Kindergarten Activities are a fun way to imbue learning at play. Play is a powerful medium when it comes to learning. And with young learners, there is no medium more powerful than playful, hands-on kindergarten activities.
These playful, hands-on activities for kindergarten kids can be easily sneaked into your child’s playtime without compromising on play. They seriously gamify learning and make it fun rather than a job that needs to be done.
Table of Contents:
- Literacy Kindergarten Activities
- Math Activities for Kindergarten
- STEM Activities for Kindergarten
- Left Brain & Right Brain Kindergarten Activities
Why Hands-on Kindergarten Activities?
Kindergarten is an exciting transition. Your little ones are not so little anymore and yet far from being a primary student who can sit still.
Kindergarten students need to move…be it their hands or legs! Movement and engagement is crucial to their learning. Hands-on activities address this developmental need of kindergarteners to help them learn better.
Incorporating hands-on activities to teach math and science lead to better retention and learning outcomes, as indicated by research.
Not only do these hands-on kindergarten activities simplify learning for children but also are easy enough to incorporate in the kindergarten curriculum.
Kindergarten activities listed below are in line with kindergarten standards and perfect for kids between 4 to 6 years.
As every child grows at his/her own pace, choose the kindergarten learning activities that suit and appeal to your child the best.
Kindergarten Literacy Activities
Literacy activities for kids need not be boring or sedentary. Get your kids moving and hands-on with these fun Kindergarten activities that will make learning literacy exciting.
1. Sidewalk Chalk Sight Words
Make learning sight words super fun with this simple yet potent kindergarten literacy activity.
Simply write a few sight words or CVC words with a chalk on your sidewalk and let your kids spot them when you call out the word’s initial sound.
2. Around The House
Such hands-on learning activities for kindergarten are a favourite with busy parents who are looking for some downtime. All your kindergartener needs to do is look around the house and write a word for each letter of the alphabet.
It is a wonderful learning game that will encourage your child to observe, have a real look around the house and identify words around them. Great for building vocabulary as well!
Related: Include these Fun Community Helper Activities for Kindergarten in your kiddo’s learning schedule.
3. Play dough Letters
Use old classic Playdough to make literacy activities in kindergarten fun. Encourage your young learner to make upper case and matching lower case letters from Playdough.
Or simply make a few yourself, mix them up and ask your kindergartener to match the playdough upper case letter with their respective lower case letters. For kindergarteners who have mastered their upper and lower case letters, use playdough to make CVC words.
Quick Tip: Pair this activity with these Early Reader Books to help your child learn to read.
4. Word Family Sort & Colour
This is an excellent quiet time activity to teach your kindergarten word families. Use the Word Family Sort printable and let your child spot the words belonging to the word families and colour them according to the key given.
This is a wonderful hands-on fun activity for kindergarten kids who are learning to spell three or four letter words. Target one word family at a time and start with three letter words to gradually progress to build four letter words.
6. Rainbow Writing
This is one of the most fun and sensorial ways to make writing fun. All you have to do is write a word on a sheet of paper and have your kindergartener trace the word using crayons in rainbow colours.
Such an engaging way to teach spelling!
Related: While you engage in these learning activities, also make time for Fun Memory Games to build your little one’s memory skills.
7. Find & Rhyme
Get your kids moving with this kindergarten learning game. Write a few rhyming words on paper plates or index cards and hide them around the house or in your backyard for your kids to find.
This game can be easily adapted to include word families or CVC words to get your child learning while practising their gross motor skills.
8. Lego Word Family Sorting
This kindergarten learning activity clubs Lego blocks with literacy in the most fun and easy way. Let your kids use lego blocks to spell out word families. This interactive, sensorial activity will not only help them word families better but also boost their fine motor skills.
Great for keeping your kindergartener occupied while you grab some quiet time.
Math Activities for Kindergarten
Math is best taught hands-on. Simple ideas and commonly found materials can go a long way in teaching numbers and early numeracy to kids.
These kindergarten math activities incorporate a generous dose of fun along with learning goals to make them a big hit with kindergarten students, teachers as well as parents.
9. Spider Web Math
Head outdoors with this exciting and fun math activity for kindergarten. This hands-on math activity targets Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten Math – CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3 and CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3
Take a sidewalk chalk and draw a big spider web on your sidewalk with numbers written in each section. Call out numbers and let your kiddo jump on them to aid number recognition.
If your kindergartener is pass number recognition and up for bigger challenges, transform the same web into an addition/ subtraction math game for kids.
Call out a directive like 2+8, 14-5, 2+6 and so on. Let your child deduce the answer mentally and jump on the correct number.
Quick Tip: Try Magic Squares to practise numeracy skills while building critical thinking and reasoning abilities.
