Have Fun at Home with Preschoolers

Looking for ways to have fun at home with your preschoolers? This post is full of ideas that you can incorporate into your homeschool or classroom routine or if you just need something engaging to do with your kids. It includes painting with q-tips, ABC Hide-n-Seek with lowercase letters, Run and Find game, letter sorting and cereal sorting and patterns. 

The activities in this post are great to use while at home during the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. As a certified K-5 educator who taught kindergarten and first grade, I am sharing what we are doing in our home to stay on top of curriculum while quarantined at home. Of course, you can use them anytime of year in the home or classroom, too!

PLEASE NOTE: Life is busy as a work-at-home / stay-at-home/ homeschooling mama right now, so my directions here will be brief! Please follow me on Instagram @babblingabby where I will be sharing my daily activities and saving them in a story highlight!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Report from Real Life

So, I’ve been homeschooling for two weeks now (minus one day because I taught a live K-5 lesson that took forever to prep for!), so I wanted to share a few thoughts.

First of all, while schedules are SUPER important to me, I’ve decided that what I actually prefer is routine. Our schedule changes every morning depending on their attention span that day, what the weather is like (warm and sunny weather = longer recesses!), and after getting a general feel for their moods and interest in our activities.

What doesn’t change is the routine of having ‘school’ at home every morning. They’ve come to expect it, as have I, and it gives us all a strong start for the day. It provides a level of comfort and consistency that we all need right now. It looks like homeschool will be what we do in the short term, so we’re going to carry on until we know otherwise!

Painting with Q-Tips

This is such an easy activity to do and only requires paint, paper and q-tips. Q-tips are easy to pinch and blot tiny dots onto the paper, or drag for an easy and smooth paint line. Great for fine motor!

In all honesty, my daughter was way into this activity and could’ve painted much longer, but her impatient little brother knew that an activity involving food was on the horizon and sped through his painting!

Cereal Sorting and Patterning Mats

Last week, I realized that both of my kiddos struggled with making simple patterns. They could follow my directions to create a pattern, but couldn’t generate one independently. Patterning is important because it’s a way to organize thinking and a building block for other necessary skills in math.

We happened to have some Special Edition Cheerios on hand that had both O and Heart shapes. We began by sorting these on our mat.

Next, I showed them how to make an AB pattern using the Os and Hearts. They recreated the pattern. Ben decided to go forth with his own AAB pattern, too! DOWNLOAD CEREAL MATS

Lowercase ABC Hide-n-Seek

We’ve been reviewing uppercase letters a lot lately, so I switched it up with the lowercase version of ABC Hide-n-Seek! I would hold up a letter flashcard and they would find the corresponding letter. You can download a free set of alphabet flashcards to use HERE.

If you missed it, earlier in the week, we used the uppercase version to play ABC hide-n-seek with sticky notes and reused food labels for an environmental print version.

Run and Find

Who doesn’t love a good list? Personally, I’m a big fan! This activity not only encourages movement, but it also involves categorization and higher level thinking skills.

Each kiddo received a list. I read the directives to them one by one, and they returned with their objects until we completed the whole list. They checked each item off as we went along. (If you have a kiddo who’s able to read, bump it up a level and have them read the list to you.)

While a printed list isn’t necessary to make this a success, you can download this one here. You could always just call things out to your child, or write a similar list.

Alphabet Sound Sort

Continuing with our letter of the week, we worked on a sound sort. The objective was to determine which pictures began with the /w/ sound and which ones did not. I modeled this activity first on a mini-white board.

I let them try to sort the words on their own and helped when necessary. Listening for sounds at the beginning of words is part of phonemic awareness – the ability to distinguish and manipulate sounds. This is a necessary skill for learning to read and write.

I love the picture of Benny above! You can see his little mouth is making the sound of whatever picture he is about to paste, and it is not the /w/ sound so he’s sorting it into the ‘not W’ side. DOWNLOAD W SOUND SORT HERE

For those of you who’ve asked, I am going to split up my larger alphabet curriculum so that you can purchase individual sections for use with your students! The W Letter Activities are linked here.

Need more?

I have published lots of FREE homeschool resources! Each post has at least 5-6 suggestions for learning with preschoolers at home. Many of the ideas could be adapted for kindergarten, too. Click the graphic below to check out 20 free early childhood activities!

I hope this post was helpful in sharing how you can have fun at home with preschoolers. If you do something at home or in your classroom, please share it with by tagging me @babblingabby on Instagram!

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Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


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Hi, I’m Abby! Thanks for stopping by. I love supporting kindergarten and first grade teachers with engaging, skill-based activities that are easy to use in their classrooms. Let me help you be the best teacher you can be!
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