Activities for birth to five year olds

Fun activities for you and your preschool child to do together:

Download this printable list of activities, English/Spanish (PDF)

girl blowing bubblesHelp around the house:

  • Dust furniture
  • Push vacuum
  • Match socks
  • Empty small trash cans
  • Help put away groceries and dishes

Cook together:

  • Mix, pour, stir, and count
  • Wash dishes

Cognitive/Language skills:

  • Have them pick from two choices
  • Count items and show the matching number or number of fingers
  • Put numbers in order
  • Work on prepositions- put a toy in, on, under, behind, next to, around, and over a basket, box etc..
  • Have child go in, on, under, over, behind, next to and around a low table, box or laundry basket
  • Copy patterns of objects, working from left to right (buttons, coins, Legos, etc…)
  • Play imitation games like "Simon Says" or games that require turn-taking and asking or requesting such as “Go-Fish.”

Outdoor fun:

  • Squeeze sponges or Nerf balls
  • Blow bubbles
  • Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk
  • Read under a tree
  • Go for a walk and talk about the sights & smells

Phonics/Reading skills:

  • Phonics hunt- walk around the house and search for items that begin with a specific sound (B - bone, bush, boy, baby, bathtub, banana, boat, etc… choose a different letter each day.
  • Use alphabet cards to:
  • Match upper to lower case letters
  • Play memory with upper- and lower-case letters (start with 5-10 pairs of letters). Alternate turns choosing 2 cards to make an upper- and lower-case match.
  • How many letters can he sequence from memory?

Fine Motor (hand strength, finger skills):

  • String beads, large noodles, cereal or straw pieces on yarn or shoelaces- go over the colors together
  • Squeeze wet sponges or washcloths
  • Crumble old papers and throw to target
  • Finger paint in shaving cream or sand - use whole hand and individual fingers
  • Play with refrigerator magnets
  • Water plants with spray bottle
  • Scoop items from one bowl to another
  • Place coins or buttons into a piggy bank or cut slot in plastic lid
  • Practice cutting skills by cutting pictures from old magazines

The 3 “I”s:

  • Intrude on their play
  • Imitate their play
  • Interact with them