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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

April Play Activity Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers + Free Play Calendar PDF

I'm putting together monthly play activity schedules to make it easy for you to create a month of fun for your kids at home or in the classroom, every month of the year. The April activity calendar focuses on Easter, egg, nature and Earth Day themed ideas for toddlers, preschoolers and school kids. The activities include a mix of art and craft, sensory, science and play ideas as well as books to read aloud during the month.

Each activity is explained in detail below, including how you can extend or adjust the activity based on your child's age. You can also download our free interactive April activity calendar pdf with links to instructions for every activity to save for future reference.

April kids play calendar by Finding Myself Young


This play activity calendar includes activities that can easily be done using items from around your home {or classroom} and you can substitute items to make it suit what you have on hand. If you want to be fully prepared I've set up an Amazon supply list that includes all of the main items needed for every activity during April.

There are no activities listed for weekends as they can be used for free play/family time or to catch up on activities you may have missed during the week. Below you will find detailed explanations of each activity as well as how to modify them for children of different ages and some extension activities you can do if you're looking for additional ideas.

At the bottom of this post you'll also be able to download a copy of the interactive April play calendar PDF which includes direct clickable links to all of the activities featured in this months calendar.

Paper Plate Hatching Chick

Bunnies seem to get all the credit at Easter so for a change we decided to make a hatching chick because after all eggs do come from chickens. To make a paper plate hatching chick you'll need a few basic craft supplies like paper plates, washable paint and paper as well as craft feathers. You can also turn these hatching chicks into Easter egg baskets by following the steps in my post.

hatching chick made from paper plates


Tape Resist Easter Egg

Making a tape resist Easter egg painting is a great way for kids to get creative whilst also building their fine motor skills as they tear and stick the tape, blend the paint, hold the paintbrush, paint the egg and cut out the template. Even younger children who can't use scissors yet will still have fun painting the egg.

Download our free printable egg template and follow our instructions to create your own tape resist egg. You only need watercolour paints and some tape {washi tape works best}. If your kids want to decorate more paper eggs there are lots more egg paper craft ideas here.

tape resist Easter egg painting.

Extension idea:

Easter egg bunting. If you're doing these tape resist eggs as a classroom activity, hang the finished eggs onto a string with pegs to create an Easter egg bunting to decorate your classroom.

Easter I-Spy Printable

Download my free printable Easter I-spy game for some easy Easter fun that requires virtually no set up. Easter I-Spy is so easy to play, kids simply need to count how many of each image there is in the picture and record the number at the bottom on the key. To make it easier to count they can circle or cross off each image as they count it.

This activity is a great way to practice counting and number formation when writing the numbers at the bottom. It is suitable for children from preschoolers as long as they can count up to 8 and generally know how to write numbers. If you're children don't know how to write numbers yet, but can count they can count the items and you can write the number for them.

easter search and find i-spy game printable

Extension Idea:

Easter Activity Pack. If your kids loved this activity, I also have a printable Easter activity bundle that includes 3 x I-spy games, Easter bingo, egg cutting skill sheet and an Easter matching activity.


Easter Sensory Bottle

Learn how to create your own Easter sensory bottle at home in just a few minutes by following our DIY Easter sensory bottle instructions. Don't worry if you don't have exactly the same items as I've used, you'll mainly need an empty plastic bottle, water, food colouring and some Easter confetti {or any other Easter themed filler you may already have}.

You can make the bottle together with your children, or make it by yourself and give it to them to use if they're too young to help. Sensory bottles are a great way to introduce children to sensory play as they're no mess and kids who don't like touching sensory materials don't actually get their hands sticky or dirty, but can still enjoy the sensory experience. They can also be used with younger infants for eye tracking, right through to older children to help them self regulate and calm down

easter sensory bottle

Extension Ideas:

Easter sensory play. Check out our huge list of Easter sensory play ideas for lots more sensory fun including Easter sensory bins, Easter slime, Easter playdough ideas and more Easter sensory bottles.

Movement Egg Hunt

Before the actual Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, get the kids excited with this fun movement Easter hunt. Print out the free printable movement cards, cut them up and place each one inside a plastic Easter egg then hide them around the house or backyard. When the kids find an egg they have to complete the action written on the paper.

This is a great way to get kids physically active and working on their gross motor skills while they hunt and move like different animals and objects. If you have younger children you can limit it to a smaller number of cards like 10, or if working in a large group use all 36 cards. 

movement Easter egg hunt clues

Alternative Ideas:

If you want to use this as a transition activity during the day you can omit the egg hunt part and simply pull the cards out of a bowl or hat one at a time and have children complete the actions.

