5 Easy Preschool Practice Activities to do in Five Minutes!

With my son starting preschool this year, I’ve realized there is ALOT that they are expected to learn… and it’s not all on the teacher to teach it!

The ideas might start at school but you can reinforce them at your house.

I honestly had no idea what was expected until he start, and his teacher talked to me after his class one day.

She asked if I could just give him a paper and some scissors to practice his cutting, since he was struggling.

I literally had no idea he was supposed to be doing that! A simple google search could have figured that out I guess, but it never occured to me that anything super dificult would really be taught there.

But you know what? Learning the muscles it takes to hold scissors, or hold a crayon with enough pressure and accuracy to color something, being able to have your hand eye be good enough… that takes time! And practice!

I later found out that he was having a hard time focusing with his shape matching with stickers. However, I KNEW he knew his shapes, and loved stickers)

That means he just needed some practice in applying his knowledge through different methods!

So now knowing a couple of skills he should work on, I wanted some simple activities he could do if I had a couple minutes here and there.

Don’t forget to pin this for later if you don’t have time to read! <3

These 5 preschool activities are perfect for 3 year olds just entering school! Practice important skills like name practice, cutting, tracing, lacing and matching with hands on fun that will help develop fine motor and sensory skills too!

The skills these preschool practice activities cover are

  • Cutting
  • Tracing
  • Shape Matching
  • Fine motor skills with detail items (lacing, separating, etc)
  • Name recognition

Now, there are TONS of other things kids should be learning in preschool, however alot of it is (rightly) about social interactions and such!

Anyways, here we go!

Make cutting cards to help learn how to hold scissors!

They actually learn way more than that – before we started, my guy somehow didn’t get the concept of following the line. He would just take the most direct route, and call it good!

He is getting much better now with the practice he’s been getting.

I love doing this if I’m in the kitchen cleaning – I can just give him a couple sheets, and he can sit at the kitchen table and keep busy while I do chores!

Here are a couple of fun ways to include cutting practice

  • Draw up your own – Add something fun at the end of the line like a sticker like these! Cute, cheap and easy… love it!
  • Printing out themed cut cards – I have some cute valentine dino ones he loves and some black and whites ones!
  • Fun design cutting activities – I love this troll haircutting one because you can sort of make a story with it and increase the excitment (“Oh! She wants another haircut! I think this looks better!” etc… )
  • Make a collage – For more advanced kiddos, give them a couple sheets from an old magazine that has fun pictures and ask them to cut them out!
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Print out tracing activities and have them on hand!

So, I’m the absolute worst about having stuff ready!

I actually have alot of time in the day sometimes, but if I don’t have it ready to go and in plain sight, it just might not happen.

Tracing activities are one of those things – it’s so easy to just print out like 20 pages of black and white tracing practice pages… Instead, I print out ONE and have him keep retracing it XD

Anyways, these are another simple thing to help your preschooler get the skills they need for kinder!

It actually takes alot of practice and hand strength to train your muscles to hold a pencil the right away.

Here are some simple tracing activities to do with your preschooler

  • Line Tracing – Probably the best place to start if your child has never traced before. I included two simple ones you can download for free right below this!
  • Letter Tracing sheets – Preschoolers do this! I thought it was kinder! Anyways, this site has the ENTIRE ALPHABET of tracing sheets for free!!
Download the PDF for the cat and dog trace and cut HERE
Download the PDF for the vehicle and boat Trace and Cut HERE

One tip I was given to encourage this strength is to use crayons as opposed to markers, and pencils instead of pens when practicing – the additional pressure needed to make crayons and pencils work will help solidify their grip!

cutting and tracing practice free worksheets dino themed for preschoolers
Have your preschooler trace the lines, then cut the strips and get scissor practice by cutting along the dotted line!

Shape match activities

This is another one that can be super simple (like the plastic shape sorters) or can be more difficult, such as having to remove a sticker form of the shape, and put it into it’s corresponding spot on paper!

I love all different forms – I thought my guy was awesome with shapes, till his sisters got one of the shape sorters for Christmas and he had a go at it.

It turns out, while he is good at 2d shapes, he sometime struggles with 3d ones, or is just less patient with them.

Anyways, my favorite quick activity for this is just to draw a big circle, square, and triangle on a scrap piece of paper and give him some shape stickers to match with.

Ideally, they won’t be ordered in rows or else that would be too easy!

I love these foam shape stickers that are REALLY cheap (you get over 1000 of them for under 15 bucks last I bought them!) because they come randomly assorted, and with different sizes and colors!

So, not only could you use these for shape matching, but you could include a color match factor if you wanted to as well!

