Play-Based Learning Activities for Preschoolers

A preschool’s first and foremost duty is to provide an environment where students can thrive fully. Play-based learning activities for preschoolers can provide a catalyst to boost students’ capabilities. Here is given the list of such activities;

1. The Happy Mirror Activity: Play-Based Learning for Preschoolers

The Happy Mirror activity is a powerful and uplifting exercise that promotes self-love, self-acceptance, and positive thinking. This is one of the play-based learning activities for preschoolers that involves looking into a mirror and intentionally focusing on positive qualities, achievements, and affirmations to boost self-esteem and foster a healthier self-image. By practicing this activity regularly, individuals can develop a more positive mindset, improve their self-confidence, and enhance their overall well-being.

happy mirror activity for preschoolers
A smiling 3-year-old boy jumps and raises his hands up and looks at the camera. Top view.

Guidelines for Teachers

  1. Choose a mirror: Select a mirror that allows your students to see their entire face and body comfortably. It can be a full-length mirror or a smaller one, depending on your preference and availability. Create a serene environment by playing calming music or lighting a scented candle.
  2. Prepare positive affirmations: Before beginning the activity, ask students to write down a list of positive claims, compliments, or self-appreciation statements that resonate with your students. For example: “I am beautiful inside and out,” “I am strong and capable,” and “I am deserving of love and happiness.”
  3. Begin the activity: Students can stand or sit comfortably in front of the mirror, ensuring they can see their reflection clearly. Ask them to take a few deep breaths to calm their mind and focus on the present moment.
  4. Eye contact and self-observation: Instruct them to look directly into their eyes in the mirror, maintaining eye contact throughout the activity.
  5. Repeat positive affirmations: Instruct your students to start reciting the positive affirmations you prepared earlier. Say each claim out loud, with conviction and belief. Speak slowly and genuinely, allowing the words to resonate within you. Feel the positivity and self-love growing with each statement.
  6. Express gratitude: Pass these instructions; “Appreciate the abilities and features you possess. Embrace gratitude for the opportunities, relationships, and experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today”.
  7. Smile and radiate positivity: Say; “As you continue to gaze into the mirror, put on a genuine smile. Notice how your smile transforms your entire expression, making you radiate happiness and self-assurance”.
  8. End with self-love and acceptance: Instruct your students; “Affirm your love and acceptance for who you are in this very moment, regardless of any perceived imperfections or societal standards. Embrace the uniqueness and beauty that resides within you”.

Benefits and Impact

The Happy Mirror activity has several positive effects on an individual’s mental, emotional, and overall well-being:

happy mirror, play-based learning activities, getty images
Two superheroes are ready to save the world from evil and tyranny.
  1. Enhanced self-esteem: Regularly practicing the Happy Mirror activity boosts self-esteem by encouraging self-acceptance and highlighting personal strengths and achievements.
  2. Positive self-image: By focusing on positive affirmations and self-appreciation, individuals develop a healthier and more positive self-image, free from self-criticism and negative self-talk.
  3. Increased self-confidence: The activity helps build self-confidence by reinforcing positive qualities and fostering a sense of self-worth and self-belief.

Happy Mirror Activity Worksheet


  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or stand in front of a mirror.
  2. Look at yourself in the mirror and think about all the wonderful things that make you special.
  3. Complete the activities below to celebrate and appreciate yourself.

Activity 1: Draw Your Smile Draw a big smiley face in the mirror to show how happy you are!

Activity 2: Name the Parts Look at your reflection and identify the different parts of your face by circling them. Example: Circle your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Activity 3: Color Your Strengths Color the pictures that represent your special strengths and things you are good at. Example: Color the picture of a book if you love reading or learning new things.

happy mirror, play-based learning activities for preschoolers

Activity 4: Positive Affirmations Complete the sentences with positive words about yourself. Example:

  • I am ________ (kind, smart, brave).
  • I can ________ (run fast, draw beautifully, sing happily).

Activity 5: Happy Reflections Draw or paste pictures of things that make you happy around the mirror. Example: Draw a picture of your favorite toy, pet, or family member.

