The children who come to the nursery may be too young for what they need, but you are certainly never too young or too old to have fun.
Leisure is a fundamental aspect of everyone’s growth, which is why you will find here 20 games for preschoolers to help the little ones have fun while they are learning .
Funny games for preschoolers
Next we will see 20 games for preschoolers, very fun, inexpensive and easy to prepare, which is sure to amuse children and adults alike.
1. Musical chairs
The game of musical chairs helps children to solve, in a peaceful way, a problematic situation and, to some extent, it is unfair, although always friendly.
The game is simple to prepare: chairs are placed in a circle, facing outwards. The number of chairs should be less than the number of participants. For example, if there are 8 children playing, there should be a maximum of 7 chairs.
Music is played and, in the meantime, the children have to walk around the chairs. Once the music stops, all the children must try to get a seat.
The child who has run out of a chair is discarded and another chair is taken away. This is done until only one chair and two participants remain. Whoever is the last to get a seat wins the game.
This game is ideal for teaching children how to deal with the frustration of having lost, that it’s okay to not have managed to win and that sometimes life is a bit unfair, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
2. Simon says…
Simon’s game says is ideal for helping children to pay attention and follow certain instructions. The game is quite simple, although its difficulty increases as the game progresses. A person, who may be the teacher or one of the children, orders a gesture, which may be either very everyday or very crazy.
But, beware, children should listen to what is said as long as the instruction begins with “Simon says…” . If the person ordering the instructions begins by saying the order without using that crutch and someone does what he or she has said, it is out of the question.
For example, if you say ‘Simon says to touch your nose’, the children have to touch their nose, but if the command is ‘Kick the air’ and one of them does, he has lost. But it’s not just doing something when you don’t use the crutch that is penalized by being disqualified. Also not paying attention and not obeying when a “Simon says…” is ordered means losing.
It is ideal for working on mobility , in addition to encouraging children to be quieter and more aware of who is directing the activity, without wanting to miss a single detail.
3. Row the boat!
Motor skills are a crucial aspect that must be developed correctly during early childhood. When they are still very young, they gradually acquire self-awareness of their movements .
Learning how to manage motor skills is very important, since through movement they are able to move around and make contact with the world around them, as well as increase their mobility, which they will use in sports when they grow up.
The activity consists of putting the children in pairs, looking at each other, getting down on their knees . It is preferable that they have a cushion underneath so that they are comfortable.
The teacher imitates the movements of a person who rows, and children who look in his direction should imitate him. The other child, who is looking in the other direction, must say all the time ‘row the boat, row the boat! Then the roles are changed.
By learning synchronization, they improve their mobility and self-control, and learn how to encourage others.
4. Hide and seek
A classic but ideal for making preschoolers have a great time. This is an ideal problem-solving game.
One or several children are in charge of catching while the rest have to hide. The child whose turn it is to look for the others has to count from one to ten. During this time, the children who are hiding must look for good places not to be found. This works the brain of both the one who catches and the one who has to be caught . The catcher has to make the effort to think where the rest of his friends might have gone, while the other children have to make an effort to find a good hiding place.
As they play more and more, their imagination will grow, as well as gaining experience by hiding and looking for more innovative, less predictable places.
5. Parachute games
Let’s not get confused. This kind of game does not involve the savagery of throwing a child out of a plane and skydiving. Parachute games are activities in which large blankets are used and children can get under them .
These types of activities are ideal for learning to work in a team. Children stand around a circle, holding the parachute or a large sheet in the middle.
When a ball, or any other type of playful object, is placed in the parachute, children have to synchronize to make the parachute move across the sheet. If they don’t synchronize well, the ball can come out, and then the game is over.
This game is ideal for children to learn to work together, to do actions with a common goal and, of course, to have fun without fighting. They learn that to be successful, it is better to collaborate in a team.
6. Chained words
This game is more oriented to five-year-olds than to younger ones . It is simple, and cheap. Basically the children have to say words and the next child has to say one that starts with the last syllable or letter of the previous word.
While five-year-olds may not have much trouble with this game, since some relationship to letters is necessary, it is better to use the last syllable as a criterion.
For example: “house” – “sack” – “food” – “dice”…
7. Sleeping Lions
The game of the sleeping lions is unfeasible to teach the little ones to stay focused even if there are distractions .
