25+ Exciting Activities for 1st Grade (printables + Reels)

First grade is an exciting time full of exploration, discovery, and big milestones. From mastering basic math concepts to the magical world of reading, there’s so much to do and see.

These activities aren’t just about books and pencils; they’re about sparking curiosity, fostering creativity, and building confidence.

So, get ready to explore a world of fun and learning, where every activity is a step closer to unlocking the amazing potential within you!

Interesting First Grade Activities

Ball Activities

First-grade ball activities engage children in dynamic play that promotes gross motor skills, coordination, and social interaction.

Children may participate in games such as kickball, soccer, or catch, which enhance agility, balance, and teamwork. These activities encourage physical fitness, spatial awareness, and confidence in movement.

Tripod Grasp

Tripod grasp activities in first grade focus on developing the fine motor skills necessary for proper pencil grip and handwriting.

Children engage in activities such as threading beads, using tweezers to pick up small objects, or practicing writing with writing tools. These activities strengthen hand muscles, improve dexterity, and support the development of legible handwriting.

Paper Tear Activity

Paper tear activities in first grade provide children with opportunities to refine their fine motor skills and creativity through tearing and manipulating paper.

Children will tear paper to create collages, shapes, or textured artwork, which promote finger strength, precision, and artistic expression. These activities encourage experimentation, problem-solving, and sensory exploration.

Eye-Hand Coordination Activities

Eye-hand coordination activities in first grade focus on improving the synchronization between visual perception and motor movements. Kids can engage in activities such as tracing shapes, cutting along lines, or completing puzzles.

These activities enhance hand-eye coordination, visual tracking, and spatial awareness, supporting academic skills such as reading, writing, and math.

Crossing the Midline Activities

Crossing the midline activities in first grade encourage children to move their arms and legs across the body’s midline, promoting bilateral coordination and cognitive development.

Kids may participate in activities such as reaching across their body to touch opposite toes, crossing midline during dance or yoga, or completing figure-eight movements with their arms.

These activities strengthen neural connections between the brain’s hemispheres, improve coordination, and support skills such as reading and writing fluency.

Fun Activities

Fun activities in first grade engage children in enjoyable experiences that promote social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Children will participate in games, crafts, or outdoor adventures that encourage creativity, teamwork, and exploration. These activities foster a love for learning, build positive relationships, and provide opportunities for self-expression and joy.

Music for Early Childhood

Music for early childhood in first grade introduces children to the world of rhythm, melody, and expression. Children may sing songs, play musical instruments, or engage in rhythmic movement activities.

These musical experiences enhance auditory perception, language development, and social skills while fostering a lifelong appreciation for music and creativity.

Benefits of Playdough

Playdough activities in first grade offer children a sensory-rich experience that supports creativity, fine motor development, and imaginative play. Kids can mold, shape, and manipulate playdough to create sculptures, objects, or scenes.

These activities strengthen hand muscles, promote concentration, and encourage problem-solving skills while providing a calming and enjoyable sensory experience.

Screen-Free Activities

Screen-free activities in first grade provide children with opportunities to engage in hands-on learning experiences away from electronic devices.

Children can participate in outdoor exploration, arts and crafts, or imaginative play without the use of screens. These activities promote creativity, physical activity, and social interaction while reducing screen time and supporting overall well-being.

Math Activities

Math activities in first grade focus on developing foundational numeracy skills through hands-on learning experiences. Children will engage in activities such as counting objects, sorting shapes, or solving simple addition and subtraction problems.

These activities promote mathematical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a conceptual understanding of numbers and operations, laying a strong foundation for future math learning.

Reading Comprehension Activities

Reading comprehension activities in first grade help children develop essential literacy skills by understanding and interpreting texts.

Kids can engage in activities such as story retelling, answering questions about what they’ve read, or summarizing key points.

These activities enhance vocabulary, critical thinking, and comprehension skills, fostering a love for reading and supporting academic success.

