The days of coloring books and potato stamps are long gone. It’s time to get creative with your kids and help them explore their world in new ways. At 4 years old, they’re starting to learn more about numbers and letters, becoming pros at writing out their names, differentiating between colors, and showing tons of curiosity about everything around them.
Why not indulge them in a bunch of awesome activities that promote sensory play, fun with numbers, and a host of artistic exploration? We’re confident that our collection of 57 innovative preschool activities will do just the trick and prove perfect for your curious little 4-year-olds!
1. Sprinkle Sensory Bag
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this activity, it’s packed with endless possibilities and tons of fun! Simply fill a Ziploc bag with a bunch of sprinkles before inviting your little ones to use it as a tracking platform to trace out letters and numbers with their fingers.
Learn More: Active Littles
2. Hiss Board Game
Every preschool teacher knows the importance of having one amazing board game on hand. Hiss is an excellent investment and your kids will be able to play it for years to come! Engage them in this vibrant game by having them match colors to build these radiant wriggly snakes.
Learn More: Game Cows
3. Floating Paintings
This whimsical activity is part magic and part science and incredibly easy to set up. Task your kiddos with drawing a fun picture on a smooth plate with dry-erase markers. Once their doodles are complete, prompt them to pour some water onto the plate and observe as their picture gets picked up by the water and floats around. It’s pure magic!
Learn More: YouTube
4. Cutting Slime
Exercising your toddlers’ scissors skills is an important part of their development, but most activities are resource-heavy and messy. With this simple project, you’ll encourage them to practice their cutting by having them snip into blobs of slime for infinite ways to exercise those little hands.
Learn More: The OT Toolbox
5. Squirt Gun Painting
Throw out those boring painting activity plans and roll out the big guns, or the water guns in this case. Load up some water pistols with a variety of water paints before passing them off to your preschoolers. Then, let the fun begin by allowing them to squirt their guns at some blank canvas to see what colorful creations they’ll come up with.
Learn More: Fireflies and Mudpies
6. Sticky Turtle Wall
This super cute activity is perfect for your curious kiddos who love to play outside. Start by sticking a sheet of contact paper on a wall or fence (sticky side facing outward) and then draw the outline of a turtle on it with a marker. Your children are then free to stick all kinds of natural green elements on the turtle to bring this masterpiece to life.
7. Sensory Counting Bag
This customizable activity will make a fantastic addition to your summer-themed activities. Put together this captivating sensory bag by inserting the printable ice cream sheet in a Ziploc bag before filling it with hair gel and pom poms. You’ll then challenge your little ones to use their counting and color recognition skills to move the pom-poms around the bag to the corresponding cones.
Learn More: Happy Tot Shelf
8. Flower Arrangement
When springtime rolls around, embrace the colors of the season with this cheery activity. Engage your little learners’ in this sensory delight by inviting them to arrange flowers in an upside-down colander. Let their creativity flow as they use flowers of different sizes and hues to design these beautiful floral creations.
Learn More: No Time for Flashcards
9. Animal Tape Rescue Activity
Here’s another fun-filled way to work on your tots’ cutting skills and develop their fine motor skills. Start by taping plastic animals into a muffin tray before challenging your kids to free them by using a scissor to cut the tape. If you’re looking to increase the difficulty, replace the tape with string before encouraging them to release the animals with their fingers by unraveling the complicated web.
Learn More: Days with Grey
10. Toddler at Play
It seems like most indoor activities always leave a mess, but this absorbing game only requires a piece of paper and a few shapes. Begin by tracing outlines of toys, blocks, or even kitchen utensils before tasking your kiddos with matching the objects to their outline.
Learn More: Toddler at Play
11. Leaf Rubbing
Nothing promotes sensory engagement quite like nature! Immerse your class in all the colors, smells, and textures of the outdoors with this simple leaf-rubbing activity. Send them off into your schoolyard to pick up a few fallen leaves. You’ll then prompt them to place a blank piece of paper over their leaves before having them rub over it with crayons to reveal all the intricate patterns of nature.
Learn More: Social Field Trips
12. Sticker Lines
If you’ve got a few stickers to spare, this delightful and hands-on activity is the perfect choice. Simply draw lines on a large piece of white paper before having your children place stickers all along the line. You can even amp up the difficulty by challenging them to see if they can stick the colors in a pattern!
Learn More: Busy Toddler
13. Playdough Stamp Counting
Playdough stamping is an age-old kindergarten craft, but have you ever thought of switching it up to a counting activity? In this hands-on exercise, you’ll start by writing various numbers on pieces of paper before tasking your kiddos with stamping the correct number of dots into Playdough using different building blocks.
