Fun Games for Kids 5 and Under

Educational games that are age-appropriate will keep your child entertained while helping him or her reach cognitive and physical milestones. Keep reading for sample games that are suited for your child.

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What Type of Games are Appropriate for Young Kids?

Children under the age of five are ready to explore the world. They are born with a natural curiosity that helps them learn and grow. It is important to choose games that fit with your child's stage in development. Games that are too easy can impede your child's development and cause boredom. Games that are too difficult can cause frustration and may have an effect on self-esteem. The following games can be modified to fit your child's developmental age.

Puzzle Timer Game

Choose a puzzle that is age-appropriate for your child. There are many types of puzzles that coincide with a child's developmental age, for example, pieces with large knobs are geared for very young children. As your child gets older, there are large-piece floor puzzles and small-piece table puzzles.

Get a timer and set it to a reasonable time that you think your child can complete the puzzle in. The goal is to decrease the amount of time it takes to solve the puzzle. Be sure to start with a longer period of time at first to build your child's confidence, then make the time periods shorter. Tell your child to put together as many pieces as he or she can before the time runs out.

Puzzles build fine motor skills, which eventually develop into the ability to write and handle small objects. They also help with problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. If the timer makes your child nervous or anxious, leave it out.


Sorting will help your child build a good foundation for math, reading and science. When your child is very young, show him or her how different items, such as toys, cars or laundry, can be sorted according to shapes, colors or size. As your child gets older, have him or her sort various items and provide explanation for how the items were sorted.

Find a Color or Shape

This game will develop your child's cognitive abilities and also help with gross motor skills, which control large muscles and movement. Your child may also develop listening skills and the ability to follow directions. Say a color and have your child find as many items as possible that contain that color. Younger children may have to be carried around or can follow you around as you find items. This game can also be done with shapes.

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