Preschool Educational Games

I love teaching my children using preschool educational games.

In addition to building valuable math and reading skills, games teach children to take turns, encourage others, and lose gracefully.

I usually avoid games with flashing lights and electronic voices, in favor of those that allow us to interact as a family. The following are our favorite preschool educational games.

Bingo is a fun way to teach numbers, shapes, letters or colors.

Boggle, Jr.
Boggle, Jr. helps younger children learn to recognize letters, and helps older children learn to spell. This is a fun cooperative game, which has no winner or loser.

Candy Land
There are many versions of this game on the market, but I prefer the traditional version. Candy Land teaches colors, and is a great first game for young preschoolers.

Chutes & Ladders
Chutes & Ladders teaches counting and number recognition up to 100. As an aside, it also teaches the value of making good choices.

Playing dominoes is one of my husband's favorite preschool educational games. Using dominoes with colored dots, helps younger preschoolers join in on the fun.

Elmo Hot Tomato
Our daughter received this game as a birthday gift. The first player picks a card featuring a category, such as foods or colors. She then squeezes the tomato to make it giggle. Before passing the tomato, she must state a word matching the category on the card. The tomato continues around the circle, and the person holding the tomato when it stops giggling is out of the game.

Go Fish
This game is a classic, and can be played with cards made for Go Fish, or regular playing cards.

Gopher It
Gopher It is a great game for older preschoolers and kindergarteners. It reinforces addition facts up to the number 6.

Hand Games
Hand games or clapping games, such as Miss Mary Mack, are great for building language skills and memory. You may want to clean up the words to the ones that involve boyfriends, kissing, etc.

Hi Ho Cherry O
Hi Ho Cherry O is a simple counting game, that is also a great first game for preschoolers. Picking up cherries is a great way to improve the fine motor skills necessary for preschool writing.

I Spy
This preschool educational game requires no equipment, and is great for playing in waiting rooms or while standing in line. You can use it to teach shapes and colors, or even beginning sounds using clues like, "I spy something that begins with the letter A."

My children have no problem beating me at the game, Memory. Playing with shape, letter or number cards makes the game educational, as well as fun.

Monopoly, Jr.
This game is appropriate for an older preschooler or kindergartener. It involves counting, adding and subtracting money, and is more fun for me than the original version.

Old Maid
This is another classic card game. You can find inexpensive Old Maid cards at just about any grocery or discount store.

Puzzles are a great quiet game for kids who need something to do with their hands while listening to a story or audio book. We love those huge floor puzzles by Melissa and Doug.

Scrabble, Jr.
Scrabble, Jr. teaches letter and word recognition. It's board contains two levels of play - one side has preprinted words and the other side is left blank so children can form their own words.

This is definitely not a quiet game. Playing Trouble is a great way to teach counting and number recognition, and even I can't resist that pop-o-matic sound!

I don't know anything about Uno Attack, but we love the classic version of this card game. The manufacturer recommends it for ages 7 and up, but my two oldest children both loved it as preschoolers. We play until a player runs out of cards, and we don't keep score.

This game is played with a regular deck of playing cards. It is great for reinforcing the concept of greater than/less than. However, you may want to set a time limit for this game. It can go on quite a while before someone is declared winner.

Here are some preschool activities your child may enjoy.

Usborne's Preschool Educational Games

Here are some of my favorite preschool educational games from Usborne. Follow this link to find out why I recommend Usborne preschool games.

Pirate Snap Pirate or Fairy Snap cards can be used to play Slap Jack, Old Maid, Go Fish and Concentration.
Alphabet Lotto Alphabet Lotto is a fun version of Bingo that teaches pre-reading skills. This game comes with parents' notes that help you make adjustments for your child's skill level.
Dominoes Dominoes teach matching and counting. This preschool game uses cute farmyard characters your children will love!

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