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Published Apr 22, 2024 ⦁ 15 min read
Fun Learning Games for 5 Year Olds: Parental Guide

Fun Learning Games for 5 Year Olds: Parental Guide

Discover the world of fun learning games for 5 year olds with this essential parental guide. From boosting cognitive, social, and emotional development to enhancing physical skills, these games are pivotal in your child's growth. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Why Learning Games Matter: They support fast-paced brain growth, introduce basic math and literacy, and refine motor skills—all through play.
  • Choosing the Right Games: Look for age-appropriate, engaging, and educational games that cover a variety of skills.
  • Top Game Recommendations:
  • Literacy: Endless Alphabet, Teach Your Monster to Read
  • Math: MathLink Cubes, Prodigy Math Game
  • Science: Science Wizard Kit, Backyard Scavenger Hunt
  • Creative Arts: Reusable Sticker Habitats, Play-Doh
  • Physical Activity: Hopscotch, Ring Toss
  • Integrating Games into Daily Routines: Balance screen time with active play and ensure games complement educational goals.
  • Safety and Screen Time: Use parental controls, follow age ratings, and encourage a mix of screen-based and offline activities.

By engaging with your child in these educational games, you not only make learning enjoyable but also lay a strong foundation for their future academic and personal success.

Cognitive Development

At 5 years old, kids' brains grow a lot. They learn new words quickly and can talk in full sentences. They like jokes and can follow instructions that have a few steps. They start to get the hang of basic math, like counting to 20, knowing shapes, and understanding sizes and amounts. Kids also begin to recognize letters and can write their name and some simple words. Their hands get better at drawing, coloring inside the lines, and cutting with scissors. They also get better at using their hands and eyes together to build with blocks, do puzzles, and other activities.

Social & Emotional Development

Five-year-olds like to do things on their own and feel proud when they learn something new. They need encouragement and help when things get tough. They start to understand other people's feelings better and can work together with friends, take turns, and share, even though it might still be hard sometimes.

Physical Development

Kids this age run, jump, balance, and ride tricycles better. They have more energy and can move more smoothly. They also get better at using small objects like pencils and scissors. Their bodies become stronger and more stable.

The Role of Play

Playing is how 5-year-olds learn best. Games help them learn new things and practice what they know in a fun way. Playing with others teaches them about getting along and sharing. Active games help them get better at moving their bodies. Pretend play lets them use their imagination and solve problems. When adults play with them, it makes learning even better.

Categories of Fun Learning Games

Literacy Games

Literacy games help 5-year-olds get better at reading and writing. They can learn about letters, how to make words, and how to put words together to make sentences. Here are some good games:

  • Endless Alphabet - Kids pick letters to make words and hear them spoken out loud. They learn new words and fun sentences.
  • Teach Your Monster to Read - This game helps kids learn reading step by step, from letters and sounds to full sentences. Kids make their own monsters and take them on learning adventures.
  • PBS KIDS Games - The PBS KIDS app has lots of reading games with characters from kids' favorite shows. There are games for matching letters, making words, and learning sounds.

Mathematical Reasoning Games

Math games teach kids about numbers, shapes, patterns, and how to sort things. These games are fun and educational:

  • MathLink Cubes - Kids use colorful cubes that snap together to make shapes and patterns. This helps them learn about numbers and basic math.
  • Math Bakery - In this game, kids help bake treats by solving math problems about counting and measuring.
  • Prodigy Math Game - Kids explore a magical world where they solve math problems to move forward and collect pets. The questions get harder as they learn more.

Science Exploration Games

Science games let kids try out experiments and learn about the world. Here are some great choices:

  • Science Wizard Kit - Kids mix ingredients in test tubes and beakers to learn basic chemistry through play.
  • Lauri Toys Tree Life Cycle Puzzle - Putting together this puzzle teaches kids about how trees grow. It's a fun way to learn science.
  • Backyard Scavenger Hunt - Making a list of things to find outside helps kids learn to observe nature closely. They'll look at bugs, plants, and rocks.

Creative Arts Games

Games about art, music, and pretend play help kids be creative. Try these:

  • Reusable Sticker Habitats - Kids use stickers to make scenes like forests or oceans. They can tell stories about the animals and places they create.
  • Play-Doh - Making shapes with dough is a fun way for kids to be creative and use their hands.
  • The Listening Game - Players make sounds for others to guess. It's a simple way to learn about different sounds.

