Perfecting Preschool : Activities

preschool

It’s been a long time since you were knee-high to a grasshopper. You might have forgotten how to play, or what you used to really enjoy doing as a little person. That may be why moms are often stumped on what in the world they can do to keep their preschoolers busy, learning, and having fun.

I wrote this post as a sort of MOTHER OF ALL ACTIVITY LISTS for preschool learning – for MYSELF. I’ve drawn from many sources (all linked at the bottom), along with my own trail and error with my four kids, ranging in age from 16 to 2. This post is part of my 10 Days of Perfecting Preschool series… because that’s what I’m trying to do here at my own house. You can see the other topics in the series at the bottom of this post. Yesterday was on Learning Spaces and tomorrow will be on setting up a schedule.

The keys to all of early learning is PLAY and READING. Nothing should feel forced or you’ll stop them from ENJOYING learning and give them a predisposed idea that “doing school” is not FUN. You don’t want that!

Since I’m doing preschool this year, I needed these ideas in one place just as much as you did. I’m printing them out for my homeschool binder so I can plan each week on my Preschool Lesson Plan book. I also plan to run back through all my older posts from when the big kids were little… you can find those by clicking my Homeschool tab up top, and clicking on My Homeschool Journey. It’s sadly outdated (on my list of things to get to when I have time).

EXHAUSTIVE PRESCHOOL ACTIVITY LIST

LEARNING TO DO CHORES
teaching them to pick up
cleaning up spills
helping carry things
sorting laundry or toy boxes
sorting the Tupperware cabinet while you cook
washing veggies
feeding the animals
wiping off the tables
washing dishes
learning to do big chores in small steps

Perfecting Preschool: Activities - a series of posts at Sprittibee.com

LEARNING TO OBEY
learning family rules
learning safety rules
learning how to get along/civility
learning to share
learning bible character traits
bible memorization
reading the bible
Simon Says

Perfecting Preschool: Activities - a series of posts at Sprittibee.com

LEARNING TO EXERCISE AND CARE FOR OUR BODIES
dance
baby exercise videos
playing outside in a kiddie pool
walk in the neighborhood
take things up and down the stairs
Twister
tag
hopscotch
Hoola Hoops
trampoline with a net (and supervision)
scavenger hunt through the house
trike or cozy coupe on the driveway/sidewalk
helping mom garden or landscape doing small chores
sprinklers in the grass/slip and slide
free play in the back yard
nature walks
naps
making sure to drink enough water and take our vitamins
wagon rides and picnics outdoors
playing catch (with or without Velcro paddles)
preschool golf
gymnastics
swimming classes
relay races
sack races
playing in a fort or play-scape
stroller rides (let one push, the other ride)
pushing a small grocery cart
learning about the foods in the refrigerator and pantry and where they came from
playing with plastic foods
help water outdoor plants, trees, or the yard with hose

Koko's trains. Moving box art. Sprittibee's Perfecting Preschool Series activity list.

LEARNING TO CREATE AND MAKE ART
dry erase board, dry erase pads or flashcards
sidewalk chalk
finger paints
drawing
making potato stamp art
using stamps or our fingers with ink pads
collages from magazine cuttings or leaves
making a tree to hang seasonal ornaments on for your table centerpiece
making home made cards
stringing beads or noodles to make jewelry
learning simple crocheting
quilling
water-paint workbooks (automatically colors for them)
coloring pages
arts and crafts
chalkboard fun
shaving cream doodling (in bathtub/high chair)
magic markers that only work on special paper
painting with water
Lite Brite
tracing on a lit surface
Draw Write Now! books
stacking from shortest to tallest
Popsicle stick or brown bag puppets
faces on paper plates
sculpting with clay
visiting a ceramics or pottery shop
using glitter or pom poms to decorate something
covering coffee cans or shoe boxes with paper and decorating them
making silhouettes or shadow boxes

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR ACADEMICS: MOTOR AND MIND SKILLS
magnetic boards with all sorts of magnets
scooping beans or rice
sand and water with toys in a table built to hold water
jars and lids
buttons
catching bugs or raising ants/butterflies
charting the phases of the moon
pegboards and washers
keys and locks
threading hole-punched cards with yarn
matching block patterns on flashcards with blocks
matching card games
all sorts of puzzle & educational games
easy science experiments like building a volcano (with supervision)
stickers or foam stickers (sticker books)
removable plastic sticker books
weaving looms
building with wooden blocks
texture games
hidden object box (feel with eyes closed)
nesting dolls
building things out of empty boxes
pouring water
Play-Doh or clay
cut and paste
connecting the dots or coloring by number
pipe cleaners or bendable wax sticks
Lincoln Logs
toy clock
deck of cards or early learning card games
plastic shape blocks (fitting in to cube or box with shape holes)
Tossing beanbags, balls in hoops, or plastic horseshoes
tossing trash into the trashcan
actual nails/hammers/screws on a large wooden post or overturned cardboard box (with supervision)
preschool/kindergarten worksheets and workbooks (only if interested)
preschool flashcards

