activities for you and your babyPreschool games are an essential part of a child’s development. Games are more than games. They are a way of teaching children the basics of social skills and communication.

There are some old favourites such as drop the handkerchief. Kids still love it but you need at least five players to make it fun. The players stand in a circle and someone is chosen as “It.” That child takes the handkerchief and walks around the ring of children and drops the handkerchief behind one of the other players.

In the old version, the person who is It chants “A tisket, a tasket, A green and yellow basket. I wrote a letter to my love. But on my way, I dropped it; A little child picked it up And put it in his pocket.”

Whether or not this verse is used or another one or whether there is no verse, “It” drops the handkerchief and runs around the circle. The person who has the handkerchief chases the runner and if the runner is caught, he or she is placed in the middle of the circle and the new person is It.

However, while this is as much fun as playing the classic Hide and Seek game, this is a new age and there is often not a great deal of space available for games like Hide and Seek and outside of a classroom or day care, not enough children for Hide the Handkerchief.

And do children still use handkerchiefs? Even letters are becoming a thing of the past. Nevertheless these are great games for children’s parties.

However there are more challenging games that take a preschool child beyond socialization. The new types of games often are built with preschool education in mind. They involve colours and shapes and help strengthen a child’s ability to concentrate.

There are websites out there that are interactive and develop a child’s ability to use the computer, especially the mouse. These kinds of websites have a seemingly endless realm of reading challenges. And best of all, they make learning fun.

Children have very absorbent minds and there are offline games that teach them phonics, coordination, and analytic skills. For instance, which shape fits where in some of the jigsaw puzzles designed for preschoolers.

Many new age games emphasis education and learning and this is great for preschool and kindergarten children. It is fun to play with robots in a race to the finish, cruise through the zoo, enter a mighty bike race, get to know Dora the Explorer, and even join clubs such as the Bubble Guppies fan club.