Preschoolers are naturally full of energy, and this means that they simply love to engage with games and activities that allow them to move about and use up some of their heavy energy stores.
The only problem is not only are preschoolers highly energetic, but they can also be very picky and choosy, and keeping their attention and focus for long periods can sometimes be very challenging.
As such, you’ve likely found yourself here because you want to know some of the best activities that you can do with your preschool class to get them engaged and keep them occupied for long periods of time.
Well, you’ve come to the best possible place. Today, we have compiled this comprehensive and extensive list that will show you 52 of the most fun and engaging activities that can be enjoyed by preschoolers.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Freeze dance is easily one of the very best activities to enjoy with a group of preschoolers.
The game is very simple, but it allows a great outlet for the children to use up their energy stores and express themselves.
To play the game, simply gather up the kids into an open space with plenty of room to move around, and then play some fun and energetic music for them.
Encourage the children to dance to the music and make some fun shapes with their bodies.
As they dance, periodically pause the music. When the music is paused, the children must freeze in whatever position they were last in.
Encourage the children to look around at the shapes the other children have created, it will be sure to get them giggling.
You can introduce a competitive element by eliminating children from the game that move after the music has been paused!
2. Sticker Sorting
This activity allows the children to play with stickers while also helping them to work on cognition as they are encouraged to recognize sizes.
Have the children stick the smaller stickers in the section marked ‘small’, and the larger stickers in the ‘large’ or ‘big’ section.
Preschoolers simply love when you bring out the parachute, as it allows them to play together in a great sensory game. This is just one of many games you can play with the parachute!
This game involves one child being situated atop the parachute, while another is below. The child atop the parachute must chase the child below, while the other children shake the parachute!
4. Parachute Merry Go Round
This is a very simple game that involves all of the children holding the parachute as you shout simple commands to encourage their movements.
Instruct the children to speed up, slow down, or change directions as they spin the parachute like a merry go round!
5. Parachute ‘Hello’ Game
The ‘Hello’ game is a great warm up activity for whenever you bring out the parachute.
To play, simply encourage the children to lift up their sides of the parachute and shout ‘Hello’ to the kids on the other side. They’ll be giggling in no time!
6. Parachute ‘Popcorn’ Game
As the children play with the parachute, the upper surface of it will naturally jump up and down.
This game encourages the kids to take advantage of that as they attempt to get a number of ping pong balls to jump off of the parachute, almost like the movement of popcorn!
7. Parachute ‘Hair Styling’
This game can teach the kids a little about basic science. Gather a few of the kids below the parachute, and then have the other kids pull the parachute back and forth above their heads.
After a while, encourage the children to all lift the parachute, and the kids at the center will all find their hair standing on end. This fun science game always elicits plenty of giggles.
8. Words Sensory Game
During preschool, many children are still navigating the social aspect of speech, and thus they need to learn about ‘nice’ and ‘mean’ words.
This simple activity helps the children to associate ‘mean’ words with negative feelings, dissuading them from using them.
Give the children some cotton wool balls, and ask them to describe the feeling with positive and kind words.
After this, give them some rougher materials like sandpaper, and ask them to describe it with ‘Mean’ words.
This awesome activity can teach children about empathy. Print out a series of blank face templates with various feelings written above them, like ‘Sad’ ‘Happy’, and ‘Angry’.
Hand these out to the children, and then encourage them to use playdough to create the expressions the words describe. This can help make the children kinder and more caring!
This mini-science experiment is very fun for preschoolers because it allows the children to delight their visual senses.
Place the skittles in a circle formation on a paper plate, and then pour a small amount of water into the plate. The color will dissipate into a fantastic rainbow in the center.
This activity helps to teach the children about making use of old things.
Grab some old popsicle sticks, and encourage the children to decorate them in any way they see fit to create animal shapes and designs.
Encourage the children to imitate the animals noises as they craft!
