BlogActivities for Kids51 Best Activities for 5 Year Olds for Holistic Development

51 Best Activities for 5 Year Olds for Holistic Development

Learning-based initiatives offer the most value when it comes to the most impactful activities for kids. Kids can joyfully participate in learning activities for hours while absorbing knowledge practically through experiments, hands-on playtime, and active problem-solving. Let’s explore some of the best learning activities for 5-year-olds that spark creative thinking and curiosity.

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The Best Indoor Activities for 5-Year-Olds You Can Play Now

Child playing with letters and alphabets on a table

1. Math Worksheets

Things you’ll need: Templates

You can print out math worksheets from SplashLearn for your 5-year-old and have them solve word problems, addition and number sense questions, and more.

Skills learned: Core math concepts, 

2. Count By Skipping 1, 2, 3s

Things you’ll need: Worksheets and a pencil or pen

Having your child count out loud by skipping every second, third, or fourth number can be a fun learning activity. To make the activity more challenging, you could make your child skip by higher numbers.

Skills learned: Mental calculation

3. Solving A Paper Maze

Things you’ll need: Stationery

This learning activity for 5-year-olds can be set up by drawing a giant maze on paper. They can pretend to be a hero trying to save a trapped prince at the end of the maze.

Skills learned: Memory, problem-solving

4. Writing Imaginary Letters

Things you’ll need: Stationery

Kids can write imaginary letters to Harry Potter, Santa Claus, and other figures, asking specific questions on unique topics.

Skills learned: Comprehension, creativity

5. Let’s Make A Story

Things you’ll need: Toys, books, props

Kids can develop rich stories using toys, torches, shadow play, blankets, and other cool props.

Skills learned: Creative thinking

6. Puzzle-Based Treasure Hunt

Things you’ll need: Stationery

You can make a treasure hunt activity for kids by testing their ability to think on the spot and find the next clue.

Skills learned: Problem-solving

7. Journalling The Day & Feelings

Things you’ll need: A notebook or diary and a pen or pencil

One of the most wholesome indoor activities for 5-year-olds is journaling, as it allows for quiet time, self-reflection, and intuitive thinking.

Skills learned: Introspection

8. Time for a Fashion Show

Things you’ll need: Dresses, blankets

Children can drape pillowcases, blankets, and sheets around them to create gowns and various outfits. They can then put on a fashion show for the grown-ups.

Skills learned: Creative application, confidence

9. Finding the Pairing Word

Things you’ll need: Cutouts, word list

You can cut out pairs of words, such as painting, coloring, school-bus, etc., and have your kids match the pairs.

Skills learned: English comprehension

10. Home Instruments

Things you’ll need: Household objects

Pots, pans, boxes, and jars can be turned into musical instruments to strengthen creative thinking and self-expression.

Skills learned: Musical ability

Related Reading: Indoor Games For Kids that Improve Memory, Cognition, & Creativity

Improve Problem-Solving & Motor Skills With Outdoor Activities

A young girl tending to a plant in a flowerpot

11. Follow The Story Map

Things you’ll need: Map template, puzzles,

Kids can find pieces of a map and follow the story to find clues about their next pieces. Once the map is complete, they can discover a valuable prize.

Skills learned: Problem-solving

12. Making An Ocean In A Pool

Things you’ll need: Inflatable pool, toys

You can have your kids make a mini ocean ecosystem in an inflatable pool. They can add whales, sharks, fish, underwater plants, etc., to make it unique and interesting.

Skills learned: Biology

13. How Big Is Your Cardboard Fort?

Things you’ll need: Cardboard boxes, tape, and stationery

Engineering-based educational activities for 5-year-olds can be immersive for young ones who love building things. You can provide a template, use old boxes for fort making, and have them personalize the decor and exterior.

Skills learned: Basic engineering

14. Sandbox Castles

Things you’ll need: Sand buckets, shovels

Kids can make sandcastles of varying sizes through active problem-solving by interacting with the sand material.