Other egg hunts. You can also use plastic eggs to do colour hunts, alphabet hunts, shape hunts and more. Have a look at our huge list of creative egg hunt ideas.


Plastic Egg Sensory Shakers

Even though Easter is over, don't put your plastic Easter eggs away or throw them out just yet, you can use them to create these musical egg shakers. Follow our simple instructions and fill your eggs with different items from around the house like pom poms, pasta, rice, rocks and more. Once you've created the egg shakers children can use them to make music and also guess what item is inside each one from the sound it makes.

If you have younger children or you're worried your child may try and open the egg shaker, you can use spoons to make them into maracas {see the instructions in my post}. If your kids love this activity, keep your plastic Easter eggs and check out my huge list of games, activities and crafts to make with plastic eggs for lots of other ideas.

musical shakers made with plastic Easter eggs

Bouncy Egg Science Experiment

Do your kids love bouncy balls? Did you know you can make a bouncy ball from an egg? This simple science experiment will show you how to turn a regular egg into a bouncy egg in just a few steps using basic household items.

This experiment will take a few days to complete so it will be a lesson in patience for younger children, however they will be fascinated watching the changes occur to the egg each day. Follow our step by step instructions to make your own bouncy egg.
bouncy egg in childs hands


Tap the Magic Tree {Read Aloud}

Tap the Magic Tree is an interactive book that shows children how trees grow and change throughout the different seasons of the year. On each page of the book children need to complete an action to make the tree change into it's next form.

Read the story aloud in a group, read the book to your child, have your child read the book to you, or watch the story being read aloud here on YouTube. You can borrow the book from a friend or the library, or get your own copy from Amazon or Amazon AU.

tap the magic tree book cover

Extension idea:

Falling leaves sensory bottle. Follow our instructions to create your own falling leaves sensory bottle to emulate the leaves falling off the tree like they do in the book.


Flower Painting

Flower painting, also known as flower printing, is a fun sensory painting activity that doesn't need a paintbrush, because the flowers are the paintbrush. Flowers can be gathered on a nature walk at the local park, school, your backyard or in the local neighbourhood.

Painting with flowers is a great way to combine a nature activity, sensory play and process art. It's particularly beneficial to toddlers and preschoolers because of the sensory and fine motor benefits which will help prepare them for writing later on at school.

painting with flowers

Extension Idea:

Painting with leaves/grass. If you have other leafy plants or long grass you can collect some of those and tie a few pieces together to create a nature paintbrush and explore the different textures and strokes they make with paint.

DIY Egg Cutting Puzzles

Your kids will have so much fun creating their own 2 piece egg puzzles with our free egg puzzle templates. They can colour, cut and assemble the puzzles themselves provided they have some scissor skills, otherwise they may need some assistance cutting out the puzzles.

The egg puzzles are designed for scissor skill practice so I've included dotted cutting lines in straight, diagonal, zig zag and curved lines to cater for children with different levels of scissor skills. Start with the straight line templates for children new to scissors and then work through to the curved lines as their scissor control increases.

Puzzles are a great way for children to work on their fine motor skills, hand/eye co-ordination and problem solving skills as they try and join the pieces together. Two piece puzzles are a great starting point when introducing puzzles as they're easier for children to work out, giving them a sense of achievement, and they're less likely to cause frustration. 

easter egg 2 piece puzzles


Ocean Pollution Small World

An ocean pollution small world tray is an engaging and interactive way to teach children about the dangers rubbish causes aquatic life in our oceans and also a great way to open a discussion about recycling and putting rubbish in the bin.

We set up ours as a rock pool pollution small world to represent the rubbish that can get washed into rock pools near the shore and how it can affect the animals that live there. We used a mix of real rubbish such as bits of plastic, bottle top rings and straws, as well as some toy mini food items to represent discarded rubbish.

ocean pollution small world tray

Extension Idea:

Jelly Boy bookish play. If your children like this small world tray, we have also done a jelly boy small world after reading the book jelly boy, which teaches children about the dangers plastic bags pose to jelly fish in the ocean.


