Children are incredibly talented when it comes to creating fun and exciting activities out of nothing. No matter whether you’ve given them leftover craft supplies or an empty pad of paper, chances are your child will only need five minutes to invent something that you can’t help but marvel at.
While independent play is critical to child development, children also thrive within an early childhood learning environment that simultaneously incorporates organised activities.
Designing fun activities that purposefully target areas of your child’s emotional and physical development is invaluable when preparing them for big school.
To help those who may not experience the same creativity-levels as their child, here are some fun and easy to set up activities that both you and your child will enjoy – and maybe even learn some things at the same time too.
How do you organise interesting and fun activities for preschoolers?
While play equipment and toys are trusted by many parents to provide endless entertainment for their preschool-aged children, you don’t have to rely on them when creating fun preschool activities.
When brainstorming what kind of activities you want to create, you should first consider what you want to get out of it. If you’re looking for a creative outlet, consider incorporating drama, art, craft, music or dance into your activities. Or, if you want to harness a specific skill set, you can work backwards to find an activity that specifically supports that very same skill.
Benefits of activities for preschool-aged children
The benefits of activities for preschool-aged children extend far beyond just ensuring fun. Preschool activities are often scaled down scenarios that your child will encounter in their life and can assist in developing key skill sets that will be particularly important for school.
Some of the many areas that activities for preschool-aged children help include:
- Social and motor skills
- Rational thinking
- Time management
- Self confidence
All of these things help with your child’s school readiness and sets the foundation for a love of learning that’s also fun.
Preschool activity ideas
Here are some preschool activity ideas that target specific areas of child development. Pick and choose or even combine multiple activities into one – don’t be afraid to get creative!
Language and literacy games
Both reading and encouraging children to pretend to read are valuable activities for preschoolers when it comes to boosting creativity and language development. But there are thousands of other language and literacy activities out there that offer a more inventive approach for children looking to explore the world of letters and words. Some fun ideas are:
Apart from reading and even pretending to read, there are countless other language and
Fishing for letters
For this activity, you’ll need some scissors, coloured paper, a marker, some yarn or ribbon and a ruler. You’ll also need a magnet (one from the fridge is fine) and some paper clips.
- Gather an assortment of different coloured pieces of paper
- Draw a fish template on each one and then cut it out
- Once you have a collection of fish, write different letters on each fish tail before attaching a paper clip to the fish’s ‘body’
- Tie the yarn or ribbon to the end of the ruler and tape the magnet to the base of the string
- Encourage your child to use the fishing rod to ‘catch’ the fish and have them identify each letter that they catch
If you feel like taking a break from the craft box and going for a walk, this activity is for you. Going for an alphabet walk is as simple as going for a typical stroll around the neighbourhood or local park.
Start out the walk by choosing a random letter. Then, as you and your child walk along, point out everything that you can see beginning with your chosen letter. To give an example, if you chose the letter ‘b’, maybe you’ll spot birds, bricks, buildings, benches, bikes…
Before your child becomes a maths genius, they first need to master counting and recognise numbers. Counting is an important developmental step and also provides great inspiration for engaging games.
‘Feeding’ your favourite animal
For this craft activity, all you need is some paper, a pen, some scissors and the ability to draw (or a printed cut out that you can trace).
First, create and cut out an outline of your child’s favourite animal on a piece of paper. Then, on some other paper, draw the food that the animal eats at least 10 times before cutting each one out. For example, if you’re drawing a cat you might want to cut out small fish or if it’s a horse, you can draw carrots.
Once you’ve got a collection of food items and an animal cut out, say a random number and have your child ‘feed’ the animal by counting to the number you chose and then dropping that amount of food cut outs into the animal’s mouth.
