In this article, we have compiled a thoughtful collection of the best Nintendo Switch games for 3 year olds.
The Nintendo Switch is a hit with adults and kids alike. The Switch offers a range of games from puzzle to racing to strategy, so there really is something for everyone.
Kids get instant gratification from the highly interactive games that they can play using the Switch’s touchscreen. This makes it an excellent choice for parents looking to keep their children entertained for hours on end.
Here are the best Nintendo Switch Games for 3 year olds.
1. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Editors’ Choice)
Our Editors’ Choice for the best Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds is Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 3D platforming adventure game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the thirteenth mainline installment in the Kirby series and the first game in the series to be fully rendered in 3D, offering a new gameplay experience compared to previous Kirby titles.
In the game, players control Kirby, the iconic pink puffball, as he embarks on a journey through a mysterious world known as the Forgotten Land. This world is filled with abandoned structures from a past civilization, including unexpected locations like a shopping mall. Kirby must rescue kidnapped Waddle Dees from the ferocious Beast Pack, with the help of the enigmatic Elfilin.
One of the notable features of Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the ability to explore the stages in full 3D, offering a new perspective on the Kirby series. Players can freely move Kirby around the environments, allowing for more dynamic and immersive gameplay. Additionally, Kirby can use a wide range of copy abilities by inhaling enemies, such as the new Drill and Ranger abilities, to attack enemies and navigate the surroundings.
Another unique gameplay mechanic introduced in Kirby and the Forgotten Land is Mouthful Mode. Kirby can inhale real-world objects and transform, using them to his advantage. For example, Kirby can consume a vending machine to gain a variety of drinks or swallow a car to gain wheels and break through walls.
The game also features co-op play, where a second player can join as Bandana Waddle Dee, a spear-wielding companion. Players can team up and explore the colorful world together, utilizing their respective abilities to overcome challenges. We recommend Kirby and the Forgotten Land as the best Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds right now.
2. Splatoon 3
Another outstanding Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds is Splatoon 3. Splatoon 3 is set in a new location called Splatsville, a city with a post-apocalyptic and chaotic vibe, featuring elements from the previous games. The objective of the game remains the same as its predecessors: players must compete in 4-on-4 ink-slinging battles to cover the most ground with their team’s ink. The team that spreads the most ink wins the match.
Players can choose to play as either an Inkling or an Octoling. Inklings are part squid, part kid, and Octolings are a different species with similar abilities. The game offers extensive customization options, allowing players to personalize their characters’ appearance, gear, and weapons. Splatoon 3 introduces new hairstyles, clothing options, and accessories, giving players even more freedom to express their style
The game features a wide variety of weapons, ranging from traditional shooter-like guns to more unconventional options like paintbrushes and buckets. Each weapon class has its own unique playstyle and abilities, allowing players to find their preferred style of ink-slinging combat. Splatoon 3 introduces new moves and abilities, such as Squid Surge for scaling walls quickly and Squid Roll for fast movement. These abilities add depth and strategic options to the gameplay experience
Splatoon 3 retains the core gameplay mechanics of its predecessors, where players compete in turf wars to cover the most territory with their team’s ink. However, Splatoon 3 introduces several new elements to the series. It takes place in a new city called Splatville, which has a different aesthetic compared to the previous game’s hub, Inkopolis.
There is also an expanded single-player story mode and introduces new moves and abilities, such as the Squid Surge and Squid Roll, to enhance gameplay. Additionally, Splatoon 3 promises to have regular free post-launch updates every three months for two years, which will include new in-game catalogs, weapons, and stages.
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is arguably one of the best Nintendo Switch games for 3 year olds and the most robust Mario Kart game to date.
With the Mario Kart 8, your kids are guaranteed many hours of gameplay. The game comes with new kart customizations, many Grand Prix tracks, and the notable Battle Mode which wasn’t in the original Mario Kart 8. Your 3 year old won’t have any complaints with the selection of Mario characters and karts the game has.
You need not worry about your kids getting the hang of the game early on as there are features designed to make the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe easy to play. Such features include the smart steering and the auto-accelerate.
The smart steering will help your kids steer the wheel and it prevents the kart from falling off the track, while the auto-accelerate is designed to help your kids focus on steering the wheel and hitting other drivers without having to touch the accelerator.
So be sure to enable these features. As they learn how to play the game, you can disable these features.
Your kids can play the game with friends and other members of your family as the game supports up to eight consoles – two players for each console.
