Preschool is a difficult and wonderful time for children. It is the introduction to life in society beyond home’s walls, where you learn mental and social skills to prepare you for the world at large.
However, this wonder and difficulty also extends to the teachers, as they must constantly not only corral and protect all the tiny children in their charge but somehow get them focused on learning without being too strict.
At first, this is easily done as teachers are trained professionals, but, considering the school year is about 200 days long, and you have multiple classes to teach throughout the day, they will eventually run out of ideas.
This is nothing to be ashamed of, and it happens to everyone, but it is trying for teachers as they are expected to bat 100 every time – especially by the children they teach.
With that in mind, we thought we would create a list of some of the best preschool classroom ideas to give you a break without worrying about giving a bad lesson.
Preschool Printable Games
Printed games and activities are some of the most useful to keep in your arsenal. Not because they are necessarily the most intuitive or the most dynamic, though they can be.
No, the reason is that you can have them saved on a computer and ready at a moment’s notice.
Say the class you planned has not materialized, and the class’s students are bored, in 5 minutes you can have an activity ready to go with printable.
Shape Match Game
This is one of our favorites. The teacher simply asks for a few pieces of paper and a marker, and gives each child a piece of paper.
Then she asks them to make a shape matching game using the papers. They take turns drawing shapes and then placing them on top of another until there is no more room.
If there is still space remaining, they place it on top of the previous shape.
The great thing about this game is that the students aren’t just copying what someone else does. Instead, they’re creating something new and original.
It’s like they’re making up their own rules and playing a game within a game.
Alphabet Egg Match Game
Another favorite of ours is the alphabet egg match game. First, you need eggs. These should be brightly colored, so they stand out from any other color of paper.
Next, you need to cut out letters of the alphabet in smaller pieces. Now comes the fun part: the teacher places the letter pieces around the edge of the eggs, one letter per egg.
When the student picks up an egg, they must find the corresponding letter. In order to do so, they must remove the egg from its spot and drop it onto the table.
Once they’ve found the correct letter, they may return their egg to its spot.
If a player finds a word before the end of the round, they win. If they don’t find a word, the next person takes over.
Also, if they lose an egg when returning it to its spot, they lose. The last person standing wins!
Count And Clip cards
We love this idea as well. Our version involves two types of cards: count cards and clip cards. A count card is a regular card with numbers written on it.
A clip card is a card with a hole punched through it. The number of holes represents how old the clip card is. Each kid gets a set of both kinds of cards.
The kids are asked to play a guessing game where they try to guess the age of the clip card. To begin, they hold the clip card up against the front of the face of the other player.
They look at the number of holes on their clip card and try to figure out which one matches. The first person to guess incorrectly loses.
This continues until only one player remains. He or she wins the game by being the oldest clip card in the pile.
Clip cards are great for teaching math skills like addition and subtraction. They also help children learn the concept of time and counting.
There are countless ways to teach these concepts with clip cards, but we think this is one of the easiest.
Trace And Count Number Cards
These are similar to clip cards but instead of a hole punch, the cards are printed with numbers such as 1-10.
You can use these cards to practice writing numbers, learning times tables, or practicing basic math skills like subtracting.
Motor Skill Games
These games are designed to help your students learn to use their motor skills more easily.
Children at this age don’t have the fine use of their limbs or delicate abilities that adults and teenagers do, so helping them practice these will aid them later on, especially with handwriting.
Color Matching Stickers
This activity helps students develop visual distinction skills. Children learn to distinguish colors based on differences between shapes and patterns.
For example, if you place a red triangle on top of a blue square, then a green circle, the child would know that the shape was different because of the color of each piece.
In this activity, the teacher creates a large puzzle board. On the board, there will be four categories of shapes and three categories of colors.
Students are instructed to work together to create a puzzle that has all the shapes and colors on the board. They’re given ten minutes to complete the puzzle.
During this time, the teacher watches over their shoulder to ensure they’re working together and not competing.
After completion, the students are allowed to take the puzzle home to show their families.
