95 Things to do with Kids Under Five

Have toddlers? A preschooler or two? And are you looking for simple things to do?

Today I’m listing some favorite activities to do with those kids under five. Those days when you have little ones in your home are certainly some of the most busy years but also some of the sweetest years as they have an exuberance and joy about them.

All the pictures are from my instagram feed – find me there at finding_joy. 🙂

1. Blow bubbles.
2. Invest in a good go-to book of ideas. I love the series Five in a Row. Highly recommended.
3. Crayons and paper.
4. Markers and paper for those of you who love to live a bit boldly.
5. Paint and paper for those of you ready to practically ready to bungee jump through the day.

6. Let them help you bake. 
7. Teach them to crack an egg. Expect a mess, but a joy filled preschooler.
8. Teach them how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
9. Make hopscotch in your kitchen.
10. Go for a walk.
11. Chase shadows.
12. Go for a walk, chase shadows, blow bubbles, and have a race.
13. Go on a nature hunt.
14. Work on reading. I totally recommend and LOVE All About Reading. {affiliate link}

15. Work on reading and painting.
16. Teach the letters of the alphabet.
17. Work on writing the letters of the alphabet.
18. Make a treasure hunt.

19. Institute nap time. Or at least rest time.
20. Have a friend come over.
21. Read books.
22. Read more books.

23. Have them “read” the books to you back.
24. Act out the books.
25. Go swinging.
26. Rest in the grass, on a non-rainy day, and look at the clouds.
27. Listen to music.
28. Dance in your living room.
29. Listen to their stories.
30. Let them pick out lunch. 
31. Take them to the bookstore.
32. Take them to the library.
33. Sort through your toys.
34. Play with blocks.

35. Make patterns with the matchbox cars.
36. Practice counting. Use simple things.
37. Practice adding. It’s just like counting, just make them add the two groups together.
38. Let them wash dishes in the sink.
39. Let them help fold towels.
40. Take them for a drive.
41. Take them for a drive while you go to get coffee.
42. Take them for a drive while you go to get coffee and let them get a kid’s temp cocoa or apple juice.

43. Go to the garden center.
44. Let them push the cart when you shop.
45. Play dress up.
46. Let them use glue. And if you’re bold get out the glitter.
47. If you use glitter have them shake it in a pan so the glitter doesn’t get everywhere.
48. Do simple science experiments with them.
49. Plant a garden.

50. Talk about the seasons.
51. Trace their hands and write down things they say in them.
52. Watch a movie. Media is okay. Freedom. 
53. Fill a bird feeder.
54. Get a bird feeder kit and make a bird feeder.
55. Run, or at least let them run.
56. Have a no smiling contest.
57. Teach them to fold socks.
58. Teach them how to put away the silverware. No sharp knives, of course.
59. Take funny pictures with them.

60. Take funny videos. 
61. Make maps.
62. Learn about clouds.
63. Make model clouds.
64. Play legos.
65. Tell a story with legos.
66. Let them help you dust.
67. Teach them how to say I love you in different languages.
68. Look for red (choose any color) things in your home.
69. Play catch.
70. Tape their name on paper and have them color around it.

71. Pick flowers. 
72. Pick flowers and give some to your neighbors.
73. If you can’t pick them, go to Trader Joe’s and buy some for $3.99. {love that store}

74. Count to 100.
75. Teach counting by twos.
76. Let them help you wash the walls.
77. Teach them to tie their shoes.
78. Teach them how to set the table.
79. Make a fort.
80. Let them play with flashlights.

81. Make shadow puppets on the wall.
82. Bring a stack of books in the living room and read them all.
83. Let them take a bubble bath.
84. Go to Target {if you’re feeling brave}.
85. Play with chalk outside.
86. Draw chalk roads and a town for them to play in.
87. Play hide and seek.
88. Let them play with the pots and pans and measuring cups.
89. Play Memory.

90. Act out different animals.
91. Get out the playdough.{which for us is gluten free}
92. Have them tell you their favorite things.
93. Hold them.
94. Simply sit and watch them. They grow.

