Games help bring about social awareness and bonding which is why many parents opt to find games for preschool children. Playing games with your preschooler is a great way to teach social skills like sharing and taking turns and of course to have fun. Look for preschool games that encourage thinking but don't require reading. Also, keep in mind that games for preschool children don't have to be educational but can simply be fun.
Games for Preschool Children
When you are choosing games to purchase keep in mind your child's age and abilities. Also be realistic about how long your child will sit. The ideal preschool game is short, lasting no more than 15 minutes per round.
Favorite Games Based on Popular Characters
If you are wanting to introduce your child to the world of preschool board games, you might want to start with something that features characters with which he is familiar. Look for a game like Memory that features Blue Clues or his other favorite cartoon characters. The possibilities are really endless since many of the popular cartoon shows market merchandise geared towards preschoolers.
Old Favorites That Don't Require Reading
When you're playing games with preschoolers, you want to make sure that you choose something that doesn't require reading and is developmentally appropriate. Many of the favorites that you remember as a child are still popular today:
- Chutes and Ladders
- Candy Land
- Go Fish
- Picture Dominoes
All of these are sold at local department stores like Walmart, Target or Kmart.
New Favorites to Add to Your Collection
If you already have a good cache of preschool games, try something new to add to your collection. Varying the games and the types of games that you play will help keep family game time fun and engaging.
I Spy is a popular children's book series that consists of photos of a variety of objects arranged in a small space. Children are then challenged to find the various objects. One of the things that's nice about I Spy games is that they offer varying levels of play. Young children can simply seek to find specific objects. Older preschoolers can match words, solve riddles or play concentration style games.
Kids of all ages love UNO and UNO moo can be a child's first introduction. The preschool version of the popular UNO card games involves matching and sorting, but in lieu of numbers, the games uses animals and colors.
This preschool Lotto game features a small card filled with pictures of animals. One person (usually the adult) chooses a game piece and calls it out allowing the child to see the card if necessary. This is a great game to help work on visual discrimination skills which will later become important as the child learns how to read.
Hi Ho Cheery-O
In Hi Ho Cherry-O, children race to fill up their basket with ten cherries first. A great game to introduce a child to the concept of counting.
Silly Faces Stick-on Game
There is little in life that is more fun than making silly faces. In this silly game, kids spin a spinner and add to their face according to how the spinner lands. You may have a face with several pairs of eyes, a couple noses and no mouth. The game uses Colorforms. Playing is sure to ensue in hilarious laughter.
Tips for Playing Games with Your Preschoolers
Designating regular time for playing board games is a great activity for your preschooler. It encourages character qualities like sharing and being patient. Playing games also increases concentration, and of course many preschool games work on concepts that are helpful later in school. Keep the following tips in mind when you are playing:
- It's okay to let your child win, but it's okay to win sometimes too. Encourage good sportsmanship by focusing on having fun rather than winning.
- Talk to your child about what he or she is seeing and doing. The more conversation you have, the better game time is.
- It's okay to not finish a game.
- Keep the number of players small. A preschooler will not be able to sit long enough for everyone to take a turn
- Always make sure to play games that are developmentally appropriate.
Games Are Fun and Educational
Preschool games can provide hours of fun for you and your child, and he or she can learn new skills in the process!