Let's Play a Game

Help your child understand the need for rules!

For this Activity you will need:

  • The board game: Memory
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers
  • Tape


Before starting this activity with your child, be sure to understand the rules of the board game.

  1. Talk with your child about games she may have played. Tell your child that you are going to play a game with her.
  2. Explain the rules of the game to your child. Discuss how you will play the game. Ask her if she’s ready to play. Play the game together.
  3. As you play, point out that you are following the rules by taking turns, turning cards over, and matching similar cards.
  4. When you are finished, ask her: "What would happen if you did not follow the rules? How would it make her feel if I didn’t follow the rules?" Tell your child that the rules helped us play the game.
  5. Talk about your family’s rules. (For example, "We speak nicely to each other." "Pick up your toys before bed." or "We do not play in the street.") Ask her why she thinks these rules are important.
  6. Share that rules keep people safe and help people get along with each other.
  7. Now help your child make a sign of an important family rule. Help your child choose the rule and write it across a construction paper. Read it to her and ask her to draw a picture to go with the words. Put it up in a special place.

Next Steps/Follow-Up:

  • Talk about other family rules you may have in your home. Make a list together and hang it up.
  • Teach your child simple games, such as: "Tag" or "Hide and Seek." Explain the rules of the game to your child and play the game together or with others.
  • Help your child make up a new game to play and have her decide on the rules for playing.
  • Point out rules you notice when you go places together. Look for signs that tell people rules to follow. (For example, "No dogs allowed." or "Don’t Walk." or "Please whisper in the library.") Talk about the reasons for these rules and encourage her to follow them with you.

Background Information:

 Social Studies (the study of people) involves:

  • Understanding how people live today and lived in the past.
  • Talking about people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Knowing how people work, solve problems, and get along with others.
  • Talking about self, family members, neighborhood and the community.

When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.


You can help build your child’s social studies skills by doing this activity.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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