Maintaining the attention of a child can be a task unto itself, let alone keeping multiple children engaged at one time!
But what if it were possible to combine some really fun activities that preschool children will enjoy with activities that will also prepare them for the world of school and some of the challenges it presents?
If you’re looking for ways to stimulate children’s minds while also teaching them valuable skills, then you have come to the right place, because we are going to look at 15 of the best activities that you can enjoy with your children right now!
Read on below to get started!
1 – Letter Cups
Want to teach your children some basic literacy in a fun and playful way? Take some plastic cups, and write an individual letter onto each cup.
Once you have done that, place the cups in a row, and have one child kick a small soft ball towards the cups, in an attempt to knock some of them over.
Every time a cup is knocked over, have the child read and say aloud the letter written upon it.
This game will encourage children to internalize what each letter is, and also injects a little bit of exercise into it!
2 – Make A Story
This excellent activity will encourage memory retention, creativity, logic, and communication skills.
To play the game, you simply need to create a scenario and then say it out loud, such as “Today I am going to the grocery store, and I am going to pick up…”
From here, you should encourage each child to repeat what you said, and then add something to the end of it: “Today I am going to the grocery store, and I am going to pick up milk”.
Every time the scenario is repeated, by either you or one of the children, you should add on one more item, so in the case of our example scenario you may say “I am going to pick up milk, apples, and bread.”
This game encourages children to be creative, while also developing their memories!
3 – Scavenger Hunt
One of the greatest things about a scavenger hunt is that it can be equally enjoyable for adults and children.
Start by creating a list of things that the children should hunt for, and then allow them to start hunting while you observe them.
Scavenger hunts are really great at reinforcing memory retention, as it encourages the children to recall what things they already know about the items they are hunting for.
It will also teach the children how to focus and maintain their attention while also getting them up and moving about!
4 – Make A Volcano
One of the oldest childhood pastimes, and one you likely have experience with already, is building volcanoes! In order to create your own erupting volcano, you will need to grab some baking soda, some vinegar, and some red food coloring, so that you can create lava.
You can create the volcano itself by taking a plastic bottle and surrounding it with paper or other materials to create a tall and conical shape.
Once the volcano has been made, fill the bottle with the baking soda, and then the vinegar that is mixed with red food coloring.
This will cause an eruption that is a true visual treat that will stimulate your children’s minds, and teach them a little bit about science and nature!
5 – Play Doctor
This very simple activity requires no set-up ahead of time and requires no extra materials. Set up a scenario for a child in which they can play as a doctor, with you acting as their patient.
This will teach children how to use their imaginations in play, and will also teach them some fairly useful communication tools.
By pretending to be a doctor, children will be encouraged to change how they talk, and to use a different register, so not only will the children engage in imaginative play, but they will also expand their vocabularies.
6 – Rhyming
A great way to expand children’s vocabulary and encourage imagination is to play a simple rhyming game. Say a word to the children, and encourage them to respond with a word that rhymes with it.
When they choose a word, you then choose another word after that, and the cycle continues.
The children will have to use their imaginations to find words that rhyme, while also drawing from their memories to choose words that exist!
If you wanted to make the game even more educational, you could also ask the children what each word means!
7 – Develop Emotional Vocabulary
It’s very important to ensure that children know how to identify the emotions of others, while also recognizing their own emotions.
This simple ring toss game involves throwing rings onto cones that have corresponding emotions attached to them.
For example, one cone may have a smiling face, while another may have a sad face. When a child throws a ring onto a cone, ask them to identify the emotion and recall a time that they may have felt it.
This game is great because it teaches children self-sufficiency, while also ensuring they treat other children with respect and kindness!
8 – Simon Says
This is one of the most enduring childhood games and for very good reason. Playing Simon says is great for encouraging memory, as children will know to look out for the right words to play correctly.
It also teaches them basic discipline, so that they know how to follow orders, but only ever from people they trust.
9 – Build Towers Together
One of the most crucial virtues you can teach your child before they enter preschool is patience! This simple activity can teach your child the importance of patience and turn-taking.
Grab a bunch of blocks, and tell the child that you are going to build a tower together, but that each person places one block one after another.
Start by placing the first block, and then encourage the child to place another on top of that block. Then place another on top of the second block.
Keep the pattern up to see how high the tower can go. If the child tries to take two turns in a row, then softly remind them of how the order works in the activity!
This great game teaches children that being patient and taking turns can lead to great things.
10 – The Tidying Race
Another crucial skill for children to learn is the ability to tidy up after themselves. But encouraging children to tidy up is easier said than done.
An easy way to encourage it is to turn the chore of tidying into a game! Set up a timer and time how long it takes the children to tidy up.
Then, every time the children tidy up after that, you can encourage them to try to beat their best time!
11 – Playdough
Playdough is a really great thing for preschool children to play around with because it has plenty of sensory benefits that allow children to learn how to experience and process the world around them.
The way that the playdough feels under the children’s fingers is interesting and stimulating. Playing with playdough also encourages creativity, as children will be able to create anything they can put their minds to.
Playing with playdough also benefits fine motor skills, because it can encourage children to make detailed creations.
12 – Smell Identification
Teaching your child to embrace their multiple senses is very much beneficial, and as such, you should also make sure to spend some time improving your child’s sense of smell.
Get the children to cover their eyes, and then place some specific items in front of them, and encourage them to identify each item by the smell they emit.
You can also encourage a sense of touch by allowing them to help identify things by touching them as well as smelling them.
13 – Hide And Seek
The perennial favorite of generations of children, Hide and Seek, makes for a perfect activity to play with preschool children, as it encourages great memory retention, as the children will know to look out for identifying features in order to find you!
Hide and seek also teaches a child to take on challenges alone and to see things through to completion.
14 – Play School
Pretend that you and the children are attending an imaginary school, and take them through some of the things they should expect, and how they should act.
Hearing about how to behave from someone they trust helps your child to better internalize appropriate behavior!
15 – Reading Out loud
To improve a child’s reading comprehension and confidence, you can try having them read you a story out loud.
Make sure to give the child plenty of encouragement as they read, as it helps them to feel that they are engaging.
Frequently Asked Questions
How High Can A 3 Year Old Count?
Though children can learn at very different rates, you should expect a child of 3 years to be able to count to around 10.
Can 3 Year Olds Spell Their Name?
Once again, children can learn at different rates, so while some children may be able to spell their own names, others may not!
When Should A Child Be Potty Trained?
Children tend to be completely potty trained around the age of 3, though some children may take slightly longer, or slightly less time.,
We hope that these activities prove not only to be very fun but also incredibly useful so that your child can learn some great skills that allow them to enjoy preschool better, and help them to develop crucial life skills.