0-2 Years

Simple shape puzzle

This simple DIY puzzle is so easy to make and so much fun for little ones! Our tots loved matching the cut-out shapes to the outline on the board, and playing it together with you builds their language and comparison skills.  

You’ll need:

  • Foam board
  • Marker
  • Foam paper in different colours
  • Scissors
  • Foam-board cutter
  • Ruler

No-mess messy play

We know babies love painting – but we also know we don’t love the clearing up! Squirting paint into freezer bags is a no-mess alternative; stick it to a window and let them swirl the colours around, for sensory play that teaches them about colours. 

You’ll need:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Sandwich bag with zip lock

Ball colour station

Little 19-month-old Zach loved matching up the coloured balls with the coloured holes and dropping them through – it’s a fun way to teach babies about colours that also develops their motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination.

  • Foam board or cardboard box
  • Coloured balls
  • Acrylic paint
  • Can or bottle to use as a circular stencil
  • Cutter

2-3 Years

Fun with numbers

As little ones learn more about numbers and begin to recognise their shapes, using objects they love – like toy cars or cards in the shape of ice-creams – can help bring it to life for them! These games are great for developing number-recognition and matching skills

You'll need:

  • Printable ice cream artwork (you can find one on Google) and paper to print it on
  • Card
  • Scissors
  • Glue to stick the ice cream shapes to the card

You’ll need:

  • Foam board
  • Marker
  • Toy cars
  • Clear tape
  • White paper to write the numbers of the car

3-4 Years

Fishing for letters

Every kid loves a bit of water play, and three-year-old Noah had a great time fishing for the alphabet in this easy, educational activity that builds on a child’s familiarity with letters and sounds when you play it together.

You’ll need:

  • Plastic container
  • Sieve
  • Toy alphabet
  • Water
  • Bowl

Salty ABCs

Getting pre-schoolers to copy letters by writing them in salt adds a sensory element to the ABCs that kids will love!

You’ll need:

  • Shoe box or tray
  • Marker and paper
  • Salt, sugar or sand
  • Paint brush


Read more: 

5 kids' craft ideas that recycle everyday items

7 ways to get your kids closer to nature in the UAE

The best outdoor playdate hotspots recommended by real UAE mums

Photos by Aiza Castillo-Domingo/Istock, Styling by Melany Demetillo-Reyes