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52 Fun Activities For Preschoolers

activities for preschoolers in classroom

November 22, 2022 //  by  Rebecca Przy

Preschool is certainly a prime time for fun-filled learning activities. While your preschoolers may be too young for traditional lessons, games and activities can be some of the most effective ways for them to practice forming different skill sets. Here is a list of 52 fun and educational activities for them to get stuck into. In this list, you will find activities that can support sorting skills, counting skills, motor skills, creativity, and more! 

1. Color Sorting Train

Learning colors with a train activity for kids. Using math manipulatives to count and learn colors.

This color sorting train is a great activity you can try to get your preschoolers to practice identifying and sorting colors. They can practice sorting the items into the correctly colored carts using whatever toys you provide. 

Learn More: Fun Learning For Kids

2. Sort & Count Bottles

activities for preschoolers in classroom

If sorting by color alone is too easy, you could use this activity to practice sorting by colors and numbers at the same time! In this exercise, your preschoolers can try to sort the correct number of fuzzy pom poms into the matching colored bottle.

Learn More: The Imagination Tree

3. Counting Flower Petals

Pick flowers, then count the petals! your kids will love this fun spring math activity!

I love a good reason to play outside! This flower petal activity involves outdoor exploration and doubles as a great counting exercise. Your preschoolers can practice their number skills by counting the number of petals on the flowers they find.

Learn More: Hands On As We Grow

4. Number Activity With Grain Bins

2011-03-03_3436 (1)

This number activity is a great fit for a farming or transportation theme lesson. Your preschoolers could practice their farming and counting skills as they unload the correct amount of “grain” into each container. 

5. Clothespin Counting Wheel

Inspire Your Child To Love Learning With Ease and Fun. This Preschool Learning Activity Will Make Learning Interesting and Hands-on. Skills Include Number Recognition, Counting, Fine Motor Development

Playing with clothespins makes a great motor activity. This activity has learners using their fine motor skills to pinch and manipulate the numbered clothespins to match the correct section of the counting wheel.

Learn More: Keep Toddlers Busy

6. Alphabet Clothespin Activity

Combine early literacy and fine motor skills with this clothespin alphabet activity.

Instead of learning with numbers, this task uses clothespins in a letter activity. Your preschoolers can work together to pin the letters in the correct alphabetical order. 

Learn More: What Do We Do All Day

7. Seashell Alphabet Activity

Alphabet Ocean Theme Sensory Bin

There are plenty of fun activity ideas that use these alphabet labeled seashells. While digging through the sand, your preschoolers can arrange the seashells into alphabetical order, practice pronouncing the letter sounds, or even practice spelling their names!

Learn More: Pre-K Pages

8. Fine Motor Pizza Shop

Pizza Shop Fine Motor Activity

Who doesn’t love pizza? This activity may not be as satisfying as eating the real thing, but your preschoolers can still have fun making paper pizzas. This would also engage their fine motor skills whilst maneuvering the scissors to cut their toppings. 

Learn More: Frugal Fun For Boys And Girls

9. Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs

Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs - Sensory Play

Sensory play is a favorite of mine! You can make these easy, homemade fizzing dinosaur eggs (bath bombs) for your preschoolers to play with. Watch them in awe as the eggs hatch before their eyes. 

10. Construction-Themed Sensory Bin

Construction Trucks Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are an amazing preschool activity that can be designed to fit any theme. Through sensory exploration, your kids get to play and learn in a hands-on manner. This construction-themed bin is a great option for preschoolers who like to build.

11. Space-Themed Sensory Bin

moon sand sensory bin with more men

This space-themed moon sand sensory bin is a great addition to your preschool classroom. Your preschoolers can explore the texture of the moon sand and try to describe how it differs from regular sand.

Learn More: Little Bins For Little Hands

12. Earl The Squirrel Book & Sensory Bin

activities for preschoolers in classroom

It’s always great when you can pair play with a story. You can read Earl the Squirrel, during circle time, before letting your kids explore the matching sensory bin. The story will give your preschoolers a purpose for their bin exploration.

13. Edible Sensory Ice Cubes

activities for preschoolers in classroom

There are many interesting ice activities for your learners to enjoy. This one fits great into a sense theme. Your preschoolers can enjoy the sensory experience of touching the melting ice, smelling the different aromas, and tasting the diverse flavors. 

Learn More: Child’s Play ABC

14. Multi-Shaped Sensory Ice Blocks

activities for preschoolers in classroom

You can create different shapes of sensory ice blocks to add to your preschooler’s experience. These might be a bit more difficult to make than the previous option, but it provides a good opportunity to start learning about shapes.

15. Mixing Paint Colors

Mixing colors painting activity for preschoolers

Mixing paint colors can be a simple yet fun and educational activity for preschoolers. This activity is the perfect opportunity to teach a brief lesson on color theory. Let learners guess what would happen when mixing specific colors together. 

Learn More: Preschool Toolkit

16. Shake Paint Rock Snails

SHAKE PAINTING - CUTE SNAIL ROCK CRAFT- This rock painting idea gets kids active and is virtually mess free! With this cute Snail Craft kids shake out their wiggles and fidgets and create beautifully painted rocks that make perfect snail shells! Grab your rocks, your kids and your wiggles and let's get making cute snails. It is so much fun and each one is unique!

Process art activities are great for introducing a painting theme. In this activity, your preschoolers will shake containers containing paints and rocks. And with the help of your hot glue skills, they can turn these painted rocks into pet snails.

Learn More: Kids Craft Room

17. Bounce Paint Process Art

Outdoor painting for kids

This bounce paint activity can even double as a physical activity! Using paint and bouncy balls wrapped in yarn, your preschoolers can bounce the balls to create a beautiful art piece. This works best with a big canvas, such as butcher paper.

Learn More: Days With Grey

18. Salad Spinner Art

finished spin painting

Salad spinners aren’t just for making salads. They can make beautiful abstract art too! All you have to do is cut out paper to fit the bowl, add paint, and then spin away to create a mixture of beautiful colors.

