Home Schooling Activities for 5 Years Old

What's Covered

A majority of parents are full of fear after realizing that this is the particular year that their five years old are getting enrolled in kindergarten. You ask yourself such questions as: am I well qualified to help my child know how to read? Do I remember how to structure math problems? How do I schedule the learning days?

It is natural for you to have those questions, especially if it’s your first-time doing homeschooling. But you can view it as an adventure as seen in the activities discussed hereunder.

Educational and learning homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Playing with sounds in games and letters enhances the learning process of a child. Some of the educational and learning activities for children who are 5 years old include:

Word Board

This is a simple home school activity for a five-year-old that uses readily available materials.

How do you play it?

The materials you will use here are a bulletin board and words written down on pieces of paper. These words that you write down should be familiar to your child. Your child might have heard these words during playtimes or meal times either at school, at home, or anywhere else they had an interaction with. Examples of such words could be a car, mum, bread, rain, lion, bus, etc. The next step will be to put a picture next to each word to indicate the meaning.

This activity improves the reading ability of a child.

Math activities

Math is a subject that a majority of people struggle with during their early years. However, introducing the concept when a child is young increases their chances of understanding it. Here you shall learn some fun math activities that will help your child learn and understand the mathematical concepts.

  1. Skip counting

This is a simple math activity for a five-year-old.

Draw or stick pictures of items such as fruits, cars, or insects on cards. This should help your child count in twos, threes, fours, etc. For example, while skip counting in twos, draw or stick two bananas in the first card, four bananas on the second card, six bananas on the third one, and so on.

  • Dice game

This is an activity that can be played with items that are easily available in the house.

The items that you need here include some game dice, an ice-cube tray, kitchen tissue, and whiteboard markers. Pick one dice and insert it in one of the ice cubes holes. Put another dice in the adjacent ice cube hole. Make minus, plus, and equal-to signs in the spaces between the holes with a marker. Assist your child to subtract or add the numbers on the dices and obtain a correct answer.

Marbled 6 Sided RPG Game Polyhedral Dice D6 Set of 10 by SkullSplitter Dice
These are the perfect dice for your child since they are easily readable, they are in perfect sizes for the small hands and have an amazing finishing that will make your child always eager to play with them during math activities.

This activity helps a child improve their basic arithmetic skills.

  • Fun foods

Children love candies. Any activity involving a child’s most favorite cadies will help them learn some basic math.

The items required for this activity are colorful candies, cookies/crackers, and cream frosting.

Your next step will be to construct a fun shape using a cracker, for example, a bus. Decorate the bus made of crackers with candies, for example, you can place candies on the door and the windows of the bus. To ensure that the crackers and the candies stick to each other, apply cream frosting in between them to act as an adhesive.

Make other shapes with all the cookies available following the procedure here above.

This activity teaches your child the skills of addition and counting.

  • Addition with pictures

You can use some colorful and vibrant pictures to teach your child about addition.

The items you will need include colorful and bright pictures that have definitive patterns. An example of such a picture could be one with a flower that has well-defined leaves and petals or, a picture of a zebra with stripes.

Pick a picture of a flower among the pictures you have. Ask your child to count the leaves and the petals. Have the child calculate the defined features in the other pictures. You can take the counting a bit further by, for example, taking two photos of different zebras and asking the child to count their stripes in total.

This activity helps children learn how to do addition without using numbers.

  • Abacus

One of the greatest ways of teaching mathematical concepts is by the use of the Abacus. Children learn fast through colors, touch, and feel. These make an easy imprint in a child’s mind. Therefore, objects have become the most effective methods of teaching children. Now try and imagine how math will be an easy subject while using objects! Abacus is a fun and easy way for any child to learn and comprehend math.[1]

What is an abacus?

Abacus is derived from the Latin word “abax” meaning a table or a flat surface. In today’s world, the abacus has undergone tremendous evolving into a wooden item that has plastic strings or wooden beads. The abacus that forefathers used was just a flat tablet or board that carried stones or shells to aid in calculations. A metal abacus was only available in Rome during ancient times and it is similar to the one currently used in the world. The origin of the abacus is countries like China, Europe, and Russia. But its particular time of origin remains unknown.