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Peeling tiny backings off of stickers is also great fine motor practice (and patience practice as well!)

shape practice worksheet for preschoolers dino themed
There are tons of cute shape match activities (this is the dino one I made for my son) but don’t NOT do this activity because you don’t have a cool sheet! I just draw a circle, triangle and square on a scratch piece of paper, give him a handful of his foam shape stickers, and he loves it just the same!

Lacing activities to strengthen hands and hand eye coordination!

I love love love lacing activities because there are so many forms of them!

They also are a great screen free activity to bring with you when going out to dinner and such!

Here are some examples of lacing activities perfect for your preschooler

  • Hole punch a paper plate – Have your child use yarn to go through all the holes!
  • Hole punch around a paper cup – Challenge your child to lace enough to cover the whole top! (Check out this fun cup lacing activity that was inspired by Eric Carle’s “The Very Busy Spider”)
  • Make jewelry – Get some chunky beads and ask your child to make a bracelet (Bonus – give it to mom or grandma as a gift later on!!)
  • Buy one of those cute lacing sets – Melissa and Doug, as always, have some of the cutest ones. They are often very durable and made of wood, and are perfect to slip in your purse and use while you’re out to keep your kiddo entertained! I love this animal themed one!
easy lacing activity for preschoolers
Slip one of these cute lacing animals into your purse for screen free entertainment at dinner, or use a different one each day at home to keep things exciting!

If you want more ideas, check out this article for even more creative lacing activities!

fine motor halloween craft for preschoolers and toddlers with cup
Tip: Wrap the end of the yarn with some tape to prevent fraying and make it sturdier for repeated threading.

Name Recognition and Familiarization

This one I didn’t even know was expected (as well as learning how to actually write all the letters of the alphabet! =0 )

Anyways, this is another fun one because you can sort of modify the activities to match what your child’s interests are.

After all, we learn through play right?

For example, my boy LOVES the sand box. He loves burying stuff and finding it again.

So of course, I created a “treasure hunt” name game for him that worked with his love of digging and finding – he had to fine each letter of his name and match it up to the “map” which was just his name spelt out as a guide.

Here are some fun ways to help your preschooler with his name and letter recognition

  • Pool noodles – Cut them up, write letters, and play fun games like this and this!
  • Sandbox Treasure Hunt – As mentioned earlier, my kid loves his sandbox so I made a game for that. Get creative and think of how to bring together your child’s interests and learning!
  • Clothespin MatchThis one matches up the letters using clothespins (I love it because of the hand strengething aspect!)
  • Sticker Letter Matching – I LOVE this one, and am probably going to set this up soon (it’s winter break right now… tough!) . It’s a great way to get repeated practice with letters in your child’s name plus… it’s fun because it uses stickers!!
My guy loved digging around for his letters! Just a little foil really adds that “treasure” shine and fun to each letter!

Are there any go to activities you do with your preschooler?

It’s really kind of intimidating that first week or so of preschool – it’s almost like a test to see if you’ve done good enough with your kiddo!

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Your bound to receive some kind of feedback (that’s good!) to help you understand where you child needs practice.

If this list isn’t enough examples, or you want an all in one for preschool skills, I absolutely love this Highlights preschool workbook.

I have this book myself, and every night after my twins go to bed we work on two pages of his “practice book”. It’s over 250 pages of all the skills they need, but fun and colorful (and it’s under 10 dollars!)

This preschool practice book is perfect if you want an idea of the skills your preschooler is supposed to be working on – it’s 250 pages of color, FUN and learning through play!

He’s on the letter tracing portion now, so we’ve gone back to simple line tracing until he gets a little better and able to do things like letters..

Anyways, the point is you can usually fit in these activities somewhere in the day!

And it’s SO important – it’s your responsibility too to help your child out with areas they struggle in!

Here are some other fun preschooler activities and articles you’ll love!

  • A fun valentine dinosaur themed activity pack (but it could be used all year it’s so cute!) that includes cutting, tracing, matching and shape recognition practice!
  • Another nature themed sensory craft that’s perfect for summer – sensory soup! This includes 4 free printable PDF “recipe cards” to get the creative juices flowing!
  • A fun preschool name practice activity that is similar to this one – a name treasure hunt!
  • If you have a toddler or preschooler, you are probably familiar with tantrums – learn how to manage tantrums while remaining calm and gentle!
  • Too many toys and they just get dumped? Check out how I got rid of literally 95% of my kids toys… and they actually played with them more!
  • A cute campfire craft that is cheap and easy… and actually glows! (Yes, this is the one I mentioned earlier!)

Don’t forget to pin it if you loved it! <3

These 5 preschool activities are perfect for 3 year olds just entering school! Practice important skills like name practice, cutting, tracing, lacing and matching with hands on fun that will help develop fine motor and sensory skills too!

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