Throughout the month of May we continue to explore fun outdoor activities and preschool themes as we wind down spring. Here you’ll find a wide variety of engaging May preschool activities for little learners.
The free printable May kids’ activity calendar is full of fun things to do with kids at home or in the classroom. Use it yourself, or send a copy to parents so they have a little inspiration for hands-on fun and learning. Note that this activity calendar includes Butterflies as the first week. This theme was listed as the last week on the five-week April calendar and is intended to be used for the week that ends April and begins May.
Read over the brief descriptions of the May activities below. Then download your own free printable May activity calendar, and you’ll have a full month of activity ideas at your fingertips. The free download includes links to each post so you can click through online for more information, and you can also print it out to use as a quick reference.
We’re also always creating new activity ideas, and I know you want to stay up to date on those was well. In addition to an introduction to the activities originally included in the free printable calendar, I also add new activities we create related to each theme so you’ll have more options to choose from. Those are listed below each week’s original activity suggestions but are not reflected in the free printable calendar.
For some themes we have full theme planning guides and printable lesson plans. If those are available for a particular theme, there are also links to those resources included with the related weekly theme.
May Preschool Activity Themes
For our May preschool activities we’re exploring the following topics:
Week 1: Butterflies (continued from the end of April)
Week 2: Flowers
Week 3: Birds
Week 4: Ducks
Week 5: Process Art
Note: The free printable does not include dates. Simply pick and choose which theme you want to do for each week in May, and change the order as necessary.
Week 1: Butterflies
- MAKE A BUTTERFLY SNACK: One day for snack this week cut up fruits and vegetables into shapes and invite kids to make caterpillars or butterflies. Matchstick carrots and celery work great for the body. Strawberries, orange segments, peach or plum slices, and raisins are all helpful too!
- ACT OUT THE LIFE CYCLE OF A BUTTERFLY: Have kids crawl like a caterpillar, gobble up food, form a chrysalis and then emerge into a butterfly and flutter around the room
- GO ON A BUTTERFLY HUNT: Head outdoors to see if you can spot any butterflies. If there’s time, stop by a local flower garden, too.
Butterfly Activities from the Free Printable April Activity Calendar
Caterpillar Egg Counting Mats – Create caterpillar egg counting mats to practice number recognition, counting, and fine motor skills as we learn about the life cycle of a butterfly.
Caterpillar Color Matching – This color matching activity is a tactile way to combine color recognition with fine motor practice as children will identify, sort, and use their fingers as pincers to push the colorful beads into the play dough caterpillar.
Butterfly Garden Play Dough – Gather play dough, small butterfly toys, and loose parts and you have everything you need to build your own play dough butterfly garden!
Spring Flower Butterfly Craft – Flower petals can be used for so many learning activities and crafts. Here we use them to create a beautiful butterfly craft.
Fluttering Butterfly Craft – Turn basic craft supplies into fluttering butterflies. Wear them as a rings, or use them as puppets for pretend play.
Butterfly Theme Preschool Lesson Plans
Butterfly theme lesson plans also available for home preschool.
Week 2: Flowers
- GO ON A NATURE WALK: See what kinds of flowers you can find in your neighborhood. Take the time to look closely at some of them. Discuss the different sizes, scents, and textures.
- INVESTIGATE A FLOWER: Find a flowering plant in your area. Observe it. Draw and write about it in a science journal. Discuss and label the parts.
- COUNTING FLOWER PETALS: Gather some flowers that have fallen to the ground. Take time to remove the petals and see if you can count how many petals are on each flower. Compare the amounts.
Flower Theme Activities from the Free Printable May Activity Calendar
Flower Squish Bag– This spring flower sensory squish bag encourages creativity by creating your very own flower garden while weaving in some early math skills too!
Flower Garden Play Dough Invitation– Mix up some black play dough “soil”. Then grab some fresh (or fake if you prefer) flowers and sunflower seeds for this flower garden play dough invitation.
Flower Petal Sticky Wall Math– For our flower theme we made a couple of sticky walls. First we made an open-ended art invitation with the sticky wall and different kinds of flower petals for the kids to make their own art and designs.🎨 Then we set up this math sticky wall…all the same materials except this time we drew large numbers on the contact paper for the kids to use flower petals and build the numbers. It was a fun way to combine sensory exploration and number recognition!
Play Dough Counting Garden– This spring play dough invitation is quick to set up. And it’s a great way to practice counting and learn about the parts of a flower.
Flower Petal Water Play– Water play is always engaging and soothing for my kids. As you wind down your flower theme hold onto those flowers that are starting to wilt. Rather than letting them sit there, put them to use with this fun and easy flower petal sensory play.
Flower Theme Preschool Lesson Plans
Flower theme lesson plans also available for home preschool.
