Need a quick and easy play idea? Pick one of these 100 fun printable activities for kids!
When my kids were younger, we had a soft spot for wooden toys of heirloom quality and particular indestructibility. But now? Over the last couple of years, printable toys have actually taken a special place in my heart.
There is a good reason for that. Actually, there are several good reasons.
Why Printable Activities for Kids?
- Printables activities for kids are either free or cheap. See that cute paper mailbox above? It’s free! A wooden toy mailbox would be about $20.
- Of course, a physical toy would come assembled… But look at it from another angle, and the necessity to assemble a toy can actually be an advantage, once kids are the right age to help or even do the whole project themselves. Then, before becoming a toy, it is a craft and a building experience.
- And if it breaks, well, it can be printed again! Or, if there are siblings or even a classroom of kids, everyone can have their own copy. One mailbox per student may be excessive, but it is fun for every child to make their own anatomy paper doll or have their own bingo card!
- Printable activities are easy to bring along, both on short outings to a restaurant and on longer trips.
- Finally, once the kids are done with it (and, to be completely honest, only a few toys have a lifespan of months or years!), printable toys can be easily stored flat or recycled. If the kids want to play with puppets again in a year, well, they can be printed and cut again!
All you really need is a printer and some paper, and there is a world of possibilities – printable board games, puppets, paper dolls, pretend play accessories, STEM challenges, art prompts, journals for kids, and movement cards – all available at the press of a “print” button!
Build a theatre with the template you can find below, and have a day of theatrical play. Using puppet templates, children can stage their favourite fairy-tales or engage in open-ended storytelling. When using a shadow puppet theatre, they can conduct scientific experiments with light or try coloured filters. They can also use them to create simple animation and make short cartoons of their own!
Simple Puppet Theatre
Print our puppet theatre pattern, then make a simple puppet theatre from cardboard at home! Bonus: You can colour it however you like.
Articulated Dragon Puppets
Using a free template, print and make a bunch of articulated dragon puppets - available in various colours and a colour-your-own version.
Articulated Shadow Puppets
Learn how to make shadow puppets with moving parts and have playful shadow puppet duels with these free articulated knight puppets!
Shadow Puppet Templates
Use one of these 150+ shadow puppet templates to present fairy-tales, fables and nursery rhymes, teach about animals, and explore the traditions behind some festivities. Some are based on particular stories, and others are open-ended; some are free, and others are paid - take your pick!
Colourful Shadow Puppets
Not all shadow puppets have to be black and white - make colourful ones, using free templates, recyclable plastic, some glue, and sharpie markers!
Dragon and unicorn clothespin puppets
Use clothespins and free templates to create puppets of a talking unicorn and a roaring dragon.
Clothespin paper puppets
Make these colorful and quirky paper puppets using clothespin, free printable templates and a bit of yarn!
Farm Animal Finger Puppets
Make a friendly puppet for every finger, using these free templates of paper animals - a pig, a mouse, a cat, a rabbit and a horse.
Little Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets
These adorable and free Little Red Riding Hood finger puppets are great both for story times and for dramatic play!
100+ Free Printable Masks for Kids
No puppet theatre? Put on a costume! With a free printable mask, the transformation should be easy!
PRINTABLE BOARD GAMES
Printing and playing a board game goes a long way for a fun family evening. Some are short and simple, and others are long and complex. There are educational games, creative games, games to spark discussions, and even games to inspire building. Take your pick!
Women: Guess Who Game
Using this game of deduction, you will learn about twenty amazing women who changed the world. Includes Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, and many more!
Animal Trivia for Kids
Animal Trivia for kids is a printable educational game that introduces players to the amazing animal diversity on our planet. Challenge each other to a battle of wits and learn together!
If you like LEGO and playing board games, try this LEGO twist on the popular games of Charades or Pictionary!
What Bird Am I? Game
Birds are a very diverse and fascinating group! In this game, players are attempting to deduce the identity of their opponent's bird, by asking questions and using a key of twenty four birds.
This bird bingo printable game features 48 species of birds from around the world. With beautiful watercolour illustrations and multiple levels of complexity, it will bring joy to bird enthusiasts of all ages!
Featuring the flags of 120 countries and two ways to play, Flag Bingo is a fun educational game that challenges children to learn and identify the flags of the world.
Emotions Board Game
In this game, players will be challenged to act, discuss and imagine, while learning all about emotions and each other.
Proverbs Board Game
Use your wit and imagination to complete little-known proverbs from around the world and trick other players into thinking that they’re the original sayings.
Animal Tracks Game
Most animals do not want to come in close contact with humans, but if you learn to notice and recognize their tracks, you will be able identify which animals visit your neighbourhood or like to walk along the same trails as you do.