95. Give yourself a gold star. Kids under five take work. 🙂

What activities would you add?
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

22 Responses to “95 Things to do with Kids Under Five”

  1. May 24, 2013

    3dlessons4life Reply

    Such a sweet list! 🙂

  2. I love this list and will certainly make use of it in the future! I have a 9 month old and struggle to find age appropriate things to do with her. I think she is getting tired of her toys… We take walks, go to the park, blow bubbles, and I even tried homemade finger paint. Any other suggestions?

  3. May 24, 2013

    Alicia Reply

    Ok, I commented on the wrong post- so I’ll try again… one thing to add.. play with a box! It can be a car, a fort, a marble catcher, a doll house… LOVE what a little one, a box, and a dab of imagination can create 🙂 Two of our favorite books are It’s A Box and The Birthday Box- whenever my little ones read those, they are inspired to create fun from a box. 🙂 Thanks for the amazing list, Rachel.

  4. May 24, 2013

    Tracee W Reply

    Love your list! At one point I had 4 under 5 and it is tough!! Right now I’m down to 1 under 5 (and one who is 5) and I’m so sad they’re growing up.

  5. May 26, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    So many fun things, and fantastic photos to boot!
    We have an anchor in every storm! Praying!
    Hebrews 6:17-20 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
    My email address

  6. May 27, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Lifting up prayers!
    Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
    My email address

  7. May 28, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Praying for you right now!
    Psalms 130:1-2, 5-7 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications (5-7) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
    My email address

  8. May 28, 2013

    Ron and Tiffany Reply

    You are an inspiration! For real! I have three boys under 3.5, and my oldest ALWAYS wants me to “play cars” with him, but I just don’t really know how. Sounds dumb, right? But I just don’t get it! Anyway, we spent a while this afternoon making shapes with them, which he LOVED, and then I got the bright idea to make LETTERS with them. We’re working on letter recognition, but he’s not so much the flashcard type, so this was perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. May 29, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Sock puppets, have puppet shows, dance with them, role play, felt crafts are really easy, I made my boys superhero masks out of them…

  10. June 3, 2013

    Judy Reply

    My son spends most of his time playing with our pup. They are inseperable.

  11. June 5, 2013

    Tartlette59 Reply

    Look through your picture albums (online or physical). Talk about your relatives and their place in the family. Show them what you looked like as a child, teenager, at your wedding.

  12. October 3, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Play soccer using a soft ball and two goals (cardboard boxes).

  13. January 6, 2014

    MommyofTwo Reply

    Pick a movie, make some popcorn and set out candy (or your snacks of choice) in a kitchen window…our toddler “buys” his snacks and drink at the counter like a movie theater, gets an admission ticket and “goes to the movies”. He loved it!!

  14. September 18, 2014

    emily Reply

    84.Take them to Target!! Sometimes a couple times per week. I would hardly call myself brave, but that is one of my standbys with my 3 and 1 year old…especially when dad is working late and we need to get out of the house. 🙂

  15. September 19, 2014

    Sandra Reply

    Start a rock collection! My almost three year old loves his rocks!! We go outside and just pick up rocks for his collection.

  16. November 8, 2014

    Amy Reply

    Kicking Autumn leaves everywhere! Puddle jumping in winter as well. 2 of my favourite things from being a kid!

  17. November 8, 2014

    pjplaytime Reply

    Go out in the rain. Play in the puddles Take bubbles out to the puddles. Make rivers in the dirt. Cork boats. Wash the car in the rain. Wash the kid in the rain! lol

  18. November 24, 2014

    meg Reply

    Blow up balloons. Don’t let them touch the floor. Play tennis or baseball. Use static electricity to stick them to the walls.

  19. […] sa obavezama i, kao i sve mi, mame i žene, uspeva da se izbori.   Posebno me obradovao njen tekst 95 things to do with kids under five, koji me je podsetio da naša deca neprestano uče i da ne moram baš svaki put da zasučem rukave […]

  20. […] me obradovao njen tekst 95 things to do with kids under five, koji me je podsjetio da naša djeca neprestano uče i da ne moram baš svaki put da zasučem […]

  21. September 17, 2016

    Penny Reply

    pasta necklaces, “paint” with water on the concrete, use an “old fashioned” popcorn popper(they can watch it pop!), make a card for someone! This article is a FAB reminder of the simple things! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.