Skills learned: Shape manipulation

15. Watch Me Grow!

Things you’ll need: Mud, pot, seed

You can teach the basics of germination by planting seeds in cotton and placing them in a pot of mud. These fun biology-based activities for 5-year-olds can be fulfilling in multifaceted ways.

Skills learned: Biology

16. Planting A Tomato Garden

Things you’ll need: Pot, mud, tomato seeds, shade

A tomato garden is one of the most perfect outdoor activities for 5-year-olds who enjoy being in nature. It not only means spending time outdoors and working with their own hands but has the added bonus of watching the plant grow and bear fruit! They can get something substantial to hold or even eat to reward their efforts.

Skills learned: Biology, gardening, and taking care of a plant

17. Obstacle Jumps

Things you’ll need: Boxes, pillows, ropes

Your kids can strengthen their vision and body control skills by jumping over obstacles. This is one of the best activities for 5-year-olds to do at home and is super easy for you to set up.

Skills learned: Coordination, Agility

Related Reading: Best Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages

Art & Craft Activities for Kids To Bring Out Their Creativity

Children using construction paper to create a rocket ship

18. What Does Your Zoo Look Like?

Things you’ll need: Stationery, animal toys

Kids can fully explore different ideas on how they would design a zoo from scratch. They can draw fences, place toy animals, and make hot dog stands to create a fun-filled experience.

Skills learned: Creative thinking, problem-solving

19. Making Expressions

Things you’ll need: Template, Stationery

To strengthen the development of social skills, you can have kids fill out a blank face with the appropriate expressions for sad, angry, happy, curious, etc.

Skills learned: Self-expression

20. It’s Time For Dessert!

Things you’ll need: M&M’s, ice cream, wafers, sprinkles

Kids can make theme-based desserts like winter, Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Summer. A cooking and baking-themed activity for 5-year-olds is a great weekend project for curious kids.

Skills learned: Cooking, baking

21. Making A DIY Coin Box

Things you’ll need: Box, stationery, crayons

Kids can make a coin box out of cardboard and seal it with tape and glue. They can keep adding coins to it and intuitively grasp the concept of saving.

Skills learned: Creativity, money saving

22. How Cool Is Your Dress?

Things you’ll need: Stationery

Your 5 year old can design whacky, creative, and cool dresses for themselves with chart paper, frills, sequins, glitter, and other creative tools.  

Skills learned: Creative thinking

23. Writing A Permanent Message

Things you’ll need: Stationery

This learning activity for 5-year-olds involves decorating garden rocks with colors and shapes and writing a positive message that stands as a loving reminder.

Skills learned: Optimism

24. Let’s Make A Clock

Things you’ll need: Paper plate, pins, and stationery

You can have your kids make a clock face and hands and have them tell the time by turning the hands around a fixed central pin.

Skills learned: Concept interpretation

25. It’s Time for Origami!

Things you’ll need: Instruction sheet, paper

You can create birds, animals, houses, and other interesting objects in origami which uses only paper folding. It is a great activity to teach precision and alignment while inspiring creativity.

Skills learned: Creativity

26. Making A Month-Based Card

Things you’ll need: Stationery

Your little ones can make greeting cards celebrating what’s special about the month they’re in. For example, October can focus on Halloween, changing weather, etc.

Skills learned: Comprehension, creative thinking

27. Making A DIY Guitar

Things you’ll need: Shoebox, rubber bands, scissors

You can cut a hole in the middle of a shoebox and strap rubber bands around its length. You can pluck the bands near the hole and create unique sounds.

Skills learned: Musical skills

Developmental Activities for 5-Year-Olds: Let’s Explore the World!

Three children looking at leaves under a microscope

28. Playing Development Games

Things you’ll need: Smart device

Kids can play educational games to learn English and math skills while traveling with interesting characters.

Skills Learned: Active learning, English, math

29. Will It Float?

Things you’ll need: Bucket, various objects to test

A bucket and some cork, plastic, balloons, and other objects can teach your children about floating and sinking.

Skills learned: Buoyancy of certain objects

30. The Role Of Oxidation

Things you’ll need: A few apples, a fork or knife, and a magnifying glass

You can place apple slices cut at different intervals to test for brownness and oxidation.