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Melissa & Doug Wooden Abacus- Classic Wooden Educational Counting Toy with 100 Beads
This abacus will make your child an expert in solving additions, subtractions, divisions, and multiplications.

The history of the abacus

Abacus had been a calculating tool way long before written numbers had been invented. Whenever people would want to communicate calculations with each other, they would use an abacus. Though this is an ancient form of calculating, this method is still used in the current world to introduce the math concept to children.

Benefits of an abacus to children

The commonly known benefits of the abacus include:

  • Since it is a requirement for information to be retained in a child’s brain, the abacus ensures that this is achieved through developing and strengthening a child’s memory.
  • An abacus will not only require mental cognition but also some particular motor skill functions, that will activate various parts of the brain.
  • It enables the brain to visualize calculations instead of just seeing them merely as words. This creates the basis for learning in the future through visualization.
  • Using an abacus to get a sum is no small activity. This helps in improving the level of concentration in a child.
  • The basic mathematical calculations such as addition and subtraction become effectively learned through an abacus.
  •  Research has shown that advanced mathematics can effectively be solved by an abacus user than a non-user.
  • It increases the confidence of a child as their math skills increases.
  • The continuous usage of an abacus by your child results in the development of a mental abacus that will make solving math an even easier task. The visualization method helps them obtain solutions to everyday occurrences.

How will your child use an abacus?

There are many activities that you can perform using an abacus to train your child. The choice of these activities and games depends on a child’s age. The games involved are easy to understand.

What do you need?

You will need a colorful abacus, interest, and patience.

The “Match my move” activity

  1. The first step will be to place all the beads in the rows on one side. This means that half side of the abacus will be empty.
  2. Have your child observe you in this next step. Take one bead and move it slowly to the next empty side. Ask the child to repeat it after you.
  3. Move several beads in the second row and ask your child to do so as well. Ensure that the beads they shift to the other side are the exact number as yours.
  4. Repeat the process and keenly ensure that your child doesn’t make any mistakes in counting the right number of beads to shift.
  5. To make the activity more interesting, don’t restrict the shifting of the beads to a particular row. Let the child work on whichever row they choose.
  6. If your child has mastered the game, shift sides to advance the game.
  7. Play the game slowly especially when the child is not learning fast. You can also consider introducing sound by using a voicing out the numbers while counting.

The counting game activity

  1. Move the beads towards either way for example from right to left. Do this in no hurry to help your child put in mind the number of beads that you have shifted and how many have been left behind.
  2. Ensure that there is space in the middle of every row to facilitate any required shifting.
  3. Ask your child to shift to the other side a particular number of beads. Ask your child to give you a total count of the beads that remained behind.
  4. Move some beads to the center and have the child count them

The basics of the abacus

The main basics of the abacus include ensuring that every bead is correctly moved by the child, every column should have a value attached to it, and moving one bead across is counted as one while moving two beads is counted as two, etc.

Teaching addition using an abacus

There are several levels of additions that can be solved by using an abacus.

Addition

Here, every bead is assigned a value. Every bead is assigned the value of one at first. Here is an example: 4+3=7. Using an abacus, this example can be solved as follows: move all the beads to the left, shift four beads to the right, place your finger after the fourth bead, move the next three beads to the right, remove your finger and ask your child to move the last three beads to the other four and get the total which is seven.

Advanced additions

Abacus is similar to Vedic mathematics, it has more to do with strategies than counting. These strategies form the basis for evolved ways of thinking, memory activation, and other features of mental ability. While using an abacus to solve advanced additions, you can use the following simple strategies:

The strategy of 10s

Example: 5+9=14. Ask the child to move five and nine beads from the first and second rows respectively, ask them to shift one bead from the row that has five beads and add one bead to the row that has 9 beads. So, in the first row, you have four beads while on the second you have ten. It’s now very simple to get the sum because of the presence of the number ten! The answer is 14.

