The First Presbyterian Preschool, a treasure of SRQ and my own heart, celebrated their diamond anniversary. For 75 devoted years they've served local families in the Sarasota community by enriching the lives of young children and providing them with valuable skills and experiences and nurturing relationships that will benefit them not only as they enter kindergarten, but far beyond. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this special community personally as a parent and professionally as a partner through Let's Connect (by providing speech-language screening and private therapy to families and leading after school Reading-Ready pre-literacy enrichment classes).
As part of their monumental accomplishment, the Preschool hosted a fundraiser gala at the Sarasota Yacht Club, and I had the privilege of working alongside a team of volunteers to help support the event. It was a picturesque evening on the water uniting parents, friends, grandparents, teachers, school alumni, and sponsors alike as we paused the busyness of everyday to give thanks and celebrate the beautiful impact that First Presbyterian Preschool has had and the lasting legacy it continues to build. There was revelry and cotton candy, too, which made it all the sweeter!
This leads me to my topic of favorite game picks for our older preschoolers and early elementary-aged crowd! As part of my donation to the Preschool, I compiled a basket of goodies for their silent auction. In addition to registration for Reading-Ready classes next year, I carefully selected and gifted my top picks for games that provide opportunities for literacy and language development and enrichment for children ages four to six years old.
Here were the finalists that made the cut for Let's Connect's donated auction basket:
- Alphabet Slap Jack: This game offers several fun learning activities in one card set! Simply remove the slap cards, and you are ready to play these other fun preschool games: Go Fish and Matching. You can also use the game cards to build short words such as "Dad" and "Mom!" This game can be used to develop and strengthen upper and lower case letter name and sound knowledge, phonological awareness, and early decoding. (One adjustment I would make to this game is to use a black Sharpie to draw a rectangle around the pictures on the "x" cards. Then, I'd use "box" as the keyword for that letter since it highlights the most common sound that the letter represents.) Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/f5ktCT
- Bluey Charades- Whether your children know and love the beloved television character Bluey or not, this fun acting and guessing game will ignite imaginations and get both brains and bodies active. Participants use expressive and receptive language skills as they access and expand vocabulary, make associations with words and ideas, and use social pragmatics to express and interpret body language. Since the cards have pictures and not words, most younger participants can play and understand their assignment without assistance! Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/bU5CLtN
- Guess in 10 Junior Animal Kingdom Edition- Little animal lovers will enjoy playing this guessing game that provides pictures of creatures, along with illustrations that prompt questions that can be asked and answered to guide the guesser. Asking and answering questions, auditory memory, animal vocabulary, and deductive reasoning are all skills that Guess in 10 will put into action. Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/hMrWbiq
- Lion in My Way- This game includes path cards illustrating an obstacle that must be overcome. Players select tools, practical or not, and cleverly create and add to a story with steps for how to get past each barrier presented. Lion in My Way provides language development opportunities for turn-taking with back-and-forth conversation, reasoning with sharing of opinions, and flexible and creative problem solving. Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/ezYguSN
Fun and Learning
These games can provide opportunities for quality time during family nights or playdates with friends! Go ahead and give them a try. The kids will have fun playing while making memories with you. Learning and growing in language and literacy will be an added bonus!
- Johanna Sims, M.S., CCC-SLP