The article reflects upon the sense of game activities in the pre-school period. It recalls opinions on games as a means of education from the past and analyzes present tendencies in the didactic employment of games (intentional stimulation, systematic arrangement of stimuli in the game, programming the game’s materials and toys, directing and structuring the course o f game activities). The danger o f over-estimating the educational effect is stressed. The article also emphasizes that the game is a spontaneous and voluntary individual confrontation of the child as a subject with his physical and social environment, an irreplaceable direct experience and above all a space, in which he/she wants and can operate independently. A natural context of life and of its social dimensions is crucial in providing ideal dispositions for the personality development o f a child by means of a freely chosen internalized game activity.