Learn More: Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls
14. Pom-Pom Patterns
This interactive activity will work wonders for your toddlers’ color recognition and fine motor skills. Simply arm them with a pair of mini tweezers and then challenge them to place pom-poms in a grid formation by having them follow these printable template cards.
Learn More: Just Teachy
15. Letter Search with Stickers
Familiarizing your tots with alphabet letters just got a whole lot more fun! Provide them with an empty paper towel roll and colorful stickers that you’ve covered in various letters. Then, invite them to match the stickers to the correct letter on the roll.
Learn More: How Wee Learn
16. Leaf Sorting
Here’s another excellent example of how your garden can be one of your greatest resources. Gather up leaves of all shapes and sizes or send your kids into your schoolyard to rustle up a bunch. You’ll then encourage them to do their best as you have them sort each leaf by size, texture, color, or any other characteristics you can think of.
Learn More: Montessori from the Heart
17. Rainbow Stacking Stones
In this triple-threat of an activity, your children will learn all about colors, balancing, and sorting according to size. Begin by inviting them to gather up a bunch of small stones before allowing them to adorn each stone with colorful paint. Once complete, challenge them to stack the stones in order from biggest to smallest.
Learn More: Happy Hooligans
18. Toilet Roll Haircuts
Have your little ones shown interest in wanting to cut their own hair? Avoid any unwanted mishaps by treating them to this adorable cutting activity. They’ll work on their scissors skills as you task them with decorating empty toilet rolls before you engage their inner stylist by having them give their cardboard characters some funky haircuts.
Learn More: Our Kid Things
19. Nail Painting
Another potentially messy activity can be reined in with just a small adjustment. Instead of letting your young minds paint your or their own nails, arm them with nail polish and give them these easy-to-make cardboard cutouts to decorate with colors of their choice.
Learn More: Play Hooray
20. Cotton Ball Painting
If your littles are struggling to get the hang of painting with a paintbrush, this cotton ball painting project will provide them with the perfect happy medium. Simply stick cotton wool in clothes pegs and then place them in various blobs of paint. Your kiddos are then free to go to town on a canvas of your choice as you encourage them to embrace their creative flair!
Learn More: Tip Junkie
21. Name Hop
Any game that can burn off a little energy is a winner in our books! In Name Hop, you’ll start by writing letters on paper plates before you scatter them around your classroom floor. Challenge your tots to make their way through the alphabet by having them jump from letter to letter, spelling out their name or even practicing sight words.
Learn More: Taming Little Monsters
22. Utensil Printing
You can turn nearly anything into art with a bit of colorful paint and a little imagination. In this case, allow your kiddos to use simple kitchen utensils to create vivid patterns with paint. You’ll be amazed to see all the creative flower designs that your budding Picassos come up with.
Learn More: Fantastic Fun and Learning
23. Flower Petal Name Practice
Staying on the floral theme, this delightful activity will let your kids practice spelling out their names. Try adding this to their daily routine as you have them practice laying out petals in the correct order to spell out their names.
Learn More: A Dab of Glue Will Do
24. Number Search Sticker Activity
There’s seemingly no end to the things you can do with a few stickers and a sheet of paper. In this variation, you’ll start by writing down some numbers on paper before assigning a color to each one. Proceed by handing the sheets out to your class and challenging them to search for the numbers and place the corresponding sticker on each.
Learn More: Stay At Home Educator
25. Sticky Yarn Numbers
Get those nimble hands working in this super simple number recognition activity. Simply draw a bunch of numbers on paper before sticking a sheet of contact paper over it, making sure the sticky side is facing up. Then, invite your littles to trace out each digit by having them use pieces of yarn to map out all the curves and angles.
Learn More: Fun Littles
26. Make Counting Hands
It’s perfectly natural for your children to count on their fingers, but how about letting them count on someone (or something) else’s fingers? Treat them to some hands-on learning by first filling gloves with beans or grain. Afterward, have them roll a pair of dice before challenging them to represent that number on the gloves.
Learn More: JDaniel4’s Mom
27. Ribbon Threading
Even the simplest of activities can have great benefits in the development of your preschoolers. This ribbon threading activity is sure to do the trick as you encourage them to thread different ribbons through an oven rack. They’ll exercise their little fingers and their patience as they weave each ribbon through the rack.
Learn More: Happy Brown House
28. Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
These salt dough fossils will make a fantastic addition to a prehistoric-themed lesson. Allow your kiddos to press toy dinosaurs into circles of salt dough to create impressions before placing them in an oven to dry. Once hardened, they’ll have an array of dino fossils that you can even hide in your garden for them to dig up later if you’re feeling adventurous!
