Playing word games is a fun and educational way to boost your child’s language skills during a walk, on a car ride, or while you’re making meals. These word games are sure to keep your preschooler entertained and excited to learn!
Turning learning opportunities into games is a great way to boost your child’s brain development! Research shows that when children learn through games, different areas of their brains work together at the same time. This is often called active learning, and it’s proven to be great for brain development and increasing memory.
Learning through games also helps your child become more comfortable with the process of learning as it helps them learn how to bounce back from mistakes in a fun, low-stress way. If they mess up while playing a word game, it’s no big deal—you can just start a new game. This helps boost their confidence as a student so they view learning as fun rather than stressful. This positive mentality will benefit them throughout their life.
Here are a few different games you can try to see which ones are your child’s favorites:
I Spy: This timeless classic challenges children to use their skills of observation and their descriptive words. To play, find an object in the room and give your child clues about the object’s color, size, shape, and other noticeable characteristics until they correctly guess the object. For example, you might say, “I spy with my little eye something that is green.” Once they guess correctly, it’s their turn to pick an object and provide clues.
The Categories Game: This game gives you a great opportunity to teach your child some new words and challenge their memory. Start out by coming up with a broad category, like animals. Then take turns naming different animals until an animal is repeated or you run out of names. Bonus learning opportunity: Give the name of animals your child might not yet know. This gives you the chance to teach them about an exciting new animal they didn’t know existed.
Visiting the Grocery Store: If you’re looking for a big memory challenge, the Grocery Store game is a great one. For this game, name something you would buy at the store, like milk. Your child will then repeat that word and add something else, maybe apples. Keep going until one of you can’t remember or messes up the order of items on your list. You can add a twist to this game by visiting a different place, like their classroom, and naming items you’d find there.
Odd Word Out: This brain teaser will challenge your child to think about patterns and categories, which is great for brain development. For this fun game, list three words that go together and one word that doesn’t match the pattern. For example, you might say lion, tiger, bear, and bicycle. Ask your child to pick the word that doesn’t fit with the others and see if they can explain why that word doesn’t match. Once they get the hang of the game, see if they can give you four words to guess which is the odd one out.