5 Fun and Educational Preschool Activities

Michelle Philips

Preschool may seem like just a lot of singing, stories, and playing, but it lays the foundation for literature, writing, math, science, and socialization. Preschool milestones include learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Plus, preschools help kids strengthen their fine motor skills and increase their physical activity.

As a nanny, I’ve helped further early childhood education in the home by incorporating preschool lessons into our daily craft and play times. Here are five fun and educational activities preschoolers love.

Chalk Races

This is one of my favorite games and also a great refresher in the summertime when kids are out of school. Plus, you can adapt this game to help preschoolers learn shapes, colors, letters, numbers, and size.

To start, use chalk to draw shapes (or letters/numbers) randomly in your play area. Let your kids be involved in setting up the game whether it’s drawing or coloring in the shapes.

Once you’ve drawn 5-10 items, start the game by calling out a shape (or letter/number) and racing to it. Take turns calling our shapes and running together.

Increase the difficulty by adding more items or adding colors or size. For example, you’d say “run to the biggest square” or “run to the orange A.”

Cutting and Pasting

Preschoolers love hands-on activities, which is great for developing fine motor skills. I’m always scouring Pinterest for cutting and pasting activities that correspond to what kids are learning in school.

I love anything printable because it requires virtually no setup time, and I can use the activity as a way to distract older kids while I put little ones down for a nap or clean up lunch. Also, it’s a good activity to settle them down before we eat or have story time.

Here are some of my favorite printable cut and paste worksheets:

Flashcard Swat

If you dread flashcards, this game may be for you. Get a fly swatter and flash cards (typically letters and numbers for preschoolers). Together, you and your child can spread some of the flashcards out on the floor. Usually, I start with 5-10 cards and work from there so that kids don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed before they’ve given the game a chance.

Call out a letter/number and your child has to use the fly swatter to hit the corresponding card. As your child gets better at finding cards, add 1-3 more cards.

This game is great for learning upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and sight words.


Kids love to get messy, and painting is a fun way to let them be creative and messy while developing fine motor skills and learning colors. (Nanny tip: let kids paint on puppy pads because it’ll soak up all the excess liquid.)

As you setup your paints, make sure your children have primary colors (red, blue and yellow) as well as black and white. Show them how to mix colors to make purple, pink, orange, green, etc. Then, give kids the space they need to mix colors and paint their masterpieces so they can explore and learn freely.

To boost their learning and bond together, I recommend painting with them (when you can). Occasionally, ask them to help you mix a color (I find that they retain information better when solving a problem than reciting what you’ve just told them). For instance, you could say, “I need to make green for my tree. Do you remember how to make green? Could you help me?”


While cooking with a preschooler poses a lot of challenges, I believe it’s incredibly worthwhile for children to be active in the kitchen from a young age. Plus, preschoolers love to be helpful and do what you are doing, so they’ll be onboard with joining you.

Try not to expect too much from your 4 or 5-year-old. They won’t do a good job mixing or measuring, and they’ll probably make a mess. But they will get better, so be patient and give them opportunities to succeed.

Playdough is one of my favorite things to make with a preschooler. They can help measure out ingredients and (if closely supervised) might be able to help stir on the stove depending on how well they follow instructions. Plus, they’ll be excited to play with their creation once it cools, so it’s two activities in one!

Here’s my favorite playdough recipe from Modern Parents Messy Kids.


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Preschool may seem like just a lot of singing, stories and playing, but it lays the foundation for literature, writing, math, science, and socialization.


This post was written by Michelle Philips exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.

Michelle is a freelance writer and professional nanny from Pittsburgh, PA.