5 little ducks
Five little ducks went out one day…over the hills and far away…
5 Little Ducks is one of the classic preschool activity ideas for a reason.
If you want to make it more interactive, you can recount the song with rubber ducks in the bath. Have your child count the number of ducks and use their fingers to recount the amount of ducks that have stayed in the bath versus the ones that have left. This song sets the foundation for simple additions and subtractions, and also helps with their enunciation of rhyming words. Two birds (ducks?), one stone.
Outside of numbers and counting, shapes also help children become familiar with logical thinking and mathematical concepts. Already knowing how to name and identify shapes will be especially valuable once they start school. To help introduce your children to shapes, here are some shape-related activities to try out:
Trace shapes on a piece of paper or chalkboard
Use a piece of paper or chalkboard to trace a variety of shapes, including circles, triangles, squares and rectangles. Then, encourage your child to name each shape and identify why the shape falls under that specific type.
Match squares and triangles
If you already have building blocks or other toys in different shapes, you can use them for this activity. Otherwise, grab a piece of paper and some scissors and cut out a series of different sized squares and triangles. After you have your collection of shapes arranged in front of you, ask your child to match the squares and triangles into two separate piles.
You can use this opportunity to discuss how triangles can come in different measurements and don’t always resemble one another as precisely as squares do.
Has your child had to resort to drawing inside their story books because they’ve finished all of their colouring-in books? Here are some art activities for when your child is feeling a burst of creativity that can’t be unleashed with just a crayon.
No matter whether you’re da Vinci or have two non-dominant hands, this mosaic activity can help anyone create a masterpiece worthy of taking a front and centre place in the prestigious Gallery of the Refrigerator.
All you need are some old magazines (and/ or coloured pieces of paper), scissors and a glue stick. Either cut out images and patterns within a magazine that captivate your child’s attention, or rip up tiny pieces of coloured paper. You can then help your child arrange these strips of paper onto a plain piece of paper to create any kind of design possible, before glueing them into place. Now you’ve got something new and exciting to hang on your fridge.
Are your napkins or dish cloths starting to look a little ragged? Or are you unsuccessfully searching for a present for an upcoming birthday?
Create a napkin that is not only stunning but also sentimental with this art activity.
You’ll need to buy some plain fabric and colourful fabric paint. After you’ve assembled your supplies, gather items that could be used as stamps (leaves, twigs, plastic toys – anything you’re prepared to get dirty). Your child can dip the stamps into fabric paint and press them into the fabric to create different patterns and pictures. If you’re feeling creative, you can even get your own hands dirty and make your own design.
You don’t need access to a bunsen burner or a chemistry lab to conduct your own science experiments in the home. Instil a wonder for science in your child with these easy to organise science experiments.
Oil and Water Science experiment
Teach your child about how different substances interact with each other by showing them first hand how oil and water are immiscible (you don’t have to use that word though).
All you need is some vegetable oil, food colouring and droppers. Fill several different cups with water and then stir in different colours within each one. After that, fill up another cup with oil and use your dropper to squeeze droplets of coloured water into the oil. Watch as the droplets of coloured water stay intact and create stunning patterns within the oil.
Create rainbow flowers
To create rainbow flowers, all you need are some white flowers, food colouring, water and a good dose of patience. Insert the stem of your white flower into a vase of water that’s been mixed with food colouring. Then, wait for 24 hours or however long it takes for the flower’s petals to start blooming with the colour of the water.
Not only will you be able to teach your child about how plants require nutrients to survive – you are also left with some gorgeous flowers you can use to decorate your home.
Preschool activities at Aurrum
Young minds are constantly searching for their next source of entertainment and learning.
At Aurrum Kids, our childcare team understands how closely intertwined activities are with childhood development and learning. That’s why our preschoolers’ activities build upon the skills established in solo-play and are specifically designed to elicit wonder, creativity and a love of learning.
With child day care centres in Victoria and New South Wales, Aurrum Kids takes an all-encompassing, tailored approach when it comes to implementing our early learning framework. Arrange a tour at one of our centres today to experience our modern childcare facilities first hand.