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Crafts and DIY Educational Activities

40 Incredible Hands-On Activities for Nursery Class Kids

Francis Mitchell
Hands-On Activities for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a sort of preparation for kids before they enter the phase of actual learning. Nursery is an opportunity for kids aged between 3-5 years to learn a lot of things while having loads of fun.

If you are a parent or teacher of kindergarten students, there are a lot of activities you can plan for the kids to learn a lot in a short span of time.

Activities for nursery class are often termed hands-on activities because they are high on sensory development and make them use their hands a lot to develop the tiny muscles and their functions.

Hands-on activities for nursery class are very important as they make kids learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and more easily. Teaching through fun activities never goes wrong, especially when the learners are kindergarten kids.

Anything you teach kids by writing on a blackboard or talking about it doesn’t have the same power that hands-on activities have.

So here are 40 hands-on activities for kindergarten for a fun and educative time with kids.

What are Hands-on Activities?

Hands-on activities are, as the name suggests, anything that lets kids experience something directly by using their hands. It’s a practical form of learning that the kids do and not just by heart by listening to it.

Say, for example, the sun’s rays can be used as a source of energy. You can teach the kids by telling them this, but it won’t have the same impact as when you take them out. Tell them to hold a magnifying glass over a piece of paper and see how the sun rays penetrate the glass and burn a hole into the paper.

Best Hands-On Activities for Nursery Class

1. Number Hunting

Number Hunting

Choose an egg carton or any random box with little squares to write the numbers in. Place tiny numbered shapes around the house for your kid to hunt down and replace them in their matching places on the egg carton. Some of the places you can hide the numbers are under the bed, inside clothes in the wardrobe, in the garden, etc.

Just make sure you are not hiding the numbers anywhere that might cause accidents to your little one, like high shelves. You can make the hidden numbers interesting by choosing different colors and designs for them.

2. Sand Number Art

Sand Number Art

This sensory art activity for nursery class will help teach the kids about numbers while ensuring they have a fun time all the while.

After you have all the supplies, set it up for the toddler. Let the kids write a number on the scrapbook paper. You can choose any number. You must thicken the number after the kids have drawn it. Ask the kids to paint the bolded numbers with glue.

Now, let the kids have fun with the sand and numbers. Tell them to cover and trace the number with sand using construction trucks, hand shovels, or their hands. This activity can be repeated again till the children learn the number and can be started over using a different number.

3. Flower Petal Counting

Flower Petal Counting

Flower petal counting is a highly soothing and enjoyable hands-on activity for nursery class. To add an extra thrill to the activity, ask the kids to scatter about and search for flowers to count. They can pick fallen flowers or gently pluck out flowers from their plants.

Ask them to count the delicate petals and say the total number aloud. Chances are, many kids will not know what a petal is to start with! So here is an opportunity to teach kids about the features of a flower along with numbers. What a combination!

You can start with flowers having fewer petals, then move on to flowers with too many or complexly designed petals, like marigolds, to let the kids get a deeper knowledge about various flowers and learn to count more numbers than they are used to.

3. Counting Objects in the House

Counting Objects in the House

This activity for nursery class combines math with words, as it requires counting numbers and understanding some words and sentences.

Now draw the outline of a house or classroom on the paper. Create small boxes for different objects in the house. For example, write a mirror and then a small box below it that the kid can fill with the number of mirrors present in the house.

You can decide which objects to include. You can start with the basics, like the number of doors, plants, etc. You can get creative as your kid gets used to the game and starts enjoying it by adding objects like doors that lock, the number of stairs in a room, the number of corners in the house, etc.

After you have created the object chart, let your kid read each object to be counted aloud. Make sure they are aware of each object on the paper. If they don’t know a particular object, point it to them before they start counting.

4. Handprint Measuring Lines

Handprint Measuring Lines

This one is an immensely creative hands-on activity for nursery class.

On a piece of paper, draw around 9 to 10 outlines of the kid’s hand. Cut the outlines. Add numbers to each hand and let your toddler color the hands. Now, place the completed hands on the cardboard roll and stick them using velcro tape. And done. This measuring handprint line can be used to measure anything.

Let the kid try measuring their own stuff and move on the house objects. Though it doesn’t give accurate measurements, it is great for the kids to compare the sizes of different things and determine which is smaller and bigger.

