Kindergartners Learn and De-Stress Best with Games!
Even though we’ve home-schooled our kids, we’ve learned that games for kindergartners, preschoolers, and even older kids tend to de-stress and help teachers and parents re-group.
We’ve also used games in church ministries with kids as time-fillers and as stress-busters for kids.
Games are almost magic when it comes to young kids!
Dig into this huge list of games for kindergartners for almost any situation! Keep them super simple so it’s stress-free for teachers and parents too!
Indoor Games For Kindergartners
Games for Kindergartners #1: Indoor Hopscotch
This school favorite is sure to be an indoor hit!
Set up your hopscotch game on any floor surface.
Masking tape will do perfectly to form the nine connecting squares.
Boxes 1-3 will be placed in a single line, one on top of the other.
The next two boxes (4, 5) will be placed side-by-side, followed by a single box (6), two more boxes (7, 8) and the final half-circle “home” base (9).
Next, choose a marker, such as a coin or beanbag.
The first player will throw the marker into square 1 without letting it bounce or touch the lines.
If successful, the player will then hop — one foot on single squares and two feet on side-by-side squares — avoiding square #1.
The player may rest on “home” before hopping back.
On the way back, he or she picks up the marker on square #1 and, if successful (lands within the lines, hops or jumps with proper footing, doesn’t fall), takes another turn and throws it into square #2.
When the player is unsuccessful, the next player takes a turn.
Players resume their turns by throwing the marker on the last box played.
The winner is the first player to throw the marker home (#9), and complete the whole course.
Games for Kindergartners #2: Handprint Twister
Kids can create their own Twister board with their handprints!
This makes a fun project and a game!
Games for Kindergartners #3: Feed the Squirrel
Let kindergarteners “feed the squirrel” with acorns and other items they can find on a scavenger hunt.
Read the details and grab the free printable here.
Games for Kindergartners #4: Wink!
Make a circle of chairs, half the number of participants, plus one.
Have half the people stand behind the chairs and half sit in the chairs.
Make sure there is one empty chair with a person standing behind it.
The person standing behind the empty chair is “it.”
“It” then picks one of the people sitting in the chairs and winks at them.
The person in the chair has to race to the empty chair before the person standing behind her tags her.
If she is tagged, she remains in her seat and “it” winks at another person.
If the person in the chair gets into the empty chair, the person behind her is the new “it.”
Repeat as many times as the players want!
This is one of my favorite games from my childhood!
Games for Kindergartners #5: Guess the leader
We love to play this at parties and church fellowships!
Choose a person to leave the room and tell all other players to sit in a circle.
Quietly choose one “leader” and have that person begin snapping, clapping, winking, or any simple motion so that everyone can copy them.
The person who left the room has three tries to guess who the leader is.
Whoever is the actual leader should change things up about every 30 seconds to keep things interesting!
Games for Kindergartners #6: Quiet Ball
Super simple concept.
Use a soft, safe ball to toss inside.
Only gently tosses so everyone can actually catch the ball.
If you drop the ball, talk, or giggle, you’re OUT!
Games for Kindergartners #7: Hot Potato
YOu can use anything for the “potato.”
A stuffed animal, football, real potato etc.
If you use an item that everony would love to win, you can use the “potato” as a prize too!
Play music from your phone or have someone play a simple instrument.
When the music stops, whoever is holding the “potato” is out.
Classics are always a hit!
Our Favorite Games for Kindergartners
Games for Kindergartners #8: Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone
- simple object, for example a paperclip or coin
- blindfold (optional)
How to Play:
One child is chosen to be “It” and plays the role of the dog.
He or she sits in a chair with their back to the group.
A paperclip or coin is placed under the chair. This is the “bone”.
While the dog is turned backward with his or her eyes closed (blindfold is optional) someone quietly steals the bone and hides it – usually they just sit on it or hide it in their cupped hands.
Then everyone sings: “Doggy, doggy, where’s your bone? Somebody stole it from your home.”
Then the dog has three chances to guess who took it.
If the dog guesses right, then he gets to do it again.
If he guesses wrong, than the person who had the bone gets a turn as the dog.
Usually, all of the children will try to look “guilty” by sheltering their laps or holding their hands together as if they have the bone.
