The title of this article is exactly what people are searching for on my site right now. Do you need some activities for preschoolers in quarantine? So many preschoolers are home either because they are positive with Covid or because they are a close contact, and since they are too young for the vaccine, they have to stay home too. If you have come here looking for ideas for your child, my site is FULL of great hands-on educational activities for preschoolers. If you have come here for activities for preschools in quarantine and don’t have the time or energy to dig around, I’ve compiled this list of super simple ideas for parents to use and for teachers to print and send home, or simply link in an email!
These activities are from my book Everyday Preschool: simple educational activities for busy families who never planned on homeschooling.
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Write some letters on plain paper. I like to use half a sheet of paper for each letter. Use a mix of letters, but there is no need to use all twenty-six. 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 groove. Pause the music and call out a letter. Your child should stand next to that letter. Repeat!
Make it easier -> Use only a few letters and make them all different colors. When calling out the letter, call it out as” RED H” or “BLUE T,” whatever colors the letters are written in. This gives your child help to find the letters since they have the color as a hint.
Make it harder -> Make or write sight words instead of letters. Find sight words here.
Scavenger hunts are always fun, and being stuck inside can get sedentary. Hunts are a great way to get moving
. Use some post-it notes numbers or use paper, and hide them all over! Use at least ten and hide them around your home. Now it’s time to go hunting! What numbers did you find?
Make it easier -> Hunt together.
Make it harder –> Use a second set of post-it notes and line them up on your wall to make a number line. As your child find a hidden number have them come and match it up to the number line.
For this, you will need some paper, glue, and scissors. Any color, any type of paper, whatever you have on hand. Cut all but one sheet into different shapes. Give your child a full sheet of paper, glue, and shapes. Let them create! Manipulating the shapes while creating helps them to learn the properties of the shapes in a meaningful way.
Make it easier -> Cut the shapes out for the child and focus only on two shapes like circles and triangles.
Make it harder –> Give your child a building challenge like using the shapes to make likes flowers, a rocket, or a house.
TELL STORIES WITH FAMILY PHOTOS
Get snuggly and scroll through those photos on your phone together. Ask your child to tell you about different images that are likely to get them talking. Special events, birthday parties, family trips. This is a great time to talk about the things and people we miss being at home. Kids are perceptive, and ignoring the elephant in the room doesn’t protect them. Acknowledging their feelings does.
LAUNDRY BASKET TOSS
Gross motor development is essential, but it doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun. Grab a laundry basket or two, some socks or soft balls, and play target toss.
Make it easier -> Use a large laundry basket.
Make it harder -> Every time you get the socks in, move the basket further away.
KITCHEN CUPBOARD COUNTING
Grab a piece of paper and title it” How many do we have?” then write whatever items you want to count together. After counting, write the number down if your child can have them write it.
Make it easier -> Have a small group of kitchen items out to count, for example, three forks, 2 cups, and four spoons.
Make it harder –> before counting, ask your child to predict which items will have the most. How many do they think there are? After counting, make a simple bar graph on the paper comparing the kitchen items you counted.
SINK OR FLOAT?
This is one of my favorite science activities for preschool at home.
Get a tub of water ( 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 that 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?
Make it easier –> use items that they have seen floating or sinking like rocks and bath toys. This will encourage them to speak up and make a prediction because many of theirs will be right!
Make it harder –> Ask your child why they think some float and some sink if you need a refresher for why this post explains it in a way kids can understand.
Make it easier -> Make X’s and Os rolling out the playdough is beneficial all on its own, don’t fret if they aren’t ready to make letters.
Make it harder -> Make or write sight words in the playdough with letter stamps or by forming the letters. Find sight words here.
ANIMAL SOUNDS GAME
Go through your toy box or child’s room to find some animal toys pop them in a bag or other place your child can’t see them. If you do not have any animal toys, you can print photos of animals here. Ask your child to close their eyes and use their sense of hearing for this game. Make the sound the animal toy you have in your hand makes. For example, for a toy cow, you would moo. Have your child yell out what animal makes that sound and then open their eyes to see if they are correct.
Get The Book
Everyday Preschool is packed with over 160 more simple educational activities for preschoolers. Get your copy on Amazon or request your local library to order it!
Do you have more time for preschool crafts?
If you have more time or energy for prep – I invite you to check out my favorite preschool crafts. When you are stuck at home it’s fun to make something special and all of my crafts and activities can be done in a short amount of time. Even if you are trying to work from home while quarantining you can do something special with your kiddo, it doesn’t have to be fancy!