4 Dec
Posted in: parenting
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Favorite Games for Preschoolers

We’re a board game and card game loving family. Having children ranging from 4-11 years of age makes it a little tricky to find games everyone is willing to play and more importantly, enjoy. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite games for preschoolers, just in time for Christmas shopping. These are games that all six of us willingly play and are easy for our 4-year-old to join in with us.

  1. Tumblin' Monkeys gameTumblin’ Monkeys — Colored sticks are randomly placed through a plastic tree and a pile of plastic monkeys are put at the top of the tree. Players take turns rolling a die with colors that correspond to the sticks. Once you roll a color, you pick a stick of that color to remove. Monkeys come tumbling down the inside of the tree. The players who has collected the least amount of monkeys wins. All four of our kids adore this game and played it for almost an hour over Thanksgiving break.
  2. Captain Bones Gold gameCaptain Bones Gold — A skeleton hides inside a treasure chest on an island while pirate pieces carrying gold coins make their way around the chest. Players take turns on a spinner to see how many spots they move their pirate. After each turn, players push a button and the skeleton pops out. The thrill of the game is anticipation of where the skeleton will reach. If his magnetic hand grabs your coin, you head back to the beginning of the game. If your kids like to be surprised, this is the game for them. You can feel the tension in the players each time someone pushes the button to release Captain Bones.
  3. Hi Ho! Cherry-O gameHiHo! Cherry-O — Up to four players take turns with the spinner trying to nab 10 cherries from their tree for their basket. I know from experience that this game is like Candyland. The preschool set will play it over and over, and over and over.
  4. Don't Spill the BeansDon’t Spill the Beans — Players take turns placing a bean on top of a wobbly pot. The goal is to not place the bean that spills the pot. The first player out of beans while the pot is still full, wins. This game is great for teaching control and a great way to introduce the idea of being gentle.
  5. Pop-up Pirate gamePop-Up Pirate!
    — A pirate is hiding in a barrel waiting to jump out at unsuspecting players. Players take turns inserting swords into the barrel. The first player out of swords wins the game. I jump every time this silly pirate leaps out of the barrel. It almost doubles as a strange take on a memory game as well. Players either attempt to find the spot that made the pirate jump or avoid it like the plague. You never know which sword slot is the one that causes him to leap.
  6. Squiggly Worms gameSquiggly Worms — There are cards that correspond to colored worms in an apple. Players set a timer and try to acquire the worms on their card before time runs out and the worms stop squiggling. We don’t normally play this game by the rules. My daughter and I like to see who can get all the worms out the fastest or put them back in the quickest.
  7. Slap Jack card gameSlap Jack — This card game works well for different ages and is sold in several varieties. Each stack of cards has a card that, when it comes up on the pile, players want to slap. When you slap the pile, you get all the cards. The player with all the cards wins the game. This card game is the first one I taught each of our kids to play. It’s perfect for practicing eye-hand coordination.

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