The strategy of two 5s

Example: 8+7=15. Shift 8 bids and 7 beads in the first two rows respectively, put the space of a finger after the last three beads of the first row put a figure space after the last two beads of the second row. Now you have a five in the first row separated from three beads and you have a five as well in the second row separated from two beds. Add the two fives to get 10, add 3 to 2 to get 5, then get the total which will be 10+5=15, and there you’ve got the answer! This strategy can be used with any number higher than five.

How do you teach subtraction using an abacus?

This is easier than additions.

Example: 7-3=4. Ask the child to move seven beads to the right. From that same group of seven, ask them to move three beads backward to the rest of the beads. Ask the child to count the remaining beads and the answer will be four.

Using an abacus to teach money

You can use any currency to teach your child but in this case, it’s the US dollar used. Abacus will help your child learn a currency’s value and its multiples.

  1. Put on display the seven types of paper denominations of the US dollar i.e., 1$, 2$, 5$,10$, 20$, 50$, and 100$. 
  2. For an abacus that has a total of 100 beads, 10 rows, and 10 beads on each row, part the beads into two halves. Each half consisting of fifty beads.
  3. Allocate the value of one dollar to one bead.
  4. Now show your child one dollar and explain to them that it represents one bead, two beads equal to two dollars, five beads equal to five dollars. Two sets of five beads on the first row will represent ten dollars. The whole section of fives amounts to fifty dollars and the total of the two halves will represent one hundred dollars.
  5. Once the child masters this, you can place the value of each bead at ten dollars and repeat the exercise.

Using an abacus to teach multiplication

As a parent, you might have mastered the multiplication tables. However, the abacus uses a different approach. It shows that multiplication is a sum of a number maybe twice, thrice, etc.

Example: 4*3=12. Ask the child to move four beads in the first row. Let them move four more beads in the second and third-row respectively. Ask them to get the sum of all the beads moved and twelve will be the answer. So, the child gets to know that 4*3 is the same as 4+4+4.

Teaching place value using an abacus

Assign the value of 1 to each bead in the first row, value 10 to each bead on the second row, and value 100 to each bead on the third row.

Constructing an abacus at home for your child

You can either choose to purchase an abacus or make it at home. Constructing it in the presence of your child might pass some craft skills to the child. The following items are required: four large craft or candy sticks, five trim popsicle or skewer sticks, fifty beads of different colors (ten beads of each color), and glue.

What is the procedure?

  • Mark five lines of equal distance on one candy stick and use the glue to attach the five popsicle sticks.
  • Apply glue on another candy stick and place it on the popsicles in such a way that the popsicle sticks are sandwiched between the two candy sticks.
  • Give it some time to dry
  • Place the popsicle sticks in a horizontal standing position, the pen ends being on top.
  • On each row, insert ten beads of the same color
  • Use the remaining two candy sticks to close the open end. Again, ensure that the ends of the popsicle sticks are sandwiched between these two candy sticks
  • Once all the beads are inserted and the ends dried up, your simple abacus is ready!

Butterfly life cycle activity

In this activity, you can use shaped pasta or craft paper.

Begin by drawing the life cycle of a butterfly on chart paper. Using the pasta shapes or craft paper, construct the images of the egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and finally the butterfly.

This helps a child understand how a butterfly evolves through its life cycle.

Junior scrabble

The structure of junior scrabble resembles that of regular scrabble. The only difference is that the former is designed for young children.

Here, you have a board that has words already printed on it. Your five-year-old child will match the tiled letters with the letters written on the board.

Junior scrabbles helps improve a child’s vocabulary.

Art and craft homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Art and craft activities comprise of such activities as:

Origami

Your child will enjoy immensely participating in origami or paper folding activities.

You can either use colored origami paper, old white sheets that are plain and colored with crayons, or craft paper. Help your child know how to fold the paper to come up with amazing shapes such as flowers, boats, airplanes, birds, etc.

This activity helps a child improve on spatial reasoning.[2]

Craft Box

Craft box is a fun activity for five-year-old children.

Fill up the craft box with such items as safety-scissors, pipe cleaners, colorful yarn, craft eyes, colored mini-puff balls, felt squares, ice-cream sticks, and tape. Using either of the items in the craft box, your child might draw their garden, the poultry house, or anything that hits their mind.

This activity helps a child to be imaginative and creative.

