5 Fun afternoon games with your preschooler

Oct 24, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. ET

After a long day at school, or even just after nap time, simple activities work the best in the afternoon for your preschool-aged child. Here are five fun and easy activities to engage your child until it's dinnertime.

Preschooler playing with bubbles outdoors

1Fun with bubbles

Making your own bubbles mix is economical and fun. Mix 1-1/2 quarts water with 1/2 cup light corn syrup until blended. Slowly add in soap, stirring gently. Pour the mixture into a paint roller tray and use a wire hanger bent into an 'O' shape to make huge bubbles. This concoction will last up to two weeks in an airtight container.

2Treasure hunt

Hide a treat somewhere in your house. Then give your child a series of clues as to the location of the secret treasure. You can also give them hot and cold clues if they are having trouble figuring out your hints.


This is a great activity for your child while you are in the kitchen making dinner. Set your child up with a large bowl of water and random items (that can get wet) from around the house. Have your child sort his items into two piles: things he thinks will float and things he thinks will sink. He can then test his hypothesis by putting the items in water.

4Make a countdown chain

Is there a special holiday or event coming up? A great way for preschoolers to learn the concept of time is to make a countdown chain. Get started by cutting 2-inch strips of construction paper, one for each day until your big event. Use glue to create loops into a chain. Hang one end of your chain somewhere high and leave the other end loose. Have fun tearing off a link each morning until the day comes for your big event.

5Block spelling

Using a large three or four-pegged interlocking plastic block, print out and then tape an entire three-four letter word to the bottom flat part of the block. Then tape corresponding letters to single-pegged blocks. Repeat this for multiple simple words on different block sets. Mix up the letter blocks, and then have your child match up and fit together the letters to form the word again with the single-letter blocks.

More activities for preschoolers

Plan a messy art day for your preschooler
5 Fun preschool party ideas
Indoor activities for when its cold outside