6 Mess-Free Activities For 5-Year-Olds - Subscription Box Kids

6 Mess-Free Activities For 5-Year-Olds

As parents, we often focus so much on preventing our children from making a mess that we neglect many learning opportunities. That is why today, we are sharing six mess-free activities that you can complete with your five-year-old!

6 Mess-Free Activities For 5-Year-Olds

1. Rhyming Games

Rhyming games are more than just a mess-free activity! Rhyming activities like making up poems, reading rhyming books, and listening to and matching rhyming words are also a great way to help your child to get a better understanding of:

  • Identifying the ending sounds of words.
  • Phonics.
  • Matching similar sounds.
  • Understanding the rhythmic patterns of language.
  • Counting syllables.
  • Identifying word families.
  • Setting a foundation for sounder reading and writing skills.

Some great rhyming activities to do with your child include:

  • Reading books that rhyme.
  • Take turns rhyming words until one of you cannot think of a word.
  • Make up rhyming poems.
  • Finding things around the house that rhyme.

You can also purchase rhyming games online; some good choices include:

  • Rhyming puzzle pairs.
  • Rhyming words Bingo.
  • Rhyming words match game.
  • Word wheels.

2. Memory Games

Memory games are another good mess-free activity that can improve your child’s memory, concentration, attention, and focus. Memory activities like playing matching games, remembering shopping lists, and playing Simon Says, are also a terrific way to help your child with:

  • Learning to pay attention to detail.
  • Increase concentration.
  • Enhancing visual perception.
  • Improving critical thinking skills.
  • Exercise problem solving and spatial skills.

Some great memory activities to do with your child include:

  • Singing memory songs like “Hole in the Bottom of the Sea” and “I went shopping and bought…”
  • Line up a series of items and give your child 30 seconds to remember as much as they can. Then cover the line of items up and remove one. Ask your child to identify which item is missing. Now, as the game progresses, add more items to the series.
  • Take three cups and turn them upside down. Hide a small toy under one of the cups. Move the cups around slowly and have your child guess which cup the toy is underneath.
  • Spot the difference between two images.

You can also purchase memory games online; some good choices include:

memory game

3. Reading Apps

Reading apps are great for taking advantage of your child’s fondness for screen time, and they allow your child to practice their reading skills even when you have other tasks on your plate. 

With so many reading apps out there, though, be sure to choose one that is well-reputed and age-appropriate. Reading apps help your child to get a better understanding of:

  • Technology.
  • Independence.
  • Reading skills.

Some reputable reading apps for children ages five and up include:

  • ABC Mouse.
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Starfall Learn to Read.
  • Big Birds Words.
  • Epic!
  • Reading Racer.
  • Endless Reader.
  • Learn with Homer.
  • Bob Books Reading Magic.
  • Reading Rainbow App.
  • Montessori Letter Sounds.

4. Listening Games

Listening games are a mess-free activity, but they are also a great way to encourage your child to listen more carefully! Listening games like Simon Says, Telephone, Red Light Green Light, and I Went to the Zoo and I Saw, also encourage your child to practice other skills including:

  • Following directions.
  • Concentration.
  • Thinking before acting. 
  • Honing in on directional sounds.
  • More effective communication.
  • Better teamwork.

Some great listening activities to do with your child include:

  • Musical chairs/statues.
  • What is that sound?
  • Storytime.
  • Listening apps.

5. Coloring

Coloring can be a fun and mess-free activity to do with your child (depending on your child), but it is a great activity to help your child unwind and have some quiet time. Coloring helps your child to develop a range of skills including:

  • Manual dexterity (holding the pen or pencil in a pincer grip.)
  • Neatness and coloring within the lines.
  • Improved focus.
  • Taking time to wind down. 
  • Develop hand-eye coordination.
  • Color identification.
  • Tracing lines.
  • Improved concentration.

Some great coloring activities to do with your child include:

  • Coloring books.
  • Paint or color by numbers.
  • Scratchboard artwork.
  • Draw or copy a picture and then color or paint it using the right colors.
  • Draw and color a comic strip.
  • Create and color a unique superhero character.

You can also purchase coloring apps for a smartphone or tablet. Coloring apps do not offer all the same benefits as coloring by hand, but there are still many skills to learn from virtual coloring, including:

  • Improved focus.
  • Realistic coloring.
  • Color identification.
  • Taking time to wind down.

Coloring apps are also a great option if you have a child who likes to use markers on anything and everything they can find!

Some good coloring app choices include:

  • Baby coloring book for kids 2+.
  • Anti-Coloring Book Collection.
  • PicoToONs.
  • Color by Number.
  • Toonia Color book.
  • Kids Doodle.
  • Baby Coloring Book for Kids.

6. Reasoning Games

Reasoning games like playing sorting and organizing, filling in mazes, and the Hokey Pokey are also a fantastic way to help your child to practice their skills of:

  • Problem-solving.
  • Hand-eye coordination.
  • Patience.
  • Planning and forethought.
  • Information retention/memory.

Some reasoning games and activities to do with your child include:

  • Pattern recreation with colored and shaped tiles.
  • What would you do if? Situational questions and dilemmas.
  • Talk about cause and effect – What would happen if?

You can also purchase games and activities that help to improve reasoning skills, for example:

  • Rubix Cube.
  • The Critical Thinking Activity Book.
  • Pickup Sticks.
  • Guess Who board game.
  • Connect Four.
  • Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants Kindergarten Card Set.
  • Learning Resources Mental Blox Critical Thinking Game.
  • Blokus.
  • ThinkFun Hoppers Logic Game.
  • SmartGames Color Code Cognitive Skill-Building Puzzle Game


While mess prevention should never take precedence over the opportunity to learn, there are times when parents just can't face another trip around the house with the vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, there are some wonderful mess-free activities that offer your child great opportunities to learn, activities like rhyming games, memory games, reading apps, listening games, coloring, and reasoning games!

We offer 2 subscription boxes for 5-year-olds with learning, reading, and crafting activities that we know your kids will love! Trust us. Both you and your child thank us for how fun and easy it is to get started with these monthly boxes!

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