Learn More: Artful Parent

19. Marble Painting

marble rolling

Just like we’ve learned with the last three activities, we don’t need brushes to paint. Rolling paint-covered marbles on a blank piece of paper can create a wonderful abstract art piece. Be sure to have the paper towels ready for clean up afterwards!

20. Balloon Painting

balloon painting

Here’s another one. Painting with balloons! Painting with all of these various tools can provide a different sensory experience during each process. Simply dip inflated balloons into paint before dotting them onto a piece of paper. 

Learn More: Teaching Ideas

21. Car Track Painting

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Do your preschoolers love playing with toy cars? Have they ever tried painting with them? This activity can be an interesting artistic experience as the wheels of the car create a unique texture on the piece of paper.  

Learn More: First Palette

22. Painting on Foil

Painting on foil is an easy process art activity for kids of all ages. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers will love the different way the paint behaves on foil. Save this no-prep activity for your next rainy day.

This activity switches up the typical painting surface rather than switching up the tool. Painting on the foil can be a supplemental activity to your painting theme. Your preschoolers can enjoy a unique experience painting on a slippery surface like tin foil.

Learn More: Taming Little Monsters

23. Sandbox Imaginative Play

Sand House Playground Sandbox

You don’t need to go to the beach to have a fun time with sand. You can get a sandbox for your preschoolers to build sandcastles, construction sites, or whatever their imaginations desire. Imaginative play is awesome for getting the creative juices flowing. 

Learn More: Nature of Early Play

24. Make a Stuffed Animal House 

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Stuffed animals can be used in plenty of activities for preschool and fit great with a pet theme. Your preschoolers can use their building skills to construct and decorate a home for their stuffed pet animal. 

Learn More: Toddler Approved

25. Stuffed Animal Freeze Dance

Toddler, dancing, arm raised

You can add a twist to the classic freeze dance activity by adding a stuffed animal into the mix. Throwing and catching stuffed animals during the dance can help engage your preschoolers’ motor skills while they are also having a fun time.

Learn More: The Spruce

26. Popsicle Stick Farm Critters

Look at how cute these fun animal crafts are! If you want to add to this activity, you could run a show & tell activity and have your preschoolers present their decorated popsicle animals while mimicking the animal movements and sounds. 

Learn More: Make and Takes

27. Playdough Play – Roll a Ball or Snake

Developing fine motor skills is one of the many benefits of playdough activities. Rolling playdough into a ball or snake is a great beginner activity for your preschoolers who are just being introduced to the unique material. 

Learn More: Mama OT

28. Playdough Play – Build a Letter

Here is another playdough starter activity that doubles as an excellent letter craft. Your preschoolers can be challenged to build the first letter of their name. I encourage showing different examples before letting your kids do it themselves.

29. Playdough Cupcakes

If your preschoolers are ready to take their playdough skills to the next level, they can try their hand at making these colorful cupcakes! These can be great crafts to make at a preschool birthday party. Simply press playdough into muffin molds and decorate using short straws, beads, and other fun objects.  

Learn More: Childcare Land

30. Cactus Playdough Activity

fine motor cactus play dough activity

Here is another more advanced playdough craft for your little ones to enjoy!  This build-your-own cactus activity pairs well with a fun preschool theme of plants and will generate cute crafts to decorate your classroom with. All you need is a flowerpot, green playdough, and toothpicks for the thorns!

Learn More: Homeschool AEC

31. Sort Stickers By Size

preschool math activity

It’s no secret that preschoolers love stickers! Sorting by size is a wonderful activity to get your preschoolers engaging in their size recognition skills. Simply draw two circles on a piece of paper, one small and one large. Then have your learners sort their stickers! 

32. Sticker Sorting By Category

Sea Sticker Sorting

Size isn’t the only thing that your preschoolers can practice their sorting skills with. The categories you can sort with are almost endless! In an animal theme lesson plan, you can try having your preschoolers sort by animal type.

33. Snail Sticker Craft

A snail fine motor skills craft for kids using stickers and a free snail printable template. A great bug activity idea aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

This sticker activity is a bit easier than the others. Your preschooler’s goal is to simply fill their snail with stickers. For some added difficulty, get them to try to follow a specific color pattern.

Learn More: Messy Little Monster

34. Alphabet Sticker Matchup

activities for preschoolers in classroom

This one uses stickers for a letter activity. Your preschoolers can exercise their letter recognition skills by matching the stickers (labeled with letters) to the correctly labeled stars on the worksheet. 

Learn More: Two Pink Peonies

35. Golf Tee Hammering

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Golf tees can be used for various fine motor preschool activities. This exercise gets your preschoolers practicing their hammer skills using a mallet and modeling clay. 

Learn More: Montessori From The Heart

36. Golf Tees & Apples

I87A5440.jpg

You don’t need a hammer to work with golf tees. Here is an easy, low-prep option. Your preschoolers can develop their fine motor skills by sticking tees into apples. As a bonus, they’ll have an abstract apple craft once complete! 

Learn More: The Dashleys

37. Parachute Play- The Hello Game

Parachute basics: the hello game by Teach Preschool

Parachute games make awesome physical activities for your younger kids. The Hello Game will familiarize your preschoolers with handling the parachute and only requires lifting the parachute and saying hello to each other!

Learn More: Teach Preschool

38. Parachute Play – Popcorn Game

This popcorn game would get your students shaking and wiggling while they attempt to get all the balls (popcorn) off the parachute. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage collaborative action and teamwork! 

Learn More: Mrs. Carly Glanzman

39. Parachute Play – Cat & Mouse

This is a classic parachute activity for school. One kid can be the cat, and another can be the mouse. While everyone else is shaking the parachute, the cat will try to chase the mouse while atop the parachute as the mouse scurries beneath. 

Learn More: PhysEd Games

40. Parachute Play – Merry Go Round

This favorite activity will get your preschoolers moving and practicing following instructions. You can give instructions to change directions, change speed, jump, hop, or stop!

