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Games for Preschool Children

group of happy preschool students, raising their hands

Here's one of our favorite games for preschool children.  We think you'll agree that it's easy to organize, and fun to play! We also think you'll agree that kids will be learning important skills while they play!

It's never too early to start teaching letter sounds and names. That's why we're including these simple activities here!  Check out the links at the bottom of the page for more preschool games.

A Pickle or a Tickle?

big green pickle

Skill: Auditory discrimination
Players: Whole class, divided into two teams
Supplies: Several simple objects like the ones mentioned below. Focus on initial consonant sounds

To play:
1. Hold up a pickle. Ask students, "Is this a pickle or a tickle?"  After the kids quit laughing, ask one of them to explain the difference in the sounds of the two words. Ask another person to explain the difference in the meanings of the words.

2. Ask Team 1 to name 5 words that begin the same as pickle.  Ask Team 2 to name 5 words that begin the same as tickle. Award 1 point to each team that successfully completes this.

3. Hold up another object and continue in the same manner. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins. Since both teams are likely to earn the maximum number of points, reward the whole class with a small treat, maybe even a pickle!

brown teddy bear

Examples of  other rhyming questions/objects to use:

  • Bear: Is this a pear or a bear?
  • Pen: Is this a pen or a ten?
  • Dish: Is this a fish or a dish?
  • Mug: Is this a mug or a rug?
  • Bat: Is this a bat or a cat?
  • Penny: Is this a tent or a cent?
  • Corn: Is this a horn or some corn?
  • Nail: Is this a nail or a pail?
  • Jar: Is this a car or a jar?
  • Bag: Is this a rag or a bag?

You get the idea, right? After several rounds of this, encourage the children to find an object in the room and make up their own similar questions. Or, as them to bring something from home, and get the whole family involved.

There are lots of ways to play games for preschool children!

You may also be interested in the worksheet What's Last? in which kids need to say the names of some common objects and identify their ending sounds.

More Games for Preschool Children

Stand Up, Sit Down - Here's a different twist on the same idea. You and your kids are sure to love this game that asks them to listen and move!

Consonant Clues - A perfect companion activity to the one at the top of this page! Kids listen carefully and try to guess the mystery object.


Letter Lane - A phomenic awareness board game that features beginning consonant sounds for the letters b,d,f and m. No reading is necessary.

ABC Pop Up! Super-simple classroom activity to practice saying the letters of the alphabet in order

alphabet phonics booklet

You may also be interested in:

Alphabet Phonics Booklet - A printable booklet for each child to customize! Kids will trace letters, color and add their own own pictures for each letter of the alphabet

Don't miss these Phonics Activities, Games and Worksheets!

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  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. PreK-K
  3. A Tickle or a Pickle?


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