Playtime Activities For Five-Year-Olds

Make sure your child’s time spent playing is filled with opportunities to learn.

Are you looking for fun home-learning activities to do with your five-year-old? Our team of early childhood curriculum experts thoughtfully curated these home-education activities from our proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum to help your family Learn On® when away from the Academy. Whether it’s during mealtime, playtime, clean up time, bath time, or bedtime – our at-home curriculum is built so you can easily integrate school-from-home learning opportunities in seamless, easy, and fun ways.

Folding Paper Planes

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Outdoors

Time recommendation: 15-20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one

Learning Domain: Physical Development

Learning Standards: Fine motor skills

Materials: Paper, tape, coloring utensils


Practice fine motor skills by creating a paper plane! Invite your child to color a picture on a piece of paper. Assist your child with how to fold the paper in order to create a plane-like shape. When your child’s plane is finished, add a piece of tape so the plane maintains its shape. Encourage your child to try folding his or her paper in different ways to achieve various plane designs. Encourage your child to fly his or her paper plane outside.

Did the shape of the plane affect how it flew?

Letter Box

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Playtime, Outdoor

Time recommendation: 5-10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Sibling, Child-led

Learning Domain: Language and Literacy

Learning Standards: Letter recognition, Letter sound acquisition

Materials: Small box, various items from around your home that begin with a letter your child chooses


Create a letter box! Invite your child to select a letter from the alphabet. Encourage your child to search for objects that begin with that letter and place them in the box. If your child is able, encourage him or her to select objects, that begin with the letter they chose, independently. When your child has filled the box, encourage him or her to pull the objects out and identify them one at a time.

What sound does your letter make? How do you write your letter?

Pretend Pet Store

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Playtime, Outdoor

Time recommendation: 20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings, Child-led

Learning Domain Creative Arts

Learning Standards: Creative expression

Materials: Stuffed animals, baskets, blankets, brushes, pretend cash register


Talk with your child about the things that can be found in a pet store. Invite him or her to set up a pretend pet store. Together, gather brushes, baskets, blankets, and stuffed animals. Set up a cash register with play money. Take turns pretending to be the roles of customer and pet store owner with your child.
Extension Questions: What types of jobs do pet store employees perform? What would be your dream pet?

Sentence Starters

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime

Time recommendation: 10-20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one

Learning Domain: Language and Literacy

Learning Standards: Sight word acquisition, Letter recognitions, Fine motor skill development

Materials: Paper, pens or pencils, crayons or markers


Explain to your child that when answering a question, he or she may use a sentence starter. Give an example, such as “What is your favorite color?” Instead of giving a one-word response such as “blue”, encourage your child to restate the question by using a sentence starter. He or she should answer with “My favorite color is blue”. Practice by asking your child simple questions and encouraging him or her to answer with a sentence starter.

Write a simple question at the top of a piece of paper. At the bottom of the paper write the answer in a sentence starter form but with the sight words missing. For example, at the top, write “What is your favorite color?” At the bottom, write, “___ favorite color ___ blue.” The blank spaces are for your child to write the sight words “my” and “is” Write the sight words on a separate piece of paper for your child to reference.

Why is it better to answer a question with a sentence starter?

Taste Test

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Outdoor, Mealtime

Time recommendation: 10-20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Cognitive Development

Learning Standards: Sensory exploration, Observation skills

Materials: Bandana, various snack foods, spoon


Create taste stations for your child to explore his or her sense of taste! Prepare a blindfold that your child can wear as he or she tastes the items. Be sure to use foods that your child has tasted previously, such as items that are used for snacks. Encourage your child to describe what he or she tastes. Consider foods that may be bitter like dark chocolate, sour like lemon candy, salty like a pretzel, or sweet like ice-cream.

Did you enjoy the food? Was it hard to try food while blindfolded? Was the food hot or cold?

Looking for more activities for you and your five-year-old?

  • Mealtime : Learning can happen any time – even while eating.
  • Outside Time: The great outdoors can be the best classroom of all.

Or return to the Life Essentials® At Home page to find activities to explore with other age groups.

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