Number Matching Board
The same principle applies here. Kids work together to match numbers with symbols. The teacher may choose to include a few words to help guide the students along while they draw.
For instance, “one” could be a picture of a single leaf.
Children need to be taught how to solve puzzles at a young age. These activities help teach problem-solving skills and encourage cooperation.
Memory Matching Game
Some people might say that this sounds too easy for preschoolers, but we disagree. We believe that this is an important part of early childhood education.
The goal of this activity is to make sure that children understand the basics of memory. When they start kindergarten, they’ll be able to recall information from day one.
They’ll remember what happened during recess and lunchtime. That’s why it’s crucial for them to remember things like their friends’ names and faces before they leave school every morning.
This type of activity teaches the importance of organization. It encourages children to keep track of their belongings and organize them in order.
In fact, many parents who enroll their kids in preschool often ask teachers for advice on how to organize the kids’ rooms.
Color Sorting Game
Color sorting games are great for teaching kids about opposites. If you put two pieces of candy in front of a kid, he or she will most likely pick up the sweet and ignore the sour.
But when you mix the two candies together, they tend to eat both. This is because they’re opposites. They’re diametrically opposed. One is sweet, and the other is sour.
You can play this game with your preschooler by putting several types of candies into a bowl. Then, have your child select a favorite flavor.
Next, have him or her sort the candies according to that flavor. Put the candies into separate bowls. Have your child try to identify which flavors go together.
Sensory Classroom Games
Sensory games are of crucial importance to children. The senses are the way that people understand and interact, and it is very important they understand what the different senses feel like.
In this game, children must use their hands, eyes and ears to collect items.
The teacher gives each student some materials and instructs them to find as many objects as possible within five minutes.
Once everyone finishes collecting, the teacher will give out prizes based on how much each person collected.
Children are given small jigsaw puzzles. Each piece of the puzzle should look similar.
For example, if the puzzle consists of only squares, then all the squares should have the same color.
However, there should not be any colors repeated throughout the entire puzzle.
When they finish assembling the puzzle, the teacher will show them how the completed puzzle looks like. Encourage your child to see how the puzzle was made.
You can also tell them about how the puzzle was made, such as through cutting shapes out of paper and gluing them back together.
Pipe Cleaner Magnet Play
The pipe cleaners come in handy when making these simple magnets. Kids love being able to create their own toys.
And this toy is easy enough for even young children to make themselves.
Simply cut the pipe cleaner into sections with scissors. Use tape to attach the magnets to the ends of the pipe cleaners.
Then they can use the cleaners as they like, moving them across magnetic surfaces or putting them into all sorts of shapes.
Multiple Position Games
These are also games that help with motor skills, but they are mostly about learning to control all the muscles of the body to a fine detail.
Shape Sort Sticky Wall
Children need to learn how to stay organized. When they get older, they’ll need to know how to keep things tidy. So, teach them early on how to do that now.
This is one of the best activities for helping kids become better at organizing.
By placing sticky tape on the back of shapes and placing them on the right sections of wall, they can learn about how to sort things easily.
Catch And Release Game
Here’s an activity that helps kids develop their ability to follow directions. First, give each child a box of crayons. Then, place the boxes in a circle around a table.
Tell the kids to put the crayon away once they’ve finished using it. After all the crayons are gone, let them pick up the boxes again.
Give them new boxes of crayons and repeat the process. If you want to add more complexity, ask the kids to put away the crayons first before picking them up.
If your preschooler loves finger painting, then you’re going to love this game. To start off, gather supplies: paintbrushes, containers, cups, plates and sponges.
Ask the kids to sit down at separate tables. Then, encourage them to choose a color and begin mixing it on their plate.
They must use only their fingers to mix the colors. As soon as they’re done, they can transfer the paints onto their container.
There are a lot of games you can try for preschoolers to help them learn and get to grips with life in our society. The best thing you do when thinking of games for these kids to play is how you can make them fun and safe.
No matter what you do, no game is going to be truly safe from a bunch of kids, so just take mitigating steps to avoid disaster. Most of all, make sure your students are having fun while learning.