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 craftand 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 owncopy. 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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!