Preschoolers love games! Inside, outside, musical, or silly, these free preschool games are perfect for entertaining your little ones! The best part? We found preschool games that are fun, easy, and free!
Many of our favorite preschool games only require simple materials you probably have laying around the house and are a breeze to set up! They also help develop gross motor skills like throwing and catching, as well as life skills such as being patient and taking turns.
Free Preschool Games
Play them inside or outside and keep your active preschoolers moving! No matter the weather or season, our free preschool games help integrate movement, teach rhythm and rhyme, and help young children learn to follow the rules and just have FUN!
Music & Movement Games
The perfect preschool game with only one requirement- music! Dance, dance, dance until the music stops… then freeze! Make it lively and cheer your children on and have them freeze in silly stances and with funny faces. Use all types of music to keep it interesting! Our movement and action songs and dance songs are perfect for it!
Mimic My Dancing
A dancing contest? What a fun game! This game is as simple as it sounds, but works on some major gross movement and concentration skills! One child dances a short dance using all kinds of movement. Other children then copy and repeat the dance the best they can. Kids love a chance to be the leader and it gives them a chance to feel special! So throw on some fun tunes and get moving!
Gross Motor Games
Bean Bag Toss
This popular game helps develop hand-eye coordination and increases balance. The best part is… there are so many ways to play and it’s so simple to set up! Grab some bean bags (alphabet, numbered, or colored) and a few bins and let your preschooler toss them in! Want an easier setup? Practice tossing the bean bags back and forth between two people. Or show your preschooler how to throw it gently in the air and catch it themselves!
The game of cornhole is a true family favorite! This lively game helps children master throwing a ball to hit a target, counting, and taking turns. If you don’t have a cornhole board, repurpose an old cardboard box! Cut out a large circle in the cardboard and prop it up on a rock or plastic bin. Make some DIY beanbags using old socks and fill them with rice or dried beans. Tie a solid knot and you are ready to play! Have your preschooler stand a good distance away from the board and toss the “sockbags” into the hole. Count how many make it in or make up your own rules! This game will be hours of fun and great for expelling some energy and practicing hand-eye coordination!
Hopscotch is such a classic game that develops coordination and numeracy skills. This preschool game also helps young children practice skipping and jumping…on one leg! To play outdoors, use sidewalk chalk to create a path from 1-10 (or make the numbers as few or great as needed) and make a few squares double on the path to 10. Teach your preschooler when they land on the single square, they must jump on one foot. Or mix it up and make new rules, like two feet jump to 10, or hop low like a frog as you count! To play indoors, use tape on a hard floor and get creative!
Parachute Games… with a bedsheet!
Most adults remember the colorful parachute during our school days and the joy of running in and out before the bright tarp trapped us! This exciting game helps build balance and develop language skills, while also using upper body strength. Parachute games have endless possibilities for play and this particular version uses a standard bedsheet from your linen closet! Some ideas include having all the children stand in a circle or rectangle shape around the parachute (bedsheet) and have two children or adults on each side of the sheet. Then, lift the sheet up and down slowly, then fast, and challenge the children to crawl under it before they get trapped inside! Use the bedsheet to ride on and tow the children around. Don’t forget to make it into a fun and magical tunnel using some chairs and tables!
Who says you have to go to the expensive bowling alley to knock down some pins? This is one of the free preschool games that older kids love, too! Reuse old bottles (soda or water bottles work great) and place ten bottles in a bowling pin triangle. Use tape to create a starting line. Grab a ball and start bowling! Infuse numeracy by counting how many pins fall down each time. What happens if they roll the ball faster? If your bottles are too unstable, add some water and screw the tops on tight.
Hide and Seek
This childhood favorite invites squeals and giggles every time it is played! This game helps preschoolers practice a number of skills including patience and learning to be silent while being creative in choosing their secret location. Choose one child to be “it” and have them count to 10 out loud. Then, have the other children hide in a spot where they aren’t immediately visible. After the child who is “it” finishes counting, he/she calls out, “Ready or not, here I come!” and begins looking for the hidden children. The first person found becomes “it’ for the next game!
Through the Hoop
A whole new way to use hula hoops! If you’ve got some hula hoops lying around, grab them and get your preschoolers set up with this fun game. Lay the hula hoops on the ground and see if your preschooler can bounce a ball into one or two of the hoops. Or have a hula-hooping contest and see who can keep the hula hoop on their hips the longest! Hula hoop games are full of possibilities!
Circle Time Games
Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?
One of the most adorable free preschool games! Choose one child to be the doggy. The doggy will sit in the middle of a circle as the other children sit around. Find a bone (or any object to represent the “bone”) and give it to one child while chanting this song:
Doggy, Doggy, where’s your bone?
Somebody stole it from your home.
Guess who! Maybe you…
Maybe the monkeys from the zoo.
Wake up doggy, find your bone.
