Rhyming Board Game – FREE Printable

rhyming printables free Rhyming is one of my favorite literacy skills to work on with children because it’s fun and rhyming is a vital part of literacy development. When children rhyme they play sounds and apply their abilities to new combinations of letter sounds. Rhyming uses a lot of different skills like listening, distinguishing specific sounds (phonemes), and being able to break a word into syllables. Obviously rhyming is important but it’s also fun. I whipped up this super simple printable board game and was so pleased when it was as big a hit with my 4 year old as it was with my 8 year old. Finding an activity that they both love and is educational is like winning the lottery. You can print it out for FREE and get rhyming right now!

Print out the game board.

rhyming game free printable

Gather your materials. You will need the game board ( click on the image above, save, and print) , a die, and some game pieces. We made ours with some LEGO. I also love using a tray with games with dice because it gives my kids a fence for their insanely dramatic dice rolling. This is where I lose my cool , I know it shouldn’t bug me but when dice are flying everywhere I get cranky. The tray keeps it in and keeps me from wrecking the fun with nagging.

rhyming board game for kids free printable

How to play:

Place your game pieces on start.
Roll the die.
Move how ever many squares you rolled.
When you land on the square read the word and yell out a word that rhymes with it.
The first person to get to the end wins.

rhyming board game for kindergarten

They were off to a great start and the game was an instant hit. rhyming board game for prek

When one of us ( yes I was playing too) landed on a word both kids would call out more than one rhyme. rhyming board gameIt was awesome! rhyming board game FREE printable

Luck was on my side and I won, but they kept playing.rhyming free printable game That is a sure sign that it’s a fun game. My son helped his sister reading some of the words on the game board and the majority of the words I’d chosen were words she’d be able to read herself. This built her confidence while having fun and having her brother their to scaffold was a great switch from me being in the teacher role. board game for rhyming free printable

Need some more rhyming activities? Try these 9 Great Rhyming Activities.

rhyming lessons for preschool

DIY Emotional Intelligence Card Games For Kids

emotional intelligence game for kids  I take a lot of pictures of my kids and not just for the blog. I wanted to use these pictures to help my children develop stronger emotional intelligence especially reading other people’s emotions. This may seem like an easy thing to do ” Just look at how they are feeling.” but it’s not. Young children are naturally self centered and giving them playful ways to stop and think about not only how someone is feeling but why someone is feeling like that is a really worthy activity. I decided to use their own faces because they are familiar with them, I am not quizzing them on reading emotions I am just trying to build this skill and using something comfortable and familiar helps them get to the heart of the lesson. These emotional intelligence card games were a cinch to make, let me show you how!

For a similar activity for a much younger audience try our DIY Emotions Photo Book.

Gather your materials. You will need some photos of your kids will all sorts of emotions. You can use other family members or friends as well but I would stick to familiar faces. You will also need  glue, card stock, scissors, and contact paper if you want to make these last for more than a few rounds of games.feelings game for kids

To make the photos a uniform size I find the easiest way is to use an online editing tool like picmonkey.com ( no I am not working with them, just a huge fan) and make a collage with all my photos, then print out two copies so I have a pair of each. I made a collage of 16 photos and then printed two copies.Emotion Memory Cards

Cut them out and glue to your card stock. Make sure there is room between each picture so in the next step the contact paper has a spot to adhere.feelings activity for kids

Place the whole sheet face side down on a sheet of contact paper.emotions match game for kids

Cut out and get ready to play.

emotions cards for kids

Before you play go through all the cards with your kids. Talk about the emotions and ask them to choose 2 cards each to talk about. Ask them what they were feeling in the cards, ask them if they can mimic the face and how it feels to do that. talking about emotions game for kids

 

Game #1

 

Emotional Intelligence Memoryemotions and feelings game for kids

Shuffle and place all the cards face down.

Take turns flipping over two cards. If it’s a match yell match and then IDENTIFY the emotion on the card. The game doesn’t continue until this step is taken. Spend time helping them read the emotion if you need to. you keep the cards. If it is not a match you return them to the exact location where you got them.emotion game for children

Keep playing until there are no more cards on the table ( or floor) and whoever has the highest number of pairs in their hand wins.