Children should lie down and pretend to sleep. Then, a person walks among them, whether it’s a child or an adult. This person, without touching the sleeping lions, should try to convince them to open their eyes. Thus, the children who believe what they are being told and wake up will lose, with the winner being the last one still asleep.
This game encourages the child who tries to wake the lions to be original, by imagining things so surprising that he forces his sleeping partners to wake up .
On the other hand, children acting as sleeping lions should make a great effort not to open their eyes, no matter how briefly they open and close them.
8. Blind man’s chicken
The Little Blind Man is another classic among preschool games and, moreover, very easy to make, since it requires little material. All you need is a bandage or handkerchief and a space that is big enough so that you don’t have any accidents.
One of the children has to be blindfolded with the above-mentioned handkerchief. Once he cannot see, he has to turn on himself (preferably with the help of an adult) so that it is more difficult for him to get his bearings afterwards. The handkerchief cannot be removed.
When he has stopped walking around, he has to go and find his companions while they are scattered around him . The other children can touch him and call out to him, but they must always prevent him from catching them.
If the child with the scarf catches a partner, he must identify him with his sense of touch. If he succeeds, the roles are changed.
9. Catching the ball
For this game you need balls, which can be of any size, and which will be distributed throughout the space. The children are scattered.
The teacher should shout ‘balls!’ and say what kind, whether they are big or small. The children will have to go for the size ones that have been ordered. The child who does not get the right size ball is eliminated.
The aim of this activity is to work on visual discrimination . A tip for doing this activity is that the balls should be well scattered around the place, and that there should be less than participants, so that some of the children will run out, and that is the fun of the game.
10. Handkerchief set
For this fun game, you will need handkerchiefs of various colors. The children are divided into two groups: one with tissues and the other without. Those who do not have a handkerchief will have to try to take it away from their classmates who have one . Those who have the handkerchief should have it hanging out and well visible.
The point is that all the handkerchiefs have been taken by the group that doesn’t have them, and so the game is over. The child who had a handkerchief at the beginning but has lost it is eliminated.
11. Someone like me
This game, although not so classic, is ideal for facilitating a good atmosphere of companionship in the classroom, as well as facilitating the integration of boys and girls and getting to know each other better .
To do this activity it is necessary that the children are in a room big enough, where they can move freely. The necessary material will be paper and pencils for each child.
It is ideal for use at the beginning of the school year, when the classroom has just been formed and the children, who until recently only had contact with their parents, feel very uncomfortable meeting new people, even if they are the same age.
The teacher or facilitator will ask them to try to draw something they like very much , whether it is food, a place, a cartoon character… It is important to leave them some time to draw as much as they want.
Then, they should get up and compare the drawings of the rest of their classmates, to see if any of them have done the same. The idea is to see if there are any who share the same tastes, and try to talk about it.
The adult should be aware of who the children are meeting, so after the activity, comment on what you have seen, for example: ‘I saw that George and Paul like Pokémon, which one do you like best,’ or ‘Anna and Mary like to dance, can you show us?
12. Let’s sing good morning!
This game aims to teach children good manners, even at an early age. Manners are something that, the sooner they manage to acquire, the better. In order to teach them to say hello when they enter the house or the classroom, and also to say goodbye and ask permission to speak, these types of activities are fundamental already in their earliest childhood.
That is why this song is perfect for them to get used to saying good morning when they enter the nursery , making them acquire the routine of being polite and cordial when entering a place, as well as showing affection and respect for their peers.
During the first few days, the teacher can take charge of singing the song completely, making sure that his or her students repeat it, but when he or she sees that they have learned it, to make it more dynamic, he or she can have them sing it.
The song is next:
Teacher or master:
Children, how are you?
We’ll do our best to become more friendly
Teacher, how are you?
13. World of colors
This game is basic for every child to learn the names of the colours . To do this we need toys, balls and various other objects, as well as cardboard, baskets and coloured pencils.
Put the cards on the table and the various objects scattered around the room. The teacher says, “What is green,” and the children have to find and paint the object that is green in the room.
They must also take the object of the colour in question and put it in one of the baskets on the table, each of which will have a different coloured card attached to it.
14. Making the five senses work
Children at such a young age must learn what the senses are, and become familiar with each of them and what they are for. This activity is a bit complex, as all kinds of stimulation will be needed to activate the five most prototypical senses : taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing.
