Preschool is a time for learning and fun. Children enjoy playing with other kids and exploring their world through play. Preschool-age children are old enough to understand how to participate in simple games. Read on to learn about some of the preschool games children love at that age.
The object of the game is to stay in a long as possible. The leader child steps into the middle of a circle of children. The leader closes his or her eyes while the children in the group quickly pass a beanbag (or rock or block) around the circle. When the leader yells, “Hot!” the person left holding the hot potato goes out. The game continues until there is one child left. Kids learn about using their imagination, following directions, and social skills.
Instead of passing a potato, try Pass the Apple. The kids are apples and the middle of the circle is the apple pot. A beanbag is passed around the circle, just like with Hot Potato. The child left holding the beanbag goes into the apple pot when the leader shouts, “Applesauce!” When all of the kids end up in the middle at the end, the teachers make applesauce with them. They add sugar, cinnamon, and other spices, then the kids get be wiggly as the applesauce starts to boil.
Leap Frog is a terrific game for large muscle development. Children learn about taking turns and doing things in order when they play. To add something more, kids can do a variety of things each time they leap over another child. They could count, say the letter “L” or “F,” or say the name of the person they are jumping over. Most kids are happy just to do a lot of leaping and laughing.
Memory Card Games
These card games are fun for young children. They have good enough memory skills to remember where some of the upside-down cards are located. The fewer the cards, the better chance they have of keeping track. This is easily done with a purchased Memory game, a set of basic playing cards, or drawings made on index cards. Start out with five or six pairs at first. If this seems too easy, you can increase the amount until the children seem challenged. Another nice feature of this game is that it works for one player or several players. Memory games are a great way for children to learn letter and number recognition and to stretch their patience.
Same and Different
The Same and Different game is wonderful for helping children develop mathematical sorting and language skills. Children pick three items in the room that are alike in some way, such as size or shape. Then, they choose something that is different from the first three things. Children describe the similarities and differences, saying as many as they can think of. For the next set of items, the teacher encourages the children to pick a different type of comparison. If the first set of items was chosen by size, the next would be chosen by color, and so on.
By the time your child is preschool age, they have probably played at least one of these games. These are all easy to do without much equipment. Not only are these games fun to play, they teach children skills to build on as they grow.