Word Games for Pre-Schoolers

I love board games and word games – I like a mental challenge (not quite as keen on the physical, but we can’t all be into everything, can we?!). I know there are hundreds of great word games out there, and you will find me still playing some of them with my brother on occasion, as we do like them! I favour 20 questions, personally, though each to their own ;-).

Now this being the case, I’m keen to pass on this love to my children and I cannot be alone in occasionally, just occasionally, wanting my ridiculously energetic three year old to sit still? And, more importantly, I think, to allow me to sit still. So whenever I need these brief moments of respite in my day, we will play a selection of word games. We’ve been playing these since she was very young, and we’ve made them up or adapted them from games I used to enjoy when I was little. All are very popular with her, so I thought it’d be worth sharing them in case you need those moments, too…

Spot the Colour

As simple as it sounds! We look out of the window, inside the room or around the garden, and ask the other ‘Can you see something that is blue?’ and so on. It came from a mash-up of an I-Spy attempt (18 month olds aren’t great at knowing what letter things begin with!) and developing her knowledge of colours.

What Fruit?5 word games

I made this up one day as I knew Boo loves her fruit and it was an easy game to get her working on describing and recalling. When it’s your turn, you describe a fruit, by it’s appearance, taste or smell, and the other person has to guess what it is. Now, I see no reason that you can’t substitute this one for vegetables, or pretty much anything else in the world, really, but this is what we do!

Name That Tune

A classic. We all know this one, I imagine (I always picture Tom O’Connor when I’m playing this, though I’m fairly certain that Boo does not…).You need to be well versed in children’s TV themes and Disney film songs for it to work here, which of course, I am.

animal soundsWhat Animal Says?

A great one for teaching and recalling animal noises. Fun to do, too. So, ‘what animal says..baa?’

What Book?

We take it in turns to recite a line from one of her many books and then we have to guess which book it’s from. This is my favourite of them all, and I never ceased to be amazed at her ability to recall so many of the words, and she instantly recognises the lines I share. I love encouraging my little bookworm 🙂

They’re all really easy, and I freely admit, not overly-innovative! They do keep her still for a little while, though, and I do enjoy seeing her mind whirring while we play. When she was smaller, they were great for testing her understanding, vocabulary and memory, and now that she’s nearing 4, they have become more challenging and obscure, stretching her that little bit more each time.

What word games do you enjoy with your little ones? We’re always looking for more to play!

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14 thoughts on “Word Games for Pre-Schoolers”

    1. Thanks. Such simple ideas, but she’s really enjoyed them since she was very young, and still likes to play them now 🙂

  1. We play I Spy with colours and we have just started playing ‘Guess the animal’. I use simple clues like, has four legs, lives in a kennel, says woof, it’s great for getting them to think. Not so easy for little ones to give you clues though!
    Hopping over from the weekend bloghop.

    1. Ah yes, we do guess the animal, too. Or guess the character goes down well, too – literary or TV – either works! As my daughter is nearing 4 she’s OK at the clues, though they were a little bit samey and obvious when she was younger! Thanks for sharing x

  2. I like the colour eye spy idea, so simple but I hadn’t thought of it before. Always good to have extra little games on hand to keep them from getting bored (and whingy!) It amazes me how much they retain from books, when reading stories to my daughter we have started pausing at bits to let her fill in, can’t believe how much she has memorised!

    1. Yes, we do that and it is amazing! I’ve heard her ‘read’ lots of books to her little brother, too, as she knows them all – it’s lovely 🙂

  3. Love these suggestions. I love an adjective game where you take it in turns to describe something until someone can’t think of any new words. Eg it’s a black cat, a fluffy cat, a nice cat etc.

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