Before becoming a mother, I was an unapologetic nerd. I used to regularly play board- and roleplaying games. My husband was my partner in crime, actually we did meet because of this shared hobby. Nowadays, time and energy do not allow us to indulge in playing often, but we made a vow to introduce our kids to that amazing world of imagination as soon as we could.
Time have changed in the boardgames community. The minimum age to access boardgames has gotten lower and lower, and now you can easily find boardgames for 2 year old kids. Another lovely fact you may not be aware of, HelMet – the capital area library network – has a rich collection of boardgames and you can have delivered any item to the library of your convenience for free. You get to try them before deciding if you want to buy them or not.
We tried several with R. (4 y.o.) and we are introducing E. (2 y.o.) to them as well. Here’s a list of three boardgames that are smart, stimulating, and fun for parents too!
1. Peikkopolku – Troll trail
Price: 19.95 €
Loan: Peikkopolku in HelMet.
My absolute favourite so far! It has the perfect balance between luck and strategy for a toddler. All players have to cooperate to win against a dragon. There are some tiles to randomly choose, which either help the dragon or the players. Players have to use the favourable tiles to build a path to get to the treasure chest before the dragon. In the path, they have to collect some items. The strategy lies into building a smart path to be fast, as well as collect the necessary items. In other words, also adults need to use their brains!
2. Hepan hirnahdus – Clippety cloppety
Price: 22.90 €
Loan: Hepan hirnahdus in HelMet.
This is a well-balanced game as well. The setting is the following: horses need to go back to their stable following a trail. During their path, they need to collect some necessary items. The games includes some extra pieces to play up to 3 variations of the game and add complexity if needed. The child needs to balance between speed and collecting the tokens. R. loves it and asks to play it every day since when we loaned it!
3. Muumipeikko ja ystävät – Moomintroll and friends
Price: 19.95 €
Loan: Muumipeikko ja ystävät in HelMet.
I am generally not a fan of the boardgames branded “Muumi”, since I have tried many and disliked them. However, this is great! There are several covered tiles on the board, in three shapes: circle, triangle, and square. Each player has an assigned color/character and needs to find the three tiles of the same color. At each round, a player throws a die numbered from 1 to 3 and moves a token on a circular path, getting on a shape symbol. Then he can draw a tile of the same shape, hoping to find the one of his own color. Whoever finds his three tiles first, wins. So, there’s shape recognition and even a little “memory”, since if someone else draws a shape with your color, you need to remember where they put it back when your turn comes.
This is my best advice for boardgames for toddlers, so far. I am sure I’ll write more about the topic in the future, since we keep on trying new things. Boardgames allow families to spend quality time together, and toddlers to learn new things by having fun and improve sociality. So, get out there and find you favourite game!