Learning doesn’t only happen in a classroom. Preschoolers are always learning. One of the best things you can do as a parent or teacher is to encourage your child to play outdoors and without electronics. I know this last year or so has loosened all of our rules about technology but outdoor free play is still, in my opinion, the gold standard. That said, some children need help getting started, it’s fun to learn and play with our kids, and sometimes we want to work on specific skills that we feel our children need a little extra time with. In those cases, simple preschool activities at home fit the bill! Here are 10 preschool activities at home you can do and feel good knowing your child is learning.
1. Read with your child.
Ok, so I’m starting with the obvious, but I can’t stress enough how important this is. This is the most important of all the preschool activities at home you do. So if you only have time for one activity a day, make it a book. Need some great books to read? Check out my list of must-have preschool books or browse our book reviews here.
2. Book Letter Hunt
Write out the alphabet on a piece of paper. Sit down with a familiar book. You won’t be reading it, just using it to find letters. Look for each letter, turn the page from time to time for a new search area. With beginners, look for their first initial and maybe one more letter. With letter experts, look for the letters in their names in the correct order. If they can do that, check out these other name activities to try.
3. Sound Safari
Go outside with your child. Close your eyes and ask your child to tell you what they hear. If you can go for a walk, go around your neighborhood. Keep a mental note of all the sounds heard in your neighborhood. Come back inside and draw those sounds and what was making them; birds, trucks, construction, maybe a siren, or a dog barking.
4. Count & Move
I love using movements along with counting because it helps reinforce the idea of one-to-one correspondence. As you count, you touch items, or in this case, you move your body with every number. Grab some paper, cut into small squares, and write numbers on half of them them. On the other half, write movements. Jump, stomp, hop on one foot, clap, etc…Shuffle each pile and place them face down. Flip one square from each. Call out the number and the movement. Move and learn together.
5. Sink or Float?
Get a tub of water and fill it up. A large mixing bowl will work fine, so will a bathtub! Gather various toys or household items you don’t mind getting wet. Try to get a mix of things; some that will float and some you know won’t. Hold up the items one at a time, asking your child if they think it will stay on the water and float or fall to the bottom and sink. Place each item in one at a time. Was your child’s prediction, right? This simple activity helps children learn the very beginnings of the scientific method. Check out these other preschool science activities too.
6. Musical Numbers & Musical Letters
Gather some plain paper and write numbers or letters on them. Use a mix of numbers/letters your child recognizes and some they don’t. We want the child to feel confident but also be challenged. Place them around a room with the furniture pushed aside so there is room to move and groove when the music plays. Play the music and boogie. Pause the music and call out a number. Encourage your child to find and stand on the number you called out. Repeat!
7. Color Mixing with Playdough
Let them mix the colors! At least pinch off a little play dough, place it in an ice cube tray and let them squish the playdough together to create a whole new color. As they are learning how colors mix to make new colors, they are also working on important fine motor skills and getting a great sensory experience while doing so. Here are more fine motor activity ideas.
8. Draw A Self-Portrait
Paper, crayons, maybe some colored pencils are all you need for this art activity. Encourage your child to look in a mirror and really look at themselves before sitting down to draw. Help them notice all the parts of their face. What do they need to draw? Make sure you use drawing tools your child is comfortable using. Chubby crayons are perfect for little hands that need a larger tool than a standard pencil.
9. Nursery Rhyme & Draw
Nursery rhymes are such an essential tool for early literacy. Recite your favorite classic with your child and then illustrate it together. Grab some crayons and plain paper and draw a picture of some element in the nursery rhyme. If your child enjoys this activity, try it again with other nursery rhymes. If your child loves rhyming, here are more fun ways to work on this skill.
10. Alphabet Toss
This might be the most fun activity on this list of preschool activities at home. Grab some bean bags, a soft ball, or roll some socks together to make your own. You will also need some paper (any old paper will do) and a marker. Write one letter on each piece of paper. I like to do three pieces of paper and write two familiar letters and one that your child hasn’t mastered yet. When it’s time to play, stand your child a few feet from the paper and hand them the ball or bean bag. Call out a letter and have them toss the ball to that target. Keep going!
Looking for more great preschool activities at home? Check out my new book, Everyday Preschool!
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO FIND INSIDE EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL:
- Over 170 simple preschool activities that use everyday materials. You don’t need to invest a lot of money to teach your child at home.
- Activities are short, with minimal prep so that you can fit some learning into your busy day.
- The book is organized into nine categories of learning; literacy, math, science, sensory, art, fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional, and bedtime reading tips.
- Everyday Preschool activity book was created using various state standards for PreK and has tips for making activities easier or harder to fit your child.
- An Appendix filled with an extensive book list links to free printables, song lyrics, nursery rhymes, my favorite playdough recipe, and more.