Printable Tetris Game
In 1980s, Tetris was one of the most famous and popular games. This Tetris printable game is a fun screen-free way for kids to play this family favorite.
100 Would You Rather Questions For Kids
Would you Rather? is a simple game that has immense popularity among children. Using these free templates, you can print off all of the cards or have one page with all 100 questions.
100+ Printable I Spy Games for Kids
I spy with my little eye... tons of free printable I spy games for kids!
Printable Superhero Domino
Want to teach your kids how to play dominos? Just print this fun and colourful set!
Printable Game of Make-Believe and Storytelling
No Thank You, Evil! is a great tabletop game of creative make-believe, adventure, and storytelling! They have a physical copy as well, but it is really easy - and fun - to set it up at home with printable cards and dice.
Printable, recyclable and very portable, printable toys are wonderful! They are easy to make, they won't clutter the house, and they can be easily brought along on trips.
Anatomy Paper Dolls
Play with dress-up dolls and study anatomy at the same time!
How to Make Paper Insects
Learn how to make paper insects and study insect anatomy with this printable insects kit!
Astronaut Paper Dolls
Introduce the history of space exploration to kids by reading about influential space suits and making astronaut paper dolls!
100+ Printable Paper Dolls
Paper dolls have great potential for teaching all kinds of topics to children - history, geography, even science! They are also simply fun.
Free Printable Dollhouse Template
Learn how to make a cardboard dollhouse with this free printable dollhouse template!
Pop-Up Doll House
This printable pop-up papercraft dollhouse was created to teach kids about things they can do in their house to help prevent climate change. Each of the four rooms in the dollhouse is a separate free PDF template. Although the instructions are in Japanese, the excellent photos allow one to build the dollhouse without knowing the language.
Print and assemble a little paper neighbourhood. There are three free different models of houses included!
Forest gnomes set
The forest background is perfect - not just for the forest gnomes, but also for animal figurines or little cars.
Printable fairy garden
Make a quick fairy garden with this free printable fairy garden template!
Transform a sheet a paper into magical pinwheels!
Make a windmill model at home and hold an engineering study with children! How many blades is the best? And at what angle?
These paper tops are sturdy and easy to spin, even for little ones. You can decorate them and watch as your designs blend into circles when the top spins.
Paper Spinner Toys
Not only are these spinner toys fun to make... but they provide a great STEAM activity for anyone learning about colour theory.
PRETEND PLAY WITH PRINTABLES
Doctor's office? Restaurant? Shop? Printables can make pretend play more fun!
Life-Size Human Organs
Study anatomy and play a doctor, using free life-size printable human body organs!
Doctor Pretend Play Kit
Pair up the life-size anatomy printables above with this doctor's office pretend play kit for an immersive experience.
Teeth & Mouth Anatomy
Set up a dentist's office and learn about brushing teeth... made from rocks!
Pretend Play Vet's Office
Watch as your children tend to all of their stuffies with this free printable vet's kit.
Printable Mail Box
Children can use this cute mail box to send notes to each other!
Licenses and ID Cards For Kids
Playing detectives and driving that imaginary car becomes even more fun if you use free printable licenses and ID cards!
Adorable and free, this paper fruit is a must for your play kitchen or grocery stand!
Pretend Play Set: Ice Cream Shoppe
Open up an ice cream shop with this interactive pretend play set. Works well by itself - and also with some play-dough.
Paper Sandwich Shop
After an ice cream shop, try a sandwich shop next!
Printable Groceries for Pretend Play
These free grocery store printables are a great prop, either for pretend shopping or for putting in a play kitchen.
15+ Play Money Printables
Use play money - for playing shop, restaurant, or even a vet! With 15 different printables, you will not run out of currencies soon.
PRINTABLE TOYS... THAT GO!
A separate category for kids who like things that go - cars, airplanes, and suchlike. Assemble them from paper!
Foam Glider Airplane
Do your kids like foam glider airplanes? Craft a DIY version together at home!
These straw rockets are a blast and a great STEM activity!
Hot Air Balloon
Using a free printable template, cut, colour and assemble a beautiful hot air balloon - it will work great with some little toys!
Free Printable Roads
Stretch as complicated a road as you like across your playroom with these free printable road templates.
Glue-less car templates
And if you don't have enough cars, you can fold some from paper as well.
Printable School Bus
...Or a printable school bus. It opens on the back, so you can put toys inside!
Paper Airplane Templates
Put together a fleet of paper airplanes.
City Play Dough with Free Printable Accessories
Finish your busy city with a selection of printable signs.
PRINTABLE STEM CHALLENGES
Bring life to old toys with printable challenges. Encourage children to build something new from LEGO, Magna-Tiles, or pattern blocks - with idea cards. The printable idea cards act as both inspiration and puzzle to solve.