Week 3: Birds
- KEEP A BIRD JOURNAL: Make a simple science journal by folding a few pieces of blank paper in half and stapling it into a book. As you go out and about this week look for birds and have your little one draw the different kinds of birds you see. Extend the learning by researching a little about some of the birds you find.
- FEED THE BIRDS: Make a DIY bird feeder to hang in a tree at home or head to a local pond to feed the ducks.
- BUILD A LIFE-SIZE PRETEND PLAY BIRD NEST: It’s sort of like a fort, and kids will have tons of fun pretending to be birds and caring for their baby birds in their “nest.” Keep it simple and just make a ring of blankets and pillows, or get more elaborate and use a play pool, cardboard box or something similar.
Bird Activities from the Free Printable May Activity Calendar
Bird Nest Sensory Bin– After heading outside to scout for our own materials to make a bird nest we created this simple sensory bin to continue learning about birds and engage in pretend play.
Bird Nest Play Dough Invitation– Use loose parts and play dough to create bird nests. Then sit back to watch hours of pretend play and creative thinking unfold.
Free Printable Bird Watching Scavenger Hunt– For this activity we focus on how the birds are moving and weave in a bit of math along the way by practicing making tallies, counting, and comparing. It also encourages kids to observe closely in order to spot birds in nature.
Bird Feather Color Matching– Grab some play dough and matching feathers. We’re going to be practicing color recognition and sorting by color while working those fine motor muscles.
ABC Bird Egg Hunt– Kids love this fun ABC game that combines letter recognition practice with pretend play.
Bird Theme Preschool Lesson Plans
Bird theme lesson plans also available for home preschool.
Week 4: Ducks
- FEED THE DUCKS: Head to a local pond to watch the ducks and feed them. But note that bread and crackers aren’t the best options. Instead take some defrosted frozen peas or corn, halved grapes, chopped greens, or oats.
- PLAY DUCK DUCK GOOSE!
- LEARN SOME DUCK FACTS: Do a quick internet search for “Fun Facts About Ducks for Kids” and see what interesting tidbits you can learn together.
Duck Activities from the Free Printable May Activity Calendar
Duck Pond Water Play– This simple duck pond sensory play is a fun way for kids to engage in pretend play and water fun with a duck theme.
Duck Race Fine Motor Play– It’s time for some duck racing! Although kids of various ages will enjoy this activity, it will most likely be a toddler favorite, especially if your kids love to play with spray bottles.
Duck Pond Addition Game– This duck pond math activity is all about making it a bit more fun to memorize those math facts. It can also easily be modified for kids learning to recognize numbers.
Duck Pond Play Dough Invitation-Gather loose parts and set up your own play dough duck ponds for pretend play.
Duck Math-Practice making ten in this hands-on math game.
Pond Theme Preschool Lesson Plans
Pond theme lesson plans also available for home preschool.
Week 5: Process Art
- NATURE ART: Head outdoors to collect small items from nature. Twigs, flower petals, small flowers, shells, and pebbles all work great! Once you’re back indoors let kids create with them freely. Use them as loose parts to create with over and over again, or glue favorite creations to a canvas of choice (paper, cardstock, cardboard, styrofoam, etc).
- FREE PAINTING WITH KITCHEN TOOLS: Go through your kitchen drawers and grab some items that will make fun designs (potato mashers, forks, spatulas, sponges, etc). Then let kids use paint and experiment with the different designs they can make. (A large roll of white paper can be great for these bigger projects!)
- BODY PART PAINTING: This one is messy…perfect for a summer afternoon! Grab that large roll of white paper again. This time let kids use their body parts to stamp paint! Painting with their feet is always fun, but you can also experiment with handprints, fingerprints, and elbows. After this one we just hose everybody down or set up a small baby pool!
Process Art Activities from the Free Printable May Activity Calendar
Slinky Painting– Did you play with slinkys when you were a kid? Me too! I loved them, but I never used them this way!
Bleeding Tissue Paper Art– Have you used bleeding tissue paper before? It’s a bit like magic, and the art creations are GORGEOUS!
Ping Pong Painting– Combining movement and art is always a win in my opinion. Have you ever played with DIY shooters to launch things like pompoms, marshmallows, ping pong balls and more? That was our inspiration for this ping pong shooter painting!
Yarn Stamp Painting-I love the bold patterns made by this yarn stamp art process.
Flower Garden Stamp Painting– Do you have pipe cleaners at home? Use them to make stamps for process art garden project.
A to Z Process Art Ideas
Read more about using process art to reinforce letter recognition.
Get the Free Printable May Activity Calendar
Note: Updated version is slightly different from the one pictured here. It includes five weeks for May and does not have dates listed so that it can be used again and again from year to year.
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