Play based math activities for kindergarten are much loved by kids as they allow kids to move and engage actively with the activity. Besides, such activities are also great for gross motor skills. A complete win-win!
Related: Gamify Math with these easy and exciting Math Games for Kindergarten.
10. Post It Number Match
Make learning numbers and cardinality fun with this cognitive math activity for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Take a chart paper or A3 sheet and write numbers from 1 to 10 on it. Stick it on the floor or wall for a good view. On post-its, write corresponding numbers representing in terms of dots, objects or tally marks.
Let your child pick each post-it and match it to the corresponding value on the chart paper.
Quick Tip: Also check out 10 Minute Kindergarten Learning Games to make your children pro at numbers.
11. Math Riddles
You don’t always need manipulatives to teach math. Simple math riddles do an excellent job at building math acumen and comprehension skills.
Make sure to include a few while you are on move, in the car or just running an errand around the house to keep your kinder learning and exercising her mental muscle.
You will be surprised how much math you can sneak in with a plain old deck of playing cards! From teaching counting to sorting and basic math operations, these playing card math games promise much learning while playing.
These are a must try hands-on math activities for kindergarten that will make your kid fall in love with numbers.
13. Coin Patterns
Patterns abound in nature and are all around us if we look closely. Pattern recognition is an important kindergarten math skill and must be included in all kindergarten math activities.
Use coins to make patterns with your kindergartener to help them decode patterns around them. Let your child create patterns with everyday objects like socks, cutlery and even candies & fruits.
Pattern worksheets are also wonderful at teaching patterns. This free printable makes pattern matching interesting and engaging.
14. Shape Art
Explore the world of shapes with this charming colouring activity for kindergarten. Print out the free printable or simple draw shapes of your choice of a chart paper and let your children colour the big shape in shape canvas and explore their creativity.
15. Fruit Graphing
Introduce your kids to graphing with the help of a fruit basket. Sorting a simple fruit basket and then graphing the fruits on the table is an engaging hands-on learning math activity that will keep your kids constructively busy.
If you have run out of fruits, don’t worry! Print this free printable and you are all set for an engaging learning activity for kindergarten.
For a more math activities, check out our exhaustive list of Math Activities for Kindergarten with free printable.
16. Math Puzzles
Math puzzles are a great way to boost numeracy skills. These KenKen inspired puzzles force kids to think critically to arrive at the mathematical answer. Thus, boosting their lateral thinking along with math skills.
We suggest to laminate them after printing for multiple uses.
STEM Activities for Kindergarten
Make the best of your kindergartener’s learning period by inculcating curiosity and wonder with these STEM Kindergarten activities.
These STEM activities combine the best of learning with fun to make them one of the best hands-on learning activities for kindergarten.
This is a must try STEM activity for kindergarten and preschool. It is easy, quick to set and a great way to teach kids the tenants of maintaining oral hygiene.
Related: Make sure to check our Hygiene STEM Activities for Kids that will deconstruct the science of germs and hygiene for little minds.
This colour changing oobleck experiment is a great fun science activity for kindergarten. It is almost magical to see it shifting colours in a blink on an eye. And the best part, this colour changing oobleck recipe is super easy, uses kitchen items and quick to make.
18. Lava Lamp
An all time favourite, Lava Lamp never fails to excite kids and get them jumping.
This simple STEM activity packs in a punch and is one of the easiest hands on activities to set up. It requires a few ingredients and almost everything is readily available in your pantry.
Related: Kids love bubbles! Try this Homemade Bubble Recipe for the bounciest and biggest bubbles!
What could be more engaging and exciting than making your very own playdough? Boost kindergarten learning with this easy, no-cook playdough recipe.
Such hands-on kindergarten science activities help children learn science in the most easy way possible and encourages them to get creative and experiment.
Related: If your kids like sensorial activities, make sure to experiment with Oobleck and let them wonder if it is solid or liquid!
If there is one STEM activity that always gets kids as well as adults excited alike, it is Elephant Toothpaste!
This fun science experiment combines foam and eruption together to charm kids while sneaking in cool science learning.
Related: Also explore Hands-on Coding Activities for Kids that are screen free!
21. Naked Egg
Bring on serious science fun with Naked egg a.k.a Rubber Egg science activity. While it does require patience on behalf of kids, it is an easy STEM activity that offers a lot of scientific exploration.
Perfect for curious little minds!
This fun science experiment is sure to get every child excited. After all, no child says no to ice cream! And especially when it is homemade and takes under 20 minutes to make!
It is a perfect classroom science experiment and also great for home learning.
23. Plant Transpiration
This is a super easy science activity for kindergarten kids that children of all ages can do. It is especially great for curious kids.
Transpiration is a process through which plants get rid of excess water. But this water loss takes place invisibly!
