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21 Simple and Fun Games to Play with Kids

Need some simple games for kids that are quick and require very little planning?

Most games that kids play are very educational for them. Children can learn a variety of skills they need for the future with something as simple as a quick 5-minute game.

You may not actually see the learning taking place, but it is certainly happening.

Here are 21 educational, fun games to play with your kids at school or at home.

There’s a handy printable of educational game ideas in the Free Activity Pack below, so don’t forget to sign up for that too!

1. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is one of the top favourite games kids love to play. It involves jumping into squares where the marker lands.

Girl playing hopscotch game

It is very easy to set up and play once your kids get the hang of it. Read the rules of hopscotch to see how to play.

Hopscotch is a great way to teach children coordination as they try to jump into the correct box, and it helps develop balance. They also learn how to count as each square is numbered.

2. Catch

Grab a soft ball and practise throwing and catching the ball with your children. Use a harder ball with gloves for older children.

Simply toss the ball lightly so your child can catch it, and vice versa. Teach them the correct stance and how to throw properly.

Catch is a game that teaches hand-eye coordination and builds motor skills, both fine and gross.

Here are more ball activities for preschoolers.

3. Beanbag Toss

This is similar to catch, but with a few adjustments. The point of the game is to try to toss your beanbags into the holes.

You can either buy a board or make your own.

Bean bag toss board

Take turns and toss a set of 3 beanbags. Your score is calculated according to the hole your beanbag lands in. The higher number of points wins.

This is also a great game for hand-eye coordination. It will also help your children build strength.

4. Simon Says

Simon Says is a fun game to play with your kids that they will beg you to play again and again.

You can take turns being Simon, or just have it be you the entire time.

Start by giving an action command. Each time you say an action, if you say ‘Simon Says’ before the action, your children have to complete the action. If you do not say ‘Simon Says’, they must not do the action. If they do, they are out of the game.

The last person standing wins. This teaches your kids listening skills. It will also teach them motor skills, depending on the actions you choose to do.

5. I Spy

I Spy is a great game to play in the car. The rules are quite simple:

  • One person chooses an object.
  • That person says the phrase, “I spy with my little eyes something…” and then the colour of the object.
  • Take turns guessing what it could be.
  • The first person to guess it wins.
  • Then they get to choose an object.

I Spy will teach kids to listen to what others are saying. It will also help with their observation skills. They will learn to socialize better and take turns.

It is a simple game with lots of educational value.

6. Matching Game

Use a matching game set. Make sure there is a pair for each picture. Take turns choosing two different cards. If they match, you keep it. The person with the most matches wins at the end.

This game will help your children develop logical thinking skills. They also learn to focus on a particular task for a longer period of time. You can also find some that involve maths or language to help them develop those skills.

7. Board Game

My favourite board game to play with kids is Chutes and Ladders because it is fun and simple.

Roll the dice and go to the number of squares on the dice. When you land on a ladder, you climb up it, closer to the top. When you land on a chute, you must go down it. The first person to the top wins.

Chutes and Ladders game

This helps your children to learn their numbers and count as they make their way up the board.

Here are 10 other amazing board games for preschoolers.

8. Role Play

Kids love putting on plays and acting, so make it a fun game.

Together, come up with a play you both can act out. You can then practice and put on a performance for other family members or class friends later that day. Your kids will enjoy it, and so will you.

Role play teaches your children social skills, as most likely the play is about a relationship of some sort. It also is a great way to teach emotional intelligence and how to act in certain scenarios.

9. Musical Chairs

Musical chairs is another fun game to play with kids. Here is how it goes:

  • Put chairs into a circle, one less than the number of players.
  • Have a DJ start/stop the music.
  • Start walking around the chairs.
  • When the music stops, sit in a chair.
  • The person without a chair is out of the game.

This teaches kids to enjoy music, as well as gain social skills. They learn to be silly and have fun around different people. They also learn how to listen while completing a task.

10. Name, Place, Animal, Thing

This game is best played with older kids.

Start by creating sections for Name, Place, Animal, and Thing on a sheet of paper.

Then, one person randomly chooses a letter. You have 30 seconds to find a name, place, animal, and thing that begins with that letter.

To score, add up one point for each thing they found. The person with the most points wins.

For younger children, have them pair up with a parent or teacher who can help them think of words that begin with a letter, and then write on their behalf.

This is another great example of a game that teaches your children logical thinking. It allows them to use their brain and teaches them to think of vocabulary quickly.

11. Hide and Seek

Children love playing Hide and Seek. They love to hide, but they also love to find you as well. This game could go on for hours.