41. The Parachute Dance Song

This parachute game is similar to the merry-go-round activity but comes with a special song! Your preschoolers can have fun dancing along and following the instructions from the lyrics. Jump, walk, run, stop!

Learn More: Maple Leaf Learning

42. Parachute Play – Hair Stylist

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Here’s a parachute activity that can teach your kids about static electricity. One kid can go under the parachute while everyone else pulls back and forth on the parachute against the kid’s hair. Then, everyone can lift the parachute and watch the kid’s fancy, upward hairstyle. 

Learn More: Kid Activities

43. Camping Banana Boats

A hand grabbing a bite of a tasty dessert being shown with the rest of the s'mores banana boat dessert wrapped in tin foil.

Cooking is a basic skill that is never too early to start learning. If your kids have a sweet tooth, they could have a blast making these delicious banana boats. After they customize their toppings, you can give the boats a quick 10-minute bake in some aluminum foil.

Learn More: Create Kid’s Club

44. PB&J Bird Seed Ornaments

PB&J Bird Seed Ornaments - a fun spring nature craft for kids using supplies you already have in your kitchen!

Here is another recipe-based activity that some lucky birds will benefit from. Your preschoolers can help combine the ingredients (peanut butter, birdseed, gelatin, & water) and press the mixture into cookie cutters. You could try this activity in a bird theme unit. 

Learn More: Sugar Spice And Glitter

45. The Toothpaste Lesson

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Preschool is the perfect time to teach your kids about kindness. This lesson can teach them about the power of words. When you say something mean, you can’t take it back. Similarly, you cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube once it has been squeezed out.

Learn More: Inspired Elementary

46. Kind Words Sensory Activity

kind%2Bwords%2Bsensory%2Bfriendship%2Blesson%2B2.jpg

This is another activity about kind versus mean words. You can get your preschoolers to describe and compare the textures of the materials. The soft, fluffy cotton balls could be related to kind words, whereas the rough, gritty sandpaper could be connected to mean words.

Learn More: Preschool Powol Packets

47. Playdough Face Mats

Playdough Mat with a sad Face and assorted playdough colors

Learning to be kind can go hand-in-hand with learning to be empathetic. A part of empathy is learning to recognize different emotions. These playdough mats can be great for getting your preschoolers to work with their hands and practice identifying emotions.

Learn More: Very Special Tales

48. Feelings Hop Game

activities for preschoolers in classroom

This feelings hop game can also teach emotion recognition. As they hop to the different emotions, they will also engage their body awareness as they practice keeping balance. 

Learn More: Kiddie Matters

49. Rubber Glove Science Experiment

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Science experiments are among my favorite activities for preschool kids. I love seeing the captivation of my students as they do their experiments. In this science activity, your preschoolers will watch the rubber gloves become inflated with air as they blow into their straws.

Learn More: Teachers Mag

50. Skittles Rainbow Science Experiment

This science experiment is super cool and can even fit into a colors-themed lesson. The candy colors will leak when the skittles are paired with water to create a beautiful rainbow pattern. 

Learn More: Fun With Mama’s Kids

51. Floating Foil Boat Experiment

Floating foil boat experiment.  An easy science floating and sinking activity for kids to experiment with. Great for preschoolers and school aged children. Book themed activity based on 'Toy Boat' by Randall de Save.

This can be the perfect activity for teaching your little ones the concepts of floating and sinking. They can test how many stones it takes to make their foil boats sink. 

52. DIY Interactive Learning Board

Learning boards can be a great educational resource. You can make learning boards with the weather, insects, the arctic, or whatever beloved preschool theme best fits your lessons. Making them interactive can make them more engaging for your preschoolers.

Learn More: Everything AJA

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activities for preschoolers in classroom

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

20+ Preschool Games and Activities You Can Do on a Budget

Red light, green light, 1-2-3!

Lindsay Barrett

Preschoolers are not known for being still. And, frankly, they shouldn’t be still! Preschool teachers, you are amazing for pulling something new out of your hats 1,712 times a day to keep up with your active students. Well, we’ve come up with some new tricks for you! We’ve compiled a list of fantastic indoor gross and fine motor preschool games that require only simple materials ––or none at all––to keep your class happily jumping, twirling, stretching, and strengthening.

Budget-Friendly Gross Motor Games and Activities

Use these ideas to help preschoolers develop body awareness, strength, and flexibility, while working on following directions and, of course, having fun.

1. Exercise with Dice

Roll a number die and a die with an exercise assigned to each side. Have children do the exercise the number of times shown. For indoors, try toe touches, arm flaps, jumping jacks, side-to-side jumps, twists, and star jumps, or choose movements that fit the physical needs of your students.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Education.com

2. Body Bridges

For a fun, core-strengthening, and cooperative task, ask some children to hold poses like hands-and-knees, plank, or downward dog while other children drive cars and trucks under the “bridges” those poses create.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: The Inspired Tree House

3. Homemade Balance Beam

Challenge students to construct homemade balance beams using spare boards. For an indoor option, use large wooden blocks. Can they walk all the way across? Can they go backwards? For students who might find it difficult to balance on a raised surface, use masking tape lines on the carpet or cut pieces of cardboard boxes they can use to make a path.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Hands on As We Grow .

4. Cross the River

Arrange poly spots in a line that snakes across your classroom. Invite children to be “ants,” who have to cross a “river of hot chocolate” by stepping on “marshmallows.” Have them hold hands in a line and work together to get across. Vary the activity by moving some marshmallows closer or farther apart, so children have to use different tactics.

Source:  Adventure, Play, Peace  by Nancy MacPhee Bower

5. Recorded Yoga Directions

Do you want to expose your students to the benefits of yoga, but worry that you can’t even touch your toes? Say “om” to recorded pose instructions like those on  Dance For the Sun: Yoga Songs for Kids by Kira Willey, which includes music with friendly voice-over directions for everything from posing as a caterpillar to a surfer.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: Dance For the Sun: Yoga Songs for Kids by Kira Willey

6. Yogi Benders

Call out two body parts and tell students that only those two parts can touch the ground. Try “one foot and one hand,” “two knees and two elbows,” “one bottom and one finger,” or “two knees and one head.” For an adapted version, have two or three students share a large exercise ball and work together to try to hold the ball still using certain body parts.

