Sandee has trained over 10,000 au pairs in her nearly 25 years as an Au Pair in America Orientation Leader. Check out her tried and true favorite activities for preschoolers and young children below!
Top 10 Easy Activities for Preschoolers:
1. Paint with small cars and trucks
Preschoolers love this activity! Grab a variety of toy cars and trucks, lots of paper, and different colors of paint. Then, have children drive toy cars through different paints and watch the colors mix!
2. Marshmallows and toothpicks construction
This is a great activity to combine working on fine motor skills with imagination! Challenge children to build a tall building using marshmallows (or gumdrops) and toothpicks.
3. Make a painted rock garden
Painting rocks is a fun activity for all ages. Grab some paint (acrylic is best), small paintbrushes, and smooth, flat rocks. Let children use their imagination and decorate their rocks. Display the rocks in a small outdoor garden or add to potted plants to add some extra cheer to your yard!
4. Binoculars from toilet paper rolls
Connect two cardboard toilet paper tubes with string to create binoculars. Children can decorate the tubes for added flair and then use their imagination to go bird-watching or on a safari!
5. Cars/trucks and bubble wrap
Simply lay down some bubble wrap and let children “drive” their favorite toy cars and trucks over it. Challenge little ones to pop all the bubbles!
6. Build a fort from boxes
Collect large and medium-sized cardboard boxes. Use duct tape to connect boxes to form tunnels for children to explore. Au pairs can use a box cutter to cut out windows and doorways – just be careful to keep sharp objects away from curious children. Encourage the kids to decorate and name their new fort!
7. Make playdough
Make your own playdough at home! Use 1 cup of water, 1 cup flour, ½ cup of salt, 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the dough becomes stiff but still sticky. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool, then knead in food coloring or sparkles!
8. Color in a box
Save medium and large-sized boxes for playtime! Let children sit inside the box with crayons and markers and draw on every side of the box.
9. Playdough nature sculpture
Children can have fun collected small bits of nature and adding them to playdough to make a unique sculpture. Go outside and collect small twigs, branches, stones and more to add to the sculpture!
10. Decorate boxes
Au pairs can help preschoolers turn cardboard boxes into anything their imagination desires! Turn a cardboard box into a dinosaur, car, rocket ship, and more.
Do you have other favorite activities for preschoolers? Share your ideas in the comment section!