7 Active Games For Preschoolers To Play At Home!

Do you feel like there are days where you play with the same toys with your kids for hours on end?

 

You are not alone!

 

There’s only so many times every day that I can play with (insert your child’s favorite toy here). I like mixing it up, especially by playing games and keeping my kids physically active.

 

If your children learn how to be physically active at a young age, they will be more likely to keep those healthy habits as they grow up.

 

Why is it important to be physically active?

 

Well, take a look at these sobering stats from the CDC:

  • 1 in 5 children and young adults (6-19 years old) are obese.
  • Physical inactivity can lead to energy imbalances
  • Sedentary people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Inactivity causes an increased risk of developing breast, colon, and lung cancers.
  • People who are not active have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

 

Need I go on?

 

With my experience as a physical education teacher, I have come up with 7 EASY and FUN active games that you can play with your preschooler, so they can lead a healthy lifestyle!

 

And here’s the good news…

 

You don’t need a class full of students to play FUN & ACTIVE games at home!

 


1. Dinosaur Tag

 

Active Games For Preschoolers

 

This is one of my favorite games to play at home because it’s super easy to set up and it can be done indoors or outdoors.

 

Age level: This game can be played with kids 3 years and older.

 

Equipment: To play this game, you will need 1 hula hoop, a basket, 15 objects to collect, cones/poly spots, or sidewalk chalk can work if you play this outside!

 

Where can you play this?: We have a long open hallway between our kitchen and family room that we use to play this game. If you’d like to play outdoors, your driveway is a perfect spot to play!

 

Number of players needed: You need at least 2 players to play this game.

 

Instructions for playing Dinosaur Tag:

 

Check out the video below if you would like to see how we play this game indoors with a limited amount of people (it’s literally just my husband and daughter playing!)

 

  • Choose one person to be the tagger – they are the dinosaur! The dinosaur will be in the middle protecting their food.

 

  • The other person will start where their basket is placed. That person will attempt to run to the dinosaur’s cage to get ONE piece of dinosaur food and bring it back to their basket without getting tagged by the dinosaur.

 

  • If they get tagged by the “dinosaur,” they must return back to their basket empty-handed and try again!

 

  • If they get tagged and they have a piece of food in their hand they must put it back before returning to the start.

 

  • The dinosaur has a designated area that they must stay in, so there are some safe zones (in the hula hoop and near the basket of the other player).

 

  • The game is over when all the food is collected and then you can switch dinosaurs!

 

Are you a teacher looking to try this in your classroom?

 


2. Capture the flag

 

All kids LOVE to play capture the flag.

 

Whenever my students get a free choice day, this is one of the most popular choices by far!

 

Age level: Capture the flag can be played at age 4 and above. My daughter is 4, and she had so much fun playing this game!

 

Equipment: To play this game, you will need an object to be the flag. At school we use scarves. But, you can get creative and use stuffed animals, balls or any other toy! Also, you will need something for the center line either jump ropes tied together or sidewalk chalk if you play on the cement. 

 

Where can you play this? This game is preferably played outdoors since you want a large open area to run. However, if you have a big basement or you have an open floor plan that has a lot of space then that’s another option!

 

Number of players needed: You can play this game with as few as 2 people. Of course, it’s typically more fun; the more people you add. 

 

Instructions for playing Capture the Flag:

 

Take a look at the video below to see how we play Capture the Flag at home with just 2 people!

 

  • Create 2 equal teams depending on how many people you have playing.

 

  • Make a center line by either using cones, tying jump ropes together, or draw a line using sidewalk chalk on the cement.

 

  • Have each team hide their flag somewhere on their side.

 

  • To get the flag, one person must cross the center line and retrieve the flag from the opposite team and successfully bring it back to their side without getting tagged.

 

  • If they get tagged while on the other team’s side, you can just have them return back to their side if there is a small group playing OR if there’s a larger group then you can have them freeze.

 

  • To get unfrozen, someone from your team has to cross over and tag their hand to bring them back to their team.