Skills learned: Chemistry

31. Sorting Objects

Things you’ll need: Distinct objects

Sorting activities and organizing games or tasks are fun for 5-year-olds and can be done with different types of shapes and different themes of objects.

Skills learned: Pattern detection

32. Science Experiments

Things you’ll need: Depends on the chosen experiment

Interesting science experiments for kids, such as balloon cars, flying tea bags, and glitter repellants, can be a great learning activity for 5-year-olds.

Skills learned: Chemistry/Physics

33. Jigsaw Puzzles

Things you’ll need: Age-based puzzle games for kids

Jigsaw puzzles can be essential for cognition, pattern detection, and problem-solving.  

Skills learned: Spatial understanding

34. Memory Tray Activities

Things you’ll need: A tray with objects placed on it

You can present a tray of toys and objects and have your 5-year-old remember and recall these items after 10 seconds of viewing.

Skills learned: Memory recall

Related Readings: How to Nurture Growth Mindset for Kids: A Complete Guide

Sensory Activities for Improving Coordination and Pattern Recognition

Three children in art class

35. Finger Painting

Things you’ll need: Paint, paper sheets, and soap

Finger painting on new textures, such as cardboard boxes, paper, leaves, etc., will create unique experiences for 5-year-olds.

Skills learned: Color and shape recognition

A child finger painting a cardboard box

Alt text: A child finger painting a cardboard box

Image source 

36. Art With Seeds

Things you’ll need: Template, seeds, grains

This sensory-based activity involves handling seeds and grains of different colors and textures to create works of art.

Skills learned: Color analysis, sensing

37. Playdough Animal Molding

Things you’ll need: Playdough, template cutter

Kids can make animals, birds, structures, and other interesting things with playdough. You can have them structure their designs with templates, cutters, and prompts.

Skills learned: Object manipulation, sensing

Two boys playing with playdough

38. What’s That Sensation?

Things you’ll need: Objects that are at various temperatures or sport different textures 

You can have your 5-year-old describe different sensations by touching objects that are warm, cold, slimy, gooey, stringy, etc.

Skills learned: Touch-based differentiation, recall

39. Auditory Sensory Tubes

Things you’ll need: Paper towel roll, different objects

Using a cardboard roll of a paper towel, you can pass rice, grains, small toys, and other objects through to teach kids about the different sounds they make. These sensory activities for 5-year-olds can help them better understand the world of sounds.

Skills learned: Auditory differentiation

40. Tasting Flavors And Textures

Things you’ll need: Different flavored foods

You can fill a plate with foods of various sweet and savory categories. For example, candy would work for a sweet taste, lemons for sour, kale or arugula for bitter, fries for salty, broth or a cooked mushroom for savory, etc.

Skills learned: Taste differentiation, recall

41. The Sounds Of Water Levels

Things you’ll need: Glass, water, spoon

You can fill up four glasses of water at varying levels and strike a spoon gently to produce sounds. Kids can instinctively learn how the water levels impact the pitch of the sound produced.

Skills learned: Pitch differences

Related Reading: Painting Ideas Kids Can Have Fun With & Easily Pull Off

Fine Motor Activities for 5-Year-Olds for Hands-on Fun

A boy building a tower with blocks

42. LEGO-Based City Landscapes

Things you’ll need: LEGO blocks

City planning is one of many fun activities for kids, which is also immensely rewarding. Kids can create a city or neighborhood, highlighting specific monuments with blocks.

Skills learned: Engineering, Architecture 

43. What’s In The Box?

Things you’ll need: Shoebox, Toys

You can place objects of different textures inside an empty box and have your 5-year-old guess what’s inside.

Skills Learned: Memory, object identification 

44. Pasta Necklaces

Things you’ll need: Pasta, thread, colors

Coloring individual pieces of pasta and threading them to form a necklace can be one of the simplest fine motor learning activities for 5-year-olds.

Skills Learned: Hand-Eye coordination

45. Searching In A Toy Chest

Things you’ll need: Toy chest, diverse toys

Kids can hunt for a specific toy using their vision, sensory touch, and sound experiences to find the right one.

