Positional Word Games for Preschoolers


Preschoolers are natural explorers. Positional words such as, "on," "under," "beside" and "behind" help preschool children to explore and understand their world. Preschool teachers weave learning activities about positional words into games that capture the interest of young children. Teach positional words with games that embody preschool appeal to your children.

Hula Hoop Game

  • In this game children manipulate hula hoops to learn positional words. Provide an additional element of fun by playing music during the game. Demonstrate how to play by giving instructions that use positional words. For example, show the children how to step inside the hula hoop and how to step outside again. Ask the children to hold the hula hoops up in the air, place the hoops down on the floor, place the hoops behind them and place the hoops beside a friend.

Vacation Pictures Game

  • Let the children make believe that they are on a beach vacation. Ask the children to pose for vacation pictures. For example, tell the children to hold a pretend beach ball, "over" their head, place a towel "down" on the sand, hold a shell "up" to their ear and run "out" of the cold water.

I Spy Circle Game

  • Let the children sit in a circle. Play "I Spy" with position words. For example, say, "I spy something green beside the activity center," or, "I spy something on top of the aquarium." Ask a child to spy an item in the classroom. Permit each preschooler to spy an item for his classmates to guess.

Stuffed Animal Game

  • Preschoolers use the positional words, "up," "down," "on," "in," "under," "behind" and "beside" with stuffed animal toys. Ask the children to sit in a circle. Give each child a stuffed animal and tell the children that they are going to play a game about where to put the animal. Demonstrate position words with a stuffed animal. For example, place the toy "behind" your back or "on" your shoulder. Play the game by telling the children where to place the stuffed animal. For a variation of the game, use a small box with the stuffed animal. An example of how to play the game is to place the toy "under" or "on" the box and ask the children to say where the toy is located.


  • Photo Credit boggy22/iStock/Getty Images
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