4 Creative Activities for Preschoolers That Will Make You Go “Wow!”

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Inside: Find four creative activities for preschoolers that will inspire fun and learning through science, math, literacy, and art. Preschoolers will love these kids activities: Alphabet Sticker Hunt, STEM Paper Plate Tower challenge, Telling Time with Paper Clocks, and Firework Salt Painting Craft.

This post is sponsored by Acorn; all opinions are my own.

It was Christmas morning. My toddler and preschooler had opened all of their presents and what remained was a hurricane of wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and toys scattered across the floor.

I was putting the dishes away in the sink from breakfast when I looked over to see my preschooler pulling my son around the house on a “sled” made of a ripped up cardboard box.

My son was doing that belly laugh that makes a parents heart melt like hot fudge on an ice cream sundae.

I caught my husband’s eye, and we both shook our heads. All the new toys were left lonely on the floor, while my children were playing with remnants of a box. A box!

I’ve learned over time that sometimes the simplest materials lead to the most fun.

This leads us to paper plates. I crafted four creative activities for preschoolers using paper plates that are sure to be tons of fun. Not only that, but because I used to teach first grade, I couldn’t help but link these creative preschool activities to learning, so that you can have fun AND learn about science, math, literacy, and art.

creative activities for preschoolers

Creative Activities for Preschoolers

My children love hands-on activities like these preschool activity ideas for exploring bubble foam. So, I like to use household items as much as possible to keep things simple and budget friendly because you never know when you’ll need some rainy day activities for toddlers.

For these creative activities, I used Dixie® Everyday paper plates because they have five layers and are 50% stronger than the leading store brand. Plus, they have a Soak Proof Shield™, and they are cut-resistant and microwavable so when I’m not playing with my kids, I can enjoy eating off of them too.

Here is a list of the paper plate activities for kids I will be covering:

Literacy: Alphabet Sticker Hunt
Science / STEM: Paper Plate Towers
Math: Telling Time with Paper Clocks
Art: Firework Salt Painting Craft

toddler activities

Literacy Activity: Alphabet Sticker Hunt

For this creative preschool activity, your child can practice letter recognition by matching the alphabet stickers to the letters on the plate.

Supplies for This Preschool Activity

  • Paper Plates
  • Alphabet stickers (or blank circle stickers and you can write the letters on.)
  • Marker

The Steps:

  1. Write the letters of the alphabet randomly on a paper plate. Note: For beginners, use only capital letters, then you can advance to only lowercase letters, and finally you can mix upper and lower case letters to make this more challenging.
  2. Model how to take a sticker from the sticker sheet and match it to the letter on the paper plate.
  3. Let your child practice matching the stickers to the plate.

hands on learning for preschoolers

Science / STEM Activity: Paper Plate Towers

This creative preschool activity invites children to problem solve how to create the tallest tower using paper plates and empty toilet paper rolls. You can make this activity as easy or as complicated as you’d like.

Paper plate towers will provide kids with the opportunity to learn about balance, predictions, observations, but also they can begin to gain experience with the law of gravity.

Supplies for This Preschool Activity

  • Paper Plates
  • Toilet paper rolls

The Steps:

  1. Give your child a challenge. Ask them to create the tallest tower they can using only paper plates and toilet paper rolls.
  2. You may want to first build a tower together, or if your preschooler is eager to begin, then let them experiment.
  3. It might be fun to take pictures as they build to compare the towers once they are done. That way you can quickly talk about what worked the best and what didn’t work well.

crafts for kids

Math Activity: Telling Time with Paper Clocks

Has your child ever asked if it’s time for (you fill in the blank)? My kids love to know is it time to eat, is it time for bed, is it time for our friend to come over.

This activity is intended to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to the idea of telling time. However, children may not fully understand the concept until they are seven or eight.

As an extension, you can color on the clock with different colors to show the regular time of day that you do typical activities. For example, color from 7:30-8:00 am red for when they eat breakfast.

Supplies for Creative Activities for Preschoolers

  • Paper Plates
  • Markers
  • Paper fastener
  • Scissors
  • Paper or an index card
  • Glue
  • Tape

creative activities for kids

The Steps:

1. Pick a color and write the numbers 1-12 on a paper plate, to make it look like an analog clock.

2. Cut between each number, about 50% into the center so that each number can be folded up.

3. Glue the paper plate to another paper plate of the same size, only on the very center of the plate. You will want to still be able to lift the number flaps.

4. Pick a different color. Then, lift each flap to write the minutes in 5-minute increments. For example, under the number 1, you’ll write the number 5. Under the number 2, you’ll write the number 10.

5. Cut out two arrows from paper or an index card for the hour hand (shorter) and the minute hand (longer). Then, color each hand to match.

For example, I used purple for the hours and green for the minutes, so I will use purple for the hour hand and green for the minute hand. I used a piece of tape to at the bottom of the arrow to make it stronger.

6. Place a paper fastener in the center through both clock “hands” and both paper plates.

7. You are ready to talk about time with your preschooler. You can play a game where the toddler says an activity you do daily like nap, play, eat dinner, sleep, and then you can make the time on the clock together of when you might do this.

Using daily routines is a great way to introduce the idea of telling time to your child.

creative activities for toddlers

Art Activity: Firework Salt Painting Craft

Salt painting is so much fun! You can make a single salt painting firework craft or create a firework banner by stringing several firework plates together. This craft requires a little bit of prep ahead of time.

Supplies for This Preschool Activity

  • Paper Plates
  • Glue
  • Salt
  • Liquid watercolor / food coloring / or paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon

The Steps:

  1. Paint the back of a paper plate (or plates) black and allow time to dry. (I used a sponge because it was fast.)
  2. Use glue to make the shape of firework lines on the paper plate. Immediately sprinkle the glue with salt. I did this step over a baking dish the contain the salt. Allow at least 30 minutes for the salt to dry.
  3. Prepare a few bowls of water and mix in liquid watercolor.
  4. Let your little one use a paint brush to add color to the salt. This part is so much fun to watch. Allow time to dry on a flat surface.
  5. Hole punch the top of the plate and add a string so that the firework salt painting can hang.

Wrapping up

Don’t forget to grab your Dixie paper plates for these four creative preschool activities. I found mine at Dollar General in the Dixie Summer Seasonal items because I love a good value! They will be there now through the end of July.

PS – If you enjoyed this, you might also like Over 100 Easy Kids Activities That are Surprisingly Fun.


creative activities for preschoolers

creative activities for preschoolers


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