Skills Learned: Multisensory Learning

46. Let’s Thread Some Beads Together!

Things you’ll need: Thread, beads

By threading beads, kids can improve their hand–eye coordination and focus skills. This is also a great activity for budding artists and creative thinkers.

Skills learned: Focus development

47. Shape Replicating

Things you’ll need: Blocks, templates

A great activity to enhance your child’s fine motor skills is to have them replicate different items, such as trees, school buses, and buildings, through basic blocks and elementary shapes.

Skills learned: Object parameter detection

48. Different-Sized Words

Things you’ll need: Stationery

You can ask your kids to write common words in larger sizes to strengthen their ability to comprehend scaling.

Skills learned: Scale Comprehension

49. Time For Paper Snowflakes!

Things you’ll need: Paper, safety scissors, and maybe some glitter to make it fun

You can make paper snowflakes by folding around the edges and cutting out various shapes. These crafts activities for kids can help teach certain fine motor skills, as kids would need to hold scissors carefully and make precise cuts.

Skills learned: Attention to detail, coloring & shading, and other arts & crafts skills

Paper Snowflakes #02 – Easy Paper Snowflakes – How to make Snowflakes out of paper

Video source 

50. Tripod Finger Exercises

Things you’ll need: Pencil

You can have your kids practice pencil holding, chopstick holding, and forming letters with fingers to improve their finger agility.

Skills learned: Dexterity

51. Paper Folding

Things you’ll need: Paper

Kids who are weaker in hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills can fold a sheet of paper into smaller and smaller sizes to strengthen their finger strength.

Skills learned: Finger strength, hand-eye, Co-ordination

What Are Some of the Questions to Ask Before Choosing Learning Activities?

Two girls cutting up paper into fun different shapes

Here are some of the main questions you can ask yourself before introducing a new activity to kids.

1. What area of learning is this activity going to impact?

2. What types of tools and props will I need to facilitate the activity?

3. What prompts should I provide to help my child through the activity?

4. Should I collaborate with my child or let them independently figure out the solution?

5. What senses am I strengthening when participating in specific activities?

When you pin down the answers to these questions across all activities, you can make them more impactful and learning-oriented when introducing them. You can also ask your kids about the activities they enjoy most and build upon those foundations.

Why Are Learning Activities Important for 5-Year-Olds?

Overhead view of two girls creating a collage

There are multiple ways to approach learning activities for 5-year-olds, especially if we want to help strengthen the areas with which a child struggles. By making the activity collaborative in nature, we can improve their sense of creative thinking without fear of making errors or embarrassment.

The importance of learning activities is also highlighted when we see their eyes light up as they solve problems of varying skill levels. Kids are naturally curious about the world and want to explore all aspects of their surroundings through cognitive and motor skills. Kids can remain active and engaged throughout the day by introducing the right learning activities. 

Related Reading: Creative Indoor Activities for Kids to Have Some No-Screen Fun

Let’s Conclude

A red paper boat with two blue and two green paper boats

Now that we’ve explored all areas of learning activities for kids, we can start introducing these activities over time. By starting with areas of keen interest, you can shape how kids play and participate in different activities. Adding new props, experiments, technologies, and activities will make them enjoy active learning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you make learning fun for kids?

You can make learning more fun for kids by integrating multiple sensory activities, different stimuli, and different forms of teaching to keep kids engaged.

How do I keep my 5 year old busy at home?

Learning activities, educational gaming platforms, storytelling, watching a play, or even helping them put on a play can be enriching experiences for 5-year-olds at home.

What types of learning activities can be played with multiple kids?

Indoor and crafts-based activities can be played with multiple kids for endless learning.

What are the benefits of sensory play for 5 year olds?

Sensory play develops motor skills such as lifting, grabbing, dumping, and object manipulation.

Brian Lee
Brian Lee is a writer and parent of 3 spirited children. He loves writing about his parenting experience, the lessons his kids teach him every day and parenting hacks and tricks he’s picked up along the way.