Youtube video from Lakeshore Learning channel

2. Happy Wheel Activity: Play-Based Learning

The Happy Wheel activity is an engaging and interactive exercise designed to promote positive emotions and well-being among preschoolers. It involves spinning a colorful wheel and engaging in various activities that encourage happiness, gratitude, kindness, and self-expression. Through this activity, children can learn to identify and appreciate positive experiences, emotions, and actions in their daily lives.

learning activities for preschoolers
“View from a fictious boardgame. Complete set with pawns, dices, cards and plastic houses. Please note that all visual materials used in textures are my own design.Similar images:”

Activity Setup

  1. Prepare a Happy Wheel: Create a large circular wheel with different colored sections. Divide the wheel into equal parts and assign each section a different color. Write the names of various activities on each colored section.
  2. Spinner or Dice: Create a spinner or use a dice with colors matching the sections of the Happy Wheel. This will determine the activity that the child will engage in.
  3. Materials: Gather materials required for the specific activities, such as colored pencils, gratitude cards, craft supplies, or musical instruments.

Worksheet for Happy Wheel

Title: My Happy Wheel Worksheet


  1. Spin the Happy Wheel or roll the dice to determine the activity you will do.
  2. Complete the activity and write about your experience in the spaces provided.
  3. Enjoy and have fun spreading happiness!

Activity 1: Gratitude Drawing

Spin the wheel and if it lands on the red section, think about something you are grateful for and draw a picture of it. Write or draw about your experience:

Activity 2: Kindness Card

If the spinner lands on the blue section, create a kindness card for someone you love or appreciate. Write or draw about your experience:

Activity 3: Happy Dance

When the wheel stops at the yellow section, put on some lively music and have a happy dance party. Write or draw about your experience:

Activity 4: Feel-Good Story

If the spinner lands on the green section, tell a feel-good story to a friend or family member. Write or draw about your experience:

Activity 5: Creative Craft

When the wheel points to the orange section, make a colorful craft using your favorite art supplies. Write or draw about your experience:

Conclusion: The Happy Wheel activity allows you to engage in different activities that bring joy and happiness to your day. Keep spinning the wheel and spreading positivity!

Note: Adult supervision is advised to ensure the safety and appropriateness of activities for preschoolers.

This worksheet aims to provide preschoolers with a variety of activities that promote happiness, gratitude, kindness, self-expression, and creativity. It encourages children to reflect on their experiences and express themselves through writing or drawing.

3. Ice Cream Parlor Activity for Preschoolers

The Ice Cream Parlor activity is an imaginative and interactive experience designed to engage preschoolers in a creative role-playing scenario. Through this activity, children can explore their imagination, practice fine motor skills, and develop social and communication skills. They will use balloons, posters, coloring pages, colors, and boxes to create their own pretend ice cream parlor.

ice cream parlor_ gettyimages

Activity Setup

  1. Materials:
    • Balloons (in various colors)
    • Large posters or cardboard sheets
    • Coloring pages of ice cream cones or sundaes
    • Crayons or markers
    • Empty boxes (to serve as pretend ice cream containers or shop counters)
    • Optional: Decorative items (such as ribbons, stickers, or faux ice cream toppings)
  2. Set up the Fictitious Ice Cream Parlor:
    • Arrange the posters or cardboard sheets as the backdrop of the ice cream parlor.
    • Inflate the balloons and attach them to the posters to resemble scoops of ice cream.
    • Place the empty boxes strategically to serve as the ice cream counter or display area.
    • Provide coloring pages and art supplies for children to decorate their own ice cream creations.
learning activities for preschoolers

Worksheet for Ice Cream Parlor

Title: My Ice Cream Parlor Worksheet


  1. Imagine that you own your own ice cream parlor! Complete each step to create your dream ice cream shop.
  2. Use the provided spaces to draw and describe your pretend ice cream parlor.

Parlor Name:

  • Invent a name for your ice cream parlor:

Step 2: Ice Cream Creations:

  • Draw and color your own pretend ice cream creations on the coloring pages.
  • Describe each ice cream flavor and topping combination you come up with:

Parlor Decor:

  • Draw and decorate the posters or cardboard sheets that will be the backdrop of your ice cream parlor.
  • What colors and designs did you use to make it look appealing?

Ice Cream Counter:

  • Draw and decorate the empty boxes that will serve as the ice cream counter or display area.
  • How did you arrange the boxes to make it look like a real ice cream parlor?

Ice Cream Parlor Experience:

  • Imagine visiting your own ice cream parlor. Draw yourself enjoying a delicious ice cream treat.
  • How does it feel to be a customer in your own ice cream parlor? Describe the experience:

Conclusion: You have created your own pretend ice cream parlor! Have fun playing and imagining all the tasty treats you can serve to your customers.

Note: Adult supervision is advised to ensure safety and appropriate use of materials during the activity.

UNICEFMK channel video showing icecream making activity