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Welcome! With 25 years as a preschool teacher tucked under my belt, I’m here to help you find the best play-based activities, tips, ideas and tools to use with preschool kids–at home or in a classroom.  

Play is Learning.

So, what would you like to play today? 

Are you looking for open-ended art activities?  Early math or literacy ideas?  Sensory play tips?

If you work and play with preschool aged children, you’re in the right place.

Browse the creative play and learning activities below.  Choose something just right for your little learners–at home or in the classroom.

 

Browse all the activities below, or use the menu above to narrow things down by category.

Screen-Free Play for Preschool Fun
Screen-Free Play for Preschool Fun

Screen Free Play While I fully admit that I use my screen more than I should, I’m also a lover of low-tech, screen free “stuff”.  Especially for preschoolers.  While other preschool teachers were excitedly seeking out educational computer-based activities they could...

Let’s Play:  Sensory Tables!
Let’s Play: Sensory Tables!

Sensory tables (and sensory trays, for that matter), back in the olden days when I first started teaching, were something found only in a preschool classroom. But I'm happy to say that many people have sensory tables at home now, too.  A sensory table is one of my...

Let’s Play:  Sensory Trays!
Let’s Play: Sensory Trays!

Have you heard of a sensory tray?  You've most likely seen or at least heard about sensory tables for hours of play and learning in a preschool classroom. They're also amazing for kids to play with at home.  I love a good sensory table, but the "I love all things...

Cornstarch Goop!
Cornstarch Goop!

Cornstarch goop.  Some people call it ooblek.  It was a year-round favorite in my classroom, and the perfect activity to throw together when I needed something extremely fun yet (relatively) easy to clean up.  Perfect for a day that unexpectedly kept us cooped up...

Nature Inspired Play Dough
Nature Inspired Play Dough

Nature Tools With Play Dough You might already know that I love to use play dough with preschool kids.  I love the soft squishiness of it, and its soothing properties.  Especially when it's scented in various ways.  So adding open-ended items from nature for kids to...

Scented Fun For Preschoolers
Scented Fun For Preschoolers

Spices and extracts can add lots of scented fun to your preschoolers' day!  Adding a scent to normally unscented activities can be both stimulating and soothing for kids.  Certain smells can soothe anxiety or even make kids more attentive.  And these two ideas are...

Counting With Preschool Kids
Counting With Preschool Kids

Count with Kids! Counting and other early learning math skills need to be fun and playful for kids to benefit from them.  No quizzing, no stress.  As I always say, just let them play!  So let's look at two simple ways you can play with your kids and encourage their...

Preschool Glue Part 2!
Preschool Glue Part 2!

Glue:  The Messy Way! Preschoolers love to play, and when they play they build so many important early learning skills!  Now, not all kids like to get sticky, and if you've got some of those sweeties in your life, you'll definitely want to check out this post, and...

Simple Preschool Art Tools: Glue!
Simple Preschool Art Tools: Glue!

Simple Preschool Art Tools:  Glue (part one)!  Glue. Plus kids.  Equals a mess.  It's true.  But, glue plus kids also equals fine motor, creative, problem-solving fun!  In my opinion, glue should be available every day in a preschool classroom.  And in the homes of...

More Simple Fine Motor Art Tools
More Simple Fine Motor Art Tools

Two More Simple Fine Motor Art Tools We started talking about simple fine motor art tools in my last blog post.  Now, let's explore a couple more ideas.  The art area of your home or classroom naturally encourages fine motor development.  As kids use the tools you...

Simple Preschool Fine Motor Arts and Crafts Tools
Simple Preschool Fine Motor Arts and Crafts Tools

Simple Fine Motor Art Tools (Part I) Simple fine motor tools for preschool kids are so important to add to your home and classroom.  And having tools that encourage fine motor development in the art area is incredibly easy.  Art is done (mostly) with the hands, so art...

Let’s Play: Ducks!
Let’s Play: Ducks!

