This month only, join our FREE Preschool at Home Facebook group, where we’ll have daily conversation starters, weekly Q&A sessions, and lots of free resources. Click here to join us.

Do you have a toddler, preschooler, or primary grade student who needs some fun (and simple!) learning activities for rainy days, snow days, and unexpected school closings?

I’ve compiled a list of our easiest mix & match activities using just a few craft supplies you probably already have on hand.

These (screen-free) open-ended play activities are PERFECT for parents who:

  • have children who just stopped napping
  • work from home and need to get one thing done
  • need a quiet activity for older siblings while nursing

Be sure to bookmark this post so you can find it easily whenever you need a quick and easy learning activity!

Read on for our favorite preschool learning activities using craft supplies!

You’ll also LOVE our Busy Box series!


Read Now



Note: we are not anti-screens, but we know sometimes you need something quick and easy that your child can do independently!

These mix and match activities use just a handful of materials you probably already have around your house:

  • craft pom poms
  • clothespins
  • craft sticks
  • UNO cards (numbers 0-9 only)
  • straws
  • pony beads
  • string
  • playdough
  • rainbow noodles

Young children crave fun and novelty. Offering just two or three of these materials at a time (on a bright tray) increases the likelihood that they will be drawn to the activity and engage for a longer period of time. But, have patience if your child struggles with playing independently. (This blog post will help with independent play skills.)

Mix and Match Preschool Activities

Preschool Learning Activities Using Craft Materials
Preschool Learning Activities


Pom Poms

  • Sort pom poms by color (muffin tins or empty egg cartons are great for this)
  • Transfer pom poms from one container to another using clothespins (extra learning: pull an UNO card to tell you how many pom poms to move)
  • Drop pom poms into an empty jar

Clothespins & Craft Sticks

  • Write numbers (0-9) and letters (A-Z) on clothespins
  • Put numbers pins in order (more challenging: just do odds or evens)
  • Use a permanent marker to write your phone number on a craft stick, and then have your child match the numbered clothespins
  • Spell out your child’s name with clothespins
  • Clip the correct number of pins onto UNO cards (0-9)

More Craft Sticks

  • Add round Velcro dots to each end of 10 craft sticks, and use them to make shapes, letters, and more


  • With supervision, ask your child to cut 10-15 straws into 2-3” pieces
  • Click here to see 10 more activities using straw pieces

Pony Beads

  • Lace pony beads onto a string or pipe cleaner (extra learning: practice patterning with different colors)
  • Add a small bowl of pony beads to a tray with playdough
  • Choose a numbered clothespin or UNO card and put that many beads on a pipe cleaner
  • Add a funnel and jar to a bowl of pony beads

Rainbow Noodles

  • Sort noodles by color (using a muffin tin)
  • Lace the noodles on a string 

Shopping Links

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Which of these learning activities will you try first?