Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


Activities that don't require material

A day spent in daycare is one filled with many routines and transitions. To avoid waiting periods and better deal with unforeseen events, having a list of activities that don't require special material or equipment can be handy. Keep this list close by so you can quickly reach for it when needed. You may:

  • Sort the activities in alphabetical order and write them in a small address book that can easily be slipped in a pocket.

  • Write the activities on small pieces of cardboard, laminate them, and use a hook to hold them together. This homemade keychain can then be hung from your belt loop.

  • List the activities on a sheet of paper, photocopy it, and display it in strategic locations throughout the daycare (cloakroom, door, hallway, etc.).

  • Here is a list of activities for all ages and tastes that do not require material or equipment:

  • Guess who
    o Children close their eyes. Touch one child. This child must speak while the others try to guess who it is.
  • The repetitive train
    o Children stand single file, forming a train. Play the role of the conductor. You can, for example, clap your hands. Children must repeat all your actions.

  • Simon says
    o Personalize the game by using your own name, a child's name, or by adapting the name to your current theme or the current season. Give children instructions. They must act them out only if you say "Simon says" first.

  • Color hunt
    o Name a color. Children must quickly touch or name an object of the corresponding color.

  • Montreal-Quebec City
    o One end of your daycare represents Montreal while the other end of your daycare represents Quebec City. Stand in the centre of the daycare. When you name a city, children must run towards the corresponding end of the daycare while you try to touch them. Adapt this activity to your themes or the area you live in.

  • Cat and mouse
    o Choose one child who will play the role of the cat. He/she must stand, facing the wall. The other children are all mice. The mice move forward very slowly and try to reach the cat to tickle him/her. Every time the cat turns around, the mice must stop moving. If a child moves, he/she is eliminated.

  • Shampoo
    o To help children relax, have them pretend to run water over their hair, pour shampoo in their hand, massage their scalp, etc.

  • Draw me a picture
    o Use your finger to draw a simple picture on a child's back and have him/her guess what you drew.

  • Silly face contest
    o Children will love being given the opportunity to act silly for a few minutes. Who will make the silliest face?

  • The mirror
    o Children stand with a partner. One child is the leader. He/she performs a series of moves and his/her partner must follow his lead and reproduce them, like a mirror.

  • Mystery story
    o Invent a story as a group. Begin a story and encourage children to take turns adding to it.

  • A mimed story
    o Tell a story (verbally, avoid using illustrations to support the story). Have children take turns miming parts of the story.

  • Telephone
    o Sit in a circle with your group. Whisper a word in one child's ear. He/she must repeat the word in the ear of the child sitting next to him/her. Continue until the word has travelled around the circle. The last child must say the word out loud.

  • Human sculpture
    o Have children stand, relaxed. Sculpt each child, placing their arms, head, and legs in various positions.

  • What shall I add to my basket
    o Children take turns saying, "I'm going to the market to fill my basket with..." and adding a new item. Each child must repeat all the items chosen by the other children before adding his/her own.

  • What is different?
    o Children must identify what their early childhood educator removed from her body (clothing item, accessory, etc.) or within the daycare.

  • First one laughing
    o Sit in a circle with your group and encourage children to be very serious. The first child who laughs gets tickled by the other children.

  • Neither yes, nor no
    o As a group, have fun asking questions. Players must respond, but without saying yes or no.

  • Chain of laughter
    o Have children lay on the floor, each resting his/her head on another child's tummy. Have fun making "ha" and "ha, ha, ha" sounds.

  • Musical floor
    o Floor tiles can replace the chairs normally used to play musical chairs. Instead of listening to music, sing a song.

  • The handkerchief
    o Sit in a circle. Have one child walk around the outside of the circle. Instead of depositing a handkerchief behind a child's back, have him/her tap another child's head gently. The child who is touched must then run around the circle, trying to touch the other child before he/she sits in his/her spot.


Have fun!

Sonia Leclerc
Early childhood educator is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.



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