After fun, easy, and educational preschool activities you can do with your toddler at home or out and about?
We’ve got you covered.
They’re constantly learning new things, so they need activities to challenge them and help their minds and bodies keep growing.
So we’ve got the best fun and educational preschool activities to keep your toddler entertained
In this article: 📝
- How do you entertain a preschooler?
- Preschool activities for motor skills
- Creative and imaginative preschool activities
- Social preschool activities
- Educational preschool activities
- Physical preschool activities
- Sensory preschool activities
How do you entertain a preschooler?
We know how it is.
You’re home with the toddler, all day, and you’re running out of ideas to keep them entertained.
What do you do?!
The most important thing to remember is that every toddler is different.
What works for one toddler might not work for another.
So the key is to be flexible and creative.
Here are a few tips on how to entertain a toddler:
- Be playful. Toddlers love to play, so get down on the floor and join in on the fun. Play games, make up stories, or just dance around the living room.
- Be creative. Toddlers are always learning and exploring, so give them plenty of opportunities to be creative. Let them paint, draw, build, or play with blocks.
- Be patient. Toddlers can be very demanding, so be patient and understanding. They’re still learning how to control their emotions and how to interact with the world around them.
- Be present. When you’re with your toddler, be fully present. Put away your phone, turn off the TV, and focus on your child. They need your attention and your love.
- Be a follower. Let your toddler lead. Try not to dictate to them how to play unless they ask for advice. Even then, it’s a good idea to ask them what they think they should do, what they feel like doing, and what the next steps of your activity are, talking it all through.
Preschool activities for motor skills
- Sort pom-poms by color with a pair of tongs. Great for teaching colors and motor skills! Lay a few sheets of construction paper on the ground alongside a pile of pom poms. Have your toddler sort the pom poms by color by transferring them to the same colored construction paper ‒ using just tongs
- Try your hand at a small volcano experiment. Fill a muffin tin with baking soda, food coloring, and dawn dish wash. Use a medicine dropper to squirt vinegar into the mixture and watch for the explosion.
- Go fishing in a laundry hamper boat. Make a fishing pole with a stick, a piece of string, and a hook. Attach wires to a few lightweight items so they can attach to the hook, and lay them all out on the floor near the laundry basket so your toddler can ‘fish’ for them from inside an empty laundry basket (aka a fishing boat).
- Use plastic or paper cups to build (and demolish) towers. Help your toddler stack plastic or paper cups into giant towers. Toddlers love to run and knock these down, often before you can even finish stacking them!
- Make a card slot drop. Use an empty cardboard oatmeal container and cut a slot in the top of it that’s big enough for a playing card. Let your toddler slide playing cards through the slot for a great way to develop their fine motor skills and their concentration.
Creative and imaginative preschool activities
- Play with fabric scraps. If you have scraps of fabric lying around, give them to your toddler to play with. Young children will cover their faces with them, throw them up into the air and watch them float back down (this works especially well with lightweight, thin fabrics), and roll around in them.
- Make music with pots and pans. Let your toddler bang on your pots and pans and make music. Ear plugs optional, but recommended.
- Make macaroni necklaces. A classic! Use shoelaces or yarn to make a necklace. Simply string the macaroni pasta onto the yarn and tie a knot at the end for a fashion-forward preschool activity.
- Make a pom pom chute. Paint empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls with fun primary colors. Use washi tape to attach it to a poster board and hang the board on a wall. Let your toddler drop pom poms or small toys through the chutes and place bowls on the floor underneath the poster board to catch the items.
- Paint bread. Sounds weird, but it’s a (relatively) mess-free way to get them painting! Mix together one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of warm water, and a squeeze of gel food coloring. Give your toddler a slice of plain bread and a paintbrush and let them get creative.
- Make a house or fort with a large cardboard box. Instead of throwing away that giant refrigerator box, build a play fort or house with your toddler. Draw windows, color a welcome mat, and cut out flaps to make doors. Bonus points if you play ‘Families’ with them, too!