5. Connect the Dots

Connect the Dots

Connect the Dots is a game that even adults like to play. This kid version is very entertaining and educational. All you need is a chalkboard or paper to create a dot puzzle for your little one. This will enhance their number and shape learning and boost their thinking power.

On a chalkboard or paper, think of a shape you want your kid to create via connecting dots. Add numbers at relevant points of the shape with a dot on top. It is ready, and now you can explain the game to the kids, and they can connect the dots, creating different shapes while counting the numbers.

6. Counting and Snacking

Counting and Snacking

This is one of those activities for nursery class that the kids will be asking for more and more. Because it involves eating delicious snacks as a reward for counting correctly, all you need for this activity are dice and some fruity toffies or any sweet and savory snacks for kids.

Keep a plate full of the snacks nearby, give a dice to kids, and ask them to roll it. Count the number that appears on the face after the rolling. Roll the dice again and ask the kids to add this number from the previously rolled one. Remove that many snacks from the plate.

Roll the dice again, and now subtract the number from the last number. You can decide whether you want the kids to keep adding the numbers or subtracting, or both. Do this till there is only one snack remaining on the plate. The kids can eat the treat and start the game afresh.

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7. Newspaper Throwing Activity

Newspaper Throwing Activity

This activity for nursery class is a good hand-eye coordination practice. It also teaches counting to young kids. Only two things are needed for this activity- One is newspapers, and the other is a basket.

Create balls out of newspapers by crunching them tightly. They need to be tight so they don’t fly off in different directions due to wind when thrown. Place the baskets at a small distance from the kids, and you can increase the distance once the kids can throw at a short distance.

That’s it; let them have fun aiming the newspaper balls at the baskets. Let the kids count the balls they managed to throw in the basket. By the end of the session, they would have mastered the art of throwing as well as counting a few numbers.

8. Letter Learning with ABC Mat

Letter Learning with ABC Mat

Let the nursery kids learn their letters through this fun activity. Lay the ABC mat on the floor and let your kid hammer the letter blocks on the respective letter on the mat.

Once the letters are done, the kids can move on to numbers, as the mat and blocks also include numbers. So it’s a combination of letter and number learning, which the kids will enjoy thoroughly.

9. Number Maze

Number Maze

This activity for nursery class is a great way to let the kids become familiar with numbers they have trouble with.

First, roughly add numbers on different parts of the floor and then create a maze on the floor using these tapes. You can create a zigzagging or simple square route for the maze. Ask the child to go through the maze using the correct sequence of numbers.

They can use their toy cars to navigate through the maze to make it playful. Help the kids wherever they get stuck, but make sure they are able to do the entire maze on their own after a few tries and help. You can keep doing this activity every day or randomly to make the kids get used to the difficult numbers.

10. Chandelier Craft

Chandelier Craft

Crafting helps kids learn about colors, shapes, sequencing, counting, patterning, and more. For this activity for nursery class, you can choose any shape for the chandeliers- heart, balloon, circular, etc.

To make a heart-shaped chandelier craft, Take a 1-inch strip of paper and fold it in half with the right sides out. Bring the right sides together and staple them. Punch the top and bottom parts. Using a yarn, pass them through the holes to hang them together.

11. Number Toss Game on Stairs with Bean Bags

Number Toss Game on Stairs with Bean Bags

The number toss game with bean bags combines your kids’ favorite activity of running up and down the stairs into a valuable lesson on numbers. This game can be used to teach kids about the numbers they miss while counting or have trouble remembering and understanding.

Add numbers from 1 to 10 on a piece of paper. Make them big and colorful for easy recognition by the kids. Paste them on the vertical space between the stairs. Now, ask the kids to hit the numbers using the bean bags.

You can call out any number and tell the kid to hit it. You can first start the numbers in a sequence and then randomly call out the numbers, stressing more about the ones that kids are having difficulty with.

12. Number Puzzle

Number Puzzle

This is a simple yet exciting hands-on activity for nursery class. This DIY puzzle is a great creativity booster for you and a playful number-learning activity for kids. You can use any box for this puzzle; a cereal box will be preferable.

You can use the inside of the cereal box or the back to write down the numbers, and you can add as many numbers as you like. Just keep in mind that it shouldn’t be too difficult or too easy for the kids.

After adding the numbers, cut them into squares or a shape that can be fitted together. Jumble up the cut-out numbers and tell the kid to arrange them in their correct sequence.

