Monday, February 1, 2010

Games for Preschoolers

Games are a wonderful learning experience for children. It teaches them to follow rules, think logically and be a good winner or loser. We have had a lot of fun over the years playing games in our family. Preschool games can be a challenge for parents. How many times can you play Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders before you are bored to tears? I reached my limit when JoAn was a preschooler. So what have we done since then? Look for other games. Thomas and T-Bob started Chess and Checkers around age 4. Mancala was another classic game that the children figured out pretty early. Michelle was able to win at that over Mr. Boots and JoAn when she was only four. The game Memory is a challenge for parents as it is often humiliating to lose to a preschooler. We do play that one at our house still. Here are some other suggestions if you are looking for something quick and fun for parents and children.

Max is a great game. I was a little unsure what this 'co-operative game' thing was all about. Was this some liberal game where when you finish you don't know who won? NO! Thank goodness it wasn't. This game is played by all the players against the game. You all win or lose. This is a great little introduction to strategy games to children I would say as young as 2.5 or 3. Max the cat chases the bird, chipmunk, and mouse around the small board. You get a little head start and you also get 4 treats to send Max back home so he doesn't get you. You can use them anytime. The goal is to get all three creatures to their home safely. Any player can move any piece on his turn. You roll the dice and move a piece.

There are only 3 pieces, but up to 8 can play. I wouldn't recommend that for younger children as it takes too long to get to their turn. They get bored and wander off. 3 or 4 would make for a funner game. I like the fact that there is some strategy to this game, something I haven't found in most games for pre-schoolers.

This is a quick and easy game for preschoolers 2.5 to 4. It is really simple and is a game that they will grow out of by age 5 probably. There is no luck or strategy in this game. It is a matching game with very nice wooden components.

Here is what is included. (I couldn't find the fourth counting board). You take turns rolling the dice and then you have to figure out which animal piece has those three colors on it. Yellow, blue and orange like is shown here would be the duck. The first person to recognize that would get to put a yellow disc on his counting board. The first one to get to four wins. This is a very simple game.

Catch the Match is the next step after Quack Quack. It uses the same skill set. This one is actually challenging enough for an adult to not mind playing.

The box says 5 to adult, but the picture at the top of this post is of Elizabeth and Ulysses playing it together alone and quite happily. They are 4 and 5.

You play this game by turning over 2 cards and seeing what is the same on each. The first person to spot it gets one of the cards. Can you spot the match in these two cards? The winner is the one who has the most cards after you have gone through the whole deck. This game is kind of a simplified version of the card game 'Set'. Set can be played in a slightly simplified way (instructions come with the game) by a 5 or 6 year old and yet is very challenging even for adults.
Max can be played by any learning style. I would say that Quack-Quack and Catch the Match will be excelled at by people who have strong visual skills.
There are two websites where I have gotten these games. is a homeschooling website that also sells some games. I use a lot of the products they sell in homeschooling and really like them. The other site I get a lot of games at is This site has good prices on many of the games we like to play.
We are willing to loan out games from our large collection to responsible households. Try it before you buy it.
Do you know of anyone wanting to get rid of a ping pong table? Please let us know. We need/want one.

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