Children in the age group of 2 to 5 are a powerhouse of energy, bursting with enthusiasm and curiosity. And while it can get on your nerves sometimes; as parents, we should never try to suppress this fire. It only needs to be channelized in the right manner. The best way to keep your active preschooler gainfully occupied is by engaging him in educational games and activities.
Educational games that are fun and improve your child’s reflexes help him to learn the play-way. Check out this list of creative and interesting games to keep toddlers busy and become your child’s favorite!
Games and activities to play at home
Sorting and matching
You could build various different types of sorting and matching games. For example- you can give your child a bowl of black beans and chickpeas, then ask him to separate the two in two different bowls. If he’s already going to nursery, you can give him an assortment of blocks in different shapes and colors. Then, ask your child to organize the blocks into groups, according to their colors. Once he clears this, ask him to build a house for each group, using blocks of the same color. The next day, you could have him separate them based on their shape. That way, he will not only stay gainfully occupied, he will also learn colors and shapes.
Hide and seek, throw ball, sack jump, frog jump, jump rope etc. are some common indoor games to play with kids. If you lack the time to supervise, you can allow him to play games on the computer that exercise the mind- there are a variety of matching games, memory games, rhymes etc. that are educative as well as fun for your child.
Helping around the house
Kids love to feel important. And when you assign them a job and make them responsible for it, they get the feeling of “being important”. Small tasks, like watering the plants or filling water into bottles, setting out the table or drying plates can keep them busy, while teaching them a lot of values.
All kids love a little jig- Turn on their favorite music and watch them groove to them. It’s a nice pastime, doesn’t require supervision, and keeps them happy.
This is one of the games and activities at home you can try if your kid is super-naughty and hyperactive. Some kids just don’t seem to get tired. Try this. Use different objects in your home, stools, low chairs, selected toys, boxes etc. to build a hurdle race for your kid. Have the hurdle string run across rooms for more impact. Then open the race and let him jump hurdles to reach the finish line. Kids simply enjoy this- and while it means a lot of physical activity for your growing child, it will also ensure you can put him to bed on time! Similarly, you can also design ladder or climb games- where he could be climbing from one box to another in order of their increasing height.
This is one of the educational games for preschoolers that keep kids engaged for long. Initially, your child may build no more than endless stretches of long “roads” that stretch from one room to another. But as he explores them more and more, you’ll be surprised at the variety of shapes and figures he can come up with. Play with him a couple of times to give him some ideas and watch his creativity slowly unfold!
If you’re looking for educational games for your kindergarten kid, you can consider buying flash cards from the market or even make them at home. They are small cards that have an image on one face and the related concept on the other face. So if you want to teach your kid words that begin with A,B,C,D…, you can design cards with an apple on one face and the letter A on the other.
Games and Reading Activities
Kids enjoy listening to stories. You can either narrate stories or read together from a story book. Interactive books that also feature activities or pop-up books are extremely exciting for kids. But even the regular illustrated books can open a world of wonder and amazement for them.
Depending on how old your kid is, you can engage him with the right set of puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles that come in three or four big pieces are ideal for your two year old. Nine-piece puzzles are ideal for 4 year olds and so on.
Drawing and Painting Games for kids
Give your child some paint (if he is too unpredictable, maybe just one or two colors at a time!), a paintbrush (or if you’d be more creative, you could have him use his palm, fingers or potato and okra pieces) and a sheet of paper. Then watch him enjoy his liberty and you’ll be surprised at the amazing patterns he can come up with!
Cutting and Pasting
Holding and maneuvering a pair of scissors improves hand grip. You can give him some old newspaper, a big bucket and have him cut the newspaper in small pieces and dump them in the bucket. That way, he stays engaged without messing the house. If you’re into building paper Mache, then you could actually borrow some help with paper cutting. You could also have him cut pieces of colored paper and stick them onto a big sketch ( of an apple or a ball, etc.!) Such games and recreational activities help improve motor skills, while keeping your kid occupied.
Give him a slate and chalk or an empty sheet and pencils or crayons, and have him scribble whatever he wants to. Gradually he will himself develop the adult pencil grip, and be able to write more meaningful letters or draw shapes.
Try out these educational games for kids and watch your child learn and grow!