13. Number Tracing with Q Tip

Number Tracing with Q Tip

If you want an activity for nursery class that lets the kids learn numbers along with writing, then this hands-on activity is perfect. This number-tracing activity lets the kids learn so much, including number recognition, color recognition, hand-eye coordination, writing, improved focus, etc.

Write down numbers using different colored markers on a piece of paper. You can take thick white craft paper or card stock. Draw arrows along the lines of the numbers using a pencil to help kids know which way to trace them.

Take the cap of paint bottles or paint plates to place the colors you have used for the numbers. Now, ask the kids to start tracing the numbers in the same colors they have been written using Q-tips.

14. Water Balloon Target Activity

Water Balloon Target Activity

This is an engaging, hands-on activity that will excite the entire class. In this activity, water-filled balloons are thrown to aim at a target or object some feet away. For the target, you can create small and large circles with numbers written randomly.

Let the kids aim at a specific number. If numbers don’t work, you can place objects like a bucket, chair, or even yourself. This will take the fun to another level.

15. Paint by Number

Paint by Number

This activity stimulates the artistic side of the kids and makes them creative, along with making them learn numbers. On the canvas, divide the space into boxes using painter’s tape. Divide into as many boxes as you or the kids want.

You can let the kids do it or help them do it. Add numbers to each box so the kids can paint them sequentially. It’s best to allow kids to add the numbers to understand the sequence of numbers better.

There is no limit to the number of colors you can use for painting the boxes on the canvas.

Cut scrap paper into the number of squares of the boxes on the canvas. Flip the cut-numbered papers. Pass a paint color to the kids and let them pick one upside-down number paper. The number that they pick will get painted the color they have on the canvas.

It’s quite simple but quite enriching in making the kids mathematically sound. Repeat this till all the squares on the canvas have been filled. Let the paint dry, and ask the kids to remove the tape separating the squares. Their colorful art is ready to be displayed!

16. Recognize the Numbers

Recognize the Numbers

Making the kids remember and recognize numbers can be quite a task. But this hands-on activity makes it easy and extremely fun for both adults and kids.

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To make the numbers, write them in bold on the card stock paper. Print them. Then, cut and laminate them. Now, give a number to the kids and ask them to say the number aloud. If they recognize the number correctly, appreciate them; if they don’t, gently tell them the correct answer. The next step is to ask the kids to trace the numbers using clothespins.

Let them count the clothespin loudly. After tracing the number using the clothespin, let them say the count of clothespins and the number loudly to ensure they fully recognize the various numbers.

17. Stacking Boxes

Stacking Boxes

This activity for nursery class is about playing a stacking game with boxes and counting them. Kids love playing with boxes; only in this they have to be a little orderly and count the number of boxes for some primary school learning prep.

For this activity, thin cardboard boxes are best as they are easy to stack. Add numbers to the boxes using markers. Make the numbers big and bold. Let the kids draw towers using the boxes according to the number on them. You can correct the kids if they get the sequence of the numbers wrong and show them the correct sequence.

18. I Spy Bottle Activity

I Spy Bottle Activity

You can choose any transparent bottle for this. There are three parts to making an I Spy bottle. One is the base, the second is the middle, and the third is the upper layer. The base of the bottle is very important because this is where the items you put in the middle and upper layers can get mixed in and hidden. Rice is a number one choice, but you can also use dry pasta, dried beans, puffballs, cotton balls, and beads.

The middle part can be filled with as many colored and shaped things as you can find. The idea is to make it look attractive to the kids and make them feel curious about them. You can put in ribbon pieces, small shells, sequins, glitter, stones, sand, etc.

The final part of the bottle needs to be filled with unique things. Here, you can put miniature versions of toys or things the kids use, like small erasers, cars, animals, etc. You can also add items that make sounds like bells, coins, etc. Put in as many shapes and colors as you can into making a complete bottle of sensory objects for the kid to count, seek, and play with.

19. Counting with Animal Crackers

Counting with Animal Crackers

Animal crackers can be turned into a fun learning activity for nursery class. Construction paper, markers, and animal crackers are all you need for this activity. Divide the construction paper into 4 parts and give them the numbers 1-4.

Let your kid put the number of animal crackers on the respective parts. For e.g. on 1, they keep 1 animal cracker, and on number 3, they keep three animal crackers. The kids can have the crackers at the end of successful number placements.