 

Game #2

 

Emotional Intelligence Go Fish

Shuffle the cards and give each person a few. Place the rest in a messy pile in the middle.

emotions and feelings go fish game

The youngest goes first asking one other player if they have a specific card. *** This is an important part of the game*** They must as for cards with the emotions. ” Do you have me feeling frustrated?” or ” Do you have you feeling happy?” this is where they will practice the skills we want them to.

If no one has the match go fish. When the player pulls out the card from the pile they must identify the emotion on it if it’s a match, if not place it back into the pile.

The winner is the person with the most matches.

emotions

 

Books About Emotions

Pair activities with great books to deepen learning and understanding. All our book lists include affiliate links.

feelings by aliki

 

Feelings  by Aliki is a book full of vignettes about emotions. From simple ones that make it clear what the children in them are feeling and how readers could see the situation to more complex and less clear ones that give readers a chance to discuss and decide for themselves what the people might be feeling. I love this book. Neither of my kids liked it as toddlers or preschoolers though. My son started really liking it at about 6 because that was when he could really talk about it all with experience and empathy. We rarely read it cover to cover instead picking and choosing pages and diving into the topic they are covering. It’s not a sugary sweet book but it’s an incredible tool.

when sophie gets angry really really angry

When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang is a book I bought while teaching. I had a lot of anger issues in my classroom and we spent a lot of time reading books about anger to diffuse it. When I suggest this book to parents I often get ” Really , kids like this?” as a response because the book seems much simpler than their expectations. It is simple. It is basic and yes it does include Sophie running away from the house to go be by herself which is something not all parents like. It also doesn’t include any discipline for her outburst which is also something that I hear complaints about. Here’s the thing what kids relate to is feeling angry, doing something about it , and becoming calm.  I think Sophie has great self control , she knows that she needs to go be alone for a bit to calm down and then re-join the group. It’s exaggerated for effect but really this book is about learning how to stop raging not about encouraging it. Kids LOVE it. They relate and love knowing that after you calm down you can be welcomed back into the group.

the way I feel

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

For more books about feelings check out our full round up by clicking here. 

 

Benefits Of Board Games & 5 Great Games For Young Families

board games for preschool Every year we leave our yellow farm-ish house and get on the road to Oregon and go to the beach. While we are at the beach house board games are king! I think I have played 43 games of Candy Land so far and by the time this post is published it will be well past 60.

Board games are packed with lessons and the best part is that they don’t feel like they are so children who resist learning for learning’s sake are less likely to resist and jump in.They give families a chance to play together and for children to test the waters of competition in a safe place. They offer parents a chance to model losing gracefully which is not a skill children are naturally born with. I know that my son especially has been working on this for ages. Some intense children need more time and practice and even though at times the urge to pack up the game and scold them for being a poor sport may trump teaching them anything I encourage you to keep at it. Intense children take board games seriously and in my experience calm modeling goes further than it feels like and will pay off with persistence.

What children are learning while they play depends on the game but some more general skills and benefits of board games include  :

  • Taking turns.
  • Language development. The repetition in games offers parents many options to model proper pronunciation and for children to practice.
  • Developing fine motor  and hand eye coordination skills while moving small pieces.
  • Counting is part of most games.
  • Following a static set of directions – the rules don’t change.
  • Controlling emotions.
  • Connecting with those they play with.

Here are 10 of our favorite games with the main skills children learn while playing. The games are linked to amazon.com with affiliate links. The ages are the ages in which my children have really loved these games.

gamesforkids2

Cookin’ Cookies Card Game Was the very first game we played as a family. The object of the game is to gather the ingredients you need to make your cookie recipe while avoiding the dreaded rotten eggs. This game works on hand eye coordination as players have to slap the card they want with their spoon. It also works on matching the cards to the images on the recipe which is an early literacy skill that evolves from matching images to letters and then eventually words. My kids both love this game.  3+

gamesforkids4

Battleship  is a great game for school age children and requires players use reason and logic to play. Younger children can make wild guesses but I suggest you play with your child a few times explaining why you make the choices explaining the logic and strategy behind your decisions. It also exposes kids to grids and coordinates.  5+

gamesforkids1

Connect 4  is a favorite of mine and I like to adapt it ( for spelling here) but just as it is this game teaches patterning and forces players to think strategically looking at all their and well as their opponents possible moves. I love watching children stare at the game you can see their wheels turning! 4+