Another notable game worth considering is the Super Mario Party. This game is as good as the Mario Kart. If your kids enjoyed Mario Kart, they’ll also enjoy Super Mario Party.
All in all, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a must-have and the best Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds.
4. Animal Crossing
If you need an easy, relaxing, friendly Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds, Animal Crossing ticks all of the boxes.
The game comes with customizations. You can tailor your island and home to your tastes. Animal crossing has lots of activities that would keep your kid coming back for more.
The game lets you catch bugs, fish, dig for fossils, and mingle with everyone within your community. These activities fetch you more money which you can use to buy a bigger house.
Animal Crossing is highly recommended for 3 year olds.
5. Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi’s Crafted World is another great Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds.
Similar to most Super Mario games, this side scrolling adventure game is quite simple and fun to play. Yoshi can pound the ground, jump and eat enemies. The game has different levels. You can replay each one.
Most of the mechanics in Yoshi’s Woolly World and previous titles are present in this game: egg throwing at enemies, picking up flowers and jumping to the end of the levels.
Generally, the game isn’t difficult to play, but at some point it gets a little harder. That being said, if your kid can play Mario Odyssey, Yoshi’s Crafted World shouldn’t be a problem.
Our only qualm with the game, and this remains minor, is the music. We’d be lying if we said you’d be falling off your chair with excitement at the music in Yoshi’s Crafted World.
6. Kirby Star Allies
Like the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies is another simple, fun, relaxing Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds deserving of note.
A combination of old powers (Parasol, Beam, and Sword) and new ones like Artist and Spider makes the Kirby Star Allies a lot interesting.
New to the Star Allies is the ability get assistance from AI companions (up to three) who can help you fight. So this makes the game a lot easier – your 3 year old kid won’t have a problem dealing with enemies. Again your kid can play alone or with up to four friends.
The Kirby Star Allies isn’t a fast pace game, so your kid can take the time to enjoy and understand the dynamics of the game. There are levels and puzzle pieces to pick up at each level. The rainbow piece is the most difficult to collect. Star Allies will build your kid’s ability to solve puzzles.
As with most Kirby games, Kirby Star Allies has fairly easy mini games like Chop Champs and Star Slam Heroes.
Overall, Kirby Star Allies is easy, playable, and well-suited for 3 year olds. Highly recommended.
7. PAW Patrol: On a Roll
In this game, everyone harnesses their skills, utilizing them in rescuing friends and protecting the community. You can assist characters such as Chase, Tracker, Marshall, Skye, and more.
There are verbal instructions indicating the correct buttons to press on the screen, especially if there is no movement. This makes it one of the easiest Nintendo Switch games for 3 year olds.
PAW Patrol has awe-inspiring Adventure Bay locations like Jake’s Mountain, Yumi’s Farm, and so on.
The game highlights the importance of cooperation and sharing tasks. It has eight PAW patrol pups, and a player can control two at each stage of the game.
In fact, there is not a single kid out there who could dislike PAW Patrol: On a Roll or complain about difficulty.
8. Super Mario Odyssey
Another must-have Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds is the Super Mario Odyssey. It is the best Mario title since the Super Mario Galaxy.
The game features Mario (the hero), Bowser (the villain) and Peach (the one being rescued). A new character here is Cappy, a hat that makes it possible for Mario to possess objects and characters. There are many characters and objects to capture. The traditional Mario enemies like Cheep Cheeps, Hammer Brothers and Bullet Bills are also present.
With Super Mario Odyssey, your kid has many kingdoms (we’re looking at you, New Donk City, Metro Kingdom, Cap Kingdom, and more) to explore and lots of easy and difficult challenges to overcome. In two player mode, you can assist in difficult sections, by controlling the camera, so your kid can focus on controlling Toad. Of course there’s an easy mode. For starters, we recommend the easy mode.
One cool feature ideal for 3 year olds is the Assist Mode which makes playing the Mario Odyssey easier. Be sure to enable this feature especially if this is the first time your kid is playing Mario Odyssey. Some kids find it difficult timing jumps in the beginning, but with time they get the hang of it.
Many 3 year olds love Super Mario Odyssey, and we’re certain your kid would love it, too.
Lego City Undercover is a good Nintendo Switch game for 3 year olds worth mentioning.
9. Lego City Undercover
We’ve highlighted the best Nintendo Switch games for 3 year olds. These games will keep your kids relaxed, entertained and they are well-suited for developing your child’s problem-solving skills.