20. Fish Race

Fish Race

This hands-on activity can be done with the entire class. All you need is a chalkboard, chalk, construction paper, sticky tack, and number tiles. Create a course for the fish race on the blackboard with different colored fish cutouts at the left corner. Make the cutouts for each kid playing. Add the start to the finish line with small circles after each fish.

Place 1-3 number tiles in a bag. Let the kids pick out a number tile- the number they get is the number they move their fish on the board. This can also be a great game for the whole family.

21. Counting and Writing with LEGO

Counting and Writing with LEGO

Not just to play, Legos can also be used for kindergarteners to learn math and the alphabet.

Write numbers on the far left corner of a thick paper. Let the counting begin! Ask the kids to place as many legos as possible beside the number. In the end, count with your kid to check whether they have got the counting right, correct them if they haven’t, and start over again.

For the alphabet, write large letters on the paper and let your kid trace it using Lego pieces. You can add arrows to the letters to let the kids know the right way to write or trace the letters.

22. Pizza Counting

Pizza Counting

This activity for nursery class expertly combines the kids’ favorite food with their least favorite subject.

Take one paper plate and cut it into 4 or 8 pizza slices. Mark the numbers on the slices with red dots. On the second pizza plate, create slice divisions- divide the plate into the same number of cut slices. Add numbers to the second pizza plate. Ask the kids to put the cut slices on the non-cut plate matching the numbers.

23. Paint Squish Skip Counting

Paint Squish Skip Counting

For this interesting hands-on activity for nursery class, you need just three things: Art Paper, a Gallon plastic storage bag, and Acrylic or tempera paint. Cut the art paper into a large piece and fit it inside the storage bag. Then, add drops of paint in a straight line on the bag. You can add 5 or 10 drops in a line. Add four or five such lines using different paint. Ask your kid to squish the paint using their fingers, going all the way down.

24. Color Sorting

Color Sorting

This simple activity for nursery class will help kids learn counting, drawing, and organizational skills early on.

Tape the crayon cards inside the hole of the muffin tin. Ask the kids to add the right colored crayons to the cards. After sorting, let the kids count the total number of crayons in each tin. Then, ask the kids to take a color and draw something using this single color.

25. Crab Hand Painting

Crab Hand Painting

This is a very easy and quick hands-on, creative activity for nursery class. This activity teaches preschool kids to be creative. They need to paint their hands using a red color or any color of their choice.

And press them on a piece of paper with both their fingers stretched outward and thumbs standing straight. To complete the picture, they can draw eyes and mouths.

26. Alphabet Collage

Alphabet Collage

A great way to teach nursery kids about letters is with this alphabet collage. For this, adults need to prepare the letters for the kids to fill in and learn them. Write each letter separately on craft paper in big bold.

Also, write what the letter stands for. For example, B for Bag. Keep all the letters on top of each other in their right order, with the top one being A. Let the kids fill in the letters using straws, crayons, etc., one after the other.

27. Counting with Grain Bins

Counting with Grain Bins

For this activity for nursery class, you need Transparent Baby food jars, a Farm tractor toy, and Colorful papers.

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Add numbers to two sides and the lid of the jars. Ensure you are using different colors for each jar for easy recognition. Fill the jars with the kid’s favorite snack, such as toffees, marshmallows, etc. Fill the things according to the number mentioned in the jar. Let the kid start collecting all the toffees from the jars into the toy truck and put them back in the exact number as written on the jar.

28. Hands and Legs Printing

Hands and Legs Printing

Kids can learn a lot about shapes, analytics, observation, science, and more using animal toys and their hands and feet. Ask the kids to make prints of their hands and feet on the craft dough. Let them observe the shape their hands and feet make on the dough. Then, give them animal toys to print their feet on the dough and let them match the feet with the right animals.

29. Beginning Sounds Activity

Beginning Sounds Activity

Reading is an essential skill that preschoolers will learn in primary school. Helping them get a start is by making them aware of phonics, which is the beginning sound of a word.

The kids need to identify what the picture is about, and the starting sound of the word is the letter they need to attach below the picture. For e.g., if the picture is of a house, the word’s starting sound is H, so the letter H is the right answer for it.

30. Tower Building Activity

Tower Building Activity

This activity for nursery class is great for counting as well as hand-eye coordination practice. Place only numbers from the mat on the floor. Let the kids match the number blocks with the number on the mat. 1 number mat gets 1 block, and 9 number mat gets 9 blocks. Let the kids make a tower of blocks, thus helping them learn counting and balancing.