This activity will require a little bit of extra money as you may want to purchase or construct a new sand pit, but once the pit is filled up with sand, encourage the children to enjoy the sensation of the sand and create shapes with it.
Sometimes nothing beats the classic experience of painting on some paper! Great for letting the kids express themselves!
For a great All About Me activity, get your preschoolers to paint a self-portrait.
The great thing about painting is that it is an activity that can be adapted in countless ways to make it fresh.
By changing the canvas from paper to foil you can create a great sensory experience for the children!
Preschoolers love playing with toy cars, and this amazing activity combines it with paint play! Give the children some blank paper, some basic paints, and some small toy cars.
Have the children roll the cars in the paint, pick up paint on the wheels, and then have them ‘drive’ the cars across the paper, creating tracks!
This is a fun activity for the kids to play together!
This simple sensory activity encourages the children to roll around a small marble covered in paint over the top of a blank canvas. This results in a great abstract piece that is fun for the kids to create.
This is a great sensory activity for the kids because it allows them to get a little bit messy.
Simply mix some paint into some water, with a little bit of soap, and encourage the kids to blow bubbles onto their canvas, which will cause them to pop, releasing their vibrant colors!
Another great activity involving paint makes great use of yarn to spin the colors onto the canvas. The children will love the sensory experience of this activity.
The way the yarn feels as they drag it across the paper is very unique, and the messy way the colors mix together will be sure to delight them!
With just a few basic color shapes and objects, you can easily help your children to work on their cognition and categorization skills.
Simply give the children some objects of various colors, and encourage them to sort them based on their shared colors.
20. Sensory Ice Play
Preschoolers love sensory play because it allows them to interact with the world around them and discover new sensations.
There are many ways that the children can play with ice, but a great simple activity involves creating some colorful ice cubes that the children can slowly melt, watching the colors meld together in the water below.
Taking the concept of sensory ice play further is this excellent activity that involves creating some frozen animals by placing them in egg cups with some water and then allowing them to freeze.
Once the animas are frozen, present them to the children, and encourage them to dig away at the ice or melt it to free the animals
If you find that the children particularly like placing things in their mouths as they explore, then this is the perfect activity, as it allows them to enjoy the sensory experiences of ice while also being safe to consume.
Fill the ice cubes with different flavorings to make them tasty to suck on!
Bouncy balls are totally dynamite for preschoolers, and this activity allows them to make use of their bounciness to create unique art.
Tie the balls to a small amount of yarn, and then encourage the children to dip the ball into paint before dropping it onto the canvas!
If you want a simple painting activity for your preschoolers that will let them work off some energy then stomp painting is for you! It allows the kids to make a mess while also creating amazing artwork!
The way inflated balloons feel in the hands is amazing for preschoolers, and this activity allows the children to experience these sensations while also making some delightfully messy art.
Preschoolers love the squishy texture of playdough. For a simple activity that develops the children’s motor skills, ask them to create some snakes by rolling the playdough!
With this activity you can teach the children to memorize the alphabet while they have fun. Encourage them to make specific letters, or even to make their whole names!
28. Playdough Cacti
Part of the joy of playdough is its soft texture. This activity simply involves some basic green playdough, molded into the right shape, and some toothpicks, to be pushed into the playdough, to act like thorns!
29. Alphabet Matching Game
Alphabet matching is a great activity for young ones because there are so many ways to make it interesting.
You could easily set up a game of pairs where the children must match upper and lower case letters to one another!
Golf tees can easily be used for sensory play because they can easily be pushed into softer things like fruit, vegetables, and styrofoam!
31. Feelings Hopping Game
This game helps the children to work on their empathy while also working on their fine motor skills. Place some emotions onto the ground that the children can hop onto.
Read out some scenarios to the children, and ask them to stand on the emotion they think best matches it.
32. Floating Foil Boats
With Just some simple foil, the children can create some boats that float on the water. From there, they can place marbles into the boats, and then see how long it takes for the boats to sink!
