Most 4 year olds are in preschool or preparing for kindergarten where they will need to be able follow directions and rules, work with others, and learn about good sportsmanship. Playing board games with your 4 year old can be a fun way to help prepare them for school — reinforcing following directions, working with others, and sportsmanship along with teaching various other skills including concentration, focus, color recognition, counting and number recognition and much more!
This article includes our list of what we think are the best board games for 4 year olds, offering both educational benefits and loads of fun!
Tips for Choosing the Best Board Games for 4 Year Old Boys & Girls
- Look for games that encourage both cooperation and competition.
- Choose games that have clear directions and a few simple rules rather than more complex games where you might lose a 4 year olds attention.
- Look for games that offer educational value and develop skills such as letter and number recognition, memory, concentration and focus.
- Choose games that are not only educational but high on the fun factor or else your child with get bored quickly.
- Your child will get bored easily if you choose a game for much younger children so be sure to select age appropriate games.
The Best Board Games for 4 Year Olds List
1. Zingo Board Game
Zingo is a great game for helping prepare kids to read and is an amped up version of traditional Bingo. This game comes with thick, sturdy cardboard cards with pictures and words on them as well as chips with text and pictures. The game also comes with a Zinger device. This game is great for family game night or for kids to play without adult help.
2. Alphabet Bingo
Alphabet Bingo is a fun game for 4 year olds that will help them practice their letter recognition, develop letter and object association and improve their concentration skills. This game is designed for 2 to 6 players and when played in groups helps children improve their social interaction and verbal skills.
This game comes with 6 game boards, 26 letter tokens and 72 chips to cover the letters when players make a match.
3. Enchanted Forest
Enchanted Forest is a treasure hunt memory game. The game comes with the board, trees, cards, treasure tokens, wooden movers and instructions. The game is designed for 2 to 6 players where kids move from the “town” through the forest looking at different objects found under the trees in the forest.
Players have to remember which tree each object is under so that when the card comes up with an object the player has seen they can make their way to the castle and tell the king which tree the object is under. The player who is the first one to get the location of 3 objects correct wins the game.
OranguTwang is a fun game for young children in which they hang an Orangutan from a line stretched between two trees. Players then roll the dice and hang whatever object comes up on the dice from the Orangutan. If on a player’s turn you place an object that causes the Orangutan to jump and send objects flying you lose. The object of the game is to try and hang the objects in such a manner to keep everything balanced so that the monkey does not jump.
The game comes with an Orangutan, base, 2 Palm trees, string vine, 14 objects to hang and a die.
5. Zoo Ragatta
Zoo Ragatta is a unique educational board game for 4 year olds that allows children to play 3 different games, Dangerous Race, Zooregatta, and Catch the Pirate. Depending on which version your child decides to play players either collect animals from different continents and bring them back to the harbor or try to prevent pirates from stealing the animals.
This game comes with a 2-sided game mat, 4 ships, 4 play cards and animal tokens. This game is designed for 2–4 players and helps children improve social skills and learn how to form strategies for playing.
6. Candy Land
Candy Land is a classic board game for most 4 year olds that has been around for decades. This game is simple to play as players simply draw cards and then move to the proper square matching the color on the card.
This game is designed for 2 to 4 players and comes with a game board, 4 tokens and 44 cards. Candy Land will help children practice their color recognition skills, turn taking, rule following and good sportsmanship.
7. 1978 Retro Edition Chutes & Ladders
Chutes and Ladders is a fun and educational up and down board game for kids age 4 years and up. The game consists of a game board, 4 tokens, a spinner, and instructions. On their turn each player spins the spinner and then moves the number of spaces on the board indicated by the spinner’s arrow. If the player lands on a space where a ladder starts the player gets to skip spaces by climbing the ladder to the top. If the child lands on a space where the chutes start the player is forced to slide down to a lower numbered space.
Children learn about taking turns, counting, number recognition and sportsmanship.
8. Baby Animals Matching Game
This animal matching game can be played with 1 to 4 players. The game consists of 72 tiles (36 pairs) which the players try to match. This matching game helps children improve their concentration, memory and animal recognition. The cards and the game can also be used to teach children where different animals live and what they eat. It can also encourage verbal skills as children comment and talk about the different animals and making matches.
9. Yeti In My Spaghetti
This Yeti in my spaghetti game is a silly yet fun game that any 4 year old boy or girl would love! This game will help growing children to improve their fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination and concentration. This game comes with a spaghetti bowl, 30 noodles and a cute little Yeti.
You place noodles in different directions across the bowl and then set the Yeti on top. Players then take turns removing noodles one at time without causing the Yeti to fall. If the Yeti falls on a player’s turn then that player loses and the game is started over.
Pengaloo is a unique memory game that is great for any 4 year olds. This wooden game can be played by 2 to 4 players and consists of a game board, colored dice, Penguins, colored eggs, and icebergs.
The colored eggs are placed under the penguins and the penguins are placed around the game board. Players take turns rolling the dice and then lifting 2 penguins to try and find the same colored eggs as the colors on the dice. If they make a match they get to keep the penguin or penguins. Collect 6 penguins and you win the game.
11. Dinosaur Escape
Dinosaur Escape is a cooperative game by Peaceable Kingdom in which kids work together to get the three dinosaurs safely on Dinosaur island before the volcano blows. The game consists of 3 dinosaur pieces, a game board, 1 die, 12 fern tokens and 5 volcano puzzle pieces.
This game encourages children to practice taking turns, improving their memory and working together since the only way to win is for everyone to win.
12. Spot It! Animal Card Game
Spot It is an exciting card game for young children in which they match animals of various sizes. The game comes in a round tin with 31 cards and there are 5 different ways of playing. This game helps children develop visual perception, fine motor skills, language skills, and animal recognition. With so many different ways to play kids won’t get bored easily and since games are of short duration kids will enjoy playing more than one game at a time.
13. Porcupine Pop
A simple, fun and unique game for young children to play Porcupine Pop allows young children to practice taking turns, counting, and good sportsmanship. Game play is simple, just roll the die and press the porcupine’s nose the number of times that shows on the dice. If the porcupine pops his quills you are out of the game. The last player still in the game wins!
Kids love the excitement of not knowing when the quills will go flying making it a great choice for family game night!
14. Hoot Owl Hoot
Hoot Owl Hoot is a cooperative game for 2 to 4 players that comes with a game board, 6 little owl tokens, a sun token, 14 sun cards and 36 color cards. The object of this game is for all the players to work together to try and get the little owls home before the sun come ups.
This game teaches children about taking turns and team work and encourages the development of language skills and they talk over each move of the game.
15. Jumping Jack
Jumping Jack is fun game for little kids where to win you have to catch the jumping bunny. The game consists of a spinner, bunny hill, carrots cups and a cute bunny. Kids take turns spinning the spinner to see how many carrots to pick on their turn. If they pull Jack’s favorite carrot he jumps in the air and the player who catches him wins. This game is designed for 2 to 4 players and will help children with basic counting skills, hand/eye coordination and catching.
Why Consider a Board Game as a Gift for Your 4 Year Olds Birthday?
Board games are all-around great for birthdays for many reasons. Firstly, they provide a fun activity for your child and their friends on their special day if they are having a birthday party. Secondly, they are a great activity for family bonding time. Most board games also offer a good educational experience and can be played time and time again, typically for years to come.