If you have a preschooler that will be starting “Big School” this year then one of the skills that is useful to teach is turn-taking.

We love playing games to help our toddlers and preschoolers to learn to take turns.

From our FREE Printable turn-taking Games that let you play themed activities with your tot, to these classic games, you can buy and play together.

Games are a great playful way to support your toddler and preschooler as they develop their social skills.

Simple Games to play at home that promote sharing and turn taking helping to prepare your child for kinder in the fall

We started to introduce some simple games from Christmas this year – things that need J to take turns and wait as well as ones that he has to share the counters, ball etc in as well. Here are our favourites.

Discover how we helped our toddlers learn to share and take turns outside of playing games.

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Four in a row/Connect four


A simple game and lots of fun to play – taking turns is essential and with the different colour counters we found it easy to get J to take turns first – it was almost as if removing it from J’s turn our turn to the white’s go and the red’s go he was able to take turns. With the added bonus of counting and problem solving it’s a fun game for you and your child to play together.

Buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Soccer


Those little legs need an exercise and soccer is perfect for practising sharing and turn taking – kicking the ball to each other or even taking turns at aiming at the goal helps to develop a team spirit as well as prepare your child for starting school and games that they will encounter in the school day.

Buy a toddler/preschool sized set from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Pairs/Memory

Another fun game for taking turns – whether you buy a pack of flash cards, memory pair cards with your child’s favourite characters on or even make your own memory card gam.

You can work on turn taking with your child choosing which cards to pick and waiting for their turn – there is many sitting on hand moments in our house when J knows which card is the matching pair and wants to shout out (another valuable skill for little ones to learn is to not call out).

One of our favourites to play together is Orchard Toys Shopping Game available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Snap

We start off sharing out our cards – it’s a game we play often so there is a big temptation for J to share the cards out unfairly giving himself a bigger pile to put him at an advantage from the start but working on sharing out resources is another useful area for children preparing to start school and then take turns to turn the cards over. We tend to play with animal, letter or number cards that we have collected over the last year including ones that we have cut out from our favourite magazines.

Get a great set of children’s card games that include Snap, Donkey, Old Maid and Animal Snap from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Pop Up Pirate


We’re still fairly pirate mad after J’s birthday last summer and pop up pirate has been a great game for J to work on turn taking with him because it can be up to 4 players we’ve had fun with him and 3 of his friends playing together taking turns – again it has helped saying “red’s turn” etc…

Available to buy on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Hide and Seek

Such a simple game add in the element of taking turns counting and hiding and you can have fun from both sides, it’s also been a lot of fun getting J used to the rules and the idea of the game – I don’t know how many times I have been told “Go and hide under the table Mummy and I will find you”.

Looking for more inspiration of games to keep kids active like Hide and Seek why not try our Traffic Light Game and also Move Like A…. Game perfect for preschoolers and that also help them follow instructions and learn to listen better.

With these simple inexpensive or free games you can start to prepare your child for Kinder or Reception year at school in a fun playful way.

We’re joining together with 6 fabulous blogs to help you Get Ready for K through Play over the summer – week 1 last week was all about developing language skills – pop on over to Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and find out more as well as the links to ideas from Toddler Approved, Mama Smiles, Coffee Cups and Crayons and Mess for Less.

This weeks focus is all about Social and Emotional Skills needed for Kindergarten (reception year). Pop along and check out the other great ideas

Top 5 Social Skills for Kindergarten Readiness – Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

Teacher Says: A Following Directions & Listening Game – Coffee Cups and Crayons

Social and Emotional Skills for Children – Mama Smiles

Helping the Shy Child Prepare for Kindergarten – Mess for Less

Help your child identify Emotions using the Mr Men Books

Draw and Erase Emotions

Help with Separation Anxiety

 Check back next week to see what other fun playful ideas we will be sharing to help prepare your child and you for Kindergarten.

Playing Games at home that promote sharing and taking turns getting your child ready to start kindergarten in the fall
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

4 Comments

  1. Nice post, sharing and turn-taking will be lovely skills once fully acquired at our house. When our children play hide and seek they shout, ‘I am here in the ……’ in loud giggly voices! We keep trying to explain they are trying not to be found but they get so excited!

    We also play The Kindness Game. Especially when we go shopping to Tesco. The idea is you have to keep a close eye on everyone else and spot them being kind to you or someone else. Each kindness only counts once. When we get home we go from youngest to oldest asking who they saw being kind and what they did. Currently we ask for 3 kindnesses per person but we started about a year ago with only one each. Good things are they are learning to see what other people do for kindnesses and they get a kick out of being kind to other people so they can be ‘spotted’ by someone else. It is very much a work in progress!

  2. It’s amazing how the simplest children’s games can teach them some important life skills, and they think they are just having fun. The best way to learn!

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