I love to play games. I grew up in a game playing house. When I was in high school, nearly every Sunday evening after dinner our family would sit down and play some sort of game together. Kyle's family is the same way. Sunday evening is game night. Games are a great way to spend time together as a family.
My maternal grandmother was a big game player. We often joked that we wouldn't teach her the rules to a new game we were playing, just to give her a handicap, because she would end up winning anyway. As a child I remember going to her house to visit and playing cards with her. We played with a set of cards that have kittens on them, which were always called the "Kitty Cards". Years after her passing, I have those cards as a special reminder of the fun I had playing cards with my grandma.
The game I remember playing most often with Grandma was Steal the Pile. It is a simple matching game that even small children (preschool age) can pick up on. I have taught Hailey how to play and she loves it. It is one of the games we play most frequently together.
Interested in playing? I'll teach you.
1. Start by dealing out 4 cards, face down, to each player. Then deal 4 cards, face up, in the center.
2. Each player picks up their hand and compares the cards they are holding with those on the table, looking for matches.
3. Players take turns selecting a card from their hand and matching it with one face up on the table. If they have a match they take the matching card from their hand and the other matching card from the table and set them in a pile in front of them.
4. If the player can not match any of the cards face up on the table, they then discard any card in their hand face up on the table, adding it to those already there.
5. The twist in the game is that besides matching those cards in the center of the table, you may also match with your opponents pile of cards they have made. If you have a card in your hand that matches the top card of their pile, you may match and steal their entire pile and add it to your own. Thus the name, Steal the Pile.
6. After both players have played their initial 4 cards, another set of 4 cards is dealt to each player. Play continues the same as the previous round. Once all of the cards in the deck have been dealt out and played, the player with the most cards wins!
Hailey thinks it is so fun to steal my pile. Likewise, she understands it's all in good sport when I take hers away too. It just means she needs to try to get it back!
It did take her a few rounds to completely get the concept, and sometimes I still need to give her a little bit of help. The more we play, the better she is getting at picking up the strategy of the game.
If your preschooler/kindergartener likes to play games, check out the sight word memory game I created. It has been a fun and successful way of teaching Hailey sight words.