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For children from 18-months-old to not-yet-finished-Kindergarten.
Be sure to visit your library to pick up a sheet of activity ideas for preschoolers AND a free book for your preschooler (one per child, while supplies last).
You’ll also find additional ideas for activities and challenges listed below and updated each week!
Activities to try this week
- Create a massive work of art by flattening a large cardboard box and decorating it with crayons, markers, or whatever you have on hand.
- Turn leftover Easter eggs into egg shaker musical instruments! Dried rice, beans, and duct tape are all you need. It’s the perfect size for little hands! Be sure to watch your child carefully when playing with homemade toys.
- Sing the ABC song with your child. Look around the room together and point out objects that begin with each letter.
- Play a game of “Red Light, Green Light.” Stand at opposite sides of the room with your preschooler. When you call out “Green light!” your child runs towards you. When you call out “Red light!” they freeze.
Build a race track using items from around your home and race toy cars. What sounds do the cars make? Whose car is the fastest?
- Do an act of kindness: Call or video chat with an older family member you don’t often get to visit. Your preschooler can tell them all about their adventures so far this summer.
- Have a silly word day! Encourage your preschooler to make up nonsense words. What’s the silliest word you can think of? Can you make each other laugh with your made up silly words?
- Trace a life-size body portrait of your child on a large piece of cardboard or paper. Decorate the portrait with crayons and markers. Add yarn for hair and fabric for clothes.
- Practice writing in sand at the beach or the park. Encourage your little one to sort items. Gather up books, DVDs, building blocks, or other household items and see how many different ways your child can sort and divide them.
- The floor is lava! Play this favorite game by strategically placing pillows, cushions, and other items on the ground. Leap from one side of the room to the other with your preschooler avoiding the lava floor.
- Give a smile and a hug to someone special today.
- Preschoolers are always on the go! But it doesn’t mean they’re not listening to you. Try reading out loud to your child while they play or explore.
- Encourage your child to read aloud to a favorite stuffed animal or pet. It’s okay if your child is not yet a proficient reader. They can “read” the story by describing what’s happening in the pictures.
- Create art by threading pipe cleaners, fabric, or ribbon through a kitchen colander. This activity encourages creativity and fine motor skills.
- Think of an act of kindness you can do this week with your preschooler.
- Ask your librarian to recommend a favorite book about ABCs, 123s, or shapes. Read it together and then look for letter, numbers, or shapes in the room around you.
- Decorate a handmade card for someone special. All you need are some paper and crayons. Think of someone who is special to you. Maybe a favorite aunt, a kind neighbor, or a nice friend? No need to wait for a special occasion. Spread happiness today!
- Practice tracing around shapes. Try cookie cutters, plastic drink cups, or other unbreakable items with different shapes.
- Ask your child to name as many animals as they can. Mimic animal movements and sounds with your child.
- Make sock puppets with old discarded socks. Use your new puppet to act out a favorite story or to retell a favorite family memory.
- Do an act of kindness: Wave hello to the garbage collectors when they visit your neighborhood.
- A beach trip is a great opportunity for sensory activities. Hunt for seashells with your preschooler. What colors did you find? How do the shells feel when you touch them? Encourage your child to try writing the letters of their name in the sand.
- Read a picture book together, then retell the story by drawing a picture.
- Take a coloring break! Sit next to your child as you color together. Coloring time is a perfect opportunity for quiet conversation and bonding.
- Bring a friend to the library to share the fun.
- Attend an event for preschoolers at your library.
- Ask your librarian about how to participate in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.
- Tell a story together! You can retell a favorite picture book story or make up your own.
- Make a sensory bin by filling a bowl with items such as sand, dried rice, dried beans, shredded paper, or other material. Add a cup or spoon for scooping. Encourage your preschooler to dunk their hands and explore under your watchful eye. How does it feel? Can you scoop it up?
- How many emotions can your preschooler name? How about happy, tired, playful, or sassy? Make a face for each emotion.
- Do an act of kindness: Say “thank you” to community helpers like police officers and mail carriers.
- Place removable tape or string on the ground to create different shapes (zigzags, circles, squares). Practice coordination by walking the lines!
- How many different animal sounds can your child make? Draw a picture for each animal and say their sound.
- Take a sensory walk around the house. Can you find an item that’s scratchy? How about something smooth? How many other textures can you find in your home?
- Sing together with your child. Sing favorite songs from your childhood, or ask your little one what they like to sing in daycare or storytime.
- How tall is your preschooler? Create a simple height chart using construction paper, scrap paper, or whatever materials you have on hand. Track your child’s height over the summer.
- Find things in the house that start with each letter of the alphabet.
- Have you tried sign language? Start by learning the sign for a favorite word. Your librarian can show you where to find sign language resources in the nonfiction 419 collection.
- Ask your preschooler questions and listen to their answers. What is your favorite thing to eat? Where do you like to go to?
- Spend some quality time together in the kitchen. Under your watchful eye, preschoolers can help you fold dish towels, sort silverware, or stir up ingredients.
All programs are free and open to the public. See kids events for any or all branches:
Please see event details for information on registration requirements.
Special services like sign language interpretation and assistive listening can be provided at events to patrons upon request. Please give at least up to five business days notice to library staff in order to schedule services at events. Call 239-479-4636 or stop by the reference desk at your local library.