The Loco Lingo series of games live in the grey area between toy and game...and they pull this off quite nicely. The game has 12 cards that show items one might find in a kindergarten classroom as well as 3 wooden figures and a die that has color dots on the faces. These pieces can be used in one of the game suggestions included in the rulebook, or as inspiration for your own game.
That is the key difference with the Loco Lingo series. Unlike typical games that lay out the explicit rules for a single style of game play, Loco Lingo: Kindergarten is instead a highly structured toy that provides a framework and resources upon which games can be built by the players. This is a game for young children and their care givers to play together with the adult assuming a facilitator role. In many ways, this game provides a beginners guide to playing with your child. Or consider using this as a professional development for play-based learning.
The suggested games focus on a number of early learning skills including rhyming, object recognition, color recognition, and problem solving. We tested the game in a kindergarten classroom for students with special needs with great success. The Loco Lingo series would also be a great fit for public library programs for young children or in homes.