Kids learn best when they are directly involved in the process. Set a solid educational foundations with these hands-on activities for preschoolers.
My youngest daughter just turned 6 years old, so we are officially out of the preschool phase. I still end up with preschoolers hanging out at my house for one reason or another on a pretty regular basis, and they all LOVE hands-on activities. So I figure it’s past time to write up our absolute favorite hands-on activities for preschoolers. It makes a great resource for ME when we have young kids in the house, and hopefully it helps you, too!
The Best Hands-on Activities for Preschoolers
I’ve divided these activities into sections, but honestly there is crossover between all of them. Hopefully the organization makes it a little easier for preschool teachers, caregivers, and parents find what they need quickly! While this post showcases activities that come with some structure, don’t forget the importance of open-ended play! Remember, too, to spend plenty of time at the playground!
Art Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Animal Fashion Show. Besides encouraging kids to get creative, this activity builds fine motor skills since you have to get the clothes on the animals!
- Leaf Art for autumn, spring, and summer fun.
- Inspire Creativity with this simple DIY Makerspace.
- Open-Ended Nature Art.
- Sticker Mosaic Scenes
- Black Bean Mosaics
- Mess-Free Art
- No-Mess Color Mixing
Fine Motor Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Bird Themed Pre-Writing Activity. This also teachers one-to-one correspondance (important for math).
- Help the Squirrels Find Their Acorns – a fun printable activity that develops fine motor.
- Apple Tree Tracing Page.
- How to Teach Preschoolers to Use Scissors.
Learning Language with Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Five Fun Ways to Teach Kids Letters.
- Hop the Alphabet Board Game. This free printable keeps learning alphabet letter names fun.
- Sock Matching Rhyming Game. Another free printable game to practice language skills.
- Animal Stamping Farm Themed Literacy Activity.
- Read My Children’s Favorite Picture Books.
Learning Math with Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Building Shapes with Bears. Bear counters aren’t just for counting!
- Make a geometric shapes train – printable included.
- Learn with Buttons.
- Quick and Easy Shape Activities for Preschool.
- Printable Duck Themed Matching Game. I love each child can make their own personalized matching game, turning this into an art activity as well.
- Learning Colors with Owls.
- Pattern Block Preschool Fun.
Engineering Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Engineering Challenge: Can You Design and Build a Truck?
- Three Little Pigs Engineering Activity
- Bridge Building STEM Challenge.
- Spaghetti Tower STEM Chellenge.
Hands-on Science Activities for Preschoolers
- Easy Weather Tracking Printables for Preschool Scientists
- Track the Weather Around the World. This one doubles as an introduction to geography.
- Animal Observation Log.
- Explore the Science of Sound
- Fun Ways to Explore the Science of Flight
Social Studies Hands-on Preschool Activities
- Preschool Grocery Store Activities. Learning about communities is an important part of early childhood education. This is another activity that also allows for a lot of math learning.
- How Can I Be a Community Helper? This is a community themed learning unit for preschool. Check out my unit about community helpers, too.
- Use Picture Books to Build Emotional Intelligence.
- Vibrant World Geography for Kids.
Hands-on Preschool Sensory Activities
- Sea Shell Sensory Bin. This is a wonderful summer themed sensory bin that preschoolers love.
- Penguin Sensory Bin. This one is fantastic for inspiring all sorts of pretend play.
- Dress-Up Bears. Make these adorable bears out of felt – no sewing required!
- Easy Spring Sensory Play Idea
- Bring in the Snow Winter Sensory Play
Holiday Themed Hands-on Activities
Preschoolers LOVE holidays! Here are our favorite holiday themed hands-on activities for preschoolers.
Preschooler Valentine’s Day Fun
Hands-on Preschool Easter Activities
Preschool Halloween Activities
- Ghost Balloons Halloween Science
- Spider Web Obstacle Course. This indoor activity doesn’t need much space at all, so it is perfect for stormy and rainy days!
- Halloween Coloring Pages and Felt Board Shapes
- Pumpkin Faces for Happiness, Sadness, and Surprise.
- Broom and Cauldron Drawing Activity for Room on the Broom. I created this activity with slightly older children in mind, but I found that even preschoolers enjoy it.
- Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Chains
Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
- Make a Gratitude Tree Printable.
- Adorable Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts.
- Family Handprint Turkey
- Thankful Thanksgiving Tree
- Turkey in Disguise Craft
- Preschool Thanksgiving Crafts
Hands-on Preschool Christmas Activities
- Practice letters with this Reindeer Letter Matching Game – another free printable.
- Develop fine motor skills with these ornaments for kids to color and sew.
- Build a Christmas Train.
- Bring the Christmas Spirit Home with Kindness Elves.
- Christmas Picture Books and Activities for Kids.
What are your favorite hands-on activities for preschoolers? Share your favorite hands-on learning ideas on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram. Sign up for my newsletter to receive more parenting tips, crafts, and kids’ activities in your inbox every week.