This amazing activity combines a counting activity with a sorting activity as the children are encouraged to sort the colored pom poms into the correct bottles while also ensuring they only add the number written on the bottles!
34. Counting Flower Petals
This is a great activity that can get the kids involved with nature, and get them exploring the world outside of the preschool classroom.
Encourage the children to pick some flowers and then count the number of petals on them. This can also be a great opportunity to teach the kids about what each part of the flower does!
35. Alphabet Clothespins
Clothespins are great to use for involving the kids in organizing activities because it allows them to safely make mistakes.
Encourage the children to work together to hang up all of the letters of the alphabet in the correct order.
This sensory activity allows the kids to get messy as they play with the sand and dig out seashells.
The activity can easily be combined with an alphabet learning game by writing letters onto each of the shells and asking the kid to identify the letters as they dig out each shell!
With this fun and messy activity your preschoolers can create unique artistic objects using just their hands.
Encourage the kids to dip their hands into the paint and then press their hands onto the canvas. Encourage the children to then use their imaginations to draw unique shapes on top of their hand prints!
A great way to encourage the children to use up their energy while also working on their fine motor skills is to get them involved with a class-wide game of Charades!
Ask the kids to impersonate specific animals, and then encourage the other children to guess the animals.
The kids will totally love making these pinecone creatures.
Simply grab some pine cones and then invite the kids to stuff the gaps with cotton wool, to make the pinecones appear fluffy, before then placing faces on them.
It helps them to develop fine motor skills while also being a great delight for the senses!
40. Letter Crafts
Encourage the children to write out their own names by creating the letters using various things around them. For example, they could use dried leaves to create the letter ‘T’, or beads to create the letter ‘B’.
If your school has an outdoor space, you could encourage the children to create some bird feeders that they can even place in their own backyards to feed local birds!
With some simple light sources your preschoolers can create some simple shapes by using shadows with their hands, they can outline the shapes they make onto some paper to create amazing and unique art.
Kids will love creating sock puppet characters, and the best thing about this craft is it can also teach them the value of reusing things instead of throwing them out.
The kids will be able to create so many unique characters, and then they can act out scenes with them!
44. Freeze Tag
Tag is one of the most popular children’s games, but this variation helps to add some great competition and teamwork.
When a child is ‘tagged’ in this game, they must freeze in place, and then wait for their teammates to save them. The player who is ‘It’ will need to freeze all other players.
45. Fall Leaf Collages
When fall arrives, the leaves fall from the trees, and take on a delightful color. Encourage the children to head out to grab some leaves, and then allow them to dry.
Once the leaves are dried, encourage the children to create collages using them.
This is a great activity to teach the kids about the seasons.
46. Create Snowflakes
With just some folded paper and some careful cutting, your children can create perfect snowflake shapes that they can then decorate and hang all over the classroom.
Drawing is a great way for children to express themselves, work on fine motor skills, and develop their recognition skills.
Pictionary is a great game for preschoolers to play together because they can shout out the answers to one another, allowing them to use up a lot of energy.
48. Rhyming Games
There are numerous games you can create that incorporate rhyming so that your children can learn to better recognize language.
A simple game could be to call out some words and then encourage the children to call out words that rhyme to match!
49. Create Collages
Gather some old magazines and newspapers and then encourage the children to cut out shapes and images and then stick them together in a delightful collage.
50. Leaf Sorting
If there is some diverse plant life in your local area, then you can collect some leaves and then ask the children to organize them based on size, shape, and color!
51. Simon Says
Simon Says is a classic children’s game that encourages the children to listen carefully.
If they follow any commands given to them that aren’t preceded by “Simon Says”, then they are out of the game. This encourages the children to listen carefully and develop their processing.
52. Stained Glass Making
With some tissue paper and some basic netting, you can create some simple stained glass shapes with the children that will look great hung from the window!
To Wrap Up
There we have it. Though the limits are seemingly endless when it comes to a child’s imagination, these activities will easily help the children to take better advantage of their imaginations!