Lego Duplo Animals and Alphabet
Free cards that encourage children to build DUPLO animals - from A to Z! Letter designs are also included, and so is a fun fact about each of the animals.
Challenge children to make letters - or write whole messages - with LEGO letter cards.
LEGO Animal Mosaic Cards
Cute and addictive - create a LEGO mosaic of everything under the sun! These free cards feature animals, and the site has a lot more themes, such as holidays, superheroes, or Star Wars.
Animal Pattern Block Mats
These 50 animal pattern block designs are perfect for STEM centres in your preschool or kindergarten! Children will learn the names of animals, practice building skills and math – all at once.
Magna Tiles Designs
Looking for new Magna Tiles designs to try? Here are 64 Magna Tile ideas to build, both in 2D and 3D, with printable cards for inspiration.
Animal Houses: Engineering Game for Kids
Humans aren't the only great architects - many animals go to great lengths to build their homes. Using these cards, children will learn about ten animals and the houses they build, then complete the engineering challenges and build your their own versions of these amazing dwellings!
Spring Geoboard Cards
Geoboards are perfect for hands-on math activities in your school or homeschool. They are wonderful for teaching beginning geometry. You can use them for area and perimeter. You can build 2D shapes with them and create patterns.
100 Invitations to Build
Do you have little builders in your house? This list will keep them busy! It’s 100 invitations to build, a list of fun, unusual, even downright silly things that you can build with.
Summer STEAM Challenges for Kids
If the weather is good, try these STEAM challenges - meant to inspire children to have fun in their backyard. They are very easy to set up and most use supplies you probably already have on hand.
PRINTABLE WRITING PROMPTS
Start a journal or make a story with these creative printable prompts!
About Me: Q&A Journal for Kids
This free printable journal for kids is filled with creative questions and writing prompts that will inspire even the most reluctant of writers to create their own book about what they know best. A book about themselves.
Nature Journal with Prompts
Learn how to start a nature journal with kids using a free printable template that offers ten creative prompts. It is a perfect nature STEM activity for kids, as it encourages them to go outside, explore nature scientifically, then record their nature finds artistically!
Gratitude Journal with Prompts
Even preschoolers can use this free printable gratitude journal template to learn how to express gratitude. Simply invite young children to use “I am grateful” gratitude prompts to draw what they have to be thankful for!
Roll the cubes and tell or write a story that includes the pictures that are shown on the cubes. The cubes are a breeze to make with a wide variety of free printable templates!
Tell Me a Story Cards
For younger children, instead of story cubes, you can try Tell Me a Story cards.
PRINTABLE ART PROMPTS
Need a boredom buster for kids who like making art? Try these printable art activities, which prompt kids to finish them with crayons, paints or play-dough!
Draw the Missing Half: Insects
Draw the missing half of an insect to make the picture complete! These drawing prompts are good for children learning the concept of symmetry and, of course, for all young insect enthusiasts.
Draw the Missing Half Prompts: Flowers
Not an insect enthusiast? Try draw-the-missing-half of flowers prompts! Learn about bilateral and radial symmetry in the process.
Monster Math: Roll-and-Draw Game
Roll a die and see what kind of monster you will draw. Monster Math is a printable game that challenges children to draw while working on simple math – counting, number writing and recognition.
Robot Math: Roll-and-Draw Game
Robot Math works on a similar principle to Monster Math, but it challenges children to draw while working on simple geometry – shape drawing and recognition.
Puzzle Drawing Prompt
Draw, cut and create a puzzle of your own! With this free printable puzzle template, kids can make as many as they want.
Nature Art Prompts: Birds
Collaborate with nature and finish the ink pictures of birds with flowers, leaves and branches!
Blank Faces Drawing Page
Experiment with different styles of eyes, noses and smiles with this free page full of various blank faces.
Free Printable Comic Prompt
Make your own comic with this simple printable comic prompt.
10 Creative Art Activities
These free drawing prompts are a great way to spark children's creativity and imagination!
Mats give a new dimension to play dough play. Have fun trying this pack of ten free printable play-dough mats!
PRINTABLES FOR MOVING AROUND
Printables can even encourage children to move around! Try these movement dice and scavenger hunts!
Math Movement Dice
Math Movement Dice turn practising math into a game! Children can practise their addition, subtraction, even multiplication facts, work on their gross motor skills and have fun at the same time. With the free printable template, you can make the dice and play too!
Gross Motor Dinosaur Action Cube
You can still move around without the math, using this dinosaur action cube!
Farm Animal Movement Cards
If you’re looking for a fun and silly way to keep the kids active, try these free farm animal movement cards. They also can act as a little reading practice for beginner readers.
Math in Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Go on a nature scavenger hunt, while simultaneously studying math!
More Fun Printable Activities?
100+ Printable Shadow Puppet Templates
Thanks for reading!