Cognitive Activities For Preschoolers

Working on cognitive abilities from an early age is the best way to help young children’s brains think, read, learn, reason, pay attention and remember.

Today we are sharing 19 preschool cognitive development activities that are so much fun.

Image shows a compilation of cognitive activities for preschoolers, from different sources.
Let’s promote cognitive growth!

Top Cognitive Activities For Preschoolers

The human brain is a very complex and great tool that we need to train since early childhood. Thanks to it, we have developed all sorts of skills: from social skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, language skills, impulse control, and other critical skills.

That’s why it’s so important for preschool children to do different activities that promote cognitive function and critical thinking in a fun way. So, to help you with your child’s cognitive development, we put together different ways to enhance these important cognitive skills from a young age.

Let’s get started!

Image shows a printable with instructions on how to draw Mickey mouse. From Kids Activities Blog
Let’s start with a simple activity.

1. How To Draw Mickey Mouse

Drawing is a skill that develops cognitive skills, as well as the ability to perceive, process, and utilize visual information. So, learning how to draw Mickey Mouse is an easy way to work on the cognitive development of preschoolers!

Image shows a birds crossword puzzle with a colorful background. Idea from Kids Activities Blog
Let’s work on language acquisition!

2. Free Printable Crossword Puzzle for Kids Featuring Birds

Simple puzzles are also another great way to help kids with their cognitive skills. Use this free bird crossword puzzle to build spelling skills and new vocabulary while having fun.

Image shows a printable with instructions on how to draw a fish. From Kids Activities Blog
It’s time to learn how to draw a fish!

3. How To Draw a Fish

Drawing small pictures, like fish, is also a fun activity you can do with little prep that has great benefits! Learn how to draw a fish and create a picture filled with fish friends.

Image shows a matching activity for preschoolers from Kids Activities Blog
Here’s a fun matching game!

4. Fun Unicorn Matching Worksheets For Preschoolers

Download and print this matching worksheet inspired by unicorns (what preschooler doesn’t love unicorns?!). They work on important skills like visual discrimination skills.

Image shows a rainbow matching game for preschoolers. Idea from Kids Activities Blog
Here’s another funtastic matching game!

5. Rainbow matching game

Playing matching games in pre-school will enhance children’s pattern recognition skills, as well as color recognition and other important skills. Besides being good for cognitive development, this rainbow matching game is also super adorable!

Image shows a day of the dead matching game for preschoolers. Idea from Kids Activities Blog
A great activity for preschool age.

6. Simple and fun Day of the Dead matching games

Being able to match images and explain why they go together is important to improve concentration, memory, and visual spatial intelligence. These Day of the Dad matching games is also a great way to learn about the beautiful holiday.

Image shows a hidden object game to be printed. From Kids Activities Game
Can you find all of the objects?

7. Free Printable Hidden Object Pictures Puzzle – Sharks

We love hidden objects puzzles because they are part coloring page and part printable game that works great for grade level preschool, pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade.

Image shows colored pom poms for a matching activity. From Hi Mama
We love how versatile pom poms are.

8. Rainbow Color Sorting Activity

Sorting activities are something that infants love to do at a very young age. Sorting by color, size, and shape allows young children to develop math skills that they use later in life. From Hi Mama.

9. Body Color Sorting

It’s important for kids to know how to recognize and sort different shapes, but colors are also important. This is a great way to explore skin colors while also developing a child’s matching skills. Simply print out the printables and follow the instructions for the game! From Hi Mama.

Image shows a body color sorting game by Hi Mama
Sorting is an important part of cognitive development.

10. Fill Your Hands!

Simply trace an outline of your child’s hand and cut it out of a piece of paper. Then, explore with your child what fits inside their hand, and talk about concepts like sizes, amounts, etc. This will help with their communication skills too. From Hi Mama.

Image shows a popsicle stick puzzle. From toddler at play
You’ll love how easy this activity is to set up.

11. Popsicle Stick Shape Puzzles

Puzzles are awesome for children’s brain development, especially for improving cognitive skills, like thinking, predicting, analyzing, and comparing, and they all play an important role. These puzzles only take 5 minutes and are pretty inexpensive to make. From Toddler At Play.

Image shows a kid playing with a stick shapes activity. From Toddler at play
Let’s focus on colors.

12. Building Stick Shapes Activity

This Building Stick Shapes Activity is yet another super easy and quick to set-up activity that will literally require less than 5 minutes of prep and only a few basic materials. From Toddler At Play.

Image shows a color hunt game with everyday objects. from Sandbox academy
This is one of the best cognitive development activities!

13. Brown Bear Color Hunt

This activity is going to get your preschooler moving as they search the house for toys in every color. As an added benefit, they’ll be cleaning up at the same time, so you’ll be receiving extra help! From Sandbox Academy.

Image shows various lego stack up on top of each other for a math activity. From Frugal Fun 4 boys
Counting is a really important skill for young kids.

14. Two Preschool Math Activities with Duplo Legos

Let’s build some towers with Duplos and then help the kids count from 1-12. They make learning so much more fun and they won’t even know they are learning. From Frugal Fun 4 Boys.

Image shows a kid with a DIY dice, a sheet with numbers, and a dot marker. Idea from Busy toddler
Let’s do an easy DIY too.

15. Roll & Cross Math Game

This roll & cross math game is a great way to practice addition in a fun way. Plus, you can reuse the dice for many other games! From Busy Toddler.

Image shows a kid's hand playing with pom poms and cupcake liners with numbers in them. Idea from laughing kids learn
We have even more counting activities for the little ones.

16. Simple counting activity for children

This easy activity will help children build and consolidate their understanding of identifying numbers and how it’s represented using pompoms and cupcake liners. From Laughing Kids Learn.

Image shows a rainbow sensory activity. from And next comes L
We had to add a sensory activity too into the mix.

17. Rainbow Stone Sensory Soup

Just by adding a few materials you can transform water into colorful sensory soups that encourage fine motor play. This rainbow water sensory bin is a great idea that will be a hit with kids. From And Next Comes L.

Image shows a toddler with a hammer toy and letters on a table. Idea from Elemenop kids
You won’t believe how much fun this activity is.

18. Bang The Box Preschool Activity

This activity for preschoolers who like to bang and explore cause and effect can be adapted for learning letters, shapes or colors. From Elemeno-P Kids.

Image shows a toddler solving a snowflake puzzle over a green table. Idea from Money Saving Mom.
It doesn’t have to be winter for kids to play with (fake) snowflakes.

19. Busy Bag Idea: Felt Snowflakes

It’s a simple idea to put together, only requires a small amount of felt, and the snowflake building possibilities are almost endless. It’s great for critical thinking! From Money Saving Mom.

Looking for more activities for your preschooler? Try these:

What was your favorite cognitive activity for preschoolers?

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