BlogActivities for Kids13 Best Learning Activities for 1st Graders

13 Best Learning Activities for 1st Graders

As a teacher, I am constantly looking for engaging and educational activities for 1st graders. Handling these young learners’ boundless energy and curiosity is no small feat. Children are eager to soak up knowledge at this age, yet they require activities tailored to their developing attention spans and cognitive abilities. Finding the right balance between fun and education is key to capturing their interest and fostering a love for learning.

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In this blog, we delve into learning activities for 1st graders. These activities are designed to keep the little ones busy and to cultivate critical skills in a playful and stimulating environment. Whether you’re a fellow educator seeking fresh ideas for your classroom or a parent eager to support your child’s educational journey at home, this list is your go-to resource.

13 Best Learning Activities for 1st Graders

1. Online Math Games

Online math games provide a dynamic and interactive platform for first graders to develop their numerical skills. These games often involve fun challenges, puzzles, and interactive problems that make learning basic concepts like addition, subtraction, and number patterns both engaging and memorable. The use of colorful graphics, engaging storylines, and immediate feedback in these games not only reinforces math skills but also helps to build confidence and a positive attitude towards mathematics, laying a strong foundation for future learning.

Here some fun math games that you can start with:

2. Practice with Worksheets

Another essential tool in the arsenal of learning activities for 1st graders are worksheets. Regularly checking on first graders’ understanding of concepts is crucial, and worksheets are an effective way to do this. These engaging sheets are designed to test knowledge in a non-intimidating manner, making learning a stress-free experience for the kids.

Worksheets come in various forms, from puzzles and crosswords to coloring and matching exercises. They help in reinforcing the concepts taught in class, allowing children to practice at their own pace. The engaging nature of these worksheets makes them fun first grade activities, ensuring that kids enjoy their learning process. Moreover, they are great tools for teachers and parents to assess a child’s grasp on different subjects, identify areas of improvement, and provide targeted guidance.

Here are some worksheets that you can use to reinforce concepts in kids:

3. English Learning Online Games

Online English learning games are a highly effective and enjoyable way for first graders to enhance their language skills. These interactive ELA games often combine elements of reading, spelling, and grammar in a playful setting, making learning both engaging and less intimidating for young learners. They offer instant feedback and adaptive challenges, which are key in helping children build vocabulary, understand sentence structure, and develop a love for the English language from an early age.

Try these english learning games at home or classroom:

Related Reading: Best Tips & Strategies to Teach English Language

4. Puzzle Solving

Puzzle solving is a fantastic way to boost a first grader’s problem-solving skills and attention to detail. Engaging in puzzles, whether they are jigsaw puzzles, word searches, or simple crosswords, helps enhance cognitive abilities, including memory and spatial awareness. Moreover, completing a puzzle gives children a sense of accomplishment, fostering resilience and patience, as they learn to work through challenges to reach a goal.

If you are looking for some fun Online puzzle games for kids, here are some games that your first graders can play online to enhance their problem solving skills:

5. Shape Sorters

Shape Sorters is a fundamental activity for teaching young children about different shapes and geometry. It’s a practical and enjoyable way to introduce basic math concepts, making it a popular choice among 1st grade learning activities.

Skills Learned: Shape recognition, categorization, spatial awareness.

Material Required: Shape sorter toys or homemade shapes and corresponding slots or areas.

How to Do It: Children sort different shapes into their corresponding slots, learning to identify and categorize various geometric shapes.

Here are some fun shape games that your first graders can start with to ace shapes:

6. Time Telling Fun

Time Telling Fun is an educational activity that teaches children how to read time. This is a crucial skill, and introducing it in a fun way is essential.

Skills Learned: Reading time, number recognition, basic arithmetic.

Material Required: Teaching clocks, worksheets on time telling.

How to Do It: Use teaching clocks to demonstrate how to read time. Engage children in activities where they set and read time on clocks, facilitating a better understanding of time concepts.

If you are looking for fun ways to teach your first grader time telling, here are some fun time games to start with:

7. Creative Crafting

Creative Crafting is an activity that allows 1st graders to express themselves artistically while honing their fine motor skills. Children get to explore various materials and create something unique, which is both fun and educational.

Skills Learned: Creativity, fine motor skills, following instructions.

