Preschoolers are at an age in which they are typically social and are beginning to enjoy playing with other children. They are much steadier on their feet which enables them to participate in basic gross motor skill games and follow a simple instruction to play along.
Practicing Skills There may be parents or other educators that are not aware there is a lot of developmental growth that happens through playing games. Being aware of what skills you are working on during games can help you to plan and help others understand that even though the children are playing, they are also still learning valuable lessons.
It is important to remember that all kids are different and learn at a different pace. Some children may be ready to count the spaces as they move their game piece, play games that involve winning and losing, read some of the words on the game board, or follow the rules to the game. While many of the preschool age children will find rules, and winning and losing frustrating instead of enjoyable. Remember to keep it fun and to bend the rules or focus less on who wins and who loses so that everyone enjoys the game.
Games with preschoolers will typically not look as structured as they would with school-age children. A casual observer may see the slight change of rules and imagination that is shaping the game and think that it looks a bit chaotic. However, these changes are simply evidence that learning is taking place and the children are shaping this experience into something more familiar or fun to them. As long as the children are learning and practicing skills, they should also be enjoying themselves!
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