Demystify transpiration by making this invisible process visible for the kids with this easy outdoor science experiment for kids. Simply cover a branch of the chosen plant (preferably in a sunny spot) with the zip pouch and seal it for a few hours.
After a few hours, you will see water droplets along the sides of the zip pouch. This is the water which the plant lost and has condensed along the sides of the zip pouch.
Easy peasy and wonderful, right?
Quick Tip: Pair this activity with other Exciting Plant Experiments At Home to boost learning.
Teach your kindergartener and older kids about the properties of hot air and cold air with this super simple experiment. Such easy STEM kindergarten activities not only make learning science relevant but also engaging.
Related: Also explore the Science Of Wind for Kids with fun facts and hands-on science activities.
25. Try Fizzy Paints
We love kindergarten paint activities that club science with arts. Fizzy paints do just that! They are easy to make and a lot of fun to paint with. After all, which kid does not like bubbling, foaming painting?
Here is how to make them:
Mix equal parts of baking soda and water. Add food colouring to the mixture to make fizzy paint.
To make a fizzy painting, paint a picture on a sheet with the fizzy paint. Add vinegar to the painting using a pipette/dropper to watch it fizz.
Related: Love the fizz? Here are more fun Fizzing, Bubbling Baking Soda & Vinegar Experiments to try!
This easy science experiment for kids is almost like magic! Sneak in cool science with this simple STEM activity and boost your kids’ curiosity.
Quick Tip: Club these STEM activities for kindergarten with these interesting STEM Books for Kids that are sure to inspire kids.
Kids love crisp and chips. But have they ever wondered why their favourite chips bag is only half full? Try this fun Chips Bag Science Activity to help them work their minds and think of a possible answer.
Such STEM activities for kindergarten are a wonderful tool for building curiosity and thinking skills as they draw attention on mundane everyday things and help children wonder the science behind them.
28. Make Slime
How about making your very own slime? Young kids love sensorial activities and making slime is one of best hands-on learning activities for preschool, kindergarten and even older kids!
Left Brain & Right Brain Kindergarten Activities
Stimulate the whole brain with these kindergarten learning games and activities. These left brain and right brain activities will strengthen the coordination between left and right brain, thus making the whole brain work.
While you may not think of it as a left brain – right brain activity, but charades employs both the frontal lobe as well as the cerebellum, located at the back of the brain, to coordinate and work together.
Besides, it is a much loved classic game for families with kids. So engage in a fun session from time to time to boost your kiddo’s mental prowess.
Left side of the brain controls logic while the right brain is responsible for creativity. Origami is paper art that brings both the right and left brain together.
Make easy origami with your kids to promote whole brain development. There are tons of videos available. Start by making a simple paper airplane or paper boat and progress to more complex origami figures.
29. Colour Puzzle
Print this free colour puzzle or write different color names on white paper using sharpie in colour other than the colour name. Mix these cards up and hold them out in your hand for your child to say the colour of the word and not what the word says.
This simple colour puzzle is known as Stroop Test and can be used to aid cognition.
30. Use Finger Steps
Finger steps are an excellent way to stimulate the left and right brain together. All you need to do is follow the markings on the printable with index fingers using both hands at the same time.
Kindergarten activities like these work at improving dexterity and focus while working on the whole brain.
31. Use the Lazy Hand
Another way to develop the whole brain is to encourage kids to write numbers or letters with their non-dominant hand. Make it a fun activity by participating in it with your child and not focusing on getting the letters or numbers correct.
32. Play Pictionary
Pictionary is a fun family game that allows the brain to process language and image simultaneously, thus involving the left as well as right brain at the same time.
Perfect for preschoolers to older kids, Pictionary can be modified for every age group. Make sure to bring in a variety of words and images to make it more fun and challenging.
These kindergarten activities for young learners make way for hands-on learning to keep your kids busy the entire school year. They are a fun way to incorporate literacy, math and science into your child’s routine.
Juggling is an excellent whole brain activity that uses creativity as well as problem solving skills. It is great for boosting hand-eye coordination and definitely fun.
Start with two balls and then gradually encourage your child to add in the third ball or start juggling by throwing the ball with the less dominant hand.
Note: It is always suggested to perform these activities under adults’s supervision.
Kindergarten is an exciting transition phase when the kids are little grown up and look to explore the surroundings themselves. Hands-on activities address the developmental needs of kindergartener, helping kids learn and understand the concepts better.
1. Spiderweb math
2. Math riddles
3. Math card games
4. Shape art
5. Coin patterns
Left brain right brain activities strengthen the coordination between left and right brain, thus stimulating the whole brain. Below are some brain activities:
3. Colour puzzle
5. Finger steps
1. Rainbow writing
2. Word family – Sort and Colour
3. Playdough letters
4. Sidewalk chalk sight words
5. Find & Rhyme