Don’t ignore the vast amount of learning that your youngest kids can accomplish with simple activities. Before you start homeschooling the older kids, take some time to pay attention to and proactively engage your toddlers and preschoolers. Here are six simple learning activities that will help early learners grow in multiple areas and give them a foundation for learning.
Puzzles for Fine Motor Skills
Puzzles provide great opportunities for toddlers and preschoolers to practice their fine motor skills. In addition, many puzzles made for the younger ages help sharpen shape recognition. Kids can build memory and math skills with puzzles, along with problem-solving and sequencing skills.
Here are a few printable puzzles to try out with your little ones.
FREE Printable Preschool Butterfly Puzzles
Opposites Puzzles for Teaching Preschoolers
Farm Preschool Letter Puzzles
Young kids absolutely love tactile and sensory play! Stimulating the senses and manipulating sensory objects provides great learning for your youngest learners.
Check out these great tactile play ideas:
- Easy and Fun DIY Sensory Bins for Early Learners
- Simple Sensory Bin Must-Haves
- Ideas for Toddler Sensory Play
Providing bean bags for your youngest learners will give them many opportunities for learning. If you can find bean bags with different shapes, it can help your toddlers learn their shapes. You can play games where they toss the shape you call out. You can also have them pair together shapes, helping them build shape-matching skills.
Of course, tossing bean bags is so much fun! But it’s not all fun and games. Giving your littlest learners the chance to toss bean bags can help them grow their coordination. It also improves their ability to cross the midline, which is vital to the development of using both sides of the body together, such as putting on shoes and socks, writing and cutting.
Lacing beads are a classic childhood activity. Providing lacing beads for your youngest learners will not only give them an opportunity for creative and open-ended play, but it also helps them develop two-handed play. Think about how you have to use both hands to manipulate the beads and put them on the string. This activity develops bilateral coordination, which is necessary for many tasks as they get older.
While a big part of using lacing beads is the physical coordination, they’re also great for teaching other concepts, like patterning, colors, shapes, and more. Check out these posts for more ideas on how to use lacing beads.
The Best List of Montessori Practical Life Activities
65 Resources for Teaching Numbers
Card games and card sets can help your toddlers and preschoolers learn many important skills. Here’s just a few of them:
- build number sense through tactile play
- identify numbers
- learn letters
- identify shapes
- learn colors
- sequencing skills
- and more!
Here are some card resources to check out:
Preschool Color Matching Cards
Preschool Counting & Matching Cards
Finally, use blocks with your littlest learners to promote active learning. They can do so much with a set of cylinder blocks. Just consider the skills they will learn and use:
- explore size difference
- explore patterns
- sorting by size
- matching up shapes
- develop number sense
- builds a foundation for future math learning
Using Paper Building Blocks for Kids
Printables and Ideas for Playing with Blocks
FREE Pattern Blocks Printable
If you’re looking for ways to nurture the natural curiosity of your youngest learners, look no further than the Panda Crate from KiwiCo. This baby & toddler subscription box for your kids ages 0-2 will help you build a foundation for learning.
The Panda Crate regularly includes all six of these simple learning activities for your youngest learners, from puzzles and tactile shapes, to bean bags, lacing beads, cards and blocks.
KiwiCo was created to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity, while helping parents who want to bring enriching experiences to their children. We want to make it fun, easy, and delightful for families to spend time building, exploring and creating together. Read more about us here and check out our subscription boxes for kids.