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Learning Games for Preschoolers

Learning games for preschoolers can help prepare children for school. This article introduces games that can be played without requiring any set-up or materials as well as those that require materials or equipment, all designed for preschool education.

There are many different kinds of learning games for preschoolers. There are both spur-of-the-moment games that can be played nearly anywhere and anytime, and there are games that require materials, including a good many games from companies that specialize in educational materials. Among the latter are board games, card games, on-line games, video games, computer games, and games with proprietary electronic equipment. This article will briefly review all these types.

Learning Games With No Materials for Preschoolers

These are learning games for preschoolers that simply review colors, numbers, the alphabet, shapes, and other basic concepts by using available materials. Examples include games in which the preschooler is asked questions like:

  • How many fingers am I holding up?
  • Can you see something red?
  • Here’s a square. Find something else that is square.
  • What sound does the letter B make?
  • What number comes after 3?
  • Which letter comes after F?

Alternatively, encourage your preschooler to be the one who asks the questions and checks whether your answers are correct.

Board Games for Preschoolers

There are many board games for preschoolers, many focusing on one or more basic concepts, including not only colors, numbers, and letters, but also counting, matching, and sequencing. Here are some examples:

  • Candy Land • colors, counting, matching
  • Chutes and Ladders • counting
  • Dominoes • counting, matching
  • Sequence for Kids • letters, sequencing, counting
  • Bingo • numbers
  • Puzzles • shapes
  • Scrabble Junior (beginner game) • matching, letters

Many other games exist, some featuring characters from television and movies.

Card Games for Preschoolers

With a standard deck of cards, one can play games that involve a variety of skills:

  • War • comparing, numbers
  • Old Maid • matching, numbers
  • Concentration • matching, numbers
  • Go Fish • numbers, counting

But there are also specialized decks available from a variety of publishers that cover concepts such as color, alphabet, animal facts, and many other areas.

Online Learning Games for Preschoolers

There are a number of sites with online learning games. Although many focus on older students and specialized content areas, there are a number for preschoolers, some provided by well-known educational publishers. These games teach keyboarding skills as well as content. Some feature stories. Fisher-Price®, for example, has games categorized for infants, toddlers, and preschool. Nick Jr. also has online learning games, featuring television characters.

If your preschooler has a specialized content area interest, you can help develop his or her knowledge and understanding by carefully choosing games that - while intended for older children - may have just what your child needs. Check out Sheppard Software, for example, for games about animals, geography, and other topics that teach kids information and then allow them to test their knowledge. Specialized magazines for children often have games on their websites. Check out National Geographic Kids and Scholastic Kids.

Proprietary Electronic Learning Games for Preschoolers

These are self-contained learning systems that, for the most part, look like laptops, but have limited functions, and come stocked with a set of learning games. Examples are V.Smile Nitro Notebook Interactive Learning System and Winnie the Pooh Interactive Computer by VTech®. Another source is Leap Frog ®, maker of items such as Leapsterä Learning Game System.

Other Game Types

A number of standard board games are now available as video games or computer games. Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders, for example, are available in both formats. There are also games that only appear in these formats, and these may tend to focus more on stories and keyboard and/or controller skills and hand-eye coordination than other learning concepts. ETA Cuisenaire, a maker of manipulatives and other supplemental learning materials, is an excellent source for preschool materials. You may find it easiest to locate materials on their Homeschool site.


Written by Mary Elizabeth

Sources for Article:

Fisher Price -
Nick Jr. -
Sheppard Software -
National Geographic Kids -
Scholastic Kids -
VTech -
Leap Frog -
ETA/Cuisenaire Homeschool -