Pre-school Games

Two--Four Year-Olds

pre-school games

Happily, the calendar year offers a multitude of occasions for pre-school games. Games, of course, play a prominent role in any get-together for this age group...homeschool and neighborhood parties, Moms'day-out and birthday festivities. What a joy to plan a great time for all!

Note: 1) All these activities can be adapted for the particular holiday or celebration.

2) Though some get-togethers are really for the older students, the younger siblings can have a great time, too! (Then we Moms will, too!)

3) Pre-school games are magical for the little ones. They love the rhythm and excitement and surprise--all operating within the security of a set of rules. At these ages, children beg for "just once more." So count on lots of repetition!


Traditional Games, favorites for generations
  • Ring Around the Rosy

    Youngsters join hands and go around in a circle, singing. On the last stanza, "all fall down" to the floor.

    Ring around the rosy
    A pocketful of posies
    Ashes, Ashes
    We all fall down!

    To get up again, some use this verse.

    The cows are in the meadow
    Lying fast asleep.
    Thunder, lightening,
    We all jump up.


  • Motorboat

    Children join hands and go around in a circle, chanting.

    Motorboat, motorboat, go so slow.
    Motorboat, motorboat, go so fast. (speed up a bit)
    Motorboat, motorboat step on the gas! (at top speed)
    (Children run in a circle until it breaks up.)

    Start over.

  • Duck, Duck Goose--Our oldest's daughter's favorite

    Children sit in a circle.

    Adult picks a child to be the first fox. The fox walks around the outside of the circle, gently touching the head of each participant while saying, ", etc. until he taps one child and yells, "Goose!"

    At that point, the goose jumps up and chases the fox around the outside of the circle.

    If the goose catches the fox before the fox can reach goose's spot, then the goose sits down in his place and the fox tries again.

    However, if the fox can get to the empty seat first, then goose becomes the fox for the next game.

  • Simon Says

    Adult picks a child to be the first Simon. The others line up, horizontally and widely spaced, in front of him.

    Simon gives an instruction for one action, such as bend forward, touch toes, twist, turn around, jump, etc.

    If he precedes the order with "Simon says," the others are to do it.

    If he does not say "Simon says," no one should do the movement. If anyone does, that child is out. (Simon tries to be tricky.)

    The last player left is the next Simon.


    Be prepared with several pre-school games. Play each as long as there is interest...and have fun!

    More Activities for the 2-4 Year-Olds

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