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Fun games to play with your pre-schooler

Tracey Walker
Tired of the same old games and looking for new ways to engage with your child? These games are a delight – for both of you!

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Studies have shown that pre-schoolers thrive on one-on-one attention from a parent. If you’re looking for new games to play with your child, we have the answer – these games are so fun, your pre-schooler won’t even know they’re learning all sorts of great skills at the same time…

Quiz games
Think of a few age–appropriate questions, like: “What do you wear when it’s cold outside?” or “What colour is grass?” Let your child choose the correct answer from objects you have laid out. For the first question you might have a warm scarf, and two summer items. For the second question you might have three pieces of different coloured paper. Discussing different choices will give you interesting insight into your child’s thinking patterns and help to develop their language skills. As they get the hang of the game, you can make it more difficult by asking harder questions or offering two options that are quite similar.

Animal antics
Set up a start and finish line, and ask your pre-schooler to get from one side to the other by imitating certain animal movements and sounds. This is bound to have hilarious results, particularly if you join in. This game is great for practising motor skills and learning all about animals. Muddle the animal with the sound occasionally, and see if they recognise the mistake.

Finish the story
Make up a story and let your child fill in the blanks “Once there was a little girl called­____? She had ____? for lunch and then decided to take a ____? to the market.” For the most creative answers, avoid leading your child or structuring the story too much. The more ridiculous the story gets, the more laughs you will be sharing together (while encouraging imagination and boosting language skills!)
 
Potato prints
Cut a potato in half and cut shapes out of the flesh side – you can ask your pre-schooler to choose the shape while you cut it out for them. Dip the potato into paint and stamp colourful shapes onto paper. Your pre-schooler will love learning about colours and shapes while using something they usually eat as a paintbrush. You can use the printed paper as wrapping paper for birthday and Christmas presents – your child will get a kick out of that too.
As we all know, pre-schoolers have lots of energy and short attention spans. It’s a good idea to let your child decide how long to spend playing a game – you can always return to it another day. Do you and your pre-schooler have favourite games you play together?

BabyGroup says...
This article has been checked by Dr Claudia Gray, Paediatrician. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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