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Free Preschool Learning Games

playground swingset and the word "play"

Our free preschool learning games will help your youngster get a jump on those all-important sight words. Here is one of our favorites.  

Why do we like this one so much? Because it's so simple to prepare and so much fun to play! It teaches reading and helps build memory skills, too!     

CCSS.ELA-Literacy L.K.2c*  

What's Missing?

To play at home:

preschooler standing on hands, upside down

1. Choose 5 of these preprimer sight word flash cards at a time. Or make your own cards from this list:

a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

Note: For more sight words to use in this and other free preschool learning games, see our Dolch Word List.

2. Show the words to your child and have him read the words with you several times. Take turns thinking of sentences that use each word.

5 sight word cards

3. Then lay just 4 of the cards on the table. Have your child to read each word aloud. Then ask him, "What word is missing?"  When he correctly identifies the missing word, show him the card and have him read all five cards again.

4 sight word cards

4. Play this several times, omitting a different card each time. Also, "turn the tables" so that you are the one to name the missing word.

5. If you like, you can "keep score." Using paper and pencil, make a tally mark every time your child correctly names the missing word. When he gets 10 marks (or some other number of your choice), he has successfully completed the game.

6. Eventually add more word cards to your set, or make an entirely new set of 5 words.

To use in a classroom:

preschool girl leaning on desk

1. Make several different sets of 5 sight words on index cards. Use the words listed above or other words from our Dolch Word List. 

Place each set of word cards in a separate resealable plastic bag.

2. Assign pairs of students to work together on each set of words.

3. Explain how to play the game, following steps 2 - 4 above. Students should ask you for help in reading any unfamiliar words. They should always read the words together at the beginning of the activity, and use them orally in sentences.

4. Students may keep score as explained above. They should play until both partners have reached the desired score.

*Find more games and activities aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

smiling preschool boy

Use these free preschool learning games to build spelling skills!

Instead of removing one card from each set and asking, "What's missing," replace one of the word cards with a misspelled word. Ask, "Where's the mistake?"

For example, you could show your child these words:

Your child will point out that funy should be spelled funny.

Note: This works best when playing at home or when using the board with the whole class.

Use this simple idea to create your own fun, free preschool learning games!

More Preschool Games

Please note that we have lots more free preschool learning games. Make the learning fun, and make the fun worthwhile!

  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. PreK-K
  3. What's Missing?


Spelling Words Well logo

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