 

  • If a player gets tagged trying to come back to their side and they have the flag, they must put the flag back and they are either frozen on the other team’s side or they just have to return back to their side if there are not enough players.

 

  • The game is over when one team is able to get the opposite teams flag!

 

Are you a teacher looking to try this in your classroom?

 


3. Trash Collectors

 

Who can relate to this? I know I can!!

 

Unfortunately, dumping out toy bins is our son’s newest obsession.

 

So I decided to turn his obsession into a fun game!

 

Age level: Anyone who is 3 and above can play Trash Collectors.

 

Equipment: A whole bunch of toys! I use beanbags, dodge balls, colored dice, jump ropes and skip it’s in my class. You will also need 2 baskets (toy bins or laundry bins).

Active Games For Preschoolers

 

Where can this be played?: Trash Collectors should be played indoors, so you don’t have to take all of your toys outside unless they are already there!

 

Number of players required: You need at least 2 people to play.

 

Instructions for playing Trash Collectors:

 

  • Either let your kids dump out their toys or play where there’s already a mess!
    • To encourage more movement in this game, you can spread out the toys around the house that they have to clean up!

 

  • Have a basket dedicated to each person who is playing.

 

  • Your kids will pretend they are garbage collectors and they are working to clean up the house!

 

  • They will run to pick up an item, run it over to their basket and stop at the poly spot.

 

  • They are to throw their toy in the basket using an underhand motion.
    • You don’t have to have them throw if you don’t want to, they can just run and put the toys in the basket, that’s just an added gross motor movement that I like to implement 🙂

 

  • They can’t move on to pick up another piece of trash until they make it in the basket!

 

  • The person with the most toys in their basket at the end is the winner!

 

Are you a teacher looking to try this in your classroom?

 


4. Pin Knock Over

 

What kid doesn’t like knocking things over?

 

I will admit, I have played this game with my students and I get excited when I knock a pin down, and I’m 32 years old.

 

Age level: This activity is for kids who are 4 and older!

 

Equipment: To play this game you will need toy bowling pins, or you can use empty milk jugs. You will also need some soft balls, like dodge balls or yarn balls).

 

Where can you play this?: This game should be played outside. On the off chance, if a ball gets thrown and knocks something over in your house, I would hate to be a reason why this happened! 

 

Number of players required: There needs to be at least 2 players for this game.

 

Instructions for playing Pin Knock Over:

 

Want to see how to play this game indoors? Here’s a quick video to see how it’s done!

 

  • Divide teams evenly.

 

  • Each team should have an equal amount of pins on their side (I use 3 when we play at home).

 

  • The goal of the game is to knock down the other team’s pins by kicking, rolling, or throwing the balls at the pins.
    • When I am inside playing this game, I allow my kids to roll or kick the ball, if we are outside they can throw them too!

 

  • While they are trying to knock over the other team’s pins, they are also in charge of defending their own pins! They are allowed to block balls from knocking their pins down.

 

  • If someone knocks down a pin themselves, they can put the pin back up.

 

  • This is not a game where you are aiming to hit people! You are aiming at the pins. If someone does get hit with the ball, the person that threw the ball must do 10 jumping jacks before returning to the game!

 

  • The first team to knock down all 3 pins first wins.

 

Are you a teacher looking to try this in your classroom?

 


5. Toilet Tag

fun Games For Preschoolers

Yes, this game is called Toilet Tag, and your kids will love it!

 

Age level: This game can be played with children who are 3 and older

 

Equipment: None!

 

Where can this game be played?: You don’t want people going to the bathroom on your floors inside! Well, you don’t want them to either outside but, since this is another running game, it’s best played outdoors!

 

Number of players required: You need at least 4 people to play this game.

 

Instructions for playing Toilet Tag:

 

At our latest family get together, I tried to play this with my nephews and sisters. The kids thought it was hilarious.

I was laughing so hard at my daughter’s question at the end!

 

  • Choose 1 person to be the tagger.

 

  • If someone gets tagged, they are frozen and they will kneel down on one knee and put an arm up.