Learn More: Mom Brite
29. Colorful Counting Sticks
Craft sticks are probably already a staple in your classroom so setting up this game should be a breeze. Mark each stick with a number and then challenge your little learners to place a corresponding amount of small rubber bands on each stick, according to the number represented.
Learn More: Sweet Silly Sara
30. Paper-Cutting Station
This handy paper-cutting station is the perfect way to keep your little ones busy. Simply print out a few templates that you’ll place in a craft box along with a few pairs of scissors. When your tots have some free time or you’re looking to distract them for a moment, have them open the box, pick out a template, and cut along the lines.
Learn More: Playdough to Plato
31. Lock and Key Number Match
This innovative activity is guaranteed to keep your kids busy while teaching them number and counting skills at the same time. To create this exercise, write numbers on locks before making dots on the keychains of the matching keys. You’ll then encourage your learners to match each lock with its key to unlock them all.
Learn More: ABC Does
32. Bubble Art
Your young minds will create unique pieces of art every time with this imaginative activity. Create a colorful bubble solution by mixing dish soap and paint together before inviting your kids to form bubble clouds by blowing into the solution with a straw. Afterward, allow them to place paper onto the bubbles to form floral templates that they can then adorn with patches of greenery.
33. Wet Sidewalk Chalk Drawings
Liven up your classroom environment with this outdoor art session. Provide your tots with sidewalk chalk that’s been soaked in water before inviting them to forge impressive patterns in your schoolyard. You’re sure to be mesmerized by all the grand designs that they come up with and how the simple addition of water transforms ordinary sidewalk chalk into an ultra-vibrant medium.
Learn More: The OT Toolbox
34. Ice Block Treasure Hunt
Here’s a guaranteed boredom buster for those hot summer days. Freeze a bunch of plastic toys in a big block of ice before allowing your children to excavate them. Encourage them to use water, kitchen utensils, and more to try and melt or crush the ice to save the toys from their icy prison.
Learn More: The Inspired Home
35. Glow In The Dark Bowling
Kick lawn bowling up a notch with a whimsical game of glow-in-the-dark bowling. Simply snap a few glow sticks and pop them into plastic bottles filled with water to create a thrilling night-time activity that will work wonders for your kiddos’ gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Learn More: Passion for Savings
36. Rock Painting
You can never go wrong with a classic activity! Rock painting is a fantastic way to get your children to express their creativity while also enjoying some fun in the sun. Provide them with an array of paints and a rock of their choice before getting them excited to whip up these vibrant garden accessories.
Learn More: Mrs. Plemon’s Kindergarten
37. Yarn Painting
Yarn is another potential paintbrush alternative that makes for stunning outcomes! Invite your toddlers to create abstract pieces of art by first having them dip yarn in paint and lay it down on paper. You’ll then prompt them to drag it across the page to produce vibrant tapestries right before their eyes.
Learn More: Busy Toddler
38. Clear Frame Portrait Drawing
This ingenious activity maximizes creativity while simultaneously being light on resources. Simply pair your kids up before providing each pair with a clear plastic lid and a dry-erase marker. They’ll then take turns outlining their classmates’ features by placing the lid over their partner’s face and using the marker to trace out all their features.
Learn More: Instagram
39. Mystery Box
Tactile exploration is a key part of your preschoolers’ development and this mystery box activity is one of the best ways to explore that sense. Start by adding anything from toys to fruit, utensils, or foam letters to a box before encouraging your pupils to feel the objects without looking and guess what hidden items lay inside.
Learn More: Kids Art n Craft
40. Animal Rescue
Round up your children and get them ready to embark on this engaging rescue mission! Wrap up a few toys with rubber bands or string before challenging your students to free each animal by using their fine motor skills to unravel the knots and loops that bind the toys.
Learn More: Team Cartwright
41. Animal Leg Match
This adorable activity makes for a delightful addition to animal lessons or could even be used as an extension exercise to an animal book reading lesson. Using clothespins with different kinds of animal legs on them, you’ll task your kiddos with matching them to their body cutouts to complete this fun-filled matching activity.
Learn More: And Next Comes L
42. Move Like An Animal Cube
It’s time to get those little bodies moving with this dynamic activity! Creative this fun animal movement cube by sticking movement prompts and pictures of animals to each side of the shape. Then, have your littles take turns rolling the cube before encouraging them to jump, crawl, and hop according to the animal movement that their roll lands on.
Learn More: Choices for Children
43. Fine Motor Fishing
Inspire a fresh take on the classic game of magnet fishing! Begin by making these super cute pipe cleaner fish before twisting and turning a separate pipe cleaner to create a hook. Engage your class in scooping up their catch of the day by using the hook to pick up one colorful fish at a time and then drop it into a corresponding toilet paper roll.