Physical Activity & Coordination Games

Outdoor games are great for getting kids to move, jump, and play. Here are some fun ones:

  • Hopscotch - Drawing squares on the ground and hopping on them is a good way to practice balancing.
  • Ring Toss - Throwing rings onto targets helps with aiming and throwing.
  • Obstacle courses - Setting up a course with things to crawl through and balance on is a fun way for kids to move and learn.

How to Pick the Right Games for Your 5-Year-Old

When you're looking for games for your 5-year-old, think about these important points:

Right for Their Age

  • Choose games that say they're for 5-6-year-olds or "kindergarten" level. These games will be just right for what your child can do.
  • The game should be easy enough for your child to understand and play without getting frustrated.

Learning Stuff

  • Pick games that help with reading, math, science, being creative, and moving around. It's good to have a mix so they learn different things.
  • Games like PBS Parents Play & Learn, Play and Learn Science, and ABCya! Games cover various subjects in a fun way.

How to Play

  • Look for games that let kids build, match things, explore, and solve problems. This keeps learning exciting.
  • Games that get your child moving or using their hands are great. Also, games where they can play with others can help them make friends and learn to share.

Can You Change It?

  • It's good if you can make the game harder or easier, so it grows with your child.
  • Games that change as your child plays, like Prodigy Math: Kids Game, keep them challenged just the right amount.

Fun and Interesting

  • Find games with fun characters or stories and rewards that make your child want to keep playing.
  • Games that change and get harder over time, like Boddle and Tag with Ryan, help keep them interested without getting bored.

By thinking about these things, you can find games that are fun and just right for your child's learning. The best games are the ones that fit what your child likes and what they need to learn, all while keeping them excited about playing and learning.

Here are some great games that 5-year-olds will love and learn a lot from.

Animal Crossing

Platform Age Rating Skill Development
Nintendo Switch E Literacy, Math, Creativity

In Animal Crossing, kids can make their own island, meet animal friends, and find cool stuff. They learn to plan, decorate, and have fun making their island look great. It's a game where kids can be creative, learn a bit about numbers, and make decisions on their own.

Monster Expedition

Platform Age Rating Skill Development
Apple Arcade 4+ Problem-solving, Spatial skills, Logic

Monster Expedition is a game where kids help a monster solve puzzles to travel around. They use thinking skills to figure out how to move things so the monster can keep going. It's a good game for learning how to solve problems and think ahead.

PBS Kids Games

Platform Age Rating Skill Development
Android, iOS 3+ Early math, Literacy, Science

The PBS Kids Games app has lots of games with characters like Daniel Tiger and the Wild Kratts. Kids can learn about numbers, letters, and science in a fun way. It's a good mix of learning and playing.

Integrating Games into Routines

Making sure your 5-year-old plays educational games regularly can really help them learn. But, it needs a bit of planning to get it right. Here's how you can do it:

Set Aside Dedicated Game Time

  • Pick a time each day for your child to play games for 20-30 minutes without interruptions. This time should be all about focusing on the game.
  • Having game time at the same time each day makes it a regular part of their day.
  • Even short game sessions can be really helpful for learning.

Use Games to Reinforce Lessons

  • Choose games that help with what your child is learning, like reading or math.
  • Games can make school lessons more fun and interesting.
  • Look for games that match what kids learn in kindergarten or 1st grade.

Make Screen Time Active

  • Encourage your child to move around while playing video games.
  • For other games, they should be using their hands to build or match things.
  • Try not to let them sit still for too long. Keep them moving and thinking.

Play Games Together

  • Playing games with your child is a great way to spend time together and help them learn.
  • Talk about the games to help them think more about what they're doing.
  • Show them how to handle winning and losing, and how to solve problems.

Use a Timer

  • Use a timer to let your child know how long they have to play.
  • Tell them 5 minutes before the time is up so they're ready to stop.
  • Setting a clear time limit helps avoid arguments when it's time to stop playing.

By making these educational games a regular part of your child's day, you're helping them learn in a fun way. These tips should make it easier for your child to enjoy game time and learn a lot from it.


Safety Tips & Screen Time Limits

When you let your 5-year-old play games online, it's important to keep them safe and not let them spend too much time on screens. Here are some tips that can help:

Use Parental Controls

  • Turn on parental controls on devices and gaming services to limit what they can access and how long they can play.
  • Watch what your child is playing to make sure the games are okay for their age.
  • Make a special profile for your child on devices you share so they can only see what's okay for them.

Follow Age Ratings

  • Look at the game's age rating, like "E for Everyone," and pick games that are right for your child's age.
  • Stay away from games that have fighting, grown-up content, or let players talk to strangers.

Set Reasonable Time Limits

  • Experts say kids who are 5 should only use screens for 1 hour a day.
  • Break this up into short 20-30 minute periods of game time throughout the day.
  • Use a timer and let your child know when they have 5 minutes left.