Music and Movement Activities

Music and movement activities in first grade provide children with opportunities to express themselves creatively while developing coordination and rhythm.

Children may sing songs, dance to music, or play musical games that encourage physical activity and self-expression. These activities promote gross motor skills, social interaction, and emotional well-being while fostering a love for music and movement.

Personal Hygiene Activities

Personal hygiene activities in first grade teach children the importance of self-care and healthy habits. Kids will learn about handwashing, dental care, or proper hygiene practices through hands-on activities, stories, or demonstrations.

These activities promote responsibility, independence, and overall well-being by instilling lifelong habits for maintaining personal hygiene and health.

Counting by 2s Activities

Counting by 2s activities in first grade build upon children’s understanding of basic number concepts by introducing skip counting patterns. The child will engage in activities such as counting objects in pairs, completing number patterns, or playing skip-counting games.

These activities develop mathematical fluency, number sense, and critical thinking skills while laying the foundation for multiplication concepts.

Simon Says Game Guidance

The Simon Says game in first grade provides a fun and engaging way for children to practice listening skills and following directions. Children listen to commands such as “Simon says touch your nose” and follow them only when preceded by the phrase “Simon says.”

This game promotes listening comprehension, attention to detail, and self-control while encouraging active participation and social interaction.

How to Play Telephone

Telephone is a classic game enjoyed by first graders where players sit in a circle and whisper a message to the person next to them, passing it along until it reaches the last person, who then says the message out loud.

This game promotes listening skills, communication, and teamwork as children discover how messages can change when passed along.

Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose is a lively game where children sit in a circle, and one child walks around tapping heads while saying “duck” until they choose someone to be the “goose.”

The goose then chases the tapper around the circle, aiming to tag them before they sit in the goose’s spot. This game encourages physical activity, social interaction, and decision-making skills.

Body Percussion

Body percussion activities involve using different parts of the body to create rhythmic patterns and beats. Children may clap, stomp, snap, or pat their knees to follow along with rhythmic sequences or create their own rhythms.

These activities develop coordination, rhythm awareness, and creativity while providing a fun and engaging way to explore music.

Puzzle Game Ideas

Puzzle games for first graders can include jigsaw puzzles, tangrams, or matching games that challenge children to problem-solve and think critically. Kids can work individually or in groups to assemble puzzles, identify patterns, or solve visual challenges.

These games foster spatial reasoning, concentration, and perseverance while providing opportunities for collaborative learning.

Developing Writing Skills

Developing writing skills in first grade involves practicing handwriting, spelling, and sentence construction through various activities. Children may engage in writing prompts, journaling, or storytelling to express their thoughts and ideas.

These activities support language development, fine motor skills, and creativity while building confidence and proficiency in writing.

Encourage Independent Play

Encouraging independent play in first grade promotes self-reliance, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Children can be provided with open-ended toys, art supplies, or imaginative play materials to engage in self-directed play.

This fosters independence, decision-making, and autonomy as children learn to entertain themselves and explore their interests independently.

Hand Washing Songs

Hand washing songs in first grade make the task of hand hygiene fun and memorable. Children can sing songs like “Happy Birthday” or “ABCs” while washing their hands to ensure they wash for the recommended duration.

These songs promote proper handwashing technique, hygiene habits, and reinforce the importance of cleanliness in preventing the spread of germs.

Measurement Activities:

Measurement activities in first grade introduce children to concepts of length, weight, volume, and capacity through hands-on exploration and experimentation.

Children may engage in activities such as measuring objects with rulers, balancing scales, or pouring and comparing volumes of liquid.

These activities develop mathematical understanding, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness while fostering curiosity and discovery.


In summary, first-grade activities are vital for kids’ growth. From fun games like Duck Duck Goose to learning how to wash hands with catchy songs, these activities teach important skills while keeping kids engaged.

Whether they’re measuring objects or playing independently, children learn and have fun, building essential skills for school and life. By providing a mix of activities, parents and teachers help kids enjoy their learning journey in first grade and beyond.

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