Games to Play With 5-Year-Olds at Home

Try these play ideas with your 5-year-old.
child image by Cora Reed from

Games provide entertainment for kids in a variety of formats. A variety of commercial board games are available for 5-year-old, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to play games at home. Many games are possible with things from around the house. In addition to keeping your child entertained, games hold educational value. Social skills such as taking turns and good sportsmanship are at the heart of nearly every kids' game. Math and reading skills are also used frequently.


Patterning is a beginning math skill ideal for 5-year-old children. Any objects work for patterning as long as you have several of each item. Colored craft sticks work well. You can either buy craft sticks that are colored or paint plain craft sticks. Start a pattern with the colors. For beginners, alternating two colors is a simple pattern. Have your 5-year-old continue the pattern with the sticks. As the child grows comfortable with the pattern, add more colors or increase the complexity of the patterns. For example, you might use do red, red, blue, red, red, blue as your pattern. You can also write letters or numbers on the stick as part of the pattern.

Picture Search

This game for kids lets them use their searching skills to find pictures hidden around the house. You can use stickers, clip art images or any other pictures for the activity. Hide them in a particular room, with some easy to find and some more difficult to find. For an educational aspect to the game, use letters, numbers or shapes on the cards that you hide. Hide pictures of several different letters, asking the child to only find and bring back a certain letter. For example, you might include the letters A, B, C, D and E on the cards you hide but specify that he should only collect the letter B. This requires the child to pay attention to the letters he finds.

Lid Match

For this game, you'll need several different plastic containers and corresponding lids. It's best to choose different containers so only one lid will fit with one container. The lids and containers are mixed up in the playing area. Set a timer and have your 5-year-old match as many lids and containers and possible before the buzzer sounds.

Family Memory Game

The Memory card game is popular for 5-year-old children. You can easily create your own Memory game at home using photos of family members. You'll need two copies of each person's picture so you can create two matching cards. Include distant relatives that you don't see often in addition to more familiar relatives. A piece of poster board or an index card works well as a backing for each of the photos. This protects the photos from getting bent or damaged. All of the photo cards are flipped over so the photos are face down. Take turns with your child turning over two cards at a time to find a match.