For children under the age of five – or for those who have not yet started Kindergarten – a preschool program is an introduction to the classroom environment, where students have the opportunity to learn imperative social and educational lessons in a structured but informal environment.
Research has shown us that a love for learning fostered in the full day preschool – through a comfortable, nurturing environment and guided by skilled teachers – can do much to ensure a lifetime of successful schooling.
And because research has also shown that children of this age learn best through the process of play, preschool curriculums tend to be play-based, including the use of preschool games.
There are a variety of ways to institute preschool games into the learning environment. Skilled preschool teachers are adept at presenting lessons in an enjoyable, participatory way that motivates children in a non-intimidating fashion.
Some preschool games include the use of letter and number games to introduce language and mathematics, drawing to promote fine motor skills, physical play to encourage the development of gross motor skills, and games focused on books to help foster a love of reading. Savvy preschool programs also incorporate the use of computer games to help spark interest and teach fundamentals.
Aside from academic lessons, preschool games offer an opportunity for children to learn the all-important social lessons that come with working in a group. Children participate in taking turns, following directions, working together, and respecting each other's time to speak; there is also, of course, the ultimate benefit of children gaining a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence when completing a task.