At-home learning can be super simple when it comes to kindergarten and preschool! We’ve been doing learning at home for years and on a budget too! Although our learning at home activities have moved beyond preschool math, letters, and fine motor play to include early elementary science and STEM, we still have amazing educational resources for distance learning or homeschooling! I decided to put together 20 of my best distance learning tips and ideas to get you started.
FUN AND EASY DISTANCE LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
LEARNING AT HOME
We started playing and learning at home together seven years ago! I have a few collections of very early learning activities you can check out below. You’ll notice that my photography has improved over the years, but the ideas are incredibly fun and simple to do with your kiddos.
You can see one of our very first science activities (2013) right here!
From math to letters to fine motor skills to science and beyond! If you find yourself distance learning now and into the future with homeschooling, our resources will make it fun and easy for you to get started and keep the momentum rolling!
Of course, you can supplement basic worksheets with hands-on play to really solidify these basic learning concepts that are so important for our preschoolers. You can check out our ever growing collection of FREE printable activities here.
- Early Learning Fine Motor Activities
- Early Learning Alphabet Activities
- Early Learning Math Activities
- Early Learning Science Activities
EASY DISTANCE LEARNING TIPS FOR YOU!
You can grab this super handy distance learning tips pack to keep for a handy reference! Come up with a new and simple idea each day the kids will love!
PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES TO DO AT HOME
1. LOOK FOR LETTERS/NUMBERS
Grab the junk mail and old magazines! Look for each letter of the alphabet or numbers 1-10 or 1-20 and cut them out. Let your kiddo make a collage of letters! Can they spell their name? You can also go on a letter hunt in each room and see how many different ones you can find.
2. MAKE A NUMBER/LETTER TRACING TRAY
If you don’t want to use a pencil and paper to write or trace letters just yet, you can use a tray covered in salt, cornmeal, rice, or flour. Sand is a non-food option! Kids can use fingers to trace letters through the materials on the tray.
3. BUILD LETTERS/NUMBERS
Use playdough letter mats with more than just playdough! You can use many small items that you already have on hand, including erasers, pompoms, LEGO bricks, stones, coins, and so much more to build letters. You can easily build numbers with loose parts too.
4. MAKE AN ABC/123 SENSORY BIN
Take letter shapes, scrabble tiles, letter puzzle pieces, etc. and bury them in a sensory bin. You can use any fillers such as rice or sand. Set up a letter wash with warm, soapy water and foam or plastic letters. Alternatively, you can use numbers too.
CHECK OUT: Alphabet Sensory Bin
5. FIVE SENSES FUN
Explore the five senses around the house or classroom! If possible, taste something sweet, salty, or tart like a lemon. Smell different spices, and look for different textures to feel! Think of interesting things you can see and play music together!
LOOK: 5 Senses Activities
6. POOL NOODLE LETTER BLOCKS
Cut pool noodles into chunks that will stack well. Using a permanent marker, write a letter or number on each piece. Kids can stack letters and string numbers onto a rope! Place them around the room and go on a hunt. Check out our ABC pool noodle blocks here. Why not make numbers too!
7. COUNTING WALK
Take this walk inside or outside and pick something to count together! Forks in the drawer, stuffed animals on the bed, flowers around the mailbox, cars on the street are all great items to count. Look at house numbers.
8. HOMEMADE PUZZLES
Dig into the cardboard recycling bin! Grab cereal, granola bar, fruit snack, cracker boxes, and the like! Cut the fronts off the boxes and then cut the front into simple puzzle pieces. Have the kiddos reassemble the box fronts. If you are working on scissor skills, have your kiddos help. See our puzzles here.
9. RULERS AND CLOTHESPINS
All you need is a ruler and a dozen clothespins. Number them 1-12. Have your kiddo clip the clothespins to the correct number on the ruler! Grab a measuring tape to add more numbers!
10. MAKE A TREASURE HUNT
Add a roll of pennies to a sensory bin or sandbox! Kids will love the treasure hunt, and then they can count the pennies for you after! You can also add a piggy bank for practicing fine motor skills too. Penny hunts sensory bin here.