Milk Bottle Recycled Bird Feeder

Encourage birds to visit your garden and teach children about recycling by make this recycled milk bottle bird feeder. Use an empty 3L plastic milk bottle, or a 1 GL plastic jug as they're a great size for smaller birds to access and provide storage space for the seed. Make sure you use an appropriate seed or fresh food for the native species of birds in your local area. There's also plenty more recycled bird feeder ideas to make with kids here.

bird feeder made from a milk bottle

Earth Day Paper Plate Craft

Making this Earth Day paper plate craft is a great visual reminder for children that we all have the ability to change the world and we're all responsible for making sure it's looked after. It's also a great process art craft with lots of fine motor practice which could easily be replicated in a classroom setting.

earth day paper plate craft


Earth Day Colouring Sheets

If you're looking for a fun and engaging, no prep way to celebrate Earth Day with kids then print out this free printable Earth Day colouring page. Colouring in is a great way for kids to get creative and express themselves while also working their fine motor skills. It's also a great way to get younger children thinking about the Earth and how we should be taking care of it.

If your kids love colouring in this sheet and they want to do more, have a look at these Earth Day themed colouring sheets. There's 57 free printable Earth Day colouring pages including recycling, planet and environment themed pictures as well as some colour by number sheets.

earth day colouring sheet


The Earth Book {Read Aloud}

The Earth book shows children small things they can do every day in order to help the Earth and how each specific action helps save different parts of the Earth. Todd Parr shows children that every one of us can help protect the earth and make it feel good. If we take care of it, it will take care of us.

Read the story aloud in a group, read the book to your child, have your child read the book to you, or watch the story being read aloud here on YouTube. You can borrow the book from a friend or the library, or get your own copy from Amazon or Amazon AU.

the earth book by todd parr

Extension Idea:

How to help the Earth poster. On a piece of paper write up your own list of 10 ways we can help the Earth. Either copy the ideas at the back of the book, or brainstorm your own ideas with your kids.

Colour Changing Flowers Science Experiment

The colour changing flowers experiment is an easy science experiment that even young kids will enjoy watching unfold in front of them. This experiment visually shows children how plants drink and is a great way to learn about capillary action. Capillary action is the ability for liquid to flow upward, against gravity. 

As the flowers absorb the water from the glasses, the dyed water flows upward through the flower’s stem and travels to the flower’s petals resulting in a colour change. You will need some white flowers, gerberas, daisies and roses work well, and some food colouring {concentrated food colouring will give the best result}.

colour changing flower science experiment


Nature Weaving

Explore your garden, backyard or go on a nature walk and create fun transient art as you go by creating a nature web. This activity is a great way for children to observe flowers, leaves and other nature items like grass, seed pods or sticks up close. It's also a great way for them to build their hand strength and fine motor skills as they weave the nature items into the string.

If you have younger children you can set up the board and string for them, however older children should be able to hole punch the cardboard and thread the string themselves. If you use stronger cardboard like a side of a cardboard box then you should be able to reuse the board many times.

nature weaving with flowers and leaves


Flower Sensory Bottle

Bring the beauty of flowers inside with this easy flower sensory bottle. If you're making the sensory bottle as a once off activity and don't plan to keep it long term then you can use real flowers, however if you want it to stay vibrant and last forever then you'll need to use fabric flowers.

Sensory bottles are a great tool to have on hand at home and in the classroom, not only as a learning resource, but also as a calm down tool. Watching the contents of a sensory bottle slowly move around helps children to focus, calm down and reduce anxiety. They're particularly useful during transition times between activities. This flower sensory bottle would also be a great resource for a nature, seasons or science {living things} unit.

flower sensory bottle

Change Starts With Us {Read Aloud}

Change starts with us teaches children different ways they can help change things for the better. It's a very simple, colourful book with age appropriate actions children can take such as refilling water bottles and reusing recycling material for crafts.

Read the story aloud in a group, read the book to your child, have your child read the book to you, or watch the story being read aloud here on YouTube. You can borrow the book from a friend or the library, or get your own copy from Amazon or Amazon AU.

change starts with us book cover


Nature Sculptures

Turn all of the treasures your children have collected on their nature walks into nature sculptures by wrapping them together with some colourful string. Sticks, twigs, pine cones and other hard seed pods will work best to be wrapped in yarn or string. 

You can also incorporate leaves by hole punching them and then threading them through the string to add to the design. Just note if you use green leaves for this they may wilt and change colour over time.

nature sculptures made from sticks, string and pine cones


Click the download now button below to download the interactive PDF file. Each image on the PDF calendar can be clicked to go directly to the instructions for the individual activity.

Please note that this activity calendar PDF is for personal or classroom use only and may not be shared, electronically uploaded or sold on any platform. If you would like to share or feature the calendar in a blog post please link back to this post directly.

April kids play activities calendar

download april calendar here


april daily play ideas calendar for toddlers and preschoolers

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may earn a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase.

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