Educational Activities for Preschoolers

May 17, 2010

preschooler paintingPreschoolers at home need education and variety- as do their daytime caregiver! In my case, embracing being a stay-at-home-mom has led me to explore, adapt, and use the many free ways to teach my children some basics to prep them for school, life and to have fun with them!My Frugal Life

Probably the most used by me for teaching resources for my kids is the internet because it's handy and free! To elaborate, many elementary school teachers nationwide maintain beautiful websites with rich arrays of lesson plans free for the using! Many teachers, being the organization buffs that they usually are, neatly and thoroughly arrange subject themes to be carried out from abundant options such as experiments, recipes, crafts, games, songs, and more! Finding a nice gingerbread play-dough recipe opened my mind to the possibilities of making free toys for keeps and to give as gifts!


That is thanks to Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Fischer with her site. Visit her main page for a taste of sweet, free teaching tools online! Another favorite of mine is for free printable mini-books and more! Finally, free home-schooling websites are great for craft templates and full of ideas for fun learning with children to provoke your own creativity!

Moving on to the old classic: the local library. The library is great because the books are free to check out, organized, and easier to retrieve information from jam-packed bound books, compared to printing online pages out, especially when all is needed is directions. Also, many libraries have preschool song and reading time for kids and their caregivers in a nice group setting to help develop little youngsters' social skills.

Last, the great and FREE outdoors is such a versatile "classroom." From energetic galloping, skipping, running, leaping, swimming and other sports galore to quiet bug-watching, leaf/flower-collecting and sitting back for a renewing rest, being in nature, even if just right out the door step, is good for the soul.


To close, in my opinion, the TV is not a child's favorite teacher; the caregiver is! So be prepared- for free! The effort in instructing preschoolers from home is multiplied exponentially in the bond that is built and the fun that is had!

By Erin R. from Seffner, FL

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February 12, 2010

There are many educational toys on the market, but they're often pricey. Yet, as parents, we want to buy toys for our children that build their minds as well as entertain their personalities.

Small hands putting together a puzzle

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October 17, 2006

Makes a great big sister/big brother gift when the new baby arrives or a nice stocking stuffer.

String of beads and plastic box purse.

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September 24, 2008

Do you have a toddler or pre-schooler who likes to participate in small activities during the day? Organize them!

Preschool Supplies tub

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March 8, 2005

Help your young preschooler (3-4 year old) in hand strengthening, fine motor skills, name and shape recognition.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 254 Posts
March 25, 2020

I got this awesome list from my dear friend, Hannah, who is a teacher. I got her blessing to publish this list of activities she sent out to friends who were looking for ideas of what to do with their kids during the COVID-19 school and daycare closures.


Check out what great ideas she has.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 5, 2008

I teach preschoolers. I would really appreciate any help with some internet addresses that may help me with handwriting, alphabet, number work etc. Even craft ideas to go with these subjects. I have looked at some, but seem to go back to the same ones all the time, so I would love any other suggestions any one out there has been on. Thanks for your help

Amanda from Malawi, Africa


By Julie (Guest Post)
June 5, 20080 found this helpful

My favorite site is It is mainly to help kids with learning letters and how to read, yet there is no advertising on the site. It is very child-friendly for kids to use the computer.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 109 Posts
November 20, 2007

I want to teach my preschooler piano. He's three - should I wait until a bit older to have lessons? I've seen the program you can buy that puts numbers on the keys and the music notes are the numbers - has anyone tried this? He knows his numbers so that would work. Thanks!



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November 20, 20070 found this helpful

If you can afford the private lessons, why not at least try.

I wouldn't sign a contract with a piano teacher, just pay as you go. You don't know for sure if your 3 year old son will catch on to learning the piano.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
November 20, 20070 found this helpful

I would not use numbers. If you do, he will have to "relearn" them later to learn the correct note names (A B C D E F G).
Most piano teachers will not take a student who can not read yet.


If you have a piano at home you might start him out on your own, and see how he does. Teach him the notes on the staff on index cards made into flash cards. You can teach him to say the note name and then to find it on the keyboard. Once he masters this, then he should be ready to start formal lessons.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
November 20, 20070 found this helpful

I personally feel that a three year old should never be pressured to practice. Music should be enjoyable to him.

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By Paula (Guest Post)
November 21, 20070 found this helpful

Please wait until the child can read. You will actually be doing a diservice teaching numbers. I HATE to get transfer students who don't know letter names but sure knows those numbers. It's almost next to impossible to break them from that habit.


Please wait! Or seek out a teacher who uses the Suzuki method (larger cities). If you're child has talent, it won't matter how late they start to study music, it will always be there.

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By Bonzai. (Guest Post)
November 22, 20070 found this helpful

I had my three daughters take Suzuki piano lessons when they were small. It is a great program in which they learn by ear, they recommend that the child begin at age 3 (with piano or violin). If you really want your child to learn at a young age, I would try Suzuki lessons. You will need to go to lessons with them and practice with them every day. They listen to the music they are going to play ahead of time so it is easy for them to pick up.

My girls were 3, 5 and 8 when they started. I think it really helped their budding musical abilities, but I found it was too much for me to keep up with.


I would not recommend helping more than one child at a time, and the younger they are, the more time consuming it is. It was my 8 year old that went the farthest with it, but then it was difficult to get her to read music after she learned by ear.

None of them went very far with it, but I do think it helped their musical abilities progress at a young age. Working with them really helped my piano skills, that is for sure. I know some children that begin at age 3 with Suzuki lessons really go far. I do not recommend trying to teach them in other ways until they are able to read.

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By (Guest Post)
November 22, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with the others who've advised against the number method. Suggest you don't start teaching him until he can learn the letter names of the keys. In fact, you might teach the alphabet and the keys at the same time.

Some children are apparently born gifted when it comes to musical ability. If he seems to take a great interest in the piano on his own, asking to spend time playing, then I think you should encourage him and even consider professional instruction at this early age. If on the other hand you have to urge him to play, then I'd suggest waiting till about the age of 6 or 7 to try any kind of serious, structured instruction. At any rate, I commend you for wanting him to learn music!

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March 26, 2020

Transform a paper plate into an inexpensive teaching tool. Follow the steps below to make a paper plate clock for teaching your little ones how to tell time.

Paper Plate Clock - finished clock

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March 13, 2020

These amazing little mint tin play boxes are a wonderful project to take on and the recipients will adore them. Check out the accompanying craft and try your hand at it. Older children might also get hooked.

Several different quite time play tins made from Altoid tins.

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February 28, 2020

Teach your young child how to count by making this cute carrot counting activity. Toddlers will have fun placing the correct number of paper leaves into the carrot pockets to match the number on the carrot.

Carrot Counting Activity for Toddlers - all done

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September 18, 2019

This cute paper bag craft is the basis for a math game that will make learning addition fun. It can be tailored for different ages and skills. Make this fun 'feed the monster' math game using the instructions and photos provided below.

Feed the Monster Math Game - view of the possible coins that can total 5

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