An easy and economical way to keep kids busy at home is with printable activities. These fun projects will help develop and reinforce important learning skills such as hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills and fine motor skills.
Printable Preschool Activities
These hands-on activities are perfect for the preschool age. You will find activities on memory, shape recognition and dramatic play. Use these ideas to help children learn, or reinforce these important learning concepts. If you need help downloading the printables, check out these helpful tips.
Animal Memory Match
To help improve memory skills print out these basic animal pictures, flip them over so the pictures are face down, and have your child use her cognitive skills to remember where they are. This concentration-style game will have your child matching mother animals with their babies. Children will only be exposed to ten animals, so they should be able to catch on fairly quickly. After finding a match, have the child tell you about the animal and what sound it makes, what it eats, where it lives.
Teach children about basic shapes with a fun game of bingo! Print out as many boards as you need, depending upon the number of players. Then cut out the matching markers and choose a player to be the "caller." Play the classic game of bingo, three in a row, or four corners. Children will develop memory skills, language skills and shape recognition skills while having a blast. If you don't feel like playing Bingo, or the concept of the game is too hard for your little one, print out two more boards and cut out each shape to play shape memory match. Use the directions above as a guide.
Build a Sandwich and Placemat
Children will love creating a "pretend" sandwich. Print out all of the delicious fixings, and have your child stack each item that he likes on top of one another to create a sandwich. A fun extension activity is to have your child use their skills to explore dramatic play. Set up a pretend sandwich shop and have them make family members or friends a sandwich too.
Activities for Elementary Age Children
The following activities are geared towards the elementary-aged child. These concepts are a little more challenging, and children will need prior knowledge to complete these activities. The developmental skills children will be using include fine and gross motor skills, sustained attention, language and memory skills and creative and artistic skills.
Silly Scavenger Search
Scavenger hunts are a fun way to engage children while developing their problem solving skills. The goal is to have children search around the house for unusual "silly" items. As they find each item they check the box next to the item. This is a great activity to play with a few children, so you can have a winner at the end. The first person to have all of their items check marked wins. The winner can receive a prize such as, a piece of candy, small trinket, choice of movie to watch that night and so on. This game will keep children occupied and improve their cognitive and problem solving skills.
My Food Plate
This fun, hands-on activity shows children the importance of eating a balanced, healthy meal. This is a great visual for kids to see there is a place on the dinner plate for a wide variety of foods from all of the food groups. After you print out the food plate and accompanying pictures, have the child cut them out. Then ask them to try to make a healthy meal on their plates. As an extension to this activity is to have your child help you plan a healthy meal for dinner and cook it with you.
All of these printable kids' activities will provide children with a variety of learning experiences. The children will be able to recognize and name shapes, animals and food. They will develop their creativity, imagination and artistic skills as well as use their fine and gross motor skills.