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New Year Activities and Centers for Preschool, Pre-k, and Kindergarten


New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Ring in the new year with your students during the month of January with these happy new year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. There are ideas for math, literacy, fine motor, gross motor, sensory, and more!

Check out the NEW centers pack for a New Year’s theme!

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New Year Activities for Literacy

New years freebie plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Coloring FREEBIE! Give students something to color for the new year with this adorable freebie! Students are going to need a lot of guidance and reteaching after their long winter break, so be prepared to start slow and reteach a lot of skills that were already mastered. This is a great way to ease them back into the classroom routine.

>>Get the FREEBIE by entering your email in the box at the bottom of this post, and the free printables will be sent to you.<<

New Years books plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Books! I have gathered some books for your New Year study. There weren’t a ton of options, but I found a few that are perfect for little learners. The list also includes books for a Chinese New Year study. Check out the list here.

Writing table plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Writing Table! Set up a writing table with a New Year’s theme by grabbing these printable word cards. I also set out black paper and metallic crayons, and it was so pretty! There are also star stickers, themed writing paper, and a sparkler letter-building activity. Writing tables are a fun way to get older kids and younger kids interested in writing and literacy. 

New years build a word activity plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Sparkler Letter Building Activity! Make sparklers out of pipe cleaners and give students letter beads to spell the new year words. Lacing beads is such a fun idea for fine motor muscle development, hand-eye coordination, and other vital developmental milestones.

New Years letter match plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Letter Match! I grabbed these paper plates from the dollar store and wrote letters on them. Then, students used letter manipulatives to match the letters.

New years letters and sounds game plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Letters and Sounds Match! Students can practice matching lowercase and uppercase letters and beginning sounds. There are several options to play for the ability to differentiate this game for the students in your classroom.

New years rhyme puzzles plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Rhyme Puzzles! Practice rhyming skills with your young children with these New Year’s eve activities. Students can match the rhyming picture or words. I added in some pipe cleaners that were wrapped around a pencil and disco ball ornaments for a sensory option.

Spin and write letters plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year Spin & Write! Play a spin and write game with letters or sight words with these New Year-themed letter and sight word cards. Students spin to see the utensil they are going to write with and draw a letter or sight word card. I put some mesh tubing in with the letters for a sensory option.

New Years Activities for Fine Motor & Sensory

New Years play dough tray plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year Play Dough Tray! Make a fun play dough tray with sparkly pom poms, cut-up necklaces, disco ball ornaments, play dough tools, and sparkly pipe cleaner fireworks. For the play dough, I used black dough with tons of rainbow glitter. This playdough tray is toddler approved and such a great time!

Ribbon cutting tray plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Ribbon Cutting Tray! I placed some ribbons in little bins and let them cut it into pieces. This is a fun game for fine motor development and scissor skills. If you are worried about a mess, lay some contact paper under/around the tray. I grabbed these gold and silver gift bows from the dollar store and cut them off the sticky tag. They were already pre-curled, so that made them even more fun to cut.

New years sensory bin plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year Sensory Bin! The base is black beans with lots of sparkly items! I put in disco ornaments, cut-up necklaces, black spoons, glitter stars, and mini party hats. The students used the mini hats as scoops and bowls during play and had so much fun!

Party hat roll and count plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Party Hat Roll & Count! Create fun activities with butcher paper for your New Year theme! I drew party hats in different colors of chalk and gave students a die and chalk. They rolled the die and put that many stripes on the party hats. They can practice creating patterns or just counting skills.

New Year Activities for Math

Firecracker counting game plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Firecracker Count! Tape a pipe cleaner to the back of the number firework card. Then, students count and lace that many beads to complete the firecracker. I love building math skills with fine motor activities!

Necklace measure plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Necklace Measure! Cut up some bead necklaces into different lengths and then have students measure them with linking cubes. This activity is great for increasing fine motor skills, developing counting skills, and introducing learners to measurement techniques.

New years number pattern block mats plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year Number Pattern Block Mats! Help students learn their numbers from 1-20 with these pattern block number mats. Students will trace the number, build the number, and count the stars in the ten frames.

New Years sort plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Sort! Create a sorting bin with this clear plastic container from the dollar store and post-it notes. I wrote the sorting words in their correct size since my little learners can’t read yet. Then, I gave them pom poms and disco ball ornaments to sort by size.

Ball drop patterns plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Ball Drop Patterns! Practice making and finishing patterns with a cute new year theme. Young children can use linking cubes to make their own patterns or complete the premade patterns.

2D shape path game plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

2D Shape Path Game! Students can practice shape identification while playing a simple path game. They can play independently or with a friend. Little learners are also working on counting and one-to-one correspondence during this game. I think this is a perfect way to practice shapes in a fun game form.

New Years Activities for the Light Table, Art, & Gross Motor

Cups and confetti on the light table plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Cups and Confetti Light Table Activity! Set up a light table activity with transparent cups and gems for students to build and design with. You can find my favorite light table manipulatives here.

New Years painting plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

New Year’s Painting! Use black paper and metallic paint to create these glittery New Year paintings! I also gave students star stickers and mini salt shakers filled with glitter. It was an extra fun craft for getting back in the groove after winter break.

New years streamers collage plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Streamers Collage! Give students various colors of streamers to cut and glue for an open-ended art collage. Open-ended art projects are great for imagination development, art skills, and creativity.

Balloon volleyball gross motor game plus more New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

Balloon Volleyball! Play balloon volleyball to get out all the extra wiggles and energy during the cold winter months! Students use a paper plate attached to a wide popsicle stick for their paddle. Then, hit a balloon around the room. You can set a court up or let them play within the classroom. This is a fun way to get out energy during the colder time of year. 

*If the balloon pops, pick up all the pieces quickly because balloons are a choking hazard. If you don’t want to use one in your classroom, a beach ball or light foam ball will work, too.*

For the science center, block area, and STEM center, I am keeping it basic and putting in previously done resources since I will be focusing on reteaching rules, routines, and more during those first few weeks back to school. In the science center, I will be using the Being a Scientist unit. The blocks and STEM center will just be kept open-ended and unthemed. For the dramatic play area, you can set up home living or a birthday theme!

I hope these fun New Year’s activities and centers are just what you need to get a jumpstart on planning for the new year. These preschool activities are a great way to get students back in the groove of school routine and expectations while focusing on academic skills too. There are so many New Year’s games you can play with younger children and have lots of fun! I have rounded up some books that would be great for a new year, lunar new year, or Chinese New Year study.

For all the New Year activities, check out the NEWLY RELEASED New Year Math and Literacy Centers!

I think a birthday dramatic play area would go great with your New Year activities!

Create some number sensory bottles for I Spy fun and number recognition practice.

A New Year activities video is ready for you to check out!

Get your New Year activities free printables for the Happy New Year coloring page below. 

Love these New Year activities? Pin this image!

New Year activities and centers for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.



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