There’s something about to tropics that everyone loves, so why not try a tropical theme in your preschool this summer? Give it a chance with these printable learning games for preschoolers that also celebrates all the iconic images of the tropics!
This post contains a free printable to be sure to grab it from the end of the post.
Free Tropical Island Printable Learning Games for Preschoolers
Every year our neighborhood HOA hosts an end-of-the-summer bash at our park. It’s always luau themed with a sucking pig slow roasted over a fire pit and all the “traditional” fixings. Well, as traditional as they come when the rest of a meal is a potluck from all your neighbors in a very traditionally suburban home in the western United States.
We look forward to it every year.
The kids get to play and the adults get to chat. Everyone stays out a little later.
But the reason why we look forward to it so much is not the twelve thousand dollars our neighbor spends on a firework show that will rival just about any 4th of July celebration, (the guys really, really likes fireworks).
No, it’s the Polynesian dancers who join us every year.
A member of our home owners association happens to have a close contact with a group of Polynesian dancers who share an evening with us performing some of the most common and traditional dances from Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga. They wear their traditional garb dance and sing the evening away for us, while a narrator tells stories and talks of dance being a language in their culture.
Suddenly, the children are quiet and the adults stop going back for seconds. Time seems to slow down a little bit because every pair of eyes are on these beautiful dancers, most of whom are in middle and high school, but still so accomplished!
It is probably the most perfect way to end a summer.
But that’s the thing, we have to wait for the end of summer. By why wait until summer to enjoy an island theme in your preschool? It fits is so well with a beach or ocean theme, which is why I’m sharing with you five learning games for preschoolers to play with a single set of island themed cards.
***Be sure to grab your free printable at the end of this post so you can have fun will all these learning games, too.***
5 Activities for a Tropical Island Theme Using a Single Printable
This started out as a traditional matching and memory game, but of course I couldn’t leave it at that. Be sure to read to the end of the post for more ways to use this printable for learning activities for your preschoolers, and then grab your own free printable!
- FREE Tropical Island Matching Cards (found at the end of this post)
Because I wanted this to be a fun memory game for my preschoolers, I actually printed the cards on scrapbook paper. This made it do the picture didn’t show through on white paper, plus the watery pattern on the paper made it all the more appropriate for a tropical island theme! And my preschoolers thought it was way cool, too.
Optional: This is a great game to take on the road. My suggestion would be to use a little velcro. The velcro dots are perfect!
Now, lay out the cards in rows and columns face down so all you see are the backside. Then invite your preschoolers to join you for a matching game!
The Tropical Island Matching Game for Preschoolers
We started by playing this like any traditional memory game. Preschoolers took turns selecting two cards to turn over in efforts to make a match. If a match was made then the preschooler got to keep the set of cards. If not, then the cards were turned back over and the turn moved to the next preschooler.
Those are the basic rules, but you could tray adding house rules to the game.
- Pick a card and name the image using a complete sentence. “I drew a ___,” or “There’s a ___ on my card.”
- Pick a card and describe something you see on it.
- Draw three cards at once for younger preschoolers.
- Keep the cards turned upright for the very youngest preschoolers.
You can make up any number of house rules and I encourage you to do so simply because house rules are an easy way to work in more learning skills. And of course the best way to make accommodations for different skill levels in your classroom.
4 More Printable Learning Games for Preschoolers to Play with These Matching Cards
Ok…I don’t have four more printables, but I do have five more games to play with these cards!
The clipart on these matching cards are so pretty I can’t just put them away after a single game of memory! Try some of these easy learning games for preschoolers without having to prep another activity!
- Play a game of “What’s Missing?” Set out 3-5 cards on a tray and ask your preschooler to name the picture on each card. Then have your preschoolers close their eyes while you remove a single card from the tray. Then your preschoolers will open their eyes and have them name which card was removed.
- Play a simplified matching game for younger preschoolers. Set out 3-5 cards on the table, all face up. Then give your preschooler the matching cards and invite them to make the matches.
- Use these cards as beginning sound flashcards. Draw a card and when naming the picture really emphasize the beginning sound. “This is a pineapple. I hear /p/ /p/ /p/ at the beginning of pineapple.” You can even put out some letter manipulatives and invite preschoolers to make matches.
- Hang these cards in your writing center and invite preschoolers to use them as story inspiration. Or make it a circle time activity for oral stories.
- Invite your preschoolers to sort the cards, making up their own categories. I love this game because it’s such a great way for preschoolers to articulate their line of thought.
Ok, so that was six additional activities when I promised you only five. I’ll bet you could think of even more ways to use these printable island theme cards.
LOOKING FOR MORE SUMMER PRINTABLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS?
Summer has some of the best themes for teaching preschool! Try some of these free preschool printables.
Get your Free Tropical Island Printable Learning Games Here
Think you need a set of these in your summer preschool themes? I’ve got you covered. Just click the image below and grab your own copy.
Then keep reading for even more printable summer activities!
NEED SOME SIMPLE SUMMER THEMED PRESCHOOL CENTERS?
Make your summer lesson planning a breeze with these printable preschool ocean centers!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.