Source: Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children  by Lisa Flynn (founder of Childlight Yoga )

7. Hula Hoop Islands

Place hula hoops around your classroom. Play music and ask children to move around the hoops. When the music stops, they must stand inside a hoop. Take away a hoop each time you stop the music.

Source:  Kids Movement Project

8. Hula Hoop Movements

Set up a line of four to six hula hoops across the floor of your classroom. Have students wait behind the first hoop and call out directions for how to move through the hoops. Try bunny-hopping, giant-stepping, tiptoeing, or scurrying like mice. Play music with different tempos to encourage students to move at different speeds.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Learn Play Imagine

9. Land, Sea, and Air

Designate one area to be the “land” and one area to be the “sea,” using your rug and floor tiles or masking tape. Students must hurry to the correct area when you call out “land!” or “sea!” and jump as high as they can when you call “air!” Keep students laughing with surprise commands like “earthquake!” and “tornado!”

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  What Do We Do All Day

10. Indoor Relay Races

Stuck inside because of the weather? Set up an impromptu relay race. Ask students to carry bean bags or other objects on different body parts across the room. Or, try this partner relay activity, from The Inspired Treehouse , in which two children must work together to hold a ball between themselves.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: The Inspired Treehouse

11. Indoor Tennis

Get some wiggles out and spark some laughs by setting up this “tennis” game with balloons and fly swatters from Little Bins for Little Hands . Students can try to pass balloons back and forth or work together to swat balloons into a bin, cardboard box, or across a masking tape line. For an adapted version, use large traffic cones as stands for the balloons.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Little Bins for Little Hands

Budget-Friendly Fine Motor Games and Activities

Squeezing. Pinching. Grasping. Releasing. Even when preschool bodies are stationary, hands usually aren’t. Use these fine motor activities to build finger and hand strength and prepare students for writing.

1. Pick Up “Crumbs”

Finger plays are beneficial for so many reasons. Try this one  about little mice who pick up crumbs. Instead of the gathering motion shown, try having students use their thumbs, forefingers and middle fingers to collect confetti, sequins, or mini puff balls into a basket of “crumbs” for extra fine motor practice.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9TP-y5XBrg[/embedyt]

Source:  Makin’ Music

2. Foam Poking

Have students poke toothpicks or golf tees into pieces of Styrofoam. For an added challenge, invite them to balance objects like marbles on top of golf tees.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: Pink and Green Mama

3. Hide-and-Find Items in Modeling Clay

If regular activities are losing their appeal, add small items to your modeling clay station to encourage hide-and-find exploration. All that squeezing and pushing is great for fine motor development. And hiding LEGO figures and other objects? That’s just plain fun.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

4. Coin-Flipping Races

Spread out a pile of pennies on the rug with all heads showing. Have students race to flip them all over to tails. See more fine motor activities that use spare change at Little Bins for Little Hands .

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: Little Bins for Little Hands

5. Gem Trails

What preschooler doesn’t love gems? Use inexpensive glass gems or large sequins and ask students to arrange them along curving “path” drawn on paper. If keeping the items in place on paper is frustrating or too difficult, roll out a flat area of modeling clay and push the items into it to make “trails.”

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Mom Inspired Life

6. Finger Soccer

Have pairs or small groups play “finger soccer” on the rug, using only their index and middle fingers as “feet” to move a small ball. You can even make felt “jerseys”!

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Your Kids OT

7. “Bobbing” with Kitchen Tongs

Activities using tongs are great for building fine motor strength and dexterity. Try this fun “bobbing” for apples activity, where students try to pick up floating fruit with kitchen tongs. You can also swap out apples for another item or two.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Fantastic Fun and Learning

8. Monster Feeding

Create a “monster mouth” out of a flip-top container and ask students to use clothespins or large tweezers to pick up puffballs or other small items to “feed” the monster. They won’t want to get their fingers nibbled!

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source:  Therapy Fun Zone

9. Hang the Laundry

String up a clothesline in your pretend play area and have students use clothespins to hang a doll’s laundry to “dry.” If you’re short on space, set up a tray clothesline like the one illustrated below.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Source: PreKinders

10. Clay Snowballs

Gather a collection of plastic animals and tell students they are preparing for a BIG snowball fight. Show students how to roll small balls of modeling clay in between their thumbs, middle, and index fingers and make a stockpile for each animal. Or, set out a bowl and spoon and ask students to roll “peas” to make a bowl of “pea soup.”

Source:  OT Mom Learning Activities.

Preschool teachers and parents of little ones, we know you’re out there creatively keeping your kids busy every day. What are your favorite preschool games and activities?

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Lindsay has 18 years experience working as a PreK-2 teacher, literacy specialist, curriculum developer, and education writer. Her 5 children vet all the kid lit and keep her perspective real.

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activities for preschoolers in classroom

Little bins for little hands logo

50 Fun Preschool Learning Activities

When it comes to planning learning activities for preschoolers, it isn’t one size fits all! Preschool teachers and parents like yourself, need to have preschool activities for lesson plans that are easy for young students to understand , many who are not yet reading, and are FUN! Here’s some simple and playful preschool activities your kids will love!

 PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR PLAY AND LEARNING!

Preschool Learning Activities for a whole year of play and learning!

HOW TO MAKE PRESCHOOL FUN

Your time is limited, so it’s important that your preschool activities for the school year and beyond are easy to set-up and provide valuable learning experiences for the youngest students.

Create a life long love of learning with these simple preschool learning activities! We have made it easy for you and divided the activities into STEM, including science and math, art and literacy.

PLAYFUL LEARNING

We have found so many fun ways for kids to play and learn together! Playful learning is about creating joy, wonder, and curiosity. Developing this sense of joy and wonder starts at a young age and adults are a big part of that.

Set up invitations to discover and explore!