Material Required: Various craft supplies like colored paper, glue, scissors, markers, and recyclable materials.

How to Do It: Provide different craft project ideas and materials. Guide the children as they cut, glue, and assemble their creations, allowing them to express their artistic talents.

If you want to avoid the mess, you can try these online coloring games that enhance creativity and color recognition:

8. Space Explorer

Space Explorer is an engaging activity that introduces children to the wonders of the universe. 

Skills Learned: Basic astronomy, curiosity, and research skills.

Material Required: Planetary models, space-themed books, posters of the solar system.

How to Do It: Use models and visuals to teach about different planets and space phenomena. Encourage questions and discussions about space, helping children explore the universe in their imagination.

If you are looking for some interactive ways to teach kids about space, here are some fun space games for kids that teach kids about space through creativity and fun:

9. Word Building Blocks

Block with words
Source: @masandpas 

Word Building Blocks is an interactive activity that combines play with learning. It’s ideal for enhancing vocabulary and spelling skills in a hands-on manner. 

Skills Learned: Vocabulary building, spelling, fine motor skills.

Material Required: Letter blocks or tiles, word lists.

How to Do It: Children use letter blocks to spell out words from provided lists. This activity helps them in recognizing letters and understanding word formation.

Related Reading: Best Vocabulary Activities for Kids: Word Wizards

10. Number Bingo

Number bingo worksheet
Source: @twinkl  

Number Bingo is a fun and educational game that combines learning with play. This game is designed to help 1st graders recognize and understand numbers in an engaging way, making it an excellent example of first grade hands-on activities.

Skills Learned: Number recognition, counting, basic arithmetic.

Material Required: Bingo cards with numbers, markers, and a set of number cards.

How to Do It: Draw numbers randomly and call them out. Children mark the corresponding numbers on their Bingo cards. The first to complete a row wins, learning number identification in the process.

Related Reading: Best Number Activities for Preschoolers: Count on Fun!

11. Alphabet Soup

Alphabets in soup
Source: @kveller

Alphabet Soup is an inventive and interactive way to teach letters and spelling. In this activity, children search for and identify letters in a playful, soup-themed setting. This unique approach turns learning alphabets into a delightful game, making it a favorite among 1st grade activities.

Skills Learned: Letter recognition, spelling, early literacy.

Material Required: Alphabet cards or magnetic letters, a large bowl, and a spoon.

How to Do It: Scatter alphabet letters in a large bowl. Children use the spoon to ‘scoop’ out letters and form basic words, enhancing their spelling and letter recognition skills.

Related Reading: Best Alphabet Learning Apps for Kids

12. Color Mixing Lab

Kids mixing colors
Source: @wordpress

Color Mixing Lab is a vibrant and hands-on experiment that teaches color theory and encourages artistic expression. This activity is perfect for young learners, as it turns art into an interactive science lesson.

Skills Learned: Color recognition, understanding of color mixing, basic science concepts.

Material Required: Primary colored paints, mixing trays, brushes, and paper.

How to Do It: Allow kids to mix primary colors to create new colors, teaching them about color combinations and how different colors are formed.

Related Reading: What Do First Graders Learn: Overview, Subjects & Skills


Integrating these diverse learning activities into your first grader’s routine can significantly enhance their educational journey. Remember, the key is to balance fun with learning, keeping activities interactive and tailored to your child’s interests. This approach not only solidifies foundational skills but also ignites a lifelong passion for learning.

Related Reading: Best Online Learning Platforms Gaining Traction These Days

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is learned in first grade?

In first grade, children learn foundational skills in reading, writing, and math, including basic reading comprehension, sentence formation, addition, subtraction, and understanding numbers. They also explore introductory science, social studies, and develop social and motor skills.

How can I make my first-grade learning fun?

Make first-grade learning fun by incorporating games, interactive activities, and hands-on projects that align with educational goals. Encourage creativity and curiosity through storytelling, arts and crafts, and outdoor adventures.

What do first graders enjoy?

First graders typically enjoy activities that allow them to explore, create, and move. This includes storytelling, simple science experiments, arts and crafts, physical games, and pretend play, which provide both learning and enjoyment.

Amy Gill
Amy Gill is a Contributing Editor at SplashLearn. As a former teacher, she likes to write about education reforms, edtech and how to make learning more fun for children.