Our collection of games, puzzles, flash cards, and other activities was getting to be a big pile of MESS. So I came up with a way to sort them all and store them neatly so that the kids could easily grab a box and do something fun: an organized set of preschool activity boxes. This will serve several purposes: 1) since there are activities for all ages, a preschooler can have a different box every day with fun games to play; 2) a bigger kid can pull out a box and find an activity to fill their time while waiting for Mom to finish something; or 3) any kid can get a specific box to reinforce skills previously learned.
One box has tangrams, rods, and lacing buttons. Even the smallest kids like to stack and sort these, and make pictures with them.
There is also an animal box. It has this fun Animal Lotto game, finger puppets, farm animal matching puzzle, and dinosaur activities. Anything we had that was animal-themed and educational went into this box. Some of these items were birthday gifts, and others we picked up at yard sales.
Another box has a dress-up bear set, an animal-habitat matching game, and another tangram.
One box is filled trivia cards of all sorts. We like to pull these out at the dinner table some nights and quiz each other. The kids LOVE it when we do this! Even the little ones like to try to answer questions. States and capitals, Bible quizzes, American history, science cards…anything goes!
An ABC box is a must at this age, and maybe a numbers box, too. Start with alphabet flash cards and a letter matching puzzle, and throw in other ABC activities you find. Magnetic letters, tracing cards, tiny items to match with letters…use your imagination! Numbers are really easy. Get a set of numbers flash cards and put counting items in, such as toy soldiers, blocks, little bears, etc. Dominoes are a fun way to do number matching, too!
This is just a miscellaneous fun box: stickers, paper, scissors, pencils, etc. What child doesn’t long to cut and glue? So that’s exactly what it was for. Putting stickers on paper, cutting paper into small bits, gluing pieces of paper together. Little kids don’t always need an actual project to be happy with scissors and glue!
Some of these things were bought new, but most of them were acquired over many years of having children. We get them at Christmas, birthdays, yards sales, or school supply sales. So don’t think you have to go out and purchase a slew of new fun things; just collect and organize what you have from around the house.
I set up one of my bookcases to hold these activity boxes in the school area. They look nice and neat and keep small pieces clean and organized.
The rules for preschool activity boxes are pretty simple:
- Only get out one box at a time
- Clean up your activity before you get out a new box