Learning & Activities


Your Kids Will Love These Preschool Games

Your Kids Will Love These Preschool Games

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.

Key Points

  • Memory games and variations of hot potato are great ideas for preschoolers.
  • Make sure you're ready for any potential injuries!
  • If you notice any child getting bullied, make sure you take action immediately.

Preschool Games

Hot Potato

The object of this game is to stay in a long as possible. The leader 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

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 Memory game from the store, 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.

Things to Be Ready For With Preschoolers During Game Time

Preschoolers can be chaotic! They're still somewhat unstable on their feet, so they're prone to falls and other accidents. On top of that, they may not have a proper sense of good sportsmanship and cooperation. Here are some potential issues you'll want to be ready for when playing games with preschoolers.

Sore losers. Unfortunately, preschoolers may turn into sore losers when a game finishes. This may not happen with all preschoolers, but young children tend to be sensitive to failure. If one of your preschoolers starts acting out upon losing a game, take them aside and help them understand why their behavior is inappropriate. Explain to them that everyone loses sometimes, and everyone wins sometimes. It's okay to be disappointed, but it isn't okay to act out because of a loss. It's important to be happy for the people who win, rather than upset that you lost.

Bullying. Even preschoolers can be mean. If you start to notice kids ganging up on someone, or someone using a game as an opportunity to be mean to another, stop the game. Call everyone together and express your disappointment in their actions. Explain that bullying or being mean to one another is not acceptable. Make sure they know that playing a game is a privilege, not a right, and that you'll stop game time if you see mean actions continue. Don't be afraid to remove a particularly problematic child from game time if necessary. It isn't fair to stop the game for everyone if only one person is causing problems, but if the issue is widespread ending game time may be the right choice.

Injuries. Sometimes, preschoolers can get hurt. They can trip and fall, for example. Make sure you have a basic first aid kit on hand to deal with any injuries that come about. If necessary, have the injured child sit out the rest of game time. Help them understand that it isn't a punishment, but merely a precaution to ensure they don't get hurt any further.

If you keep all of these potential issues in mind, you'll be prepared to deal with anything that comes up during game time! When run in a structured and positive environment, game time can be a great way for preschoolers to grow and develop relationships with one another. Give one of these great games a try the next time you need to do something with your group of preschoolers!

Preschool Games in the News

In July 2023, aNb Media reported on a new line of games from popular game designer Exploding Kittens. There are four games total in this release, with their primary focus being on developing preschoolers' skills while allowing them to have fun. The games were inspired by the company's CEO's growing frustration with the lack of quality board games he could play with his preschool-aged daughter.

The games are called I Want My Teeth Back, Hurry Up Chicken Butt, The Best Worst Ice Cream, and My Parents Might Be Martians. Each game is designed in a colorful and cartoony style that will certainly appeal to young children. Exploding Kittens is known for their eccentric game designs, and these are no exception!

Together, these games aim to stimulate and develop a child's critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, while allowing them to have fun. The games come with unique challenges for children to face, while being entertaining enough to keep adults from getting bored after the first five minutes. Exploding Kittens has previously been known for their popular party games, but this new foray into preschool games is a welcome expansion by many.

The games are available to purchase online or at Target, and range in price from $14.99 to $19.99. This makes them affordable for most families. Many board games can be cost-prohibitive, especially those that are on the larger scale. Exploding Kittens makes it possible to have fun, educational fun with your preschoolers without breaking the bank.

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