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  • Writer's pictureNMSG

Get your game on! –Our list of our favourite pre-school friendly board games for all the family to

Looking for some inspiration for how to play with your ever evolving pre-schooler and get them engaging in some games with you and the whole family? Or looking for new ideas to stock up on to fill a rainy afternoon with? Well as a Mumma obsessed with board games I have compiled a handy list of my favourites!

For me getting out a board game to play with my three year old is one of the best ways for us to spend some quality time together – usually whilst my baby naps. We are talking, laughing and also learning without even trying within minutes! They are great at bringing families together.

Board games offer great opportunities for early learning, even simple games can teach basic principles such as taking turns, identifying colours, counting spaces, develop hand-eye coordination and more.

So if you are looking for some inspiration, check out my recommendations below:

Pop-up pirate

This is a great game for pre-schoolers and the surprise game is a barrel of fun! Take turns sliding the colourful swords into the barrel, but beware! Slide your sword into the wrong slot and up pops the pirate and you’re out! An easy game to practice yours colours with too.

Find Pop-up pirate online here.

Insey Winsey Spider

Orchard toys offer a great range of young children friendly games. Based on the classic nursery rhyme, players move their spiders up the board by matching shapes or by counting their way up. Spin the spinner after every turn to see if the sun will shine or whether the spider will be washed down the drainpipe!

Find Insey Winsey Spider online here.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Have a chompin' good time with the hippo-feeding Hungry Hungry Hippos game! The aim is to tap your hippo so that it gobbles up as many marbles as possible in a feeding frenzy, the player with the most marbles wins! This game is high intensity and super fun, but beware of the marbles with babies crawling around, in which case the travel-version is safer as it is enclosed.

Find Hungry Hungry hippos online here.

Snakes and ladders

Truly old school but this never gets old, race up the ladders and try to avoid the slithering snakes. Snakes & Ladders will help to develop counting skills and number recognition as children count their way up to reach the top of the board. It’s a great first board game for pre-schoolers and older kids too.

Find Snakes and ladders online here.


Prepare for some noise and clear away the breakables, this game is fun for all ages. Build a tower of blocks then carefully pull a block out of the tower and place it on top, easier than it sounds as the tower starts to get unsteady. The loser is the one to bring the tower crumbling down. Easy to set up and great fun! Definitely do NOT play if your baby is sleeping nearby though haha.

Find Jenga online here.


Buckaroo is an oldie but a goodie! It is a really basic game whereby you take turns loading various items onto the donkey until he bucks. My three year old and her friends love playing this, it’s quick, easy and eventful – our house is always full of shrieks and squeals when it bucks and all the items go flying!

Find Buckaroo online here.


This is one of my favourite games which we still play as adults, the object of the aim is to skilfully remove the sticks from the tube while dropping the fewest marbles possible. It’s nice an easy, and my little one loves counting everyone’s marbles at the end. A great game for the whole family!

Find Kerplunk online here.

Dinosaur Lotto

My daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs so this was a firm winner for us. A fun, dinosaur-themed matching and memory game; take turns to flip the colourful dinosaur cards and be the first to fill the dinosaur board with matching images to win the game. Great for building on their memory skills.

Find Dinosaur Lotto online here.


Twister is a game of physical skill and involves spinning the dial, then moving your hands or feet and placing them on a coloured circle on the mat to another! This is definitely fun if you have older siblings who want to play too and you soon get all tangled up in each other which can evolve into a tickling bundle if you’re in my house!

Find Twister online here.

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