31. Alphabets Recognition

Alphabets Recognition

This letter-learning activity for nursery class will be great for playing with all the kids together. Add A to Z letters to cardboard tubes; make sure you are writing the alphabet in both capital and small letters.

Add the letters to the balls as well. Keep all the balls together in a cup. Say any letter loudly and let the kids fish out the letter on the balls and place them on the correct cardboard tube.

32. Match Numbers and Picture

Match Numbers and Picture

This hands-on activity is different from an all-number puzzle. In this, along with the numbers, the kids also have to match a picture. Thus, it helps to make the different parts of their brain become active.

The puzzle features cut-out strips featuring numbers and a picture. Kids have to place the numbers sequentially while also making sure the picture is being matched in the right manner.

33. Sensory Play

Sensory Play

This activity for nursery class will be a hit among the kids. This activity is very unique and gives a memorable sensory experience to the kids. Fill a bin with dirt, sand, and rocks.

You can also choose water as a base for the bin. Hide small insect or animal toys inside it. Let the kids find out the hidden toys using their bare hands and magnifying glasses.

34. Shape Bingo

Shape Bingo

Make the kids learn shapes and colors through this fun activity for nursery class. The game has a sheet with different shapes on it, along with the same shapes available separately as cutouts.

Kids have to identify the shapes on the sheet with the cutout shapes. They have to place the cutout shapes on their corresponding shape on the sheet. This activity also enhances the kids’ analytical powers.

35. Counting Wheel

Counting Wheel

This is a unique counting activity for nursery class. Make 10 divisions like pizza slices on circular cardboard using a marker. Add 1 to 10 numbers along with an equal number of colorful dots, like for 1 number, 1 dot. Now, ask the kids to attach the numbered clothespin to the correct number on the wheel.

36. Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup

This activity for nursery class lets the kids learn the letters using water and magnetic alphabets. Simply fill a bowl with water and drop the magnetic letters in it.

Ask the kids to swirl the soup with a ladle and scoop out some letters. Ask them to identify and name the letters that they scoop out. It’s a great way to teach nursery kids about all the letters in the alphabet.

37. Tearing and Pasting

Tearing and Pasting

The simple activity of tearing and pasting improves fine motor skills and hand strength. For this, you need different papers with one letter written on them.

Ask the kids to tear the paper in equal sizes by first treating it from the middle. After tearing the paper into equal sizes, the kids need to paste them on the letter written on another piece of paper.

38. Pull Through a Strainer

Pull Through a Strainer

To improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination in kids, this activity for nursery class is very beneficial. Kids need to pull the cleaners through the holes and pull at them. It’s quite easy and fun also. Kids can crisscross the cleaners and try to uncross them and pull them out.

39. Don’t Drop It Activity

Don’t Drop It Activity

Create a fake ice cream and let the kids try to walk without dropping it. Place the ball on the cardboard tube to resemble an ice cream. Ask the kids to hold the ice cream and walk a certain distance.

The trick is to walk the entire length without dropping the ice cream or ball. This activity for nursery class aims at improving fine motor skills.

40. Vegetable Counting

Vegetable Counting

This activity for nursery class teaches kids about farm life along with counting and offers hours of nonstop fun to kids. Let kids stick the matching vegetables on the dough while counting them. You can ask them to count the total number of a single vegetable like eggplant or carrot. You can take this chance to tell the benefits of that vegetable to encourage healthy eating habits.

Final Word

Kids at this age are really struggling to get the numbers and letters right. That is why most of these activities for nursery class are related to number and alphabet learning skills.

You can try all of these, in turn, to make every day extra fun and creative for toddlers. These activities for nursery class can keep the kids learning something new and strengthening their essential skills every day of the year. You can buy all the materials listed for the activities via the link mentioned on them.

And even you can explore your creative side as most of the activities require you to create it for them.

Francis Mitchell
Francis Mitchell

Francis Mitchell, possessing an Ed.D. from the University of Oxford, has been a pivotal member of various educational content teams since 2021. His experience spans over two decades, including a tenure as a curriculum developer for international schools. He is known for his hands-on workshops for educators and parents. His expertise in creating engaging learning activities makes him a perfect professional. He is a great reader and enjoys writing educational children’s books in his spare time.

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