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Games for Preschoolers, Plus Week in Review

Dear Elizabeth,
What are some games I can play with my preschooler?
Elizabeth's Tips
Elizabeth Sanchez
Elizabeth Sanchez
  • Play is essential to help kids learn
  • Through play children develop skills they need to do well in school
  • Give kids time every day to engage in play activities
  • Provide a variety of materials for kids to play with
Week in Review
Don’t forget about the great things that we learned this week:
Expert Advice
Alec Colchico
Alec Colchico
Preschool Dir. & Imagination Expert
Preschoolers are seemingly always active. So it’s a good idea to have a variety of games on hand to play when you and your child have some free time. Here are three fun and simple games you can play with your preschooler.

Mystery Box
To play “Mystery Box,” all you need to do is find a shoebox – or you can even use a brown paper grocery bag. You can decorate the box or bag with stickers, construction paper, or whatever you’d like. Then secretly place an item into the box or bag. Then show your children the Mystery Box (or bag) and give them clues as to what’s inside. Keep giving clues until the children have correctly guessed what’s inside. For instance, you can hide a toy zebra inside the box and give clues such as: it’s white with black stripes, or you can find it in the zoo, or it’s similar in size to a horse, etc.

What’s Missing?
To play what’s missing, simply gather about seven different items and place them on a tray or table. Choose things which are different shapes, sizes and colors, such as a yellow tennis ball, a purple crayon, a green LEGO piece, a toy car, a toy dinosaur, an orange cup, and a blue block. Ask them to examine the items for a moment, then take a towel and quickly drape it over all of the items. Then quickly remove the towel with your hand while hiding one of the items underneath the towel. Ask the children which item is missing from the tray or table? You can take turns with the children too see who will remove an item next, or even switch in new items after awhile to make it more difficult.

I Spy
“I Spy” is a great game that you can play just about anywhere because it doesn’t require any materials. All you need to do is to establish the ground rules, for instance, that the item you are “spying” is visible in the room with you. Simply choose an item that you can see in the room and begin describing it. For instance, you can spot a brown stuffed animal in the room and you can say, “I spy something that’s brown with fluffy ears.”

When playing games, remember to encourage children to talk by asking them open-ended questions. Games such as these can really help preschoolers develop various skills. Children exercise their memory skills that will be useful for learning to read later. They practice eye-hand coordination as they manipulate items and hide them for the game. As children are engaging in these games, they are learning new words and are able to express themselves through language.

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Topic: Play & Creativity
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