Preschool Learning Activities

Simple preschool learning activities can help lay strong foundations for reading, writing and arithmetic.

The playtime activities I suggest on this page will give your child a chance to develop the skills needed for formal schooling.

Click on each link to find out how and why these activities can help your child, and get some easy ideas to do at home.

The activity suggestions on this page are designed to promote your child's normal development. If you are at all concerned about your child's development, please consult an occupational therapist. This website is NOT a substitute for occupational therapy evaluation and treatment!

Gross Motor Activities

Gross motor activities can develop the hand-eye coordination needed for handwriting and also the visual skills needed for reading.

Building core strength and upper body strength is an important factor in developing the skills needed to control a pencil and scissors.

Activity Suggestions:

Climb, Climb, Climb!
Play Some Relay Games
  • Take your child to a park at least once a week. Encourage lots of climbing to work those shoulder and core muscles!
  • Invest in a trampoline. Jumping is not only a great way for preschoolers to burn off steam - it also works on core muscles and coordination skills, and gives your child lots of heavy muscle and joint input.
    Jumping on a trampoline can calm an overworked child AND it can help a distracted child to sit down and concentrate.
  • Try some fun relay games where your child has to pass an object over the head or sideways.
  • View a range of gross motor activities on my site!

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Fine Motor Activities

During the preschool years, your child should be getting lots of opportunity to develop hand strength and dexterity through exposure to a variety of fine motor activities.

If your child is generally able to play well with small items and is learning to manipulate crayons and scissors, then most fine motor activities advertised for this age group will be achievable for him/her.

But what if your child avoids using a crayon and scissors and is clumsy with small items like beads?

if that is the case, then many fine-motor-based preschool learning activities may end in frustration and tears.

This may be an indication that your child's hand and finger muscles need some help.

Activity Suggestions:

Lots of playdough activities!
Lots of scissor activities!
  • Encourage your child to squeeze, pound, roll and squash playdough, instead of just pushing cookie cutters into it. Here are some of my playdough activity ideas (get a free mini e-book on that page!)

  • Give your child spray bottles and squirt toys at bath time

  • Do lots of snipping activities with scissors - snip playdough sausages, snip paper for a collage and then progress to "proper" cutting once your child is ready
    If your child struggles, this article will help you teach your child to cut with scissors.

  • Check out the links to all my fine motor activities, or consider buying my fine motor e-books for all my fine motor activities in an easily accessible format!

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Visual Motor Activities

Getting the eyes and hands to work together well is important for playing sport as well as for getting the eyes to guide the hands in handwriting.

Your daily schedule of preschool learning activities should always include a visual motor activity!

Activity Suggestions:

Bat-and-ball activities
Threading and lacing
  • Suspend a ball in a net and have your preschooler hit it with a bat.
  • Do lots of threading, beading and lacing, with thick laces and chunky beads.
  • Draw a pattern on a blackboard or white board and have your preschooler trace over it with a finger.
  • Get some more great visual motor integration activities over here, or try these very easy ones with your toddler.

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Visual Perceptual Activities

Visual perceptual activities will help your child to understand and remember what is seen. This is an important foundation for learning to recognize and remember letters and numbers in order to read, write and do math!

Doing some of these fun preschool learning activities will help to develop many of your child's visual perceptual skills.

Activity Suggestions:

Read "I Spy" Books
Play Concentration
  • Play verbal "I Spy With My Little Eye" games indoors and outdoors (use the sounds of the beginning of the words, not the name of the word...ie "buh" for ball, not "bee" for ball!). Playing this game will help your child to focus and pay attention visually.
  • Look at "I Spy" or "Seek and Find" books together and help your child to spot the different objects. This is a figure-ground perception activity.
  • Partially hide familiar objects and ask your child to identify them. This is a visual closure skill.
  • Play Concentration to work on visual memory skills.
  • You can also download a bunch of preschool visual perceptual printables to help your child develop these vital skills.
    Preschool learning activities should mostly be hands-on, so please be sure to use worksheets in conjunction with games and practical activities!
If you can't find "Seek&Find" or similar books in your library or bookstore, Amazon has some over here#Ad that work well for very young kids.

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Household Activities

I am a firm believer in letting little ones get involved around the house from an early age. Not only does it teach responsibility, but kids actually enjoy knowing they have done something helpful and constructive.

You can get your kids involved with you in the kitchen, and with doing simple chores. There are just so many benefits, ranging from bilateral coordination skills to strengthening fine motor muscles - so check out my two detailed pages below and be inspired to get your preschool learning alongside you during everyday tasks!

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Preschool Learning Activities For Handwriting

Preparing for handwriting does NOT mean plonking your preschool child down with a pencil and paper and showing your child how to write his/her name!

Preschool learning activities should always include lots of movement, floor work and "big" work - working on floors, walls and vertical boards instead of on paper at a desk.

Preparation for handwriting is no different, and the activities on this page, particularly the fine motor activities and visual motor activities, will help your preschool child to work on the foundation skills needed specifically for handwriting.

If you are looking for particular resources that you can incorporate into your child's daily schedule, in conjunction with lots of hands-on activities, then try these:

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Help Your Preschool Child Master Fine Motor Skills!

My fine motor printables are jam-packed with photographed activities, tips and checklists that you can use to help your preschool child master fine motor skills.

For the price of a couple of coffees, you will have activities and resources at your finger tips for the next couple of years! Check out all my fine motor resources!



You may also be interested in checking out a whole range of preschool educational activities that have been compiled by an expert in her field over at Empowered Parents! Enjoy!


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I hope these preschool learning activities will be helpful to you as you work with your preschool child!

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