Squeeze paint

This is an activity that is widely loved by children as it gives room to their imaginations to go wild.

Pour some plain white glue into some empty plastic containers that are squeezable, and add different watercolors to the bottles. Ask your child to squeeze out the colored glue while making different patterns onto a white chart paper and leave it to dry. The result will be a colorful display.

This activity will teach your child about colors and craft.

Art using grains and seed

This is an activity that can keep a kid engaged for hours since it is full of fun.

On a plain chart paper, draw the shape of anything, for example, a hen, crocodile, hut, or a cow. Spread some glue on the shape and have the child fill it with grains to make it more appealing. Examples of grains you can use include maize, beans, peas, rice, etc.

This activity helps in the development of better coordination between the hands and the eyes as the child picks up the grains and sticks them on the rightful places on the drawn shape.

The craft of parts of a plant

Using ice-cream sticks, markers, and a colored paper, construct the image of a plant. The next step will be to label all the parts of the plant i.e., stem, branches, leaves, flowers, etc… then teach the child about the plant parts.

This activity teaches a child about the various parts of a plant.

Fine & gross motor homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Some of the activities that facilitate the development of fine and gross motor skills in a child include:

Lego City

In this activity, your child will use their hands, fingers, and wrists and as a result, their gross motor and fine skills will be developed.

Use Legos, toy cars, regular building blocks, airplanes, trucks, and small human-shaped and animal toys to construct a city. You can allow your child to use an entire room, this will include the study table and their bed. The child can construct a parking site for the toy cars and tracks, make trains, railway lines, and railway crossing. Let the child put the various shapes of animals and people at different points in their toy city.

By using their muscles to perform this activity, children get their fine and gross motor skills developed.

Barbie Dress-up

Dolls are some of the favorite items that children love to play with. According to a statistic published by Emma Bedford in August 2020, dolls, games, and toys worth 20.13 billion dollars were imported into the United States in the year 2019.

Come up with an idea such as a holiday at the beach or a house party. Ask your child to dress up the dolls in a way that matches the theme of the occasions. Let them create stories relating to each activity that each doll will be involved in. They can also braid or comb the dolls’ hair and decorate it with clips that are part of the dolls’ accessories.

Barbie Travel Chelsea Doll, Multicolor
Your child is going to love dressing up this doll, packing the doll’s toys, sunglasses, and phone for a travel theme. While playing with this doll, your child will imagine all they want to become.

Dressing up the dolls as well are making their hair are some of the activities that enhance a child’s fine motor skills.

Sorting colored candy

This is an excellent activity for the development of a child’s motor skills.

Provide your child will a full bowl of colored gems or jelly beans. Ask them to do the sorting based on colors while placing them into different cups.

This activity teaches a child how to differentiate colors. The other benefit of this activity is that it improves a child’s fine motor skills since they use their fingers and hands to sort out the candies.

Art using petals and leaves

Walk to the garden with your child and have them pick different petals, leaves, and small sticks. Now draw scenery, a tree or flowers. Spread some glue on the drawing and stick the stem, branches, leaves, and petals to form a beautiful tree.

Bubble art using straws

Children will love blowing bubbles in this activity.

Fill some cups with the solution of mild soap and add a few drops of different types of food color to it for a colorful liquid soap. Using a straw, ask the child to pull some soap solution and blow the bubbles into an empty cup. Ask the child to be extra cautious not to swallow the soap solution. Cover the cup with a white card. As the bubbles burst, a colorful imprint and beautiful patterns get formed on the card.

When a child uses their hands, fingers, and mouth to do this activity, their motor skills get improved.

Montessori homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Below are some Montessori activities for the young child:

Moving things

Young kids are lovers of vehicles. Your child will be constructively engaged for hours through this activity.

Get the child various toy vehicles such as buses, cars, trains, trucks, etc. allow them to play with those toys.

9 Pack Cars Toys for 1 2 3 4 5 Years Old Toddlers Boys and Girls Gift
This set of toys will ignite your child’s imaginary skills, enhance hand-eye coordination and stimulate curiosity. They will also promote recognition stability in the child.

