Five and six-year-olds are fun to be around. Not only are they learning to flex their social muscles, but they’re open and willing to learn. As a parent, you can capitalise on this with a range of engaging and fun activities that promote learning, financial literacy and creativity.
Why are learning activities important for 5 & 6-year-olds?
Even though your kids are now at school, at-home activities are still important for five and 6-year-olds. Not only does learning through play at home help boost what happens in the classroom, but activities also work towards building a solid foundation for future learning.
If you have a five or six-year-old, you'll know they are at a crucial stage in their development. At this age, engaging and fun activities can help children develop essential skill sets to support their academic growth. Plus, playing with your child each day, even if it's just for 10 minutes, gives you a chance to enter your child's world and find out about their beliefs, thoughts and feelings. It also shows your child that you want to spend time together.
Skill sets they are formulating at five and six years of age:
The development of cognitive skills. At this age, children learn to reason, problem-solve and think logically.
The development of social skills. Going to school helps children interact with peers and learn to collaborate, share, and communicate.
The development of emotional skills. From learning emotional regulation to self-awareness and resilience.
The development of communication. New vocabulary, learning to listen, and better negotiation skills.
The development of a broader worldview promoting curiosity and exploration and encouraging children to ask questions and experiment.
A summary of learning activities for 5 & 6 year olds
- Board games
- Building blocks
- Nature scavenger hunt
- Drawing and colouring
- Arts and Crafts
- Putting on a play
- Set up a pretend shop at home
- Counting & sorting coins
See below for our full list of fun learning activities for 5 & 6 year olds.
Board Games are a fun and educational way to keep 5-year-olds entertained. Games like Candy Land, Monopoly junior and memory games are age-appropriate and can help improve a range of the above skills.
Reading to 5-year-olds is a great way to foster a love of reading and improve their language and comprehension skills. You can let them choose their favourite books and introduce them to new stories and characters.
Building blocks like LEGO, Mega Bloks, or wooden blocks are excellent for promoting problem-solving and fine motor skills.
Puzzles are a brilliant way for kids to test ideas and solve problems. While completing a puzzle, children need to remember shapes, positions and strategies to complete them.
Baking is fun for kids of this age and gives them a sense of accomplishment and a taster of early Science.
Nature scavenger hunt. Kids love exploring the outdoors and discovering new things. You can create a scavenger hunt by providing them with a list of items to find, such as a pinecone, a bird feather, a particular colour of a flower, or a specific type of rock. This activity promotes exploration and helps kids learn about nature.
Bicycle ride: Cycling is a great way for kids to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. This helps with fitness and with motor skills.
Outdoor games like tag, hide and seek, or catch, promote physical activity, teamwork, and social skills. They also help kids develop their gross motor skills.
Go on a hike. Exploring new and off-the-beaten-track woodland areas is a great way to widen your child's world.
Set up an obstacle course in your garden. Include jumping over cones, crawling under tables, and weaving through cones. This activity promotes gross motor skills, coordination, and balance.
Motor skill activities
Drawing and colouring, in addition to improving fine motor skills, and hand-to-eye coordination, which is essential when they come to handwriting.
Hopscotch promotes balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. Draw a hopscotch grid on the ground using chalk and have the child hop on one foot or two feet to complete the course.
Scissor work. Give your child a pair of safety scissors and a piece of construction paper or a magazine. Encourage them to cut out shapes or pictures. This activity improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Simon says, is a game where one person is the leader and gives commands like "Simon says touch your toes" or "Simon says clap your hands." The other players must follow the commands only if the leader says, "Simon says." This game promotes listening skills, coordination, and gross motor skills.
Playdough is an excellent way to promote fine motor skills. Encourage your child to squeeze, stretch, pinch and roll the dough as they play.
Arts and Crafts. 5-year-olds love to create things with their hands, so providing them with art supplies like crayons, paints, construction paper, and glue can keep them entertained for hours.
DIY crafts are a great way for 5-year-olds to express their creativity and imagination. Provide them with paper, scissors, glue, paint, and other supplies to make their crafts. Examples include making paper flowers, paper plate animals, and making their bookmarks.
Sensory play involves providing kids with different textures and materials, such as sand, water, playdough, and slime. Sensory play promotes creativity, fine motor skills, and sensory development.
Cooking as kids love to help in the kitchen, and cooking or baking is a great way to teach them about measuring, following directions and trying new foods.
Putting on a play is a creative activity that encourages imagination and language development. You can start and let your child take turns adding to it.
Financial education activities
Set up a pretend shop at home using items you have in the kitchen. Give your child a set amount of play money and let them shop for items. They can learn about money, budgeting, and making choices.
Counting and sorting coins: Give your child a collection of cash and have them sort them by type and count them. This activity teaches them about currency and basic maths skills.
Savings jar. Encourage the child to save a portion of their pocket money or any money they receive as gifts in a savings jar. This teaches them about the concept of saving and delayed gratification.
Discuss the difference between needs and wants with your child, and have them sort items into categories. This activity helps them understand the importance of making wise financial decisions based on their priorities.
What to consider before deciding on a learning activity
What your child likes to do
The number one way to keep your child engaged is to ensure the activity plays into what they like to do, whether that's running around outside, reading or doing arts and crafts.
Their strengths and weaknesses
Choose a range of activities that both play to their strengths and tackle elements they find challenging. This way, kids stay engaged and learn at the same time.
What will your child learn?
It pays to mix up activities, so your child learns various skills. Doing this also helps you work out what engages them (a sign of future or current interests) and their skill level across a range of skill sets.
Whether they are having fun
School is tiring for kids, so any activity you start at home should be fun, so they don't begin to see it as an extension of school.
What would your child like to do
Your child can often give you an indication of the area they are interested in if you allow them to choose an activity. Give choices within choices to help them decide. For example, if they want to do arts and crafts, ask if they'd like to make something or draw.
How can GoHenry help?
A prepaid kids debit card like GoHenry enables your child to start learning about money and the digital economy. Children as young as six years can sign up for a card and have their pocket money paid into it weekly. This way, they can learn to save money via savings goals, earn for chores through tasks and see how money grows.