Kids love to share what they are doing with you. If you listen and ask questions they will too! If you encourage them to think about an idea, you will be amazed at what they can come up with.

Questions you can ask…

50+ THINGS TO DO WITH PRESCHOOLERS

Never run out of ideas for fun preschool activities to do at home or in the classroom.

PRESCHOOL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES

We love science activities around here. Preschool science offers room for play and exploration without adult-led directions. Kids will naturally start to pick up the simple science concepts presented just through having a fun conversation about it with you!

BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR

Who doesn’t like a fizzing, foaming chemical eruption? From an erupting lemon volcano to our simple baking soda balloon experiment. . Check out our list of baking soda science activities to get started!

BALLOON CARS

Explore energy, measure distance, build different cars to explore speed and distance with simple balloon cars . You can use Duplo, LEGO, or build your own car.

Can you make a bubble bounce? Explore the simple fun of bubbles with these easy bubble experiments !

activities for preschoolers in classroom

BUTTER IN A JAR

All you need is one simple ingredient for delicious homemade butter in a jar . Learning through edible science!

DINOSAUR FOSSILS

Be a paleontologist for a day and make your own homemade dinosaur fossils and then go on your own dinosaur dig . Check out all our fun preschool dinosaur activities .

activities for preschoolers in classroom

DISCOVERY BOTTLES

Science in a bottle. Explore all kinds of simple science ideas right in a bottle! Check out a few of our easy science bottles or these discovery bottles for ideas. They are perfect for themes too like these Earth Day ones!

Have you ever changed the color of a flower? Try this color-changing flower science experiment and learn about how a flower works! Or why not try growing your own flowers with our list of easy flowers to grow .

ICE CREAM IN A BAG

Homemade ice cream is yummy edible science with only three ingredients! Don’t forget the winter gloves and sprinkles. This gets cold! You may also like our snow ice cream recipe .

activities for preschoolers in classroom

ICE MELT SCIENCE

An ice melt activity is simple science you can set up in many different ways with many different themes. Ice melting is a wonderful introduction to a simple science concept for young kids! Check out our list of ice activities for preschool .

Magic milk is definitely one of our most popular science experiments . Plus, it is just plain fun and mesmerizing!

What’s magnetic? What’s not magnetic. You can set up a magnet science discovery table for your kids to explore as well as a magnet sensory bin !

Oobleck is 2 ingredient fun using kitchen cupboard ingredients. It is a great example of a non-Newtonian fluid. Also makes for fun sensory play. Make classic oobleck or colored oobleck.

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Click here to get your FREE printable preschool science pack!

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Planting seeds and watching plants grow is the perfect spring preschool science activity. Our simple  seed jar science activity  is an excellent way to see how a seed grows! Make sure to check out all our other preschool plant activities .

RUBBER EGG EXPERIMENT

Try the egg in vinegar experiment . You need a little patience for this one {takes 7 days}, but the end result is really cool!

SINK OR FLOAT

Test what sinks or floats with common everyday items with this easy sink or float experiment .

Slime is one of our favorite activities for anytime, and our simple slime recipes are perfect for learning about non-Newtonian fluids. Or just make slime for fun sensory play! Check out our fluffy slime !

FOR MORE PRESCHOOL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES…

You can check out more science activities for preschoolers which includes additional resources to help you get started.

PRESCHOOL MATH ACTIVITIES

Early math skills start with lots of playful opportunities that don’t have to be extensively planned ahead of time. Check out these simple preschool activity ideas using every day items.

Inspired by Dr. Seuss and a favorite book, The Cat In The Hat , build patterns with Lego .

You can keep Pi really simple for young kids and still have fun and teach a little something too. We have several easy to set up geometry activities for Pi Day. Explore, play, and learn with circles.

Pumpkins really do make awesome tools for hands-on math learning . There are so many  awesome pumpkin activities you can try with even one small pumpkin.

Teach number sense using our ten frame math printable sheet and Duplo blocks.  Make different combinations of 10 for hands-on math learning.

Make math learning playful with fun water play!  Hands-on learning with our water balloon number activity is the perfect way to keep learning going all year long. 

Measuring hands and feet is a super simple preschool math measuring activity! We chose to use our unifix cubes to measure our hands and feet.

Practice addition and subtraction of single digit numbers with these Lego Math Challenge Cards.

Create fun geometric shapes and patterns in minutes with a simple geoboard you can make yourself.

Explore understanding of mathematical concepts such as full, empty, more, less, even, same while filling measuring cups with corn as part of a fun farm theme math activity .

Check out more math preschool activities!

Farm Activities Weighing Measuring Comparing Matter Volume Science And Math Play

PRESCHOOL ART ACTIVITIES

Preschoolers need the freedom to explore and experiment. Art allows children to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life but also for learning.

Blow Painting with Straws

Bubble Painting

Cinnamon Salt Dough

Finger Painting

Fly Swatter Painting

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Edible Paint

Handprint Flowers

Ice Cube Art

Magnet Painting

Painting with Marbles

Rainbow In A Bag

activities for preschoolers in classroom

Rainbow Snow

Salt Dough Beads

Salt Painting

Scratch Resist Art

Splatter Painting

Looking for more fun and easy preschool art ideas? Check out our process art activities , famous artists for kids as well as these easy homemade paint recipes .

activities for preschoolers in classroom

MORE FUN PRESCHOOL ACTIVITY IDEAS

activities for preschoolers in classroom

FUN PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR LEARNING ALL YEAR LONG!

Click on the link or on the image below to check out more preschool science experiments .

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~ Projects to Try Now! ~

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30 fun indoor recess games for preschoolers

Indoor Recess Ideas for Kids

Need some indoor games and recess ideas? Tired of musical chairs? You’re in the right place! We all know that kids need to move to burn off excess energy, but it can be tricky when it’s too cold, hot, or wet to go outside.  Instead of dreading those days, here are more than 30 fun indoor activities and games for kids your students will love. These preschool games, music , and movement activities are perfect for indoors and still keep active preschoolers moving and having fun.

