Taking activities outside while the weather is still nice can be a pleasant change of scenery for active preschoolers. You don’t need fancy toys or expensive supplies. Try these easy letter and number activities outdoors using JUST chalk and rocks – materials you most likely already have in your outdoor play area and art center.
EASY Chalk Activities for Preschoolers: Outdoors Playful Learning
Chalk Letter Painting
Prepare by writing the alphabet in large chalk letters. (You may wish to make numerous sets depending on the number of children participating.) Encourage children to trace the chalk letters after dipping their paintbrushes into water.
By tracing the alphabet, blossoming readers and writers practice recognizing and writing the letters in an unconventional way.
Chalk and Rocks Activities for Preschoolers: Numbers Rock
- Sidewalk chalk
Ahead of time, draw 10 circles on the concrete with sidewalk chalk. Place a small pile of rocks nearby. Ask children if they can put the matching number of rocks in each number’s circle. Help them identify numbers where necessary. You might also opt to have children “trace” the numbers with rocks as shown in the activity below.
This activity promotes the development of one-to-one correspondence (the skill that assigns one item to each number). Children get to practice identifying written numerals and counting objects simultaneously.
- Sidewalk chalk
- Small rocks
Prepare the area by drawing the alphabet on the sidewalk (approximately 12” in size). Place a small pile of rocks nearby. Model how to place the rocks along the lines and curves of a letter to “trace” it.
Young learners get practice recognizing letter shapes by outlining them with the rocks.
Handmade Chalk Paint
Place pieces of sidewalk chalk in a cardboard box lid. After putting on eye protection, use a rubber mallet to smash up the chalk into a fine dust. Young learners may find this to be quite an entertaining task. Once the pieces are turned to powder, pour into a cup of water and stir. Allow children to create artwork with their “handmade” paint.
Not only does this activity allow children to create their own art medium, it also allows an opportunity to express themselves creatively outdoors.
Want to provide more outdoor learning for your young learners? Try one of these fun extension activities below:
- Add bubble bath to the outdoor water table.
- Explore texture by doing outdoor art rubbings.
- Go on an outdoor color hunt.
- Drive through paint and create art with ride-on toys.
- Read books outside.
For more ways to learn and play with NATURE, please see:
If you aren’t quite for sure to introduce the ABC’s and 123’s through PLAYFUL LEARNING all year long, please see:
How Do I Introduce the ABC’s and 123’s to Preschoolers? There are helpful hints and suggestions for activities your own preschoolers will LOVE!
The Preschool Toolbox is pleased to have Andie Jaye as a valued contributor. Andie is a former preschool teacher turned stay-at-home mom of 3 kiddos. Her blog, Crayon Freckles, focuses on creative learning and play ideas, as well as parenting topics. Andie strives to be honest in her approach and experiences in parenting to let other moms know that they are not alone in their struggle. In her free time, she writes children’s books in hopes of publishing someday. You can follow Andie on Pinterest or on Twitter.