Perfecting Preschool: Activities - a series of posts at Sprittibee.com

PLAY AND PRETEND
sand box play or sand castles if you live near a beach
dig for hidden things in a sand box
look for hidden things or people in a hide and seek game
look at a jar full of items and identify them or find something particular
dressing up
animal box (plastic animals)
Little People (barn / manger, with animals and people figures)
building blanket and pillow forts or teepees
playing with toy trains
playing with cars and tracks (or a rug with tracks)
playing or building with Lego/Duplo blocks
flubber or slime
Angry Birds plastic build and knock down toys
stuffed animals (mostly a little girl thing – my boys are not interested)
puppet show theater
dolls or doll houses
Barbies
little kitchen or little tool shop
play house
painted refrigerator or washing machine boxes (spaceship or totem pole, anyone?) for pretend play

Guess what these are?! #homeschool #preschool

LEARNING TO READ
phonics (teaching time with mom)
looking at picture books or board books
trip to the library or book store for story time
books on audio
books on app
books made in to videos on Netflix/Roku, etc
foam letters on the floor
fishing for letters (matching lower/upper case)
making bean letters with glue and construction paper
dry erase board or flashcard letters
Draw Write Now! (for when you are ready to write sentences)
Bob Books
Early Readers
singing hymns, Sunday School songs, and other kid tunes
alphabet blocks
reading nook (hide out to read and make it more fun)
flashlight reading (in a teepee, fort, or tent)

Electronics Time  #preschool

SCREEN TIME
educational learning apps
educational learning television shows
educational computer games
reading apps
favorite movies for preschoolers
Leapfrog Toys
Xbox or Wii

I’m planning to add things to this list as I discover them, but this will give me a really great start when I sit down with the lesson plans. You can also look through my enrichment lists for those early years in my older posts for more ideas. I’ll be doing the same! It’s fun starting over with homeschooling – but definitely a brain twister. We go from Chemistry to Coloring Books in an minute flat. Crazy days.

Need some other ideas for keeping your preschooler busy learning?

Boy do I have some links for you! Follow my Pinterest account – I’ve got a preschool board there that is chocked full of all sorts of preschool related links. Or you could check out the following places:

Keeping Preschoolers Busy So You Can Homeschool
Preschoolers and Peace
Picture Book Preschool

Want to be listed here? Do you have a preschool activities resource or post? Email me!

Next up in the series will be Day 2, Activities. Hopefully I can get in bed really quick here so we can get our ACTIVITIES done tomorrow without me needing a nap with the preschoolers! Look for the next post at bedtime (the only time mama has free time).

Perfecting Preschool Series:

Day 1: Learning Spaces

Day 2: Activities

Day 3: Schedule

Day 4: Toys

Day 5: Rules

Day 6: Books

Day 7: Circle Time

Day 8: Arts & Crafts

Day 9: Music

Day 10: Electronics & Apps

Don’t forget to come back each day to read the rest of the series!

P.S. I’ll be giving away and reviewing some preschool-friendly items during this series, so don’t miss a day!

P.S.S. There’s a pretty September desktop wallpaper for your computer at the Homeschool Post!

P.S.S.S. The 9th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards is starting really soon! While I am no longer in charge at the Post (Lisa is doing a great job of being the new boss lady, soon to be full owner), I still write there, so you can’t nominate me – but I know you love me when you leave a comment. I love comments.

P.S.S.S.S. Don’t forget to join us this month for the #HSchallenge Photo-a-Day Instagram Challenge for homeschoolers! We’re only on Day 3 tomorrow, and it’s easy to click a photo on your smart phone – so you can catch up and join us for all 30 days – easy peasy!

{ Happy homeschoolin’, y’all! }

In Him,

Heather

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Disclaimer: This post contains a sponsored link for educational puzzles and toys. Click at your own risk. I can’t be held responsible if you blow your homeschool budget.

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