 

  • To get unfrozen someone has to come over and “flush” the toilet by moving their arm down.

 

  • To make it a little funny, the person who is “unfreezing” can sit on their knee that is bent and say FLUSH!
    • Check to make sure that everyone playing is comfortable with that before including this in the rules.

 

  • Both players are then back in the game and they can run!

 

  • You can switch taggers at any time.

 

Are you a teacher looking to try this game in your classroom? 

 

 


6. Red Light Green Light

 

red light green light tag

 

I love this game because it applies to real-life lessons!

 

This game is great to do for small family get-togethers, children’s parties, or even with a few neighbors.

 

Age level: This game can be taught to kids who are 3 and older.

 

Equipment: You don’t need any equipment for this game!

 

Where can you play this game?: This game can be played indoors or outdoors!

 

Number of players required: This game needs 3 or more people. 

 

Instructions for playing Red Light, Green Light:

 

  • Choose one person to be the stoplight and they go to the end of the playing area.

 

  • All the other players line up on the opposite end waiting for directions from the stoplight.

 

  • When the stoplight says “green light” the players move towards them.

 

  • If the stoplight says “red light” the players should freeze.

 

  • When the stoplight player catches someone moving when they say “red light” that person is out.
    • If you have several kids playing, you can have jump ropes or some other activity prepared so they have something active to do while they are waiting for the next round to begin.

 

  • The goal of the game is to be the first person to make it to the stoplight and tag them before the other students.

 

Are you a teacher looking to play this in your classroom? 

 


7. Duck, Duck, Goose

 

This is an oldie but a goodie.

 

I played Duck Duck Goose with my kindergarten class when I had to teach their classroom for a day. You wouldn’t believe how many kids didn’t know what Duck Duck Goose was!

 

Age level: Anyone who is 3 years or older can play this game.

 

Equipment: You just need yourselves! No equipment is necessary.

 

Where can this be played? Duck Duck Goose can be played indoors or outdoors. I prefer to play it indoors since you don’t need a large space.

 

Number of players required: You need at least 3 people, it is more exciting with a few more players though.

 

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes at family get-togethers, we just sit around.

The kids go play in the playroom and the adults just talk.

 

At one of our latest family parties, I decided to liven things up a bit. It was a beautiful day outside, so we played Duck Duck Goose! My mom and sister decided to join in on the fun. Everyone loved it!

 

Instructions for playing Duck Duck Goose:

 

  • Have all the players form and circle and then ask them to sit down criss-cross applesauce keeping the same circle formation.

 

  • Choose one player to be the first “ducker”.

 

  • That person will walk around the circle and tap every player’s head around the circle saying “duck”, “duck”, “duck”, until they get to someone that they’d like to say “goose” to.

 

  • When a “goose” is chosen, they will stand up and chase the “ducker” one full time around the circle.

 

  • The player who was the “ducker” will try to get back to the person’s seat that they “goosed” before getting tagged.

 

  • If they get tagged, they must go to the center of the circle until the next round, then they can return to their original seat.

 

  • If they don’t get tagged, they remain in that person’s spot that they “goosed”.

 

  • Whether the original “ducker” gets tagged or not, the person who was “goosed” is the new “ducker” and the game starts again!

 

Are you a teacher looking to play this in your classroom?

 

 


Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

Physical activity is essential for all of us, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with games on your own. You may think you can’t play certain games because you don’t have the correct equipment.

 

Well, guess what… YOU CAN play these games. The cost is usually very minimal and you will have the equipment to use forever, which I believe is a great investment. You get to have fun with your kids and keep them active!

 

I hope you try some of my easy and engaging games for preschoolers!

 

Most of them can be played with a minimum of two people.

 

I would love to help your family get more physically active! Since I am a physical education teacher, I am very knowledgable on a variety of games/sports, so I can help you plan activities to help increase your child’s motor skills.

 

If you do play one of these games at home with your someone in your family, I’d love to hear how it went! Are there any unique games or activities that you do with your family to keep active?

 

Please share them with us by leaving a comment below!

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