Indoor Recess Ideas for Preschool

Indoor Recess Preschool Group Games

Many of these indoor recess games also help develop important gross motor and social skills – yes, please! And many of these indoor games for kids can be played outdoors too!

4 Corners : This classic indoor game is simple to teach and easy to play. Forgot how to play? Here’s a step-by-step guide to jog your memory. Use pictures of popular storybook characters if your kids aren’t ready for numbers. Color Corners : Or use colors (indoors or out).

Duck Duck Goose –  This classic game is a great way to get a little exercise in, but also helps children develop self-regulation skills and pay attention.

Popcorn! Parachute Game- This whole group game is great for students to learn how to work together. It’s also a great game for developing important gross motor skills.

Bluebird, Bluebird Through the Window –  Watch the video to learn this classic song and movement game. Kids love moving and singing along to this fun game.

Row, Row, Row, Your Boat- Students can be partnered up to sing along to this classic song!

Indoor Preschool F or Listening & Self-Regulation

Huckle Buckle Beanstalk- Watch the video to learn how to play this 19th century game that still packs a powerful punch today.

What Time is it Mr. Fox? – The perfect fun game for developing important listening and self-regulation skills.

Red Light, Green Light – Students can work on their executive function skills with this preschool game.

Simon Says – 2 Versions — Snowman Listening Game — Bunny Listening Game Do your kids need a little extra help listening and following directions? Then you need these simple Simon Says movement games in your life!

Freeze Dance : A classic game that’s not only fun, but helps kids develop self-regulation skills. Play a favorite song, the kids have to “freeze” when the music is paused. Use a variety of musical styles and tempos to encourage different types of dance and movement. Use your smartphone and a bluetooth speaker so you can pause the music without tipping off the kids. Everybody loves playing freeze dance!

Hot Potato- Your kids will have a blast with this fun, classic game while working on their listening and self-regulation skills.

Chicken Dance- Who doesn’t love the chicken dance? Watch the video to learn how to do this super silly and fun dance!

Limbo –  An oldie but a goody! Watch the video to learn how to play this classic game.

Please Mr Crocodile- Please, Mr Crocodile is a fabulous game for all different sized groups, from small groups to large groups of kindergarten or preschool kids.

Indoor Recess Activities for Preschool

Gross Motor Preschool Games

Zoo Animal Movement Game- Are you looking for a fun, easy game for your  Zoo thematic unit that builds in following directions, listening, and movement?  Roll and Move with the Zoo Animals will give your children multiple opportunities for learning while having fun too!

London Bridge – This one never gets old! Watch the video to learn how to play this classic preschool game.

Farmer in the Dell- This one is fun to sing and easy to teach. Watch the video to learn how to play this classic preschooler game.

Rolling Pin Races- Grab some rolling pins and have fun with these races!

Bowling with Plastic Bottles- Save those plastic bottles for a fun bowling game!

Paper Plate Ring Toss- Recycle some paper plates and make your own ring toss game!

Musical Chairs –  This classic game is great for teaching children patience, gets students up and moving, and learning how to deal with frustration (a very important life skill!)

Ring Around the Rosy- Watch the video to refresh your memory of how to play this classic memory game!

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes- Watch the video and remember how easy it is to play this preschool game.

Hokey Pokey- Your preschoolers will have fun with this classic simple song.

Indoor Music, Songs and Dance Activities

Cool Bear Hunt Movement Song- Students will learn work on their social skills and oral language skills as they go on a cool bear hunt.

Dr. Jean’s Banana Dance- Preschoolers will love joining in on the movements of this song!

Number Race Game- Your preschoolers will have better retention of their numbers since it pertains to their life.

What’s Missing?- Your students will love this game and it’s easy to set up. And it’s a great one for your toddler at a restaurant as well!

Glow Stick Hide and Seek- Did somebody say glow sticks? Grab some glow sticks and play this super fun version of hide and seek.

XO Hop- If you have a small space, but lots of energy then your preschoolers are sure to love this activity.

Animal Hide and Seek – This is the perfect rainy day activity!

Active Movement Activities for Preschoolers

Jump the Candlestick – Move like Jack in the nursery rhyme or think of other ways to move over or around the candlestick.

Dinosaur Movement Game – Incorporate a favorite interest as preschoolers roll and move like dinosaurs.

Weather Movement Game – Can’t go outside? Talk about different kinds of weather in this movement game.

Swatting Game – I guarantee your preschoolers will love swatting letters, colors, numbers, or whatever you choose in this DIY game.

Uno Movement Game – Use cards from a favorite card game to move around the room. Don’t have the game? These color and number cards could easily be created or you could adapt any type of number cards to move.

Dumpster Diving Game – No, don’t bring a dumpster inside. Fill a large box with recycled materials and a few toys. Kids will love searching for the “hidden” items in the box.

Block Basketball – Easily adaptable for younger or older preschoolers. Use materials on hand to create a fun adaption of basketball for preschoolers.

What are your favorite indoor recess games and activities? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you and expand our list of awesome ideas!

3 thoughts on “30 fun indoor recess games for preschoolers”

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This is a great list, Vanessa. I always end of playing the same games, so this will add variety. Thanks! PS- I love the look of your new website and your cute picture!

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Thanks for stopping by Shelli, I’m so glad you like the ideas on the list! You are too sweet 🙂

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Thanks for sharing these fun game ideas! They’ll definitely come in handy during cold winter months but I know we can enjoy them year ’round!

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25 Fun Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

By Callie Malvik on 03/29/2021

activities for preschoolers in classroom

“Literacy is more than just learning to read,” says Mary Muhs, dean of the Rasmussen University School of Education. “It also includes how children interpret and understand what is being read, as well as writing skills and composition. Literacy skills do not just develop overnight.”

"Literacy skills do not just develop overnight."

Muhs emphasizes the importance of building the framework for literacy in preschool and even before then. “If we start early and build on a child’s experience as they grow, they will not only be able to read and write but also love to read and write.”