Preschoolers Like Ducks In my experience, preschool kids dig ducks.  And anytime a preschooler likes something, they're bound to learn a lot as they play with that thing.  So let's give them lots of duck stuff to do!  Preschool duck activities galore, right here for...

Let’s Read: Preschool Number Recognition Activities
Let’s Read: Preschool Number Recognition Activities

Number Recognition Preschool number recognition is more of an early reading skill (symbols have meaning, and this symbol is a 5, and this one is an A... ) than a true math skill.  It's when kids get the idea that a specific number symbol refers to a specific quantity...

Preschool Binoculars: Let’s Play!
Preschool Binoculars: Let’s Play!

Homemade Binoculars! Simple as pie, but endlessly fun for a preschooler, homemade binoculars could be the start of all sorts of amazing adventures at home or at school.  There are several ways to make them, but I always like to stick with easy and cheap.  So, recycle...

Let’s Play: Preschool Train Activities
Let’s Play: Preschool Train Activities

Preschool Train Activities for All! I have a feeling you might have a train-loving kid or two on your hands...  If you do--or even if you don't--the collection of preschool train activities, train books and train toys below is sure to have some winners that will get...

Let’s Get Squishy: Frozen Paint Preschool Art Activity
Let’s Get Squishy: Frozen Paint Preschool Art Activity

Keep it Simple I've always loved preschool art activities that provide tons of variety and learning value. So here's a simple way to expose kids to science, art, fine motor, cognitive and sensory experiences all bundled up in one!  Freeze! So, from the title you know...

Let’s Move: Cutting Straws!
Let’s Move: Cutting Straws!

The Fine Motor Dilemma Some kids just really aren't into cutting--or possibly any fine motor activities, for that matter.  But fine motor skills are really important, and the earlier kids start getting playful practice with them, the better.  Those tiny finger and...

Let’s Play: Timing Activities!
Let’s Play: Timing Activities!

Preschool Math Activities For preschoolers, time is a tricky subject. And like most things it is best learned through regular old life experiences and play. Today I'm sharing a simple activity that you can do anywhere and any time.  Use it at home when you need a...

Let’s Sing: Portable Songs and Games
Let’s Sing: Portable Songs and Games

Drawing a Blank As a preschool teacher and nanny, you need to know a lot of preschool and toddler songs.  There were probably 5,798 times that I needed to sing a quick song or play a quick game to keep 'my' kids entertained.  And 10,874 more times I couldn't for the...

Parking Spaces!
Parking Spaces!

Simple Preschool Math Activities I've written before about how easy it is to build early preschool math skills as you play with the kids.  And here's another fun and playful way to incorporate math into your little ones' lives.  (This is probably an activity best...

Homemade Books!
Homemade Books!

Ahhhh...Books! As is probably evident from my last blog post featuring JBrary, not to mention the way I go on and on about early literacy, I love a good book! And so do most kids I know... Kids also love to create things and feel important. Mix all of that up and...

Let’s Get Squishy–Scents and Textures at the Easel
Let’s Get Squishy–Scents and Textures at the Easel

A Staple in the Classroom or Home Have you been using the easel lately?  In all my years of teaching, the easel is something I just couldn't do without!  I won't go on about it's many benefits, but if you don't have one in your classroom or house, I highly recommend...

Librarian Love
Librarian Love

About 2 years ago, I was in a little bit of a Circle Time funk.  If I had to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider one more time, or twinkle my little stars for the trillionth time…I mean, I actually love both of those songs—but come on.  I needed to freshen things up.  As a...

The Best Dinosaur Gifts for Preschoolers
The Best Dinosaur Gifts for Preschoolers

Got Dinosaurs? If you’ve got a preschooler in your life, you’ve likely got a dinosaur lover, too!  And there are TONS of dinosaur preschool toys and books out there.  Over the years I’ve seen them all...  Since the variety can be overwhelming, here’s a short list of...