for a treat!

You have to spin the wheel and move your hungry caterpillar around the board to play the game. When you move, you will add food to your caterpillar’s box. This food will help your caterpillar to move to other places and in other directions.

You will need your food at different stages in the game to entice your hungry caterpillar to move. Then, the first player to make their way around the whole board will win.

The game is easy to learn and has just one rule: get food to feed your caterpillar. After all, he’s very, very hungry.

It can also teach your child simple decision-making skills by making them choose where to go next on their journey around the board. The game’s visuals are also fun, bright, and colorful to make it that extra bit more special for your child when playing.

The Cat In The Hat I Can Do That! Card Game

Wonder Forge Cat in The Hat I Can Do That! Kids Activity Game

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  • 2+ players
  • 30 – 60 minutes playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Following instructions, motor skills

This fun and wacky card game comes from the famous Dr. Seuss’ character The Cat In The Hat and is a fun way to keep younger kids entertained for ages. Younger children who have trouble sitting still or focusing on a task will love this game because it involves quite a lot of physical activity.

The game itself comes with 24 cards and a foam fishbowl. That’s right! Everything you do in this game revolves around your fishbowl. The fish itself is also very sensory and fun for kids to feel and play with – it’s like an added bonus!

To play the game, playing will choose three cards in the hopes that they will form an activity. The activity is formed when you have an Action card, a Location card, and a card that tells you where and how to hold your fish.

If you have all three types of cards, you will perform your action. These can be anything, such as ‘Hop to a bedroom with the fishbowl under your chin.’ Once you have performed the action, you keep your three cards. If you happen to pick up three cards that don’t make an activity, the turn is handed to the next player.

The player to have 12 cards first wins the game!

The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That!  is insanely fun for the whole family, and you’ll enjoy more than a few laughs with your kids if you decide to join in on the game.

Shopping List Card Game

Orchard Toys Shopping List - Educational Memory Game - Age 3-7 - Perfect For Home Learning

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 10 – 15 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Match-making and memory

Shopping List is a fun and easy way to introduce young children to memory games. The game is easy to understand, and parents can help guide children if they struggle to understand the game’s rules. It won’t be long before they pick it up and can play all on their own!

To play the game, each player gets a trolley or shopping cart and a grocery list. A deck of cards containing grocery items is then put face-down onto the table or floor in front of the players.

On their turn, players will take turns turning the cards over. If the card they turn over has one of the items on their grocery list, they get to keep the card. If they don’t need to ‘shop’ for that item, they simply flip the card over again, and it becomes the next players’ turn.

If the next player can remember an item they needed and someone else has flipped over before, they’ll be able to fill their trolley more quickly than other players. When one of the players has gotten all of the items on their shopping list, they win!

Not only will this fun card game teach your children memory and match-making skills, but it’s also a great way to help them learn new words, shapes, and colors if you prompt them on the items they need to fill their trolley.

Monkey Around: The Wiggle & Giggle Game

Peaceable Kingdom Monkey Around Game

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  • 1 – 4 players
  • 10 minute playing time
  • Ages: 2+
  • Teaches: Motor skills, following instructions, and hand-eye coordination

Monkey Around has a similar premise to the Cat in the Hat game in that it also comes with cards that will have you performing an action. This time, instead of a soft fishbowl, the game comes with a plush banana!

The game is slightly more simplistic than its alternative, though, and can be played by children younger than 3.

To play the game, each player draws a card from the box. The card will have an action written on it, which the player must then perform. These can include anything from marching and balancing to hopping in a circle or balancing the plush banana on your head.

When the player successfully performs their action, they can put their card in the tree that comes with the game. When the tree is full, the game ends.

The great thing about this game is that there is no point system, which means there are no winners or losers. This helps children focus on having fun rather than competing with their friends, parents, or siblings.

Pete The Cat: Big Lunch Card Game

Pete the Cat Big Lunch Card Game Tin

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 10 – 15 minute playing time
  • Ages: 4+
  • Teaches: Color recognition and basic counting

Based on the best-selling children’s book series, Pete the Cat now has his own game. It’s lunchtime, and Pete the Cat is starving, so it’s up to you to help make him a sandwich!

To play the game, each player must draw a card. It can either be from the deck or the discard pile.

If you draw a card from the deck, it may have an action that you will need to act out before you can move on. After you have performed the action, you can add it to the discard pile. If you draw one of the cards from the discard pile, it cannot be an action card.

Players will keep drawing from the different decks in turns, trying to find ingredients to add to Pete’s yummy sandwich. To make the sandwich successfully, you will need two pieces of bread and one of each colored ingredient. The colors you will need to find are red, green, yellow, and purple.

If you can build Pete a sandwich first, you win!

This simple card game is a fun way to learn about colors and simple counting. It can also teach your children some gross motor skills when performing the actions from certain cards.

Although the age recommendation for the game is 4+, children from 3 and up will be able to join in with gentle guidance from mom, dad, or an older sibling.

Crazy Chefs Board Game

Orchard Toys Crazy Chefs Children's Game, Multi, One Size

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  • 2 – 5 players
  • 20 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3 – 7
  • Teaches: Matching, memory building, and food preparation

This fun game will transform your kids into little chefs and have them learn what it takes to prepare food. Before the game begins, each of your little chefs will choose what they want to cook and take the corresponding chef board. Maybe they want to cook shrimp-fried rice or some cupcakes? The choice is theirs!

The game’s objective is to collect the ingredients they need to prepare the dish they have chosen, gather their cooking utensils, grab a plate, and ‘cook’ their dish.

To play, all of the ingredient and utensil cards are placed face-down in front of the players. The plate and meal cards are placed to one side for now.

