5 Back To School Activities For Toddlers

Back To School Activities For ToddlersWatching our young children get ready to begin a school year is a mix of emotions. It’s exciting, but also sad at the same time. Preschool and kindergarten are huge milestones, and we want them to feel prepared when the first day of school comes around. Luckily, there are so many learning ideas we can do with them at home to make the transition to their preschool classroom a little less scary. Read on to see some back-to-school activities for toddlers.

Back To School Activities For Toddlers

Colors, counting, identifying numbers, naming letters, and practicing sounds are all great activities for preschool. These are themes that will be covered daily at school during parts of the day such as circle time.

Counting and Sorting

One of the biggest skills toddlers learn is counting. It’s guaranteed to be in many toddlers’ and preschoolers’ lesson plans. There are so many ways you can practice this skill with themed activities. Your toddler can use various objects around the house to count. Examples are pasta, beans, blocks, or even stuffed animals.

If your child is just learning to count, line up a group of objects for them, and have them touch each one as they count. Start with a small amount like 3, and then move up to 10, 15, or 20. An extension of this activity would be to put multiple numbers of various items in a basket and have your child sort them. Then, count each item and talk about which has the most or the least!

Exploring Patterns

Using a long piece of yarn or thick string, and large colored blocks that have holes in the middle (or even colored pasta that is cylinder-shaped), encourage your toddler and preschooler to string the objects onto the string, creating a pattern of colors and shapes.

This activity not only teaches patterns but also strengthens your child’s motor skills as they focus on placing the string through the hole in the blocks or noodles. You can also purchase a kit like this one from Amazon for a premade version of this learning activity.


Who doesn’t love playdough? I always find myself playing with it just as much, if not more than, my toddler when we get it out at our house! Amazon sells lots of kits like this one that include various animal and shape cutters and other fun tools to use with the playdough. Do a quick search on Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll quickly find the unlimited number of preschool activities that you can do with playdough and other resources around your house. This color-matching playdough activity below is so fun!

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Shape Hunt

Identifying basic shapes such as a square, circle, triangle, rectangle, and diamond is another one of many important preschool themes. You and your toddler can go on a “shape hunt” around the house or around your neighborhood looking for these shapes. I guarantee they will be so excited when they find some, and their preschool teacher will be so impressed that they know their shapes!

Dot Markers

Dot markers are so much fun. They are basically like the BINGO markers you may have used as a child. Now they are used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms for art projects and other school activities.  They can be used on a blank piece of paper, or there are lots of free printables you can download online specifically created to be used with the dot markers. Another idea that will align with preschool lessons is to write your toddler’s name on a piece of paper and have them use their dot marker to trace over it.

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Paint Rock Creatures

This art project is the ideal learning activity because it’s so simple yet super engaging and practices fine motor skills. You and your toddler can find rocks around your yard or neighborhood, then come inside to paint them! It doesn’t get much easier than that, right? You can add decorative items like googly eyes or pipe cleaners to turn the rock into a silly creature. As a bonus, you can practice naming colors while painting. Check out this awesome activity, and so many others on @littleoneslearn:

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Pom Pom Color Match

This back-to-school activity for toddlers is another way to strengthen color identification and sorting skills. All you need is an egg carton and colorful felt pom poms like these. Paint the inside of each hole a different color, then have your toddler sort the pom poms into the hole with its corresponding color.

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Toddler School Supplies List

As you can see, a lot of back-to-school activities for toddlers can be done with items already in your home. Below are some ideas for supplies to have on hand that you may use repeatedly.  All of these items can be found on Amazon or your local Target, Walmart, or craft store.

  • jumbo crayons
  • washable paint
  • dot markers
  • various size paint brushes
  • blank white paper
  • construction paper
  • playdough
  • pompoms
  • googly eyes
  • pipe cleaners
  • craft sticks
  • glue sticks
  • glue bottle

When it’s finally time for the first week at school, your toddler will feel more prepared after doing these kinds of activities at home. Let me know what your favorite back-to-school activity is!

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