# 7 Games for Kids Under 7

Kids under seven need simple educational games to play and learn from. The seven games below have directions that are easy to follow and will keep your child's hands and mind busy.

## Why Are Games Important?

Educational games are an important way that kids under seven learn social, cognitive and language skills. Hands-on games and activities allow kids to learn about the world around them in a fun and enjoyable way. Through the use of games, children learn to problem solve, explore and develop concepts needed to succeed in school.

### Pattern Tower

This game will help your child build fine motor and math skills. Get disposable plastic cups in a few different colors so that she can build towers with various types of patterns (AB, ABC, etc.). Challenge her to build the pattern tower as high as she can before it falls down. You may need to help younger children with their pattern tower.

### Sock Match and Shoot

This game will help your child develop gross motor skills and help with his matching skills. Get a bunch of unrolled socks and lay them in the middle of the floor. During each turn, a person will go and find a pair of matching socks. Once a matching pair is found, the player should roll the socks up and then throw them into the laundry basket. Play about five rounds and whoever has the most points at the end is the winner of the game. To modify this game for a young child, show him the matching pairs and have him throw the socks as far as he is able to.

### Sorting Apples

Use apples to help build sorting skills. Get red, yellow and green apples and cut them up. Have your child sort the apples by color and count how many she has in each pile (show younger children how to sort and count). If she is able to, have her graph the results. You can also do addition and subtraction problems with the apples. For example, you can ask your child if she has two green slices and one red slice, how many slices does she have total?

### Describe That Taste!

Have your child use his sense of taste with this fun game. Put a pretzel, a sour candy, unsweetened chocolate bar and a sweet cereal inside a large bowl. Have him cover his eyes with a blindfold and reach into the bowl to grab each item. Next, have him describe each of the foods that he tastes in detail. You may need to describe the different types of tastes to younger children so that they can associate the taste with the description.

### Measuring Cup Fun

Get a large bowl and fill it with water, sand or flour. Get another bowl and have her explore with measuring cups to learn basic fractions. For example, have her dump two 1/2 cups of flour in a bowl and then have her dump one cup of flour in another bowl and ask her if that looks like the same amount. Younger children can develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by pouring water into a measuring cup and dumping it into a bowl.

### Picture Puppets

Using a magazine, have your child cut out images of people and glue them onto large craft sticks to make paper puppets. Next, have your child put on a puppet show for you (or you can put on a puppet show for your young child). This will expand your child's imagination and dramatization skills.

### Sticky Note Hunt

This game will help your child with letter and sound recognition. Write the beginning letter of items that are in the house on the backs of sticky notes and place them on the objects. Have your child go around finding the sticky notes. When he finds one, ask him what the object is and what letter it begins with. He can check his answer by looking on the back of the sticky note. You may need to help younger children find the sticky notes.

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