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Friday, February 23, 2024

March Play Calendar: Daily Activity Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers {+ Free PDF}

Do you want to do activities with your kids each day but you have no idea where to start? Don't worry there's lots of parents in exactly the same position, which is why I'm putting together monthly kids play calendars to make it easy for you to create a month of fun for your kids at home or in the classroom.

The March activity calendar focuses on St Patrick's Day, rainbows and Easter 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. March also includes Read Across America Day where most schools have dress up days, if you need some costume inspiration check out our book character costume ideas.

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 march activity calendar pdf with links to instructions for every activity to save for future reference.

finding myself young March 2024 play calendar.

March 2024 Play Activity Calendar

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 March.

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 March play calendar PDF which includes direct clickable links to all of the activities featured in this months calendar.

Rainbow Rice

Rainbow rice is one of the most popular sensory bases and one of the cheapest to make. Follow my step by step instructions to make taste safe sensory rice with just 3 ingredients.  The recipe I use is not only taste safe, but will also last for years if you store it properly. Kids can help you make the rice or you can make it ahead ready for play.

There are many ways to play with sensory rice, however the easiest way is to set up a sensory tub with the rice, scoops, spoons and a few bowls. This will give children lots of opportunities to scoop and pour, dump, sort, measure and weigh the rice. You can also add some funnels and empty cardboard tubes.

rainbow rice scattered


How to Catch a Rainbow {Read Aloud}

Join Freya as she tries to catch a real life rainbow in this fun picture book How to Catch a Rainbow. This book is a great way for children to learn about nature and colours and ties together the monthly theme of rainbows. 

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.

how to catch a rainbow book cover

Extension Ideas:

Make toilet paper roll binoculars. Make a pair of binoculars from two empty toilet paper rolls, some tape and a bit of string. They can also be decorated with paint sticks, crayons or stickers.

Go on a rainbow hunt. After reading the book go around the house, classroom or backyard and collect items in all the colours of the rainbow like Freya does in the book.


Skittles Rainbow Science Experiment

A fun way to make your own magic rainbow appear is with the Skittles rainbow experiment. Use the colourful candy to make a rainbow appear before your kids eyes in less than a minute. Follow my instructions for the skittles science experiment and use candy science to wow your kids. The best part is the skittles can still be eaten afterwards!

skittles rainbow starting to appear on plate

Extension Idea:

Magic shapes. See what other shapes or objects you can make with the skittles and add water to bring them to life.


Torn Paper Rainbow

This torn paper rainbow craft will appeal to children of all ages from toddlers through to school kids, especially ones who like tearing things. Ripping paper is a great sensory and fine motor activity that satisfies children's need for heavy work {proprioception sensory input} and helps to build their fine motor skills while strengthening hand muscles. It's also a fun, hands-on way to teach children the colours of the rainbow.

All you'll need for this activity is coloured paper, glue and our free printable rainbow template.

torn paper rainbow craft.


Pot of Gold Sensory Bin

Bring the magic of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow legend to life with this St Patrick's Day sensory bin.  See how I set up our pot of gold sensory bin and how we played with it. 

There are many ways kids can play with this sensory bin including finding the coins with a magnifying glass or tweezers, counting the coins into the pot and hiding the coins in the rice. Younger children will enjoy simply scooping and pouring the rice.

st patricks day pot of gold sensory bin

St Patrick's Day Playdough Mats

Download this set of 10 free St Patrick's Day playdough mats and use them with store bought playdoh or some homemade playdough {you'll need green, yellow, black, red, orange, blue, purple and pink}. You can also use them with loose parts and pens, or laminate and use whiteboard markers or washable markers.

Rolling, manipulating, breaking and squishing playdough is a great way for younger kids to build their fine motor skills. It's also a great sensory activity to do during quiet time or group rotations at school.

free printable St Patricks Day playdough mats


Shamrock Scrape Painting

Create this fun marbled shamrock artwork in just a few minutes using shaving cream process art. I know I probably just lost a lot of you at the mention of shaving cream, but trust me it's not as messy as it sounds. 

Follow the instructions and use the free shamrock template from The Craft At Home Family to create your own special shamrocks. The best part is no two shamrocks will ever look exactly the same so this is a great classroom art activity.

marbled shamrock scrape painting

Extension Idea:

Shamrock garland. Create a number of marbled shamrocks and then tie them all together with string to create a shamrock garland. Make them all green or mix it up and do different rainbow colours.


How to Catch a Leprechaun {Read Aloud}

A pesky leprechaun is on the loose causing mischief in everyone's house. With an array of different leprechaun traps set up to stop him, will he be caught or will he get away? Take notes because tomorrow you'll be making a leprechaun trap of your own.

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.

how to catch a leprechaun book cover


DIY Leprechaun Trap

Get your thinking caps on and brainstorm together to come up with the perfect DIY leprechaun trap. There are a few leprechaun trap ideas here, or you can follow the instructions to make the tissue box leprechaun trap below. 

