At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3. It grows to 90% by age 5.
If we don’t begin thinking about education in the early years, our children are at risk of falling behind by the time they start Kindergarten.
How are you going to keep your kids’ brains sharp? Learning is not limited to schools, books or boring activities. Here are 12 of the best brain games for preschoolers that you can have fun doing together with your child.
The basic shapes, circles, square, triangles and rectangles, can be found everywhere in our homes. A great way to teach your kids how to recognize these shapes is to ask what they are as you go about with your everyday chores. Pick up a round plate and pretend to forget what shape it is, “ Mm I don’t know what shape this is. Do you know?”
This is great for toddlers and preschoolers. It is so simple, yet it keeps little brains and hands working. All you need for this game is a roll of tape that’s easily removable, like painter’s tape. Find something your little one can reach. Place strips of painter’s tape on the floor or on a table, chair or bench. You could even do this outside on a porch or deck
The goal here is simple. Remove each piece without ripping it. The activity engages your child’s brain and fingers in some fun fine motor work. It is surprisingly fun for little kids to try to pull up the tape. They have to figure out what is the best way to grab it, to tug on it, the angle and force to use so that it comes up in one piece.
Odd One Out
You don’t need educational resources or electronic devices to get your preschooler’s brain working. This is also a game the whole family can play together, regardless of ages.
Begin by naming three items, two that are connected in some way and one that is not and ask your child to choose the odd one out.
For example: pickup truck, car and motorbike. Pickup trucks and cars have 4 wheels and a motorbike has 2. An apple, an orange and a baseball. Two are fruits, so the ball is the odd one out.
Building Blocks boosts imagination and stimulates creativity, aids social-emotional growth, helps develop engineering skills, teaches kids about gravity, leverage, size, shape, weight and balance. They are also the most easily available toy anywhere. Make shapes and designs and ask your child to copy what you did. From shape and color recognition to creativity and mind stimulation, all facets of the child’s development are exposed.
Puzzles are one brain game that ticks all the right boxes, from hand-eye coordination to logical reasoning. The earlier you start the better for your child’s development
Children experience a huge confidence boost that comes from completing the puzzle which results in better self-esteem.
Teacher-student, doctor-nurse, the options are endless. Role play is an important part of child development, as it builds confidence, creativity, communication, physical development and problem solving. Along with being a fun activity, it also allows children to get into character and act out real life roles or fictional performances.
This game can also help set the right moral tone for your kids that will benefit them while dealing with society and adjust to the environment better.
Rhyming Pairs also known as Hink Pink is a pair of rhyming words that matches a silly definition. One person thinks of a silly definition and the other player then must guess the “Hink Pink.” For example, if one person says, “rabbit that tells a joke”, the other player responds “ funny bunny”, or “angry boy“, becomes,”mad lad“, or “wet canine” becomes “soggy doggy.”
If everything is expressed only by a single word in every situation, life would be boring. Luckily, we have synonyms to convey the same message in various ways. Choose a simple word like “amazing.” Think of as many synonyms as you can, example”incredible, unbelievable, astonishing”. You can set a timer and trade off with different words, or write words down and see who can come up with the most.
Choose any letter of the alphabet. In 30 seconds say as many words that start with that one letter. You could also limit the words by category. For example, vegetables that start with the letter “c” – “carrots, cucumber, cauliflower” etc.
Count backwards from 20 or say the days of the weeks, or the months of the year, in backward order as fast as you can. Use a stopwatch to see who can go the fastest.
This simple game can easily be adapted to suite your child’s current interests and other fun themes. You can start by asking a question about a specific attribute (see some examples below) and your child can call out as many responses as he can think of. If your child is fascinated by animals:
- How many types of big cats can you name?
- How many animals can you name that have patterns on their bodies?
- How many animals can you name that eat meat?
- How many animals can you name that eat leaves?
- How many insects can you name that have wings?
- How many crawling insects can you name?
This fast paced game simply asks kids about their preferences between two things :
- “What’s better, oranges or strawberries ?”
- “What’s better, strawberries or peanut butter?”
- “What’s better, peanut butter or chocolate?”
- “What’s better, chocolate or ice cream?”
The theme you choose does not have to be food. You can choose TV shows, superheroes, sports, books, anything you wish. Asking your child about the different choices he makes can provide lots of insight into his individual personality and preferences.
Please note that performing some or all of these brain games for preschoolers will not grant your kid an instant increase in brain power. Brain power develops gradually throughout childhood until adolescence. Even the simplest of activities requires sustained attention that can play a great role in shaping your kid’s brain if they enjoy it. What all these activities have in common is they are using their minds, bodies and senses at the same time and figuring out how to use them to make things happen. That is the most important goal. So, choose the games that your little one loves playing and have fun!
You may also have other games not featured on our list that your little one enjoys. Please comment below. We will love to hear from you.