gamesforkids3

Candy Land is the perfect preschool game. It teaches color recognition but my favorite thing about it is that it helps teach children that there are blocks in the road sometimes. When a player is sent back that gives you and your child a great ( and not really painful) way to address being disappointed. I know it sounds funny to hear someone say ” Practice losing” but this game is a kind way to work on that. I also like to switch up the language used for the colors calling out ” Rojo” or ” Jaune” etc… to mix it up!  3+

gamecup

eeboo The Cupcake Game is another baking themed game where players are trying to gather all the ingredients required for making their specific flavor of cupcake. I adore this game because it’s so pretty! What I like about this one is that all the pieces aren’t identical and it requires that children think about which pieces fit!  The box says ages 5+ but my daughter played this easily at 3.

 

 

Roll a Rainbow Activity For Kids

rainbow activities for kidsNeed a break from winter weather? How about a game that is fun, easy to play and helps teach your kids about the order of the  colors of a rainbow. My kids have both known their colors since they were young toddlers but knowing the order they appear in the rainbow is tricky. Do you still say ROY-G-BIV to yourself in your head? I do. I don’t expect my kids to know the order off hand after a few rounds but they did leave with a clear understanding that the order is not dynamic and that the order is a pattern of primary and secondary colors.  If you don’t have Duplo on hand you can use pipe cleaners, pompoms, or paper and crayons and have your child draw the arcs. As you will see this simple rainbow activity for kids is a cinch to make and my kids were totally into it!

Gather your materials. You will need some Duplo ( or alternatives already mentioned) , a die, construction paper in the rainbow colors and tape. roll a rainbow color activity for preschool

Since the die only had 6 sides and we included indigo to make a proper rainbow I had my kids start with red as the 1st color and left it off the die.  I cut all the paper into squares and taped them on the die.build a rainbow game for kids

Time to play. Make a pool of colors and let the youngest roll first. I would usually do rock paper scissors to see who goes first but my daughter always chooses rock so my son always wins.

Roll the die and pick up the color you roll. If you roll a color you already have you do nothing. The first person to have all the colors of the rainbow wins.roll and build a rainbow game for preschool

My daughter was off to a great start.make a rainbow game for kids

It had her big brother very very worried. roll a rainbow game for kids

Then they tied it uprainbow game for kids and I had them both review the colors in order. I love this picture and the two of them speaking at the same time captures what it’s like at my house 75% of the time. learning the colors of the rainbow with a fun game

They both needed indigo – which was a nice to be stuck because it was the color they were the least familiar with and we talked about where it went at length. Finally someone ( can you guess who?) rolled it… and won. roll a rainbow game for preschoolWe played until my daughter also got indigo and they could both proudly display their rainbows . rainbow game

 

 

Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Math Games

tally mark math gamesLearning after school at our house has to be fast paced and fun. These math games are both. They are also a cinch to make and frugal too.  Subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount without counting. It’s not a skill most of us were specifically taught in school but in recent years it’s been added to most elementary math curriculums. As the name of my blog suggests I am not a huge fan of flash cards but for some things that require automatic recall they make sense. Subitizing is one of those skills that requires automatic recall but flash cards aren’t the only way you can work on the skill. Games like these are great too.

Gather your materials . You will need some sentence strips ( using the back side) , scissors, and a permanent marker.

tally mark math

Cut your sentence strips in half. I used 2 colors but you don’t have to. Draw a line down the middle of each card and a tally mark on one side , number on the other. These should not match. Let the marker dry completely before playing.tally mark dominoes game

The first game we played is a variation of dominoes. tally mark math gameWe placed one card on the table and split the others among the players. Then we took turns building by matching up the tally mark amounts to the numbers. tally marks game for kindergarten and first gradeThe first person that had all their cards down won. tally mark & digit dominoes

The next game was my son’s favorite. It’s a head to head speed game. Here are the instructions: Shuffle the cards. Place two down so the tally mark is facing the finish line ( in our case the end of the table) . Place the other cards in a pile face down and flip. When a match is made place it down end to end and keep going. The first person to reach the finish wins. tally mark speed racer

Practicing math at home does not need to be extra worksheets all the time. Make these simple games and you can play and practice at the same time.

math games are fun