There are three games that my students love to play, and can play fairly independently.
Zingo is an adaptation of bingo where players match a picture chip to the picture on their boards. The words are also listed allowing children to make connections to print. They love sliding the chip holder to reveal the next pictures.
The last game is The Storybook Game. In this game a player draws a card and has to incorporate the item featured into the story that is being told by the group. It is great for language development.
The last new item I want to suggest is very simple and open ended. A dry erase board and markers from your local office supply store.
Children love the feel of using this material traditionally used by adults. The fact that erasing is so easy is very freeing. I have a large bin of them that I keep out in my classroom. The children use them to draw ideas for block structures, signs for dramatic play and as their easels for playing school. They have been very fond of making graphs lately and having their classmates respond to their questions. They come in various sizes so your child could have one to use while driving in the car and a bigger one to use at home. And don't forget to get the eraser...they LOVE the eraser!
This child is now building the idea he sketched on the white board
The white board became a "specials" menu. Pizza, ice cream and pie are being served.
I would love to hear your suggestions for the young children in your lives. Share with us the great things you have discovered.