Games for Kindergartners #9: Heads up 7 Up
Seven students stand in front of the class.
The rest of the students put their heads on their desks.
The seven then move about and each touches a student.
Once touched, a student sticks his or her thumb up.
Then the seven say “heads up seven up!”
The students who were touched then get a chance to guess which of the seven touched each of them.
If they guessed right, they get to change places and be one of the students in the front.
Here’s another FUN version
All the students put their heads down on their desks and extend one thumb.
The teacher then secretly chooses one person as “It.”
This person goes around touching the thumbs of six other people.
If a person is touched, he goes to the front of the room.
Then “It” yells, “Seven up!”
Everyone raises their heads and tries to guess which of the seven people is “It.”
Games for Kindergartners #10: Telephone
Have kids sit in a circle.
One person thinks of a simple phrase to whisper to the person beside him.
You can only tell the message once, no repeats!
Once the message has been around the entire circle, the last person says the message out louad adn everyone can see how much the message changed!
We actually use this to teach about gossip…good lesson and fun game!
Games for Kindergartners #11: Speed Hand Jives
Use a timer and have little stations set up.
To keep it super simple, just have kids sit in front of each other in a circle and they can switch every time the timer goes off.
Set timer for 30 seconds to one minute.
Once they sit in front of another person, they have to do the hand jive the teacher calls out.
Some fun examples are:
Miss Mary Mack
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Games for Kindergartners #12: I Spy
Read the instructions to this classic game here.
It’s simple and fun!
Games for Kindergartners #13: Candy Sensory Game
This is a fun excuse to let kids try new candies for the first time.
You would definitely want to make sure that kids are allowed ot have sugar etc. before playing this game.
Or you can substitute fruit etc.
Read the details here.
Quiet Games for Kindergartners
Games for Kindergarteners #14: Graveyard
All kids lie on the ground, close their eyes and don’t move.
Choose one person to stand up and pick the best “dead “person.
Or, have the first person stand up and watch the others.
When someone moves or talks, they are out.
The person standing up lets the others know when they are out.
Games for Kindergartners #15: Quiet animal
Choose a small stuffed animal for this game.
You can always keep one in your purse or diaper bag.
Have the kids sit in a circle and give the stuffed animal to the quietest person.
That person then gently tosses the stuffed animal to someone in the circle.
Whoever drops the stuffed animal, talks or throws the stuffed animal out of the circle is out.
This simple game always brings a smile!
Quietly whisper to the kids what kind of statue you want them to make.
Some ideas are a monkey, elephant, mommy, daddy, policeman, bear, tiger or even a silly hamburger statue!
At the count of three, the kids have to freeze into their statue and then you pick the best statue.
That person then whispers to the kids what kind of statue to make next, and so the game repeats.
Remember, statues don’t move or talk!
Games for Kindergartners #17: Silent Monkey See, Monkey Do.
A reader suggested this game, and I love it!
Choose a child to look at the other children and make silent silly actions.
Anyone that laughs is out and has to sit out for three consecutive rounds.
Switch up monkeys to keep the quiet fun going!
Games for Kindergartners #18: Bubbles
Keep a bottle of bubbles in your classroom.
You’re guaranteed some quiet fun!
Keep a variety of bubble wands in a separated baggy to add to the fun!
Also, make your own bubble blowers with paper straws.
Need some bubble activity ideas?
Snag them here.
Games for Kindergartners #19: Thumb-wrestling
My brothers and I did this all the time on long car rides.
It took us quite a while before we were bored with these one.
I still play it with my kids on road trips.
Both players should place their thumbs in mid-air, facing one another.
With the right hand fingertips, instruct a child to grab their opponent’s right hand fingertips and clasp tight together.
Start with a beginning thumb bow, and then chant, “One, two, three four, I declare a thumb war!”
Then, let the wrestling begin!
First one to pin the other thumb down for five counts wins!
Games for Kindergartners #20: Rock, paper, scissors.
Does anyone not know how to play this game?
Just in case, each player makes a fist and hits their own hand while saying “Rock, paper, scissors!”
On the word scissors each player makes a rock, paper or scissors motion with their hand.
