Keeping your child stimulated and open to learning new things is tough when nursery or preschool is closed and you're playing Chief Entertainer and Teacher at home. What you need is a range of brain-boosting activities to do with your child – some short, some longer, some pencil-and-paper-based, some craft or reading or games-based – that will keep them entertained and educated. Which is lucky, because we have loads for you right here...


Here are some great ideas for home-based learning activities, games, books, toys and crafts for 3 and 4 year olds...

Downloadable activity sheets

downloadable activity sheets for preschoolers

Activity sheets are a godsend because they give your child fun, well-targeted, structured tasks to complete.

We have all sorts of engaging, learning-focused activity sheets for you to download and print – and share with your child. They cover all the key thinking, counting, letter-forming and pencil-manipulation skills your child is developing and perfecting. And we've divided our resources up into Maths, Literacy and Fine-Motor Skills...

Maths: numbers, counting and shapes

Literacy: first writing and pre-reading

More like this

Fine motor skills: colouring and mazes

And something a bit different...

Games to play

games to play with your preschooler

As well as pencil and paper activities, you'll want to get your child involved in things that get them up and moving – and learning as they play. We've pulled together some ideas for indoor games and activities – some of them based on boosting numeracy skills, and a whole host of others that include everything from rocket-making and treasure hunts to memory games and fish racing (yes, really)...

And when all else fails – or you just need a break...


books to read with preschool child

Lovely, low-key and literacy-nurturing, reading books with your child – at any time of day – is something simple and stimulating – and cuddly – that'll change the pace from activity sheets or unstructured play but keep the brain cells buzzing. Here are a few of our most-loved book recommendations...


best toys for preschool child

Toys are for fun, that's for sure, but the best toys are both fun and brain-stimulating – whether that's in a more obvious learning-toy kind of way or in a looser, imagination-expanding, pretend-play kind of way. We've tested and reviewed hundreds of toys in the past few years, picking out the very best to recommend in the dozens of toy articles we publish and regularly update. Take a look at the toys we really rate for 3 to 4 year olds...

Toys to keep them thinking and working things out

Toys to stimulate the imagination (and lots of dressing up)

Toys to get them creatively lost in their own little world

Toys to get them moving, even indoors

And the pick of the toys our child testers loved the best


sparkly ice cream craft idea for kids

Get your child's creative juices flowing with these sweet crafty projects. You'll need to help out (and probably take over some of the more fiddly bits) but there's a lot of joy in a good old, messy parent-child craft session. Just be prepared to spend way more time clearing up afterwards than you'd probably bargained for...




Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.