These games for preschool that teach are a hit with kids. Plus, they are parent and teacher approved!
The problem with a lot of educational preschool games is that they are…overly educational. They focus too much on education that there isn’t enough fun in them either. Those types of preschool board games quickly get shoved to the back of a cabinet not to ever be used again.
That’s what I love about this preschool games list. It’s fun and educational preschool board games, cooperative games for kids, preschool card games, and just plain fun family games to do with preschoolers and older kids too.
Games for Preschool
Preschool Board Games
This is a perfect first game for a toddler! It’s super simple, and I mean that to be a very positive thing! It’s so simple, in fact, that the amount of learning packed in is truly amazing. There’s of early math skills with counting from 1-8, and also some basic science that some fruit grows on trees, trees only bear one kind of fruit, and birds eat fruit. PLUS there’s all the good learning that comes from playing games: taking turns, following directions, and processing the emotions of winning or losing. WHEW! All that from a super simple, super FUN game!
This preschool game is an oldie but a goodie! Children learn counting, turn taking, and spinning the spinner is possibly one of the best parts! I’ve played it with my preschool classes for years, and it is a perfect game for 3-year-olds or 4-year-olds.
Qwirkle is a game that can be as simple or complex as you like. That’s the beauty of it. When playing this game with three-year-olds and four-year-olds, they’ll catch on quickest to colors, shapes, and sorting. It’s a perfect game that teaches great math skills. However, it’s also one of those games that you could play with the entire family and see who has the best strategy to get six across.
Cooperative Games for Preschool
These games teach about cooperation over winning, which is a huge reason why we love them. These games for 3-year-olds and games for 4-year-olds will be ones that you pull out time and time again!
Hoot Owl Hoot is a long-time favorite game in our house. It is made by Peaceable Kingdom, a company that makes games that teach cooperation. It’s such a fantastic way to play a game! In Hoot Owl Hoot, everyone tries to get the owls to the nest. You work together to get all of them there before the sun goes down. To make the game easier, start with less owls on the board. To make it more challenging, have almost all the owls (or even all of them). My favorite trick is play cards with the same color as many times in a row. That way you get to fly over even more spaces in each turn.
Don’t get caught by the ogre in this preschool board game. As a team, you work together to get to the treasure before the ogres. There are fun components like a key, ogre snacks, and dice. Plus, you even get to make your own path to the treasure. This is a great board game for kids that you can play in a short timeframe and have fun at the same time.
Fine Motor Skill games
The concept is similar to Hi Ho Cherry O, but added learning makes it even better, if possible! No reading is required as you use a spinner to gather different colored acorns to fill your tree stump. But watch out for the storm, the sad squirrel, and the thieving squirrel that can all have an effect on your acorns! Fine motor skills are strengthened as you use the plastic tongs to pick up the acorns.
This game practically guarantees smiles and silliness all around! Kids work together to feed the Woozle all sorts of silly foods. Fine motor skills are strengthened as they balance the hilarious foods on a spoon, and it helps gross motor skills too with directed movements like “bunny hop,” “hula dance,” “spin,” and “walk backward.” This is truly a perfect family game for preschool children; they will ask to play again and again and laugh the whole time they play!
This card game for kids is so FUN! It’s easily scalable for different ages, making it a win with the whole family. Cards are drawn from various piles and combined to make a silly set of directions for the player to follow. Everyone will be up and moving around and cheering each other on!
Yeti in My Spaghetti is such a fun game to play with preschoolers. It’s super simple, but don’t underestimate the giggles. You build a nest of spaghetti noodles then stack the Yeti on top. Each person takes a turn pulling away one noodle until the Yeti falls into the bowl! We love that this teaches cause and effect, taking turns, strategy, and fine motor skills!
A classic! Insert the sticks into the tube to make a barrier for the marbles and then pour the marbles in on top. Players take turns removing the sticks while trying to not let the marbles drop! It works critical thinking skills in a fun and exciting way.
I call this one a “pre-dinner” game, as it’s a quick game that adults like too! It’s like CLUE but for kids. You turn over cards to reveal clues about the thief and then deduce which fox it is. There’s some dice-rolling involved, but no reading or math required. A great cooperative game that teaches some basic strategizing – got to outwit that thieving fox!
Family Board Games
I LOVE this game for preschool! I’ve never seen anything like it for building confidence. Players pick a card and then act out/draw/perform something silly. Then the rest of the players vote on their interpretation! I love how this game actively encourages kids to have the confidence to TRY things, and to learn to laugh at themselves! (Actually, that’s great encouragement for adults, too…)
Slapzi is one of the most fun card games for kids out there! It’s super simple that you could adapt this game for preschoolers, but it’s so fun that family members of all ages will enjoy it. Each player gets cards with a picture on each side. One person reads a clue card that describes something on the card. For example, it could say, “Something edible and yellow.” Everyone looks for a card that describes it, and the first person to slap (or place) a card that correctly describes the clue wins that round. This is a card game that we play over and over again and can’t ever seem to get enough of!
One game; endless applications for play and learning! The game comes with several suggestions on how to play at different ages and reading levels. Beginning readers can have a hard time remembering which letters often go together, and this solves the problem by providing lots of common letter combinations to use. Great for sight words, spelling practice, and a host of other fun literacy activities!
Like its older Spot it! cousins, this is a fun visual perception and matching game. There are so many creative ways to play! The basic concept is to find the one animal that two different cards have in common. (Sidenote that thinking about making this game makes my brain hurt – how can they make something match on EVERY CARD?! Magic.) They include 5 different play ideas, but the possibilities are endless: we’ve played in the car, at a table, in a waiting room, and in other crazy places!