From materials you can use all kinds of objects: candies of different flavours, jars of different smells, aromatic candles, fabrics of different colours, cardboards with different roughness, various instruments…
Each direction is assigned a station, which can be a table with a small sign and the objects associated with the direction in question: the station of taste, the station of touch…
The children are blindfolded and made to go through each of the stations, manipulating all kinds of stimuli to find out what it is and what emotion it evokes . It can be a pleasant sensation, like a candy, or something they don’t like, like a lemon.
For the viewing season, it is clear that the eyes should not be blindfolded. They will see the silhouettes of different objects and will have to indicate what they are, or they can also associate a color with a thing in the room.
15. Learning numbers with balls and paddles
To encourage children’s numbering skills, we can use balls and paddles, a game that will make them count and acquire some familiarity with calculus. The materials for this activity are wooden paddles, plasticine and tables. On top of the paddles we will put a number from 1 to 10 and give them to the children.
The children will have to put on the pallets the amount of balls that indicates the number written on them . In this way they will learn, in a more applied way, the physical representation of each value.
Once they have become familiar with the first ten, you can try to do so with higher figures, but without forgetting that they are still children between the ages of 3 and 5.
16. Memory with numbers
Related to the previous activity, we have a game in which mnemonic skills and number counting are improved. They learn how to put into practice a cognitive capacity as important as memory in a fun way.
To do this activity you will need coloured cards, scissors, markers and a table . We will divide the cardboard in half, putting numbers from top to bottom on the left side.
On the right side we will draw the amount of objects that would correspond to the number in the row on the other side. For example, a 4 on the left side and four balls on the right side. Then, each pair of numbers and objects are cut to form counters of two and have the memory finished. The children will have to uncover each pair of numbers and objects, until they form the counters of two and complete the activity. If they uncover two tiles that are not, they move on to the next turn. The aim is to uncover as many pairs of tiles as possible .
17. Assembling the human body
In order to familiarize them at an early age with the parts of the human body, we have this interesting activity.
The material needed is cardboard, scissors and glue or something that can be used for gluing. The idea is to assemble a human drawing body, more or less at real size, in which the children will place different parts . These parts should be according to their level of knowledge, that is, basic parts like the mouth, the ears, the head, the arms…
As they put each part together, the coordinator of the activity will indicate what each part is for or, to arouse the interest of the children, ask them if they know what it is for and have them show it to the rest of their classmates.
18. The Search for Lost Treasure
This game is similar to hide-and-seek. Children are always curious to discover things, and what more surprising object to discover than a real pirate treasure?
The adult should prepare, with rolls of toilet paper, boxes, cardboard chips and various objects, the sarcophagus of a treasure that will be hidden somewhere in the classroom or the playground. Along the space the coordinator of the activity will place on some cards the instructions (preferably in the form of drawings rather than in writing) of where the next cardboard is to be found.
Each card will lead to another until the lost treasure is found.
The key to this is that children learn to collaborate together, deciphering the hieroglyphs that the adult has drawn on the papers, so that, using their intelligence and agreeing on what they mean, they end up finding the treasure.
19. Alphabet on cards
Children from 3 to 5 years old still can’t read. They will start to master this from the age of 6, when they make their first year in primary education. However, they must become familiar with the letters of the alphabet, and this activity is ideal for that .
As material, we need different colored cards, scissors, markers and pencils. The activity should be done in a room with a table. The cards are cut and the letters of the alphabet are placed on each card, while the other half contains drawings of animals, food or things in general that begin with that letter.
The fun is that each child has a turn to take a chip, say the name of the animal or thing that is represented and try to think of which letter it starts with . In this way they will become phonologically aware of the sounds of their language and the letters that represent them.
20. I am a cup
Very simple, but at the same time very dynamic. It’s all about singing the “I’m a cup” line. The ideal thing about this little song is that you can make the children move while you sing it , making the gestures as if they were a cup, making figures with their bodies.
Children can try to coordinate while imitating the gestures of the teacher or adult in charge of the activity. Then, when they have learned them, one of them is asked to try to direct the rest, and so on… We simply need to know the words to the song:
I’m a cup,
I’m a knife,
a soup plate,
a shallow dish,
I’m a salt shaker,
an express pot
choo choo choo.