When it comes to planning playful learning activities for preschoolers, it isn’t one size fits all! Preschoolers are naturally inquisitive and curious students who are dying to explore and find out answers in all areas of science learning. Preschool teachers and parents, like yourself, need to have preschool activities for lesson plans that are easy for young students to understand, many who are not yet reading, and gives them the opportunity to spend some time playing!
Your time is limited, so it’s important that your preschool activities for the school year are easy to set-up and provide valuable learning experiences for the youngest students. Here’s some of favorite playful learning activities for preschoolers to use all year long!
PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR PLAY AND LEARNING!
PRESCHOOL LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Create a life long love of learning for your preschooler with simple learning activities that create a sense of joy! There are many categories of preschool activities including math, science, sensory play, nature, and literacy activities.
Plus, many of our favorite preschool activities can be changed up from holiday to holiday or season to season with the addition of themed props and accessories.
We have found so many fun ways to play together! Playful learning is about creating joy, wonder, and curiosity. Developing this sense of joy and wonder starts at a young age and adults are a big part of it.
You can set up invitations to discover and explore as opposed to simply providing immediate entertainment. This fosters a huge sense of success in young learners when they make a new discovery or find something that piques their curiosity. Undoubtedly they will want to show it to you over and over again.
Many of the early foundations in literacy, science, and mathematics can be achieved with playful learning activities instead of worksheets at a table. Among the many benefits of this hands-on approach include improved social skills and language development.
Kids love to share what they are doing with you. If you listen and ask questions they will too! If you encourage them to think about an idea, you will be amazed at what they can come up with.
25+ HANDS-ON PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
PRESCHOOL FALL ACTIVITIES
Autumn is a time for leaves and studying change. Classifying different types of leaves after pressing them into books is a fun activity to help with sorting and classification. Sort leaves by type, color, and size. This is a perfect way to get into fall with your youngest scientists!
What goes better with fall than apples? Crisp fall air, the leaves changing and of course apple theme everything. We have a bunch of fun and easy apple preschool activities for kindergarten and preschool to enjoy this fall season. Combine science, sensory and fine motor play with simple to set up fun preschool activities.
A few favorites…
Halloween means creepy and crawly for many preschoolers. Creating Halloween themed oobleck is a way to teach the beginning elements of chemistry to your youngest students. Preschoolers are all about slime, and oobleck is a less messy way of bringing chemistry to the classroom. Making oobleck is easy and affordable since it requires only three ingredients: cornstarch, water, and food coloring. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian liquid that acts both like a solid and liquid.
Put together a monster making play dough tray that will be perfect for taking out all month long! This quick set up is made with homemade play dough and inexpensive craft or dollar store Halloween items.
When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of popcorn! With just a mason jar, popping corn, baking soda, vinegar, and water, you can show your students the “dancing corn” experiment. Watch them delight when they see the “dancing” kernels caused by the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda. Your preschool students will already be learning chemistry before winter comes! Amazing!
Kids love the excitement of a volcano science activity, so we challenged ourselves to make a pumpkin volcano perfect for a fall preschool activity. A simple chemical reaction and pumpkins, perfect!
PRESCHOOL WINTER ACTIVITIES
You may shy away from exploring the outdoors in the winter, but this is a perfect time to learn about bird migration in the winter months. If you live in Northern or Midwest states, you may be lucky enough to have your Pre-K students witness bird migrations. Warmer climate residents may be able to see the influx of birds during the winter. Teach your students about migration paths and patterns during the winter months!
Preschool activities about the weather in the freezing temperatures can be so much fun if you have the luxury of a true winter. Make some ice sculptures by starting with simple containers or dishes. Fill them with seasonal or sensory items and a little bit of water before leaving them outdoors to freeze. This becomes a fun STEM activity when your students can hunt for the items they placed in the containers. Add a bit of food coloring for a colorful sculpture. Of course, these are best to play with outside so the fun will continue before the ice melts!
There is so much you can do with a few sheets of paper and wrapping ribbon. I love easy preschool activities that look amazing but don’t take a ton of time, supplies, or craftiness to do! This 3D Christmas tree STEAM project is a great combination of engineering, art, and math that you can easily do at home or in the classroom.
Balloons are a big part of New Year’s celebrations. Try some balloon-themed activities. Blow up different sizes of balloons and see how they create static electricity when rubbing on fabric or hair. Grab some wool to try a static electricity experiment to get balloons to stick to a wall. Your preschoolers will be amazed!
PRESCHOOL SPRING ACTIVITIES
Spring means time for planting, growing and of course, flowers! One of my favorite spring activities to use with preschoolers is one involving color changing flowers. With just water, food coloring, white flowers (of any kind), and vases or mason jars, your students will delight in the magic of coloring flowers before their eyes. Get enough flowers for your class and let them take one home to their parents or guardians.
A seed jar is one of the coolest and easiest plant activities to try! We had a blast watching our seeds go through each phase of seed growth.
Bursting with color, this gorgeous spring sensory bin hits the nail on the head for a must try preschool learning activity. Spring can be a magical time of the year and well, we think sensory play is too! This sensory bin has a surprise math puzzle hidden within it for engaging preschool math learning.
Earth Day is a perfect time to talk about recycling with your young students. Talk about the different types of recyclables, how to separate recyclable materials, and the benefits of recycling. Children are never too young to learn about conserving materials and helping the earth. In fact, young children can be positive influences on the adults in their home by encouraging them to reduce, reuse, and recycle. One recycling STEM activity your students will love is creating something new from recyclable materials. Have a STEM bin of odds and ends (think papers, cups, paper plates, felt, beads, and other small items) to create something new.
Find out how to make seed bombs for a great hands-on preschool Earth Day activity or even to give as gifts. All you need are some flower seeds and scrap paper.
Chances are you have a few eggs or egg cartons on hand at Easter time. Simple activities like comparing how fast eggs spin (hard boiled versus raw) or placing eggs in vinegar and water to see how the vinegar affects the eggshell and membrane of the egg. They won’t believe what the egg looks like after a few days of submersion in vinegar. Egg activities are a lot of fun for kids who enjoy celebrating Easter by dying eggs or just want to learn more about how the world works!
Explore a popular chemical eruption with baking soda and vinegar that’s a timeless science activity for kids!
Dyeing hard boiled eggs with oil and vinegar combines simple science with a fun Easter activity for preschoolers. Learn how to create these cool galaxy theme Easter eggs!
Celebrate the seasons and holidays from August until June with these fun preschool activities for the school year. Introduce science experiments to the whole class or give your students a chance to explore simple activities individually as they create and learn!
FUN HANDS-ON PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR LEARNING ALL YEAR LONG!
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