Rock beats scissors, paper beats paper, and paper beats rock.
Games for Kindergartners #21: Tic-Tac-Toe.
Keep some scratch paper and pencils so kids can play tic-tac-toe at any given moment.
Or, you can make this DIY felt tic-tac-toe game too.
Here’s a printable tic-tac-toe game ready to go, and perfect for using blocks!
Games for Kindergartners #22: Quiet First Name Game.
Choose a random name (shorter for younger children, longer for older kids) and write it down the left hand side of the page, one letter under another.
Now give everybody five minutes to write down as many first names as they can think of which begin with the letters in that name.
Score one point for each name that you come up with.
You can make the scoring more exciting by awarding two points for any name that no-one else comes up with!
Games for Kindergartners #22: Silent Skittles or M and M’s Game.
Place Skittles or M and M’s in a clean, see-through container.
Split up players into teams.
Each team player needs to close his eyes and pick one piece of candy from the jar….no talking!
Assign points for each colored candy and see which team can reach 100 points!
Games for Kindergartners #23: Quiet Flower Petals.
Choose a flower with many petals, like a daisy or a rose.
Place the flower in front of the children and ask them to study it for a few minutes.
Then ask them to guess how many petals it has and write down the number.
Now pull off the petals carefully and, together, count the number of petals.
Whoever had the most accurate guess, wins!
Games for Kindergartners #24: Mystery Socks.
Choose five or ten socks. Hide one object from around the classroom in each sock.
Let each person feel the socks, but no peeking!
Assign each sock a number and have the kids number a piece of paper.
Have them write down their guesses on the paper, and then slowly reveal the hidden objects and see who guessed correctly!
Games for Kindergartners #25: Quiet Checkers.
My kids love this classic game!
To play the quiet version, you simply play without speaking.
If someone speaks, they lose a turn!
Outdoor Games for Kindergartners
Games for Kindergartners #26: Four Square
Four Square requires a large flat area, a piece of chalk, a kickball, and at least four players.
Start by drawing a large square divided into four using the piece of chalk. Starting in the top left square, label them King, Queen, Jack, and Baby (you could also just label them 1-4).
Randomly assign children the squares to start.
As the game progresses, they’ll attempt to move into the higher squares.
If the “King” is out, they either start over at “Baby” or must get in line to wait to get back in, depending on the number of players.
The “Baby” starts with the ball and serves it into another square.
The next player must hit it into the next square after one bounce.
Players must continue to bounce the ball from one square to the next.
If a player hits it out of bounds or can’t pass it before it bounces once, they’re out.
Games for Kindergartners #27: Kick the Can
You’ll need one empty can and a group of participants. How simple is that?!
Place the can in a large open area.
Choose one player to be “It” who counts to 20 while the other players hide.
Then “It” tries to find and tag all of the other players.
If another player is tagged, they must go to the designated “jail” area near the can.
Any player who hasn’t been tagged can try to “kick the can” to set all of the players in jail free.
When It has all of the players in jail, they win.
Whoever was in jail the longest becomes the new “It” and the game repeats.
Games for Kindergartners #28: Sardines:
Sardines is a twist on hide-and-seek.
Here’s how to play this easy outdoor game for kids: One person hides, and everyone else searches for the hider. Once a player finds the hider, they join him in the hiding spot. The last person to find the hidden group (who ends up looking like a bunch of sardines) loses the game.
Games for Kindergartners #29: Hungry Snake
Have kids gather in a circle with one person (the Snake) in the center.
The Snake spins around while holding a jump rope, making it move in a circular pattern.
The other players must hop over the rope as it approaches—and if it touches (bites) them, they’re out of the game!
Games for Kindergartners #30: Red Light, Green Light
Choose one player as the “Traffic Light,” and have everyone else stand in a line about 20 feet away.
The Traffic Light says “green light” whenever his back is turned, and the other players inch closer to him.
At any time, the Traffic Light can shout “red light!” and quickly face the other players.
Everyone must stop in their tracks, and if they move during a red light, they must return to their starting position. You win the game by tagging the Traffic Light.
What Other Games Does Your Kindergartner Love to Play?
Share your ideas with us in our Parents Connect Group!
Plus, check out fun, family charades that kids love too!