You understand the importance of mixing in preschool learning activities with the usual fun and games, but who says you can’t do both at once? We scoured the internet to find the best literacy activities for preschoolers to add to your arsenal.

25 Entertaining and educational language activities for preschoolers

The key to instilling a love of learning in little ones is by disguising it with plenty of fun! Bookmark this list for a rainy day, and you’ll always have an entertaining and educational activity ready when you need it.

1. Kick the letter cup

This pre-K activity suggested by Fun Learning for Kids combines letters with sports. Take a stack of plastic cups, and write a single letter on each. Then line the cups up in a row, spreading them out a bit. Give your child a small soccer ball (or any soft ball), and instruct them to kick the ball toward the letter cups. Once they knock a cup down, instruct them to say the name of the letter on the cup. For a more advanced version, say a letter first, and see if they can aim for the corresponding cup.

2. Color sorting letters

Practice colors and letters together with this preschool activity from No Time for Flashcards . All you need is a printable rainbow , some colored label stickers and a marker. Use the marker to write one letter on each circle sticker. Give the child the sticker sheet, and instruct them to peel off each sticker, say the letter and stick it onto the part of the rainbow with the matching color. This helps little ones work on letter recognition, color discrimination and fine motor skills.

3. Alphabet pillow jumping

If your kiddos need to burn off some energy, this letter activity from Toddler Approved will be perfect. Use a stack of paper plates, and write one giant letter on each one. Then use packing tape to secure each plate to a pillow and spread them around the room. Have the kids start on one side of the room and try to jump to the other without touching the floor. As they jump to each new pillow, have them say the letter or letter sound.

4. Connect-the-dots with letters

Hands on as We Grow  came up with a letter familiarity activity that will get your little ones moving and their creative juices flowing. Good, old connect-the-dots gets revamped when you write a handful of repeating letters in random patterns down a length of butcher’s paper. Kids can connect the letters in any way they like so long as all of the G ’s are connected to the other G ’s and so on.

5. Alphabet knock down

Toddler Approved  came up with this fantastic letter recognition game, especially recommended for kids who love knocking things over. The preparation is minimal and only requires a pool noodle, some popsicle sticks and letter stickers. Once you’ve made the letters on their pool-noodle feet, give your child a ball, call out a letter and see if they can knock it down!

6. Children’s book in a bottle

Storytime has a hands-on element with Deborah J. Stewart’s discovery bottles activity. These cheap and completely customizable literacy tools could be thrown together in an afternoon as a kinesthetic addition to your kids’ favorite stories. Stewart has her students pass the bottle around while she reads them a story in class. She reports that the bottles keep her students calm while engaging more of their attention in the story. Her post on  Teach Preschool  includes directions, materials and even pictures for easy reference.

7. Crocodile circle

Picture a bin with a crocodile face on top, filled with letters and surprise cards. Students pass the crocodile around the circle singing  Crocodile, crocodile down by lake; I’m going to reach right in and see what (letter) you ate . The student holding the crocodile then pulls a letter and calls it out. Extra surprise cards can let you repeat a turn, reverse directions or anything else you want to include.  Making Learning Fun  includes directions and free printables to make things easy.

8. Feather tip salt tray writing

The title of this activity explains it all. Children get to write (letters, numbers or whole words) in their own tray of salt with a feather tip! Fantastic for motor skill development, this sensory writing experience from  Teach Preschool  will disguise writing practice as playtime. Be sure to give your students some time to explore the salt tray before their task to minimize confusion.

9. Alphabet ball

All you need for this literacy activity from Playdough to Plato is a beach ball and a sharpie. Simply write letters on the beach ball, spreading them out on all sides. To play the game, have the child (or group of kids) throw the ball up in the air and identify whatever letter is facing them when they catch it. For a more advanced version, have them say the sound or a word that begins with the letter.

10. Magic letter painting

Grab some white notecards, a white wax crayon, some watercolor paints and paint brushes for this activity from Mas & Pas . Use the crayon to write letters on the note cards (you’ll need to press firmly to make the “magic” work.) Give your kiddos some paint and brushes, and tell them to begin painting over the card. Watch their eyes light up when a magic letter is revealed! Ask them what letter it is and what sound it makes.

11. Letter matching archeology game

The perfect accompaniment to a dinosaur-themed unit, this activity from  How Wee Learn  allows students to practice letter recognition while playing “archeologist.” Drop a few magnetic letters onto a cookie sheet, writing the letters you chose on a piece of paper for your students to use as a key. Cover the letters in flour, and give the kids a makeup brush to carefully “search the site” for hidden letters. When they find one, they must match it to their paper key before continuing the hunt.

12. Mini alphabet sensory bins

This one is especially suited for a classroom environment and could be a staple setup in any preschool teacher’s arsenal.  Little Bins for Little Hands  gives the classic sensory bins a twist by using objects that all start with the same letter. Tape the letter on the front of each box, or let the kids guess the letter as they examine the objects. Either way, these sensory bins transform a fun, hands-on play activity into a literacy lesson.

13. Snowball throw alphabet game

Paper, tape and ping-pong balls are all you need for this game of “snowball” throwing from  Mom Inspired Life . Tape a bunch of letters to a wall, call out the sounds and have your kids throw the snowball at the letter represented. As an added bonus, kids get to work on their coordination as well as their alphabet.

14. Fingerprint letters

Your little finger-paint lovers will enjoy this letter activity from Happy Toddler Playtime . You’ll need a washable ink pad, paper and a marker. Start by writing large letters spread out on the paper. Then instruct your child to dip their finger on the ink pad and make fingerprints along each letter. This is a great way for little ones to start recognizing letter shapes even if they can’t quite trace with a pencil.

15. Number match-slap game

A deck of cards and some duct tape can transform any wall into a correspondence and number recognition system.  Hands on as We Grow  came up with this activity for preschoolers to “slap” a pre-taped card to its matching card on the wall. This one could even turn into a class scavenger hunt with cards taped on surfaces throughout the room.

