More than 75 preschool activities, all in one place!
I really love preschoolers. There’s just something about the curious and sincere nature of kids this age that is just fun and endearing! I love watching preschoolers play and learn.
Preschoolers are not known for their long attention spans, however. If you’ve got a high energy preschooler, it can be challenging to keep them busy in constructive ways and hard to get anything done! This post has a huge collection of activities that preschoolers will actually enjoy and want to stick with long enough that you can complete a task. There are also many activities that are fun to do together with your preschooler!
One more note before I get to the activities… okay, two.
First, don’t be afraid of mess with preschoolers. Children this age need to squish play dough, paint with watercolors, cut with scissors, and scoop and pour sand. If simple ground rules are insisted on from the start, the clean-up should not be extreme, and the hours of focused play will be worth it!
Second, most of the “toys” out there for preschoolers are total junk. If you bypass gimmicky toys with flashing lights and stick to developmentally appropriate and interesting (to preschoolers) activities like cutting and playing with play dough, you’ll discover a much longer attention span than you thought was possible!
Just my two cents! Now, on to the activities…
Some of the activities in this post have an accompanying blog post and a link, and others are just quick suggestions that don’t need any explaining.
FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES
Junk mail + scissors – they can cut to their hearts’ content!
Drawing on a chalk board, or use a dry erase board with markers. I keep our dry erase markers put away and only get them out for limited times. Makes the activity more fun, and less markers get ruined.
Connect Four game – play the game, or not. Preschoolers just love dropping the game pieces into the frame!
Scissor Skills Pizza Shop – Preschoolers will love creating their own pizzas, with toppings that they cut out all by themselves. Then use a cardboard box to make a pizza oven for some pretend play!
Bean Sort – Give your preschooler a bag of bean soup mix (multiple types of dried beans) and an empty egg carton and have him or her sort them by type.
Egg Towers Balancing Game – Build towers with plastic Easter egg halves, stacked on top of straws.
Stickers – Draw the first letter of the child’s name and have him or her cover it with small stickers.
Use bamboo skewers and straws to make some Pattern Towers.
Set up a Crayon Rubbing Center – the post has some fun ideas for things to include.
Make a simple Pencil Practice Book.
Little fingers will be strengthened by pinning letters on the Alphabet Clothes Line.
BLOCKS AND OTHER BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Set up some rain gutter ramps – These make some fantastic ramps for cars. Add some wooden blocks for building tunnels, etc.
Make your own castle building blocks – these are neither expensive nor difficult to make! My kids have really been enjoying them.
Magna Tiles – We LOVE these and have gotten so much use out of them! They are fun to build with on their own, but you can also use a cookie sheet or a large metal oil change tray as a building surface.
Here’s a collection of Math Activities to do with Magna Tiles.
LEGO DUPLO Play Ideas – Here are some fun things to do with DUPLO bricks.
Make a Giant Color Graph – there are so many possibilities with this! Graph Hot Wheels cars, nature items, toy animals, and more.
Use DUPLO LEGO for some preschool math activities.
Smallest to largest – line up shoes, pencils, stuffed animals, etc. from smallest to largest. Or organize items by big/small.
Do a Shape Scavenger Hunt – this is SO easy to set up, and kids will love it.
Name Collage – Cut letters from cereal boxes or magazines and have kids build their names! Older preschoolers can do the cutting themselves, although they may need help. Glue the letters on a piece of card stock.
Counting Scavenger Hunt – Have children count the number of chairs in the house, shoes, stuffed animals, etc. Make a list a give the child a clipboard. So much fun!
Roll It, Count It, Write It Mats – roll the dice, count that many objects, and then write the number. We laminated our mats so that we can use them over and over with a dry erase marker!
Color Dominoes – Use craft sticks to make this simple game!
Use paper plates to make a giant Alphabet Memory Game.
For older preschoolers, print this Beginning Sounds Memory Game.
Here are 6 Pattern Activities for Preschoolers. Make patterns with beads, snack foods, and more.
Learn your name with Hot Wheels cars – create a parking lot with your child’s name! Then label cars with one letter per car.
Need more name ideas? Here are 10 Name Activities for Preschoolers.
5 Number Activities for Preschoolers – You can do these activities with materials you have on hand.
PLAY DOUGH IDEAS
We love to make homemade play dough! Add a few tools and accessories from around the house to create all kinds of themed play dough fun.
Play Dough Cactuses (or Cacti, whatever…) – Create a play dough cactus and use toothpicks for spines!
Play Dough Bugs – Use googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and straw segments to create bugs of all kinds.
Desert Animals/Sand Play Dough – Make play dough with real sand in it, and create desert scenes.
Ocean Play Dough – Create an ocean and a sandy beach.
Sparkly Gold Play Dough – Add some beads and plastic jewels.
Summer Scented Play Dough – make orange, coconut, lime, and watermelon scented dough. The same post has ideas for fun imprints in play dough.
Construction Scene Play Dough – Make some dirt colored dough and create a construction scene with tiny trucks.
Hatching Dinosaur Egg Play Dough – Plastic Easter eggs are perfect for making dinosaur eggs out of play dough, with baby dinosaurs inside!
Conversation Heart Play Dough – Cut out hearts and use alphabet stamps to spell words!
SENSORY PLAY IDEAS
Build a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table – We LOVE our table! So many ways to use this.
Here are 5 Water Table Play Ideas – LEGO boats, bead soup, and more.
Ice Dinosaur Eggs Excavation – so easy to set up! This is fun outside on a hot day, or inside on a rainy day! Just put them in a plastic tub if you’re doing them inside.
Construction Truck Sensory Bin – build a quick cardboard ramp for loading trucks.
A spray bottle full of water – this will keep kids busy outside for a LONG time!
Planting Flowers Sensory Bin – you would not believe how many hours of play we got out of this. Totally recommend!
Paint with Water – Hand them a cup of water and a paintbrush, and let them paint the sidewalk, the house, tree trunks, etc. Super simple fun!
Farm Sensory Play – Upcycle an orange juice container into a silo that loads corn into a truck. We spent hours with this!
Build a Funnels and Tubes Pegboard – Favorite activity! We played with ours with colored rice, and sand would also work well.
Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs – Make bath bombs that fizz and melt to reveal baby dinosaurs inside.
PRETEND PLAY IDEAS
Three Little Pigs Pretend Play – retell the story with fun materials.
Cardboard Box Hot Wheels Parking Lot with Ramps – You can get hours of play out of this!
GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES
Balloons + fly swatters – these make a fabulous combination!
Here are 10 indoor games to play with ball pit balls! My favorites are the milk jug catching game and the color sort.
Build a LEGO DUPLO mini golf course – so fun, especially on a rainy day.
Here are 6 Indoor Active Games for preschoolers.
Create your own American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course – this will be a big hit, I guarantee it!