Learn More: Home School AEC
44. Animal Washing Station
This might seem like a sneaky way to get your tots to clean their toys, but it’s actually a fantastic way to develop their fine motor skills. Simply cover a bunch of their toys in mud before tasking them with using a toothbrush, cloth, or even cotton buds to get into all the nooks and crannies of their animals – leaving them squeaky clean and primed for playtime!
Learn More: The Imagination Tree
45. Puffy Paint Art
For a whimsical take on art lessons, try whipping up a batch of puffy paint! Using shaving cream and food coloring, you’ll invite your little artists to create textural wonders by squeezing the mixture out of a piping bag. Draw outlines of a picture for them to follow or let their creativity run freely by allowing them to forge artistic wonders from scratch.
Learn More: The Artful Parent
46. Easy-Peasy Sock Puppets
Making these quirky sock puppets is an awesome way to indulge your kids’ creativity while also teaching them the importance of recycling. Gather up a bunch of old socks and have your preschoolers come up with their very own unique character using leftover popsicle sticks, craft supplies, googly eyes, and more!
Learn More: Pinterest
47. Shape Hunt
A classic shape hunt activity may seem simple enough, but it’ll do wonders for your toddlers’ developing minds. Challenge them to hunt around your classroom or outside to find objects in their environment that match a variety of known shapes.
Learn More: Michigan State University
48. Sensory Rice Bin
Sensory activities are as much a rewarding experience for your little ones as they are fun. Immerse them in this wonderful exercise where you’ll have them search through a sea of colorful rice using a variety of tools to aid them in excavating the hidden objects.
Learn More: Honors Grad U
49. Eggshell Garden
Planting little eggshell gardens will be one of the cutest and most memorable experiments to treat your littles to. Have them fill eggshells with soil and seeds before encouraging them to place their eggs in different places around your classroom to observe the effects of sunlight on their growth. It’s a fantastic way to teach them about the importance of recycling and how growing their own plants can aid in fighting the climate crisis.
Learn More: Bright Wheel Blog
50. Nature Art Collage
A walk outdoors is a lovely way for your children to interact with nature and adding a creative element to it means they get to put their thinking caps on as well. Allow them to pick up a variety of natural objects such as sticks, leaves, tree bark, and flowers before encouraging them to use their items to come up with designs such as a whimsical mandala pattern.
Learn More: Emma Owl
51. Story Stones
Inviting your class to create story stones is a sure way to engage every facet of their imagination. Have your kiddos paint simple doodles onto stones or pre-make them if you’re in a time crunch. Then, prompt them to pick a random stone and come up with a fitting tale to match the image displayed.
Learn More: Early Impact Learning
52. Balloon Tennis
DIY Balloon Tennis is an excellent way to work on your children’s hand-eye coordination and expel some energy in the process. Start by whipping up a few racquets using paper plates and popsicle sticks before challenging your little athletes to see who can use them to keep a balloon off the floor for the longest time.
Learn More: Lovevery
53. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course
If your kids love to move and play outdoors, this activity will soon become one of their favorites! Plan out a thrilling obstacle course on your sidewalk by using colorful chalk to map out each movement that your learners will have to carry out. Once complete, challenge them to move through the course as quickly and accurately as possible as you have them jump, hop, and skip to the finish.
Learn More: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
54. Bubble Wrap stomp painting
It’s not often that your little ones get to make a mess without consequences, but in this creative project, they’ll get to do just that! Start by taping large pieces of bubble wrap around their feet before inviting them to step onto a large sheet of paper. They’re then free to dip their feet into different paints and stomp around the canvas to create an abstract masterpiece.
Learn More: Mess for Less
55. Balloon Rocket Experiment
Introducing your class to STEM activities at an early age is a wonderful way to skyrocket their progress. In this fun-filled experiment, you’ll assist them in using materials such as balloons, string, tape, and straws to design a balloon rocket that’s completely propelled by the laws of physics!
Learn More: Kaplan
56. Musical Statues
Treat your young minds to a classic game of Musical Statues to improve their concentration skills and get their bodies grooving. Have them try out the classic version where they’ll need to freeze as soon as the music stops. For an added twist, when the music stops encourage them to freeze before pretending to be an animal or prompting them to express a random emotion.
Learn More: Silly Fish Learning
57. Bead Patterns
Using beads as a tool for learning not only results in a variety of trendy accessories but they can also be used as a method to develop your toddlers’ finger control and fine motor skills. In this activity, have them pick a random pattern card before inviting them to string colorful beads onto pipe cleaners to accurately represent the order on their cards.
Learn More: 8 Beading Activities for Preschoolers