Encourage Offline Play Too

  • Make sure your child spends as much time playing off-screen as they do on-screen.
  • Encourage them to play outside, read books, and do other activities that don't involve screens.
  • Show good habits yourself by not being on your device all the time.

Supervise Gaming

  • Keep an eye on your child while they play games.
  • Talk about staying safe online and how to pick good games.
  • Make sure playing games doesn't get in the way of sleep, doing chores, or spending time with family.

By picking the right games, setting limits, and being involved, you can help your child have fun and learn safely on screens. The main thing is to find a good balance. Let your child enjoy the good parts of gaming while making sure they have plenty of time for other fun activities. Talking openly and setting rules that fit with what your family thinks is important can really help.

Encouraging Active Participation

When your child plays games, it's good to join in and help them learn. Here are simple ways to do that:

Ask Questions

  • Talk to your child about their game. Ask them things like:
  • "What do you think will happen next?"
  • "How can you make your character jump higher?"
  • This makes them think and solve problems.

Give Hints, Not Answers

  • If they're stuck, give a little hint, not the whole solution.
  • Finding the answer on their own is more fun.

Cheer On Trying

  • Say good things about them trying hard, not just when they win.
  • "I saw you kept trying. That's great!"

Connect Games to Real Life

  • Show how things in the game are like real life.
  • "This game uses shapes like the ones we see around us."

Talk About the Game

  • Let your child explain what they're doing in the game.
  • Ask them to show you their discoveries.
  • Discuss the strategies they use.

Be a Good Example

  • Show how to be good at winning, losing, and helping others.
  • Be curious, creative, and keep trying, just like you want them to be.

Play Together

  • Play games with the whole family.
  • Encourage your child to share the game with brothers, sisters, and friends.

Joining in on your child's game time helps them learn better, builds their confidence, and brings everyone closer through fun.


Helping your 5-year-old learn through fun games is a smart move. It's all about picking the right games that fit their age and help them learn different things like reading and math, while making sure they have a good time.

Here are some simple tips for choosing and using games:

  • Pick games that are good for everyone and help with thinking, being creative, and moving around. Games like Animal Crossing, Monster Expedition, and PBS Kids are great choices.
  • Use the controls on your devices to keep things safe, set time limits, and stick to the recommended screen time. This helps keep a good balance between playing games online and doing other fun stuff off the screen.
  • When your child is playing, ask them questions to get them thinking more about the game. Connect what they're doing in the game to things in the real world.
  • Play games as a family. It's a fun way to spend time together, and you can show your child how to handle winning and losing.
  • Always cheer on trying hard, not just winning. This helps them learn to keep going, even when things get tough.

The main goal is to make learning fun and varied. When you choose learning games carefully and make them part of your child's routine, it helps keep their minds engaged. Watch what your child enjoys and try out different kinds of games to let their imagination and creativity grow. Everything else will naturally fall into place!

What is a good game to play with a 5 year old?

Playing Charades is fun and helps 5-year-olds use their imagination and solve problems. In this game, your child acts out a word or phrase without talking, and everyone else tries to guess what it is. Charades is great for getting kids to think creatively, work together, and communicate.

What are 5 educational games?

Here are 5 educational games that are perfect for 5-year-olds:

  • Memory Match - Finding matching card pairs helps with memory and focus.
  • Bingo - Use letters, words, or simple math problems for a fun learning game.
  • Board Games - Games like Chutes & Ladders or Candyland teach basic counting.
  • I Spy - Describing something for kids to guess builds their words and thinking skills.
  • Simon Says - This game improves listening and self-control as kids follow commands.

What can I teach my 5 year old at home?

At home, you can teach your 5-year-old important skills like:

  • Reading together - Helps with learning new words and talking.
  • Counting games - Good for understanding numbers and shapes.
  • Fine motor activities (like puzzles or playdough) - Makes their hands stronger and more skilled.
  • Pretend play - Helps with creativity, feelings, and playing with others.
  • Simple science experiments - Makes them curious and teaches problem-solving.

Mixing up learning with playing and being with others is the best approach.

Which activity is best for 5 year old?

Fun activities for 5-year-olds include:

  • Playing outside on playgrounds.
  • Arts and crafts like drawing or using clay.
  • Listening to stories on audiobooks or kid-friendly podcasts.
  • Playing simple board games and puzzles.
  • Going on scavenger hunts or exploring nature.
  • Having dance parties to move and groove.

Choose activities that let kids be creative, active, and learn new things in a fun way.

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