Making Learning Fun Through Play

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You already love to play with your 3- to 5-year-olds. Now, turn those play times into rich learning experiences. It’s easier than you think and lots of fun. In fact, your child won’t even know how much they’re learning!

For each of the preschool learning topics, colors, numbers, shapes, science, and engineering, you’ll find suggestions you can do today with little or no prep.

As Fred Rogers so famously said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

Time to play and learn!



Learning colors helps children identify the world around them as well as develops their ability to categorize.

  • Throughout the day, ask your child “What color is this?” or “Can you find the red one?” with foods, toys, or things in nature.
  • Celebrate one color each day. Each day focus on one color and see if you can find things of that color, a giant color scavenger hunt.
  • Sort toys like the Farmers Market Color Sorting Set and Super Sorting Pie into color groups.


Kids learn numbers by observing and talking about what they see. Numbers, counting, and making sense of numbers are all vital skills in developing a child’s mathematical ability.

  • Count everything you can. Count the steps you take, the bites of food you chew, the number of fingers on your hand, the numbers of rocks you collect, and so on.
  • Make numbers with playdough, tape, paint, sand, sticks, or markers. Give your kids something to trace or copy first to show them each number’s shape.
  • Practice matching the Number Pops numbers to the corresponding dots on each pop.

READ MORE about fun, playful colors, numbers, shapes, science, and engineering activities on the Learning Resources blog here.

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