Then, the youngest player will get to go first. They will start their turn by flipping over one of the cards. If it is an ingredient or utensil they need, they can keep the card. If not, they must flip the card over again, and it will be the next players’ turn to go.

When a chef has all of their utensils and ingredients, they can use their turn to spin the spinner and see where it stops. If it lands on the picture of a plate, they can take a plate and put it in their chef’s hands. If not, the turn is passed to the next player.

Once they have a plate, they will have to spin to see if they can cook their meal. The game mechanics work the same way in this instance. If the spinner lands on a picture of a child sitting at a table, they have cooked their meal, and they win the game!

The game is played until every player has had a chance to cook their dish.

With fun illustrations and a healthy competitive feel to the game, your kids will want to play this exciting game over and over again.

Stack Up! Board Game

  • 2 – 6 players
  • 15 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Fine motor skills, counting, and cooperation

As parents, we all know that younger children can be destructive. So, why not channel all of their energy into destroying something that is meant to be broken?

Stack Up! is an excellent way to do that. The whole point of the game is to build a tower out of blocks and knock it down!

The object of the game is simple. All the players need to do is stack 12 blocks in the center of the board before the Stack Smasher reaches the end of the board and destroys the tower.

The great part of this board game is that it has three different levels depending on your child’s age and developmental capabilities.

In level one, the game is played using your hands. First, a player will spin the spinner and see where it lands. It can either land on a color, the Stack Smasher, or a challenge.

If it lands on a color, the player must choose a block in the corresponding color and place it in the middle of the board. For level one, they will use their hands to move the blocks.

If the spinner lands on Stack Smasher, he will move up one space on the board and come closer to destroying your tower before it’s built!

But, if it lands on a challenge, there is some extra fun involved. First, the player will have to stack two blocks on top of one another on the side of the board. Then, they will have to put the new, smaller stack on top of the tower in the middle of the board. If any of the blocks topple, the game is over.

For level two, kids will use the wood ends called Stack Sticks! to move the blocks. And finally, level three uses the same Stack Sticks! – this time, with foam ends to make it slightly more difficult. The levels are made for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children, respectively.

Whichever way you play, Stack Up! builds great fine motor skills in your children and can also help them with simple time management.

Hi Ho! Cherry-O Game

Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game for 2 to 4 Players Kids Ages 3 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 10 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Counting

Hi Ho! Cherry-O is a great game for teaching young children how to count. The object of the game is to be the first player to pick all ten cherries from your cherry tree and fill your bucket with them.

Each player will get a tree outlined in a specific color and will try to fill their color-coded bucket. To play the game, the youngest will start by spinning the spinner.

The spinner will then tell you how many cherries you may pick and place into your bucket – one, two, three, or four. But be careful! There are hungry dogs and birds creeping about, and if the spinner lands on them, you will have to remove 2 of your cherries and put them back on your tree.

Another dreaded spin is the ‘Spilled Bucket’ tile, which means you have knocked your bucket over. If you spill your cherries, you will have to put all your cherries back on your tree and start over!

When a player has all ten cherries on their tree, they must yell out, “Hi Ho! Cherry-O!” and they will win the game.

Don’t Spill The Beans

Hasbro Gaming Don't Spill The Beans Game

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 10 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Patience and motor skills

Don’t Spill the Beans requires your little ones to have patience and can help them fine-tune their motor skills by having them hold the small beans and place them slowly and gently into the pot.

The object of the game is simple: Don’t spill the beans! To play the game, the beans should be divided evenly among all the players. Then, one by one, players will take turns dropping a bean into the pot lid.

The more beans are added to the lid, the riskier the game becomes, and the more carefully you will have to place your beans into the lid. If you upset the balance of the lid, beans may spill out of either side. In that case, you should add the spilled beans to your pile.

To win the game, you have to be the first player to get rid of your pile of beans.

This silly game is fun and exciting, but it does contain small parts. The beans may be considered a choking hazard, so parental supervision is advised while playing the game.

The Ladybug Game

Zobmondo!! The Ladybug Game, Great First Board Game for Boys and Girls, Award-Winning Educational Game, Kids’ Game for Ages 3 and Up

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  • 2 – 4 players
  • 20 minute playing time
  • Ages: 3+
  • Teaches: Introduces simple mathematics concepts

The Ladybug Game was designed for parents and tots to play together. So gather your little ones and get ready to have some fun together!

First, you will need to read the story of Ella Yellow, Rickie Red, Tommy Teal, and Olivia Orange. These four colorful characters are ladybugs, and they’re on a journey back home. By reading the story, you are introducing your children to the objectives of the game.

After a windstorm blew the four poor ladybugs far away from the rosebush that they call home, it is up to the players to help them find their way home. The first player to help their ladybug reach the rosebush wins!

To play the game, players need to draw ladybug cards from the deck. The cards will have specific instructions on them, such as ‘Move Ahead,’ or ‘Go Back.’ But there are also some sneaky cards that could throw you off the path!

With obstacles like tall grass, ants, and aphids, you’ll need to be careful not to get caught!

Not only is the game a fun way to learn basic math concepts, but it also teaches your children to follow instructions. And as an added bonus – it’s a whole heap of excitement!


There you have it. Our top picks for board games for 3 to 4-year-olds have some of the most exciting games on offer. Not only does each game have a fun premise or silly characters, but they are also as educational as they are entertaining.

So go ahead – let loose and connect with your inner child as you join in on the fun with your little ones! They’ll thank you for it, and you may just enjoy it more than you think.


WeAreTeachers: 24 Great Card Games and Board Games for the Preschool Classroom

Little Bins for Little Hands: 10 Best Board Games For 4 Year Olds

BoardGameGeek: Children’s Game

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