Young children certainly enjoy playing games! For this age group, playing games is actually a learning process. While children are having fun, they are being introduced to many new concepts such as following rules, taking turns, teamwork, and most importantly at this young age, the art of winning and losing graciously. These behaviors don't always come easy for children, and games are the perfect opportunity to practice some of these essential life skills. Playing games along with your children can be a great family activity, and allows adults to model appropriate game playing behavior.
Choosing educational games like those listed below, have the added benefit of combining learning with fun. For this age group, playing educational games reinforces basic concepts such as colors, numbers, counting, money etc. Many of these games are designed for non-readers and have simple, easy to follow directions. Educational games also develop pre-reading/reading skills such as letter recognition, sight vocabulary, spelling and concentration. These children's games also strengthen fine motor skills and improve dexterity since players are required to balance or manipulate game pieces.
Many of the old favorites and classics make some of your best choices, however there are some excellent new games available!
My First Games Set (Set of 4 Classics) The ideal set of "first" games for non-readers! Set include the 4 following classics: Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Memory Game & Hi Ho Cherry-O! Young children practice matching, colors, counting skills and more while having fun. Ages 3-7.
Candyland A memorable & classic "very first" game for non-readers. Young children use color cards to move gingerbread pawns through the winding path to Candy Castle. On the way they meet lovable characters and practice color matching skills. Simple instructions in both English & Spanish. Ages 3-6. A must "very first" game for households with little children.
Chutes and Ladders A wonderful follow up game to Candy Land in the beginners game series. This non-reader's game teaches numbers, counting and the rewards of good behavior. Children move their game piece from square 1 all the way to square 100 by using a numbered spinner. Along the way they are rewarded for good deeds by climbing up ladders to higher numbers, or receive the consequence of sliding down a chute to a lower number for bad behavior. Ages 3-7.
Hasbro Candy Land Castle Game A cute variation of the classic Candy Land board game. Extremely basic and simple fun for little ones. A colorful 3-D King Candy Castle shoots out muti-colored, multi-shaped game pieces such as a red circle or green square. Players must match the colors and shapes on their gingerbread gameboards. Ages 3-6.
Hi Ho Cherry-O Fun and simple counting game for young children. Be the first to get 10 cherries in your bucket and pick your tree clean. The luck of the spinner determines how many cherries to add or remove from your bucket. Builds fine motor and counting skills. Ages 3-6.
Original MemoryDevelop memory and concentration skills with this classic game. Find the matching pairs by turning over cards 2 at a time. Game inlcudes 72 colorful picture cards with storage tray. Ages 3-6.
Snails Pace Race Have fun racing these colorful wooden snails. Predict which snails will cross the finish line first and last. Roll the color ocde dice to move snails down the track. A wonderful game which teaches color recognition and numbers. Ages 4-8.
ThinkFun Zingo An award winning reading game! This exciting & educational variation of Bingo features 72 picture tiles which teach simple sight vocabulary and matching skills to pre-readers & readers ages 4-7. An instant favorite!
Cranium Hullabaloo A high energy game perfect for the preschool age group. Kids listen for commands that make them move, jump and dance on colored shapes and pads. Encourages listening skills, color & shape recognition and lots of giggles & fun! A little hard to find in stores, but well worth the hunt. They'll love it! Ages 4+.
Don't Break the Ice Loads of fun for young players! Tap out ice blocks with plastic mallets one at a time, but you must keep the polar bear from falling through the ice. An enjoyable game that uses simple strategy and refines fine motor skills. (You can't hit the ice too hard or too soft.) Ages 4-6 plus.
Scrabble Junior Scrabble for juniors teaches children to match letter tiles to picture words on a grid. An added benefit is that this game grows with your child. Simply flip the gameboard over for more advanced game play. Whoever has the most chips on the board wins. Ages 5-8.
Monopoly Junior Edition Superb junior version of this popular board game. Monopoly Jr. is based on owning ticket booths to amusement park rides such as bumper cars or rollercoasters. A fun and wonderful way for young children to practice basic math and money skills. This junior version uses smaller money increments, has a smaller gameboard and takes less time to play which makes it perfect for ages 5-8.
Great States Junior A great introduction to the map of the United States for young children. Children race the clock while matching shapes, pictures and names of locations on the map. An enjoyable and educational geography experience for ages 5-8.
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