16. Word families with ping-pong balls

Teach simple word families with this activity suggested by  Fun-A-Day . Golf tees stuck in a Styrofoam base create the perfect platform to interchange different letters written on ping-pong balls. “Dig” becomes “pig” with just one switch! This game lends itself to giggling and throwing the ping-pong balls, and all shenanigans can count as literacy training.

17. Sorting number stickers

It doesn’t get much simpler than this activity created by  Learning 4 Kids . Draw a grid on a piece of paper, and place a number in each box. Provide your students with a sheet of number stickers, and let them move the numbers into the box with the matching number. After all of the numbers are used up, encourage them to write each number themselves in the corresponding box.

18. Alphabet rocks

If you (or your kiddos) have the time to collect 52 rocks, this uppercase and lowercase literacy activity could begin in the great outdoors. Wash the rocks, and write an uppercase letter on one side, with the corresponding lowercase letter on the opposite side. Then show words or pictures on index cards, and challenge kids to recreate the word. Meredith at  Homegrown Friends  says the rocks’ weight and texture was a big hit with her little ones.

19. Triple-tracing name fun

Another great activity from Hands on as We Grow , this will give your little one triple the fun while practicing name writing. Start by writing their name in large letters with a highlighter on a piece of paper. First, ask them to trace the highlighted letters with a pencil. Then, have them trace the letters with glue, followed by yarn (do steps 2 and 3 one letter at a time to avoid a sticky mess!) This triple reinforcement will help the child learn their name letters and leave them with a fun craft at the end.

20. Beginning sounds paint stick

Collect some free paint sticks from a home improvement store, and make these phonological awareness tools from  Pre-K Pages . Directions and pictures of the paint sticks come with free printouts to make your job just a little easier.

21. Letter bingo

This twist on the traditional bingo game comes from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls . Simply make bingo cards with 16 letters on each card, and cut little squares of paper to write the corresponding letters on. Put these squares in a pile for the caller to pull from. For bingo markers, you can use legos, cheerios or anything else you have around.

22. ABC go fish

Another familiar game, this version of Go Fish from How Wee Learn will have your kiddos learning letters without even knowing it. Cut paper into card-sized squares, and write a letter on each one, making two of each letter. It’s best to use groupings of letters so you’re focusing on a few at a time. Split the cards between the players, and follow the standard rules of the game to make as many matching letter pairs as you can. “Do you have a B ?”

23. Sensory messy play

Letters drawn out with whipped cream on tinfoil begin this activity. Provide the students with sprinkles and other cookie-decorating accessories, and let them decorate their letter.  Kids Creative Chaos  promotes this playtime for its engagement with all five senses while the children work on their letter.

24. Recycled Scrabble play

Old scrabble games are the perfect literacy tool to play with. The  Kids Creative Chaos  blog recommends arranging the letters to form rhyming words with children who are interested and allowing everyone to play with the tiles as they like. Even if the kids wind up building houses out of the scrabble letters, they are still seeing the letters and establishing familiarity.

25. Alphabet Kaboom!

The Many Little Joys shares this fun preschool learning activity that only requires Popsicle sticks, a marker and a small cup or bucket. Write one letter on each Popsicle stick until you’ve done all 26 letters of the alphabet. Write the word “Kaboom!” on six additional Popsicle sticks, and place them all in the bucket with the letters facing down. Have your child pull out one stick at a time, reading the letter or making the sound of each one. If they pull a “Kaboom!” stick, they have to put all of their sticks back in the bucket and start again.

Prepare for learning and laughs with these preschool learning activities

We all know little ones love to play. So why not leverage that playtime for learning? This list of literacy activities for preschoolers is a great start for introducing youngsters to letters and setting the stage for lifelong learning!

Learn more about the benefits of starting young in our article “ Why the Importance of Early Childhood Education Is Impossible to Ignore .”

For more ideas of fun preschool learning activities, visit our Education Blog ! EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2021.

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Callie Malvik

Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.

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Posted in Early Childhood Education

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COMMENTS

  1. 52 Fun Activities For Preschoolers - Teaching Expertise

    Mixing paint colors can be a simple yet fun and educational activity for preschoolers. This activity is the perfect opportunity to teach a brief lesson on color theory. Let learners guess what would happen when mixing specific colors together. Learn More: Preschool Toolkit 16. Shake Paint Rock Snails

  2. Budget-Friendly Preschool Games & Activities - WeAreTeachers

    1. Exercise with Dice. Roll a number die and a die with an exercise assigned to each side. Have children do the exercise the number of times shown. For indoors, try toe touches, arm flaps, jumping jacks, side-to-side jumps, twists, and star jumps, or choose movements that fit the physical needs of your students. 2.

  3. 50 Fun Preschool Learning Activities - Little Bins for Little ...

    PRESCHOOL ART ACTIVITIES Preschoolers need the freedom to explore and experiment. Art allows children to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life but also for learning. Blow Painting with Straws Bubble Painting Cinnamon Salt Dough Finger Painting Fly Swatter Painting Edible Paint Handprint Flowers Ice Cube Art

  4. 30 Fun Indoor Games & Activities for Preschoolers - Pre-K Pages

    Active Movement Activities for Preschoolers Jump the Candlestick – Move like Jack in the nursery rhyme or think of other ways to move over or around the candlestick. Dinosaur Movement Game – Incorporate a favorite interest as preschoolers roll and move like dinosaurs. Weather Movement Game – Can’t go outside?

  5. 25 Fun Literacy Activities for Preschoolers | Rasmussen ...

    Hands on as We Grow came up with this activity for preschoolers to “slap” a pre-taped card to its matching card on the wall. This one could even turn into a class scavenger hunt with cards taped on surfaces throughout the room. 16. Word families with ping-pong balls Teach simple word families with this activity suggested by Fun-A-Day.

  6. 50 Fun Games for Children in the Classroom - Twinkl

    Play music out loud in your class and encourage children to dance. As soon as the music stops, children have to freeze on the spot, holding whatever position they were in. Stop the music suddenly and try to catch pupils out! It’s a fun warm-up to get everyone active. Treasure Hunt