Activities to Do With Nursery Children

Updated April 17, 2017

Nursery schoolchildren enjoy engaging in a variety of activities, both quiet and active. As you play and interact with the youngsters, notice what engages each child. Strive to offer children opportunities to encourage talents and the ability to self-direct individual activities. Various stations in a nursery school, from a music area to an active play area, allow kids to explore and develop their interests and abilities.

Outdoor Play

Supervised outdoor play in a safe area will stimulate nursery schoolchildren's bodies and minds. Give them space and time to explore and play freely. Lead them on a guided nature hike or explore the trees at the perimeter of the yard. Collect materials like an old bird's nest, snake skin and wasp nest ahead of time, placing them along the path so children can make "discoveries." Playing games like relay races and tag also are great ways to get kids outdoors and keep them active. During cold months, bring the outdoors inside by planting an indoor garden in the classroom, suggests Preschool Rainbow, so kids can learn about plants all year long.


Spread out a big tarp on the ground and bring out the finger paints, giving each child a big piece of paper. Demonstrate how to mix colours to form new ones. As kids paint, they'll naturally learn about how the colours blend together, and they'll feel good about creating something on their own.

Reading Aloud

Children enjoy being read to, and this may lead to a lifelong love of literature. By varying your voice, depending on the mood and the character who is speaking, and changing your pace from slow to fast at exciting parts, you'll tell a gripping story that will keep kids wanting to hear more.


Put on a puppet show to tell a story. Simply use a big box as a stage, sitting behind it as you make the puppets move and talk. Make it interactive by having the puppets ask the children questions and sing songs with them.

Interactive Songs

Have children stand together in a circle and sing a song while acting out motions. "If You're Happy and You Know It" is a classic example of this activity. You can do this with many children's songs, such as "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" and "Open Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine in," found on the Teacher's Guide website. Make up your own gestures to the songs, as children enjoy movement.


Help kids to make crafts from materials found in most homes, like toilet paper holders and egg cartons, according to Enchanted Learning. On the website you'll find instructions about making puppets from scrap paper, a bouquet of flowers from an egg carton and other craft ideas. These activities teach nursery children to reuse materials rather than just throwing them away.

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About the Author

Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.