Make Early Learning Fun
Want playtime to pay off? We've got 16 fun educational games that'll set your tot up for success in preschool, kindergarten, and beyond.
Rainbow plates: Age 2
Snag a package of white paper plates (basic, not coated). With your child, paint eight of them a different color each, emphasizing the color name. After they dry, bring him to the kitchen to see if he can put fruits and veggies on the right plates based on their colors. Then search the house for more items that belong on each plate. Two-year-olds love any kind of “I spy” adventure, Hughes says. Make sure you talk about all the different shades of each color, like lavender, aquamarine, peach, and forest green. If you don't have those colors around your home, just show your child what you mean with a big box of crayons.
Scene-stealing blocks: Ages 4 to 5
Hit the recycling bin and dig out colored flyers, catalogs, and old magazines. Look for animals, places (settings), and colors. Once your child has six of each category, help him glue them to the sides of three blocks: one for animals, one for settings, and one for colors. To play the game, take turns rolling the blocks and telling a story using the character, setting, and color that come up on top. A 4-year-old can think up funny stuff with a chihuahua, a hot tub, and something yellow.