You can make a leprechaun trap out of almost any recycled container and decorate it with stickers or drawings. Don't forget to add some gold coins to try and lure the leprechaun in.

diy leprechaun trap


Leprechaun Beard Cutting Activity

Kids can trim the leprechauns beard and practice their cutting and fine motor skills with this fun interactive leprechaun beard craft. Download the free leprechaun beard template and get the kids to colour it in. Once their masterpiece is done you can attach the leprechauns long bright orange beard ready for them to give him a trim.

If you have younger kids and you think cutting yarn may be too difficult, you could substitute it with orange paper strips or orange tissue paper to make it easier for them to cut. If you're doing this with toddlers you could laminate their leprechaun and then make a beard out of orange playdough strips and get them to trim it with playdough scissors or a playdough knife.

leprechaun beard trim cutting activity


St Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt

This is a great interactive activity to do with children on St Patrick's Day. It will require a little bit of prep work which I recommend you do the night before after the kids are in bed, or in the morning before class if you're doing this activity in a classroom.

For the final prize you will need a plastic cauldron pot and either some chocolate coins or fake play coins. You can also leave 1 or 2 coins or foam shamrocks with each clue to make it easier for younger children to find them.

To set up the scavenger hunt start by downloading the free scavenger hunt printable, print it out and cut up the clues. Decide where you're going to hide the clues and in what order you want the kids to find them. Hide all of the clues and prizes. In the morning help the children find the St Patrick's Day gold. If they can't read yet you'll have to read the clues out to them as they find them.


Chicken Playdough Tray

Now that St Patrick's Day is over we can move on to Easter themed activities. This chicken playdough invitation to play is a great way to introduce Easter.

Use some yellow or orange playdough and chicken related loose parts like feathers, eyes, nests and eggs to set up a playdough tray. Although the tray is themed, it's more like a tinker tray and children can build and play with the items however they like.

build a chicken playdough tray


Shape Bunny Craft

Kids can learn about shapes and have fun creating with this shape bunny craft. Download the free shape bunny template and follow the instructions to assemble the bunny. Kids can choose to make either a circle, oval, love heart, triangle, rectangle, square or hexagon bunny.

If you're doing this activity with younger kids you may want to pre cut up the templates so they just have to assemble the pieces. You can also experiment using different coloured background paper or making the bunny from newspaper, glitter card or patterned craft paper.

bunny shape craft


Plastic Egg Sensory Shakers

If you've started collecting plastic fillable eggs for your Easter egg hunt, you can use them to create these musical egg shakers {or just get an additional packet for these}. 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.

plaster Easter egg musical shakers.


Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure {Read Aloud}

The Easter bunny has left Pete the cat an important job to complete. He has to find some eggs, decorate them and hide them. How will he do it, will he get it all done?

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.

pete the cat big easter adventure book cover

Extension Idea:

Paint Easter Eggs. Decorate some white foam or plastic eggs with pens, paint pens or washable paint to create decorated eggs like Pete did in the book.

Spin Art Easter Eggs. If you have a plastic salad spinner, some washable paint and some matte plastic, foam or wooden Easter eggs you can create beautifully decorated spin art eggs in a few minutes.


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.


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


Easter Playdough Mats

Download my set of 4 free Easter playdough mats and use with playdough, loose parts or washable markers {once laminated}. Each of the mats come with a decoration prompt as an idea for how the kids can decorate the mat, including a variety of making faces, decorating and adding eggs. However, they are deliberately minimal and open ended so children can use them as they choose.

If your kids love playing with these playdough mats I also have a larger set of 10 Easter playdough mats available in my Etsy store

free easter playdough mats

Extension Idea:

Language development. While children are decorating their mats you can aid their language development by asking questions such as what colour will the chicks feathers be? How many whiskers will the bunny have? Where will you hide the eggs?

Fizzy Easter Egg Experiment

This fizzy Easter egg experiment is great for children of all ages from toddlers through to school kids. It's an interactive way to observe and explore chemical reactions and build fine motor skills. You'll need to prep some of the experiment the day before, but the kids can help with that too. 

You'll need some baking soda, food colouring and a silicone Easter egg mould. Follow our easy instructions to make fizzy Easter eggs.

fizzing Easter egg science experiment.


Easter Sensory Bin

Create a simple Easter sensory bin using a tray or tub, some shredded paper and Easter items. You can use any age appropriate items that aren't a potential choking hazard for mouthing children. You can also substitute the shredded paper for a taste safe sensory base such as cous cous or crushed cereal. Dollar stores and department stores are a great place to find cheap Easter play items.

Sensory play bins are a great way for children to explore textures, colours, weight, size and more. They are also great for imaginary play and language development. If your child loves this sensory bin, there's even more Easter sensory play ideas here.

easter sensory bin with shredded paper


Happy Easter from the Crayons {Read Aloud}

Follow along as all the crayons decorate different shapes and colours for Easter. Purple crayon is super confused why all the crayons are colouring shapes, but nobody is decorating an egg?!

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.

happy easter from the crayons book cover

Extension ideas:

Collage egg. Cut out the different shapes mentioned in the book for the kids to decorate with different colours. Cut a large egg shape out of paper and stick all of the completed shapes onto the egg to create a decorated Easter egg just like the crayons did.



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.

March 2024 play calendar.

download March play calendar here.


March daily play ideas for kids.

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase. Please note all free printables mentioned within this post are for personal or classroom use only.

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