Cate is really starting to get the concept of playing games. She definitely understands taking turns, but doesn't quite get the idea of winning and losing-- which is fine. And yes, in our house we will teach Cate how to both win and lose gracefully. I'm not a big believer in the whole "let the kid win every time" philosophy. But that's a whole other post.
Anyway, we've been enjoying Ants in the Pants. It's a game that's been around for awhile as I remember some of my friends owning it when when I was younger (it's the same company that makes Cootie). Cate is pretty good at flipping the ants into the dogs pants. We take turns, but like I said, we don't really have a winner or a loser at this point.
We're also really starting to enjoy the two games we got her for her 2nd birthday. Snail's Pace Race doesn't have winners/losers as its focus is on turn-taking and trying to see which snail will cross the finish line first. It also teaches colors-- as does Spin Me a Rainbow.
As luck would have it, someone I work with posted on our internal email bulletin board about selling some preschool games. I got 5 games for $15! Two barely played Thomas games (Dominoes and Trains & Trestles), an I-Spy Bingo game in a metal collector's tin (never played), and two games that came in tins and still have the plastic shrinkwrap around them (Curious George A B See and Sesame Street Number Jumble).
I think the the two with shrinkwrap still on them will make their way under the tree (the tins are small enough that one could go in her stocking). The other three I'll probably save to give to her on one of those days after Brennan gets here where she just needs something new to do. I've been buying books and little things to give her so she has something fun (and quiet) and new to do every day after he's here. I know a lot of the focus will be on her little brother, so I figure a small present a day for a month or so will help. Someone at school gave me a V.Tech V.Smile system that plugs right into the TV. So that will be a really fun big-sister present for one day. I got a couple of games from Amazon really cheap too (Little Einsteins, Thomas, and WallE). But mostly it's just books.
Anyway...CandyLand is another game we're hoping to add to our collection soon. Cate knows her colors, so we don't think she'll have any problems playing that one. If you know of any other great toddler/preschooler games, we really want to know about them. I have a feeling that family game night will be a regular way for Eric, Cate, and I to spend time together this winter when Brennan is sleeping.