Have all of the children hide their hands behind their backs. When the chant is over, the doggy uncovers his or her eyes and gets three guesses as to which child has the bone. Whether the doggy gets it right or not, the person with the bone gets to be the next doggy!
Duck, Duck Goose
The perfect preschool game to get some energy out and get those little bodies moving! Your preschoolers will learn to take turns and be a good sport as they participate in this game. Have all the children except one child sit in a circle. The chosen child will walk around the circle, tapping each player gently on the shoulder, saying “duck” each time until they decide to tap someone and say “GOOSE!”
Then, the person who was selected as goose jumps up and runs to try and tag he/she before they sit down. If he/she makes it to the goose’s seat without being tagged, the goose is now “it”. If the goose tags “it” first, then the goose gets to keep his/her spot in the circle, and “it” continues tapping children until they make it to the seat first.
A classic preschool game designed to practice active listening! Start by introducing yourself as Simon. Invite the children to line up, sit down on the carpet, or sit in a circle. Simon calls out steps starting with the phrase “Simon says”: Simon might say things like, “wave hello,” or “touch your nose”. The children then have to copy Simon’s action, by waving hello or touching their noses. If Simon calls out an action without saying the phrase “Simon says,” the children must be still and not complete the action. If a child waves hello when Simon doesn’t say…he or she is out of the game. The last child left wins!
What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf?
This hilarious preschool game will have your children counting and giggling along with Mr. Wolf! Start by taping or drawing a line for the students to stand on. Going down the line, each student gets a chance to say, “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?” The wolf replies a random hour of the day, i.e “It’s 2 o’clock!” The children then take two steps, big or small, towards the wolf. The next child in the line asks, “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?” The wolf shouts out another time (ex: 7 o’clock), and the children take seven steps toward the wolf. All players must move toward or past the wolf even if it means they are very close to the wolf.
The children keep asking what time it is until the wolf decides to yell, “Lunchtime!” The children then run as quickly as they can back to the starting line as Mr. Wolf tries to catch them for a lunchtime snack!. If the wolf tags a child, that child becomes the next wolf or can join the wolf in the tagging fun during the next game. However, if the wolf doesn’t tag anyone, it remains the wolf until they do. If you want a less alarming version of this game, you can have the wolf shout “Bedtime!” and put the children to bed (lay on the floor) who get tagged.
This adorable preschool game will have your children acting and being oh so dramatic! Have the children sit in a circle. Play some lively music and have the children pass the potato (or a ball, bean bag, or anything you have on hand will do) around the circle as quickly as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep playing until only one child is left and wins the game!
Keep It Up
The game of Keep it Up is a fun lesson in gravity! Using a beach ball or a balloon, simply toss it in the air and try your best to keep it up! Don’t let it touch the ground! If you decide to play this game inside, clear the space and make sure children have a safe zone to play. Use this game to build their science skills… what do you notice if we add more air or take some air away?
Parachute Ball Play
Reuse that parachute bed sheet in this fun game! Put small lightweight balls in the center of the parachute or bedsheet. Invite all the children to gather around the parachute and hold on to the sides. If there are too many children holding the sheet, the other children can fetch the loose balls! With all the balls in the middle invite the children to “pop” the balls up by moving the sheet up and down rapidly. Watch the balls fly and the squeals begin!
Catch the Ball!
An important preschool skill is learning how to catch balls of all sizes. It may seem easy but it requires hand-eye coordination and concentration! To play the game, have the children line up on one side and the adult on the other. Start by rolling a ball (large or small) to each child. The child then has to run or walk it back to the adult and get in line behind the adult to wait for their next turn. The adult begins changing how they send the ball across. A gentle bounce, rolling fast, a gentle toss, and so on. A fun relay designed to improve coordination.
Kids of all ages love a scavenger hunt! The best part is that it’s easy to create and you can use anything you have on hand! Scavenger hunts foster concentration, following directions, and support transitioning from one task to the next. Using any theme or topic, (colors, numbers, letters, animals, etc…) leave clues or pictures inside or outside and get to hunting! Have your preschoolers use a clipboard and check off items as they go! Hide items low and stretch up high to make it super exciting!
Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Your preschoolers will shout with excitement as they embark on a search for treasure. To set up, write clues on some slips of paper and get creative. Use pictures or colors to help preschoolers find the next clue. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find. Then leave as many clues as you like around, inside or outside, making a path to the final clue. Plan for a prize or exciting item as the final clue!
Probably the most classic of all free preschool games! The game of I Spy has zero setup, entertains and teaches preschoolers, and can be easily modified! That sounds like the perfect game! It’s also a great way to teach and review academics including letters, numbers, colors, position words, anything you can think of! To play, simply say, “I spy with my little eye… the color blue!” Then, the children begin to search for objects that are blue all around. They will point it out as they find it until they have identified your object. It’s great fun and so useful for transition times as well as circle time!
We hope you enjoyed this list of free preschool games!