Count while your children hide. When you’ve reached a certain number, go find them. Once you do, switch positions.

Child playing Hide and Seek

This game helps your kids learn to count. It also is a great way to teach them to take turns and be patient while someone is finding them.

12. Twister

Twister involves a board with circles and colours. Spin the wheel to determine on which coloured circle your hand or foot will go. A person who loses their balance is out of the game. The last person on the board wins.

Twister helps kids cross the midline as they are constantly twisting their body. They also learn to balance better as some of the positions get a little tricky.

13. Broken Telephone

Broken Telephone is another fun one with older kids. Here is how to play:

  • Everyone sits in a circle.
  • One person comes up with a phrase and whispers it to the person next to them.
  • That person then whispers what they heard to their partner.
  • The last person in the circle says what they heard out loud.

The point of the game is to try to pass the message intact, all the way to the last person. It is a great way to teach your children listening skills.

14. Balloon Toss

For this game, choose a partner and take turns tossing the balloon back and forth. With each toss, one person takes a step back. If you drop it, grab another balloon and start over.

It is a perfect game to play on a hot sunny day.

This again is similar to catch as it builds hand-eye coordination. Kids also learn to manage how much force they need to propel the balloon forward, depending on how close their partner is.

Here are more fun balloon games.

15. Tag

Tag is an easy game to play that all kids enjoy.

One person is “it” and has to tag someone else. Then, that person becomes “it.”

There are multiple variations to make it more interesting, including freeze tag and so on.

Tag is a great chasing game that gets your children moving. It teaches them to balance while they run and helps with their gross motor skills. It is also a great social game to play at school during recess.

16. Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light is another game to help your children focus. Here is how to play:

  • One person is the caller and starts with their back turned to everyone else.
  • When the caller says ‘green light,’ everyone tries to run up to them.
  • The caller sometimes says ‘red light,’ and then must turn around and face the group.
  • Everyone then has to freeze. If someone moves, they have to start at the beginning again.
  • The person who reaches the caller first then becomes the next caller.

This game teaches a lot of things. First, it teaches kids to listen to what is being said. They also have to balance and control their bodies when someone says ‘red light.’

17. Puzzles

Puzzles are another easy and quiet game to play with your children. Choose a puzzle according to their age group, or you can make your own. Take turns piecing the puzzle together.

Puzzles are a great way to help kids develop logical thinking. They also are great for fine motor skills as the pieces are sometimes small for their hands. It can also help them with their letters or numbers, depending on the puzzle.

(Get your own set of printable puzzles here!)

18. Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, Duck, Goose is an active game.

Take turns being the person who goes around the circle. When you tap each head, say either duck or goose. When you say goose, that person has to run and tag you. If you sit down in their spot before they tag you, then you become the tagger.

This teaches kids to listen to what is being said as well as helps them to be more comfortable socially.

19. Volleyball with Balloon

This can be played in multiple ways, as well. It can be as simple as trying not to let the balloon fall on the ground or it can be an actual game of volleyball. Kids love balloons, so this game should keep them entertained for quite some time.

This teaches them to focus and control their strength as well as build their gross motor skills. It also is a great game for hand-eye coordination.

20. Squares

Squares is typically for older kids, as well. The rules are quite simple:

  • Draw up some dots on a paper.
  • Take turns connecting two dots at a time.
  • The point is to try to make squares.
  • If you make a square, put your initials in.
  • The person with the most squares wins.

This game is very strategic, so your kids will develop better logical thinking. It also will help them to better their pre-writing skills by working the smaller muscles in their hands.

21. Uno

Who doesn’t love a game of Uno?

Uno game cards

Deal out seven cards to each player. Then, one person starts by putting down a card that matches either the colour or the number of the card face down. When you have one card left, say Uno! The first person to have no cards left wins.

This game teaches children multiple things. It helps them learn their colours and numbers. They also develop logic in choosing one card over another.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas.

Here are more easy, fun games for kids!

Pinnable image - 21 fun games to play with kids

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Charlotte

Sunday 18th of December 2022

great ideas

Tanja Mcilroy

Sunday 18th of December 2022

Thanks for reading!

Melody

Monday 21st of December 2020

I ma using these for me and my little brother to play he loves playing them every day he don't play video games as much now.

Tanja Mcilroy

Friday 1st of January 2021

That's wonderful Melody. He's lucky to have a very special big sister!

Irene

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

very nice games for our kids

Tanja Mcilroy

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

I'm glad you like these Irene!

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