Preschoolers love games. These ideas can be changed according to your family’s interests and dynamics. They can be made more or less imaginative, and they use basic household and art supplies. Substitute what you need with what you have on hand whenever possible to save money and time.
Index cards or squares of construction paper are sturdy enough to use for this game. The bigger the squares are, the easier it will be for your preschooler’s small hands to turn them over. Attach pictures of letters and words that begin with each letter if you want to work on learning the alphabet with your child. Shapes and numbers can also easily be used. Have your child tell you the name of the shape, number or letter when he makes a match. This game is versatile, and you can make dozens of versions to help reinforce whatever you want to teach your child.
Cut a “set” from a large sheet of construction paper for your puppet show. It could be a house, a Noah’s ark or any of a number of other make-believe sets. Cut small slits about an inch long where the puppets will stick through to entertain an audience. Glue pictures of animals, people or other story characters from magazines or colored by your child onto the ends of popsicle sticks. Make sure the pictures are small enough to fit through the holes in the set. Have your child present a play to you using his new puppets, using his own story line.
Take the fun outdoors with a scavenger hunt. If your kid is into pirates, hide an eye patch, a striped shirt and a stuffed parrot in the backyard. Tell him there is a treasure map (of a local park) outside as well. When he finds all four, dress him up like a pirate in the gear he found, take him to the park, show him how to read the map, and help him find a “treasure” you hid there earlier in the day. Tailor this idea to your kid’s interests.
These ideas can be varied according to what you have on hand, your particular child’s interests and what kind of day you are both having. It takes a while to create the Memory game cards, but they will last a long while if taken care of. Puppet shows are an easy craft to make that engage your children’s imaginations and sense of the dramatic. Scavenger hunts may be little more involved, but they can also be stripped down to hiding a few of his toys outside and letting him run around and find them. Make these games into what works best for you and your family.