Activities to Help Kids

Do you need ideas to help your preschoolers learn and grow? Or do you watch others and need to occupy them in good ways?

Here are some tips to help you manage one or many preschoolers…Even help with a child care business.


A child needs a warm, loving relationship with an adult that loves him unconditionally. Make sure that you make the time to offer affection and encouragement. It is mutually rewarding to read, play games and even watch television with children. Some ideas that will create happy memories and also provide activities that will contribute to the emotional and intellectual growth of preschoolers are listed.


  1. Take time to answer their endless questions.

  2. Act silly with them sometimes (shows them your sense of spirit and fun).

  3. Praise them frequently.

  4. Start a scrapbook of FUN TIMES.

  5. Hang crepe paper streamers vertically from the top of a door in the kitchen to create a stage effect. Children love to peek through to sing songs or act out a play.

  6. Act out your favorite nursery rhymes or fairy tales.

  7. Change the endings of well known stories or vary the story by using the child’s name instead.

  8. Make a train with your kitchen chairs lined in a row. Tear up pieces of paper for tickets.

  9. Save cash register receipts for playing store or for lining up end to end to make a trail that the children follow.

  10. Make a masking tape balance beam outside by putting tape on the sidewalk and ask the children to walk without falling off.

  11. Make a hopscotch game on the back on an old vinyl tablecloth for an indoor game of hopscotch. Place on the kitchen floor and let the children enjoy hopping from one number to the next. [Be sure to secure it so it doesn’t slide, so no one gets hurt!]

  12. Be a rock collector by collecting a variety of rare rocks as you walk around the yard.

  13. Save containers from 35mm film. Spread them on the floor and have the children imitate the shapes that you create by placing the containers in a circle or square.

  14. Introduce a new letter such as R and sample foods that begin with Rrice, raspberries, and radishes, etc.

  15. Take a walk and touch the tree branches, feel the bark, smell the flowers, examine the veins on the leaves.

  16. Try to carry a variety of objects on a large serving spoon. Then try to carry things on a small spoon. Point out the difference between heavy and light such as a cotton ball versus an egg (hard-boiled, of course).

  17. Let your children help plan what you serve for lunch or dinner.

  18. Give the child three or four toys or household items. Make up or act out a story using those items.

  19. Show the letters on a cereal box or on a can in your cupboard and ask him to try to copy a letter.

  20. Name all of the things that you can ride in.

  21. Tape record the children’s conversation. Play it back for them.

  22. Look out the window and name all of the things that you see.

  23. Put old blankets and sheets over a table and chairs and make a fort.

  24. Make an obstacle course by having the children go around a chair, crawl under a table, knock three times on a door, jump over a throw rug, etc.

  25. Use old greeting cards to make bookmarks, collages or new original cards that you can send to someone special.


Patricia Gallagher is the author of Start Your Own At-Home Child Care Business (ISBN# 0-943135-08-1; $19.95) and So You Want To Open a Profitable Day Care Center (ISBN# 0-943135-53-2; $19.95). To order, write Child Care, P O Box 555, Worcester, PA 19490 or call (214)364-1945.


The above article is from a newsletter my late wife (Gisel Ross) and I wrote some years back. It was called Cornucopia, Ideas for Better Living. The information is still as valid today as it was then.

Jerry D Ross

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