This form of activity enlightens a child on the various means of transport and their different uses.

Animal habitats

Have a collection of such animal toys as giraffes, apes, lions, gazelle, arctic foxes, elephants, and so on. Assist your child in using balls and cotton to construct an Arctic habitat that you will cover with icebergs and snow. Place such toys as arctic foxes and polar bears in the habitat. Help your child understand how such animals manage to live in such places. Following the same idea, you can as well make an Amazonian or an African jungle.

Click N' Play Mini Animal Figurine Counters Playset, Assorted Set of 60
This animal toy set helps children learn about wildlife as well as develop their imaginative skills.

This activity teaches children about animals and their habitats.

Studying colors

Start teaching your child about one or two colors, once they master them, add some more gradually. For example, if you are teaching on the red color, present such items as the red rose, strawberry, etc. to your child.

This activity teaches a child about the colors that are there in nature.[3]

Indoor homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Below are several indoor activities you can help your child carry out at home.

Storytelling

Here you can use different facial expressions and voices to add more fun to a story and give it an animated touch to make it interesting.

This activity strengthens the bond between you and your child and makes them love reading.

Watching favorite shows

Watch with your child any favorite movie that is animated such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

The joyful and sad instances in the movie will enlighten your child about emotions and constructive ways of handling them.

Building blocks

Provide your child with some building blocks or legos. Ask them to build different images with them.

dreambuilderToy 108 Piece Magnetic Tiles, Magnet Building Blocks, STEM Building logs for Girls and Boys Birthday Gift (108 Pieces)
These magnetic building blocks will improve your child’s creativity, critical thinking, and brain development.

This activity will help the child understand the aspects of balance and stability and improve the coordination between their eyes and hands.

Outdoor homeschooling activities for 5 years old

Below are several outdoor activities for a five years old child.

Sandpit

Kids love to play with sad. Therefore, your child will find this activity full of fun.

Have some sand somewhere in the garden and let your child build castles and shapes with it. You can also bring in some other children to play with the child as they will identify with each other’s works easily.

This activity will teach your child about the texture and the feel of both wet and dry sand. It will also teach them about sharing and proper ways of playing with others.

Bug hunting

Go out with your child to hunt for bugs. You can pick insects in the garden and teach your child about them.

This activity builds up confidence in children especially the ones that fear insects.

Running through sprinklers

 Put the garden sprinklers on. Allow your child to get wet by running through them.

This will teach your child about water and balance.

Playpark

Take your children to a play park to interact and play with other children.

This teaches the children how to socialize well with others.

Gardening

Go to the garden with your child and let them help you with planting or weeding.

This activity will teach five years old about plants and soil and how to take care of both.[4]

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t be anxious anymore about homeschooling your five years old child. With the above simple activities, you will be helping your child learn about so many things. Some of the tips that will ensure that your child has an easily flowing homeschooling experience include, creating breaks during activities and allowing your child to interact with other children. The following books will ensure that your child will find learning to be an interesting experience: My Kindergarten Workbook, Number Tracing Book for Preschoolers and Kids Ages 3-5 and Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids.


[1] Frank, Michael C., and David Barner. “Representing exact number visually using mental abacus.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 141.1 (2012): 134.

[2] Cllaudia, Ester Steffi, Ajeng Ayu Widiastuti, and Mozes Kurniawan. “Origami Game for Improving Fine Motor Skills for Children 4-5 Years Old in Gang Buaya Village in Salatiga.” Jurnal Obsesi: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini 2.2 (2018): 143-148.

[3] Bhatia, Punum, Alan Davis, and Ellen Shamas-Brandt. “Educational gymnastics: The effectiveness of Montessori practical life activities in developing fine motor skills in kindergartners.” Early Education and Development 26.4 (2015): 594-607.

[4] Palmberg, Irmeli E., and Jari Kuru. “Outdoor activities as a basis for environmental responsibility.” The journal of environmental education 31.4 (2000): 32-36.

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Author

Tiffany Biondi

Tiffany Biondi

Mother of 4 kids, Tiffany is a certified childcarer and during her free time, she write posts in thebabychoice to share her hands on experience and knowledge.

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