The New Year is here and with it comes 365 opportunities to play every day! Get the FREE Ways to Play Every Day January activity calendar for preschoolers and join in the fun! We’re kicking off the New Year by exploring activities that try new things, then moving on to explore polar bears and penguins. The end of the month is focused on activities to get young learners moving and things that fly in the sky!  All the activities in the January preschool activity calendar are suited for the classroom, childcare, home childcare, or home environments.

Ways to Play Every Day: Free January Activity Calendar for Preschoolers

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This free January preschool activity calendar offers ideas and prompts for daily learning, exploration, and creativity. The January activity printable is suited for preschool teachers for their classrooms, childcare staff or providers, or for parents to use in the home. Follow the calendar each day for activities that correspond with the book list or choose activities at random to inspire play. Below you’ll find each calendar activity from the calendar, as well as links to printables, activity instructions, and book lists that you can use to supplement each one.

Week One: Ways to Play in January – Trying New Things

  • Make a list of things you want to try this year.
  • Try eating a new food.
  • Draw your own dot painting.
  • Name something you can do that makes you special.
  • Build and go through an indoor bike (or ride on toy) obstacle course.
  • Practice doing something that you find hard to do.
  • Measure how far you can jump.

Preschool Books About Trying New Things to Accompany Activities for Week One:

Preschool Books to read about trying new things

My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato

The Dot

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do

Peep!: A Little Book About Taking a Leap

Week Two: Ways to Play in January – Polar Bears and Penguins

  • Explore how animals stay warm in the arctic with a blubber and ice experiment or play Polar Bear games.
  • Try to identify items based on the sounds they make.
  • Play a penguin alphabet matching game.
  • Have small world fun in a polar animal sensory bin.
  • See how fast you can stack/unstack a penguin cup tower.
  • Create a polar bear craft using puffy shaving cream paint.
  • Visit the local zoo/aquarium and observe the arctic animals.

Preschool Books About Polar Bears and Penguins to Accompany Activities for Week Two:

Polar Animals

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

Little Penguins

There’s a Bear on My Chair

If You Were a Penguin

The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud

Penguins, Penguins Everywhere

Week Three: Ways to Play in January – Get Moving with Preschoolers

  • Move like animals using these animal movement cards.
  • Dance to music with colored scarves
  • Create collages out of magazine body parts.
  • Make instruments out of everyday items.
  • Experiment and make raisins dance.
  • Turn on the music and paint while dancing.
  • Do some fun and easy yoga poses.
Books about Ways to Move and Play with Preschoolers in January

Preschool Books About Ways to Play and Move to Accompany Activities for Week Three:


How Do You

From Head
to Toe

I Got the


How Do You

I Am Yoga

Week Four: Ways to Play in January – Up, Up, & Away

  • Visit the airport and watch the planes take off and land.
  • Build an airplane out of a large cardboard box.
  • Paint with a balloon.
  • Make a yellow paper helicopter.
  • Count clouds with an airplane math game.
  • Have messy fun with an airplane sensory bin.
  • Explore with a balloon science experiment.

Preschool Books About Things that Fly in the Sky to Accompany Activities for Week Four:

The Airport Book

Violet the Pilot

The Noon Balloon

Yellow Copter

The Boy and the Airplane

Flight School

Sebastian and the Balloon

Download and Print Your FREE Ways to Play Every Day January Activity Calendar Below:


Please visit ALL of our preschool thematic units for inspirational ideas for learning through play in math, science, literacy, dramatic play, songs/fingerplays, and MORE.

Supplies to help with this month’s calendar:

Sensory Bin

Dot Markers

Penguin Play Animals

Polar Animals for Play

By admin

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