I recently participated in a swap of Activities In A Bag where 20 of us got together and all made 20 of one kind of preschool activity and then swapped them. It was so much fun to come home and look through all of the preschool games! Each game is stored in a gallon sized zipper top plastic bag. I've continued the idea and put several more games in zipper bags and added them to my box. I'd highly recommend doing a swap or organizing one if you can find enough people who are interested. Here are some of the games that I made on my own...
Fishing - The idea is from here, with a few changes. I used brads for the magnetic part and wrote a lower case letter on each fish. There are also two of each color so that the game can be played several ways. The child can either name the letter on the fish that they caught, name the color of the fish, or try to find a matching color pair. For the fishing pole, I bought a dowel at Hobby Lobby and Ross drilled a small hole through it for the string. For the end, we hot glued the magnets together with the string in the middle. The string is a bit long, especially for Julia, but the girls both love "fishing".
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - I saw this idea here. I printed the pictures from the link given and then laminated them. The caterpillar is a green pipe cleaner and the fruit all have holes in them so that the child can string the food onto the caterpillar as the story progresses.
Star Counting - This idea was adapted from one of my Mailbox Magazine books. Since we are studying "sun" this week and "moon" next week I thought this would be a fun game to use. I put star stickers on small cardstock squares (1-10) and then made cards with only numbers on them. The child counts the number of star stickers on a card and then finds the corresponding number card. We are also going to use the number cards to practice counting backwards to "blast-off" into space. Of course I laminated the cards because I laminate everything.
Color Matching - This came from an idea that David Hazell of My Father's World mentioned on a cd I was listening to. He suggested getting paint chip cards from a home improvement store and cutting them up to make a color matching game. The different shades of each color are actually rather hard to distinguish, which makes this a challenging game. I punched the circles with a large punch and then laminated them all as well.
Story Dice - I absolutely love these! The idea is that the child rolls a few cubes and then has to come up with a story using the pictures on the dice. I got my inspiration here, and decided to use stickers for the pictures on mine. I bought wooden cubes at Hobby Lobby and then raided my sticker stash. I kept each cube to a topic - characters (Dora, a little girl, etc), things (a blender, a vase, etc), animals, weather and places, or transportation. Once I started making these I found myself searching every store I was in to find stickers that would work. I used Mod Podge, but it has stayed tacky, so I'm going to have Ross spray them all with a clear acrylic sealer spray. Lucy is very excited to use these and said she hopes to roll Dora every time so that she can tell me all kinds of stories about Dora.
Any other fun game ideas you've come across lately? We actually haven't used some of these yet, but I'm glad to have my box full of games available to pull out whenever I need them.