Whether you have one preschooler or several, here are some ideas for keeping preschoolers busy! For this post, I chose to especially focus on activities that preschoolers can do independently (well, as independently as a preschooler can be!) while Mom is getting something done or homeschooling older kids.
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Drawing on a chalk board – Or a white board with dry erase markers
Blocks – We love these wooden blocks from Melissa and Doug!
Rain Gutter Hot Wheels ramps – These would also be fun with a ball to roll down the ramp.
Crayon Rubbings – Here are some ideas for setting up a crayon rubbing center.
A spray bottle full of water – This can keep preschoolers busy outside for a long time!
Beads on pipe cleaners
Magna Tiles – These are fun for age 2 up through age 8 or 9.
Connect Four game – Play the game, or not. Preschoolers just enjoy dropping in the game pieces!
Puzzles – rotate which ones are out.
Books – again, rotate which ones are out. Or visit the library regularly.
Junk mail + scissors – They can cut to their heart’s content!
Stickers – We enjoy sticking stickers on the first letter of our names. (See picture below!)
Playdough – Fun add-ins for playdough are googly eyes, pipe cleaner segments for making playdough creatures with legs, plastic animals, plastic silverware, vase filler gems, alphabet letter stamps.
Toy dinosaurs or animals, plus real sticks and rocks – for creating pretend play scenes.
A tub of rice, plus things for scooping and pouring
A magnet wand + a container of water – Our magnet wand came with these magnetic chips. It’s fun to play with the magnetic chips in a plastic container full of water!
Farm-themed sensory play – this was a favorite!
Balloons + fly swatters – this is especially great for burning off energy on a bad weather day.
Plastic cups + craft sticks (see below!)
Tongs + pom pom balls + plastic cups – Load and unload! (And practice those fine motor skills!)
Cutting practice – Here are five activities for scissor practice
Ice Dinosaur Eggs – These are simple to set up, and a lot of fun.
Sink and Float – Do this outside. Or, set up a plastic bowl of water on top of a large beach towel. Let your preschooler explore different items to see if they sink or float.
Natural Items to Explore – Rocks, leaves, sticks, sea shells, acorns.
Color Scavenger Hunt – Go fill up this bucket with things that are red, blue, etc.
Line up items from smallest to largest – Shoes (some from each family member), toy animals, rocks, sticks, etc.
For the youngest kids – 10+ Activities for Busy Toddlers