Hands-on, ooey-gooey, activities were something I used to avoid. I would do my obligatory messy craft here and there but didn’t look forward to it. But that changed when I saw my children get excited— and learn at the same time. I embraced the fact that God created young children to explore their surrounding with their senses and looked for ways to encourage this behavior in a way that was acceptable and fun. Here are a couple of my go-to sites that inspire me and challenge me to try different types of hands-on activities with my children. There are really messy projects, and pretty clean and orderly hands-on activities. There are loud and noisy fun projects, and quiet game ideas. Here are 10 hands-on toddler and preschool activity sites (in no particular order) to get you inspired:
1. Teach Preschool: Deborah is a big advocate for hands-on learning activities in preschool. Her site is full of age-appropriate learning ideas. Who wouldn’t love a teacher who lets them play with shaving cream! Her outdoor classroom inspired me to think of ways to set up different centers around my own home (and outside).
2. Quirky Momma: Kids Activities Blog: There are ideas here for all ages! How about Fizzy Dino Tracks? Hello–what kid wouldn’t love to see that! I loved how pretend play was paired with a science experiment. Fun!
3. Teacher Tom: Yes, he is a preschool teacher— and if I were a kid I’d love to be in his classroom. He looks for ways to get kids exploring their surroundings. I remember first reading his blog and coming across a post where he let his class use hot glue guns. I mean these are preschoolers right? Aren’t glue guns dangerous? When I read his post, it hit me that sometimes I need to trust my kids. I tend to shield them from all possible dangers. He saw how creative his children were able to be because they had the right tool.
4. Counting Coconuts: Mari-Ann is so creative! It was through her blog that I was introduced to the Montessori method. I love how she shares her treasure baskets for babies, and she has the most creative sensory tubs!
5. Walking by the Way: Ami is also the person behind Homeschool Share–another site I love! Ami’s sites aren’t just for preschoolers but all ages. She’s the one who first introduced me to the concept of lapbooking. Love her learning with Legos series.
6. Delightful Learning: Michelle challenged me to look for hands-on ways to extend the learning through the books we read. She’s almost making me wish I still scrapbooked too! I love how she is using Project Life to document her school days.
8. Pink and Green Mama: Oh my goodness, MaryLea inspires me to do real artwork with my young children– to go beyond the craft and let my kids learn the process. I’m still working on implementing this at home, but I am so inspired!
9. Totally Tots: Ok, so I’m a little biased since I write for this site Totally Tots is a team blog with a ton of activity ideas for all types of topics and themes. There are quiet activity ideas, printable activities, Bible activities and more.
10. Living Montessori Now: Deb’s blog was another site that introduced me to Montessori activities. She showcases so many different hands-on Montessori activities. Check out her Montessori-Inspired Butterfly unit.
Of course there are many more sites that inspire me greatly! What hands-on activity sites for preschoolers do you recommend?