Young students play educational games with a globe

Printable Activities for Early Childhood Education

You know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” right? It’s obviously necessary for children to soak up as much knowledge as possible during their early educational years, but it’s also essential for them to play games and have fun with their siblings or friends. Through educational games and solid teaching techniques, you can have the best of both worlds by combining learning activities with fun games, and your children will barely even notice that they’re learning something.

For Teachers

For Kindergarten: Spelling Balloon Game 

For each child, cut out a set of the alphabet letters below and print out one copy of the three-balloon graphic. Either speak aloud or have the children read simple, three-letter words, such as, “cat,” “dog,” “bus,” and more. Then, the children can find the letters they need and spell out the words by placing the correct letters inside the balloons. You can turn this game into a friendly, timed competition and have small prizes, like stickers or bouncy balls for those to spell out the words first and correctly.

You can find the printable version of this activity here.

For First Grade: Time-Telling Easter Egg Game

Just because you’re using Easter eggs for this game doesn’t mean you can’t have your kids play it all year long. Grab a bunch of different-colored, plastic Easter eggs and separate the top and bottom pieces. On all of the larger, bottom pieces, tape or glue on one of the analog clock graphics. Then, attach the digital format (12:45, 9:00, etc) graphics on the smaller, top pieces and have the children match the digital and analog times together. So the kids don’t just match the egg colors together, be sure to have each corresponding time written/drawn on different colored eggs.

You can find the printable version of this activity here.

For Second-Third Grades: Spiral Multiplication

Kids love card games, so you can get them interested in multiplication by combining the two activities into a fun learning game. Make a spiral shape on the floor using a deck of playing cards and place two game pieces (Monopoly game pieces or similar) in the center of the spiral. Each player rolls a die, then multiplies the number on the die by the number on the card where their game piece is located. In order to move on, they must calculate the correct answer. The players take turns until someone reaches the end.

For Parents

For Preschool: Rock Paper Number

This is the perfect game if you have more than one child who is learning to count and recognize numbers. All you will need is a sheet of paper and a pencil. Write down the numbers from zero to ten and have your children play “rock, paper, scissors,” except replace “scissors” with “number.” Whenever “number” is said out loud, each child will hold up as many fingers as they want on one hand. Then, they count all the fingers and point to the correct number on the piece of paper. Whoever guesses it correctly first wins!

For Kindergarten-First Grade: Sight Word Jenga

While playing this fun twist on a classic game, your young children will be able to practice their reading skills and hone their social skills with either you or their peers . Before playing the game, write a different sight word on the side of each block, like “won’t,” “teacher,” “there,” etc. Once each child pulls a block, they have to say the word correctly before placing it on top of the tower. Play until someone knocks the tower over, then rearrange the words in the tower so that every word gets pulled at some point.

For Second-Third Grade: United States Bingo

Your child can learn basic geography about the United States, even if they don’t have the opportunity to travel while they’re young. Use this 5x5 bingo card with the shape of a different state in each square. For younger kids, you can write the name of the state under the picture, but if you want to increase the difficulty, have them guess based on picture alone (obviously don’t use states like Colorado and Kansas). Call out names of different states, and if your child has the state on their card, they can place a coin or a piece of candy over it. Continue until your kid has five in a row.

You can find the printable version of this activity here.