Social preschool activities
- Playdates. A mamahood staple. Get with your best mom friend, get your toddlers together, and watch them play together ‒ simple! Looking for mom friends near you? You’re in the right place!
- Simon Says. Great if you have a few toddlers to entertain, or just you and your kid. Take it in turns to be ‘Simon’ and remember not to do as you’re told unless they say “Simon says”.
- Hide and seek. Perfect for when you want 30 seconds to pause and take a breath. Tell your toddler to hide, count to 10, 20, or 30, then go searching for them ‒ it probably won’t take long, but give them a few extra seconds of giggling from their hiding place before you make the grand reveal.
- Tell a story together. See if you can come up with a funny story by saying one word each. Not sure where to start? “Once” “upon” “a” “time” is a classic for a reason.
Educational preschool activities
- Make a shape puzzle. Cut small squares out of a cardboard box. Draw a single shape on each square with a colorful Sharpie. Cut each square in half so the shapes are evenly split down the center. Let your toddler match the halves and put them back together.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Create a simple scavenger hunt for your toddler and hide fun objects or toys around the house. Create easy clues so your little one doesn’t get too frustrated in the process.
- Trace letters with buttons. Draw large letters on pieces of construction paper. Let your toddler dip buttons in a bit of glue and trace the letters by creating lines of buttons glued to the paper.
- Shape sorting. Like the pom-pom sorting above, but with shapes. Give your child a variety of shapes and ask them to sort them by shape. You can use different materials, such as blocks, beads, or even food.
- Alphabet game. Go through the alphabet and list something beginning with each letter. Apple, Bear, Car, Dog…
Physical preschool activities
- Make your own race track with a box. Cut and flatten a large cardboard box. Use a black Sharpie to draw road lines on it, then your toddler can pretend to be a car, following the lines on the road.
- Make a bubble wrap road. Tape bubble wrap to the floor and let your toddler run and jump on it. Simple as that!
- Do yoga together. Whether your preschooler joins you for your daily routine or the two of you try a kid’s yoga app for a more child-friendly approach, this is a great way to add some calm to your house.
- Make a balance beam. Use a board of old wood to create a balance beam outside. Then present to open your own circus with the Amazing Balancing Toddler!
- Go for a walk. Nature walks are a great way for preschoolers to learn about the natural world while getting some fresh air and exercise.
Sensory preschool activities
- Make playdough. There are countless recipes for homemade playdough, but this one’s our fave. Not only that, but it’s so easy, way cheaper, and even makes better playdough than the storebought kind.
- Give plastic animal toys a bath. Line up your kid’s plastic dinos or animals and fill a bucket with sudsy water for a warm, soapy bath. Let your toddler clean those toys out in the backyard so he can be free to splash as he desires.
- Collect and clean rocks. Head outside and fill a bucket with rocks ‒ let your toddler pick ones they think look cool, or give them a specific instruction, like “get all the rocks that are flat on top”. Fill the tub with water and let your toddler use shaving cream to “clean” the rocks in the tub.
- Build a sensory bin. Sensory bins are excellent activities for toddlers who just want to explore everything, which is (let’s face it), every toddler ever! Fill a plastic bin with small items like sand, marbles, pasta, beads, pipe cleaners, etc. for an exciting sensory experience that will keep them entertained for hours! Just make sure to monitor closely with any small pieces.
- Dig for jello treasure. Whip up a batch of jello inside a large glass baking dish and hide treasures (small toys) inside it. Let your child dig for the treasure. This is a messy one!
- Flour on a baking sheet. This one’s as easy as it sounds. Simply pour a bit of flour on a baking sheet and let your toddler explore it and play with it however they like.
- Rip up old magazines. Let your toddler have at it with a pile of old magazines. Small children love ripping out the pages and shredding them to bits. Organized destruction!
Which preschool activities are your faves? Share them with the other toddler moms of Peanut ‒ you might even get some more toddler mom hacks!