11. MEASURE THINGS
Try non-standard measurement with any item that you have multiples of that are the same size such as paper clips, blocks, or building bricks. Trace your hands and feet on paper and measure them! What else can you measure?
12. GO ON A SHAPE HUNT OR MAKE SHAPES
How many things are square in your house? How about circles, triangles, or rectangles? Shapes are everywhere! Head outside and look for shapes in the neighborhood.
13. ADD A BOOK
Anytime you can pair an early learning activity with a book! Even if it’s not a letter, shape, or number theme book, you can hunt for shapes, ABC’s, or 123’s. Count what’s on the page or go on a shape hunt. Look for letter sounds.
CHECK OUT: 30 Preschool Books & Book Activities
14. PLAY A MATH GAME
Who can fill the cup the fastest or who can get to 20, 50, 100 the fastest? All you need is dice, cups, and the same size small objects. Roll the dice and add the correct number of items to the cart. Work together or race each other!
15. BAKE TOGETHER
Explore the tasty side of math (and science) and bake a recipe together. Show off those measuring cups and spoons! Have your kiddo help you add the right amounts to the bowl. Why not make bread in a bag?
16. PLAY WITH MEASURING CUPS
Add measuring cups and spoons to a sensory bin. Also, add bowls for filling. Discover how many quarter cups fill a whole cup. Kids love scooping, pouring, and of course dumping. Try water, rice, or sand!
17. TAKE A TASTE TEST
Set up a taste test for the five senses with a variety of apples! Explore the taste of different varieties, listen for the crunch, smell the scent, notice the skin color, feel the shape and different parts! Discover your favorite apple too!
18. TRY COLOR MIXING
Fill ice trays with water and add red, blue, and yellow food coloring. When frozen, remove the ice cubes and place a yellow and blue in a cup. In another cup, add a red and a yellow, and in a third cup, add a red and blue ice cube. Watch what happens! See our icy color mixing here.
19. SALT AND GLUE
Combine science, art, and literacy for fun STEAM! First, write your kid’s name in large letters on heavy paper. Then trace the letters with white school glue. Next, sprinkle salt on the glue, shake off excess, and let it dry. Once dry, drip food coloring mixed with water onto the letters and watch what happens!
Also, try numbers and shapes!
LOOK: Salt Painting
20. GRAB A MAGNIFYING GLASS
Grab a magnifying glass and look at things more closely. What can you look at more closely? Shells, seeds, leaves, bark, insides of fruits like peppers, etc. There are so many possibilities! You can simply send the kids out in the yard with a magnifying glass and see what they discover!
How about veggie scraps from dinner prep? Cut open a pepper and look at the insides up close! Here I set up a tray with a pumpkin.
21. HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH
Explore different textures by making homemade playdough. Click here for fun and easy playdough recipes.
22. ENJOY A SENSORY BIN
There are tons of sensory bin fillers to try that are both food and non-food items. Click here to learn more about sensory bins.
Favorites fillers include rice, dried beans, sand, aquarium gravel, pompoms, dry pasta, cereal, and of course, water!
Simple scoops, tongs, and other kitchen utensils are great additions.
FUN TIP: Many of these activities include fine motor skills! Whenever possible add kid-friendly tongs, eyedroppers, straws, etc. This will help encourage hand strengthening and finger dexterity!
23. GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Get out and get moving, looking, and searching, a scavenger hunt builds quite a few skills too! Find a free pack of scavenger hunts here.
24. ADD SIMPLE SCIENCE
Simple science at home is super fun with young kids! I know because we started with these activities and more when my son was three! You can read about all our favorites here and generally they only use items you have on hand or can get cheaply.
- Baking Soda, vinegar and cookie cutters.
- Oobleck with cornstarch and water.
- Melting ice with warm water.
AND WHEN IN DOUBT…
Sometimes it is perfectly fine to:
- Snuggle up and read a book together!
- Play a board game together! See our favorite games here.
- Go on a nature walk and talk about the world around you!
- Paint a picture or two.