Engaging Activities for Fast Finishers in Kindergarten


One of the most-heard phrases heard in a kindergarten classroom has to be: “I’m done, teacher! What's next?” It can be daunting to keep your students engaged in meaningful tasks once they have finished their work. In this post, I’m sharing some of my favorite activities for fast finishers in kindergarten. With these tips and activity ideas, you can keep your students on track until it’s time for the class to move on to the next activity.

Engaging Activities for Fast Finishers in Kindergarten

Tips for Setting Up Fast Finisher Activities

Fast finisher activities can truly be a game changer for your classroom management! However, there are a few important things to keep in mind as you decide on the activities you want to use:

  • Have Individual Fast Finisher Activities – While it might seem like a lot of work to have individual activities for each student, this is one of the most important parts of fast finisher activities in kindergarten. When students share materials, it automatically increases the noise level and inevitably adds conflict resolution to the mix. You can avoid this by creating small tubs or bags that contain individual activities, one for each student.
  • Keep Activities in a Central Location – Be sure to choose activities that you can easily store in a central location for your students. They should be able to quickly and quietly find the early finisher activities and take them back to their seats (or wherever you’d like them to work).
Colorful fast finisher tubs stored on a wood shelving unit
  • Outline Expectations – In addition to deciding where students will be working, be sure to establish other expectations for your fast finisher activities. Review with your students what the noise level should be when working, how to use the supplies for each activity, and how they should clean up and store the activities. It’s also helpful to communicate that students should not switch or trade activities once they have chosen their tub.
  • Keep the Activities the Same – An easy way to make sure students know the expectations of the fast finisher activities is to keep them the same all year long! You can easily adjust the activities to make them seasonal, but you can keep the general activities the same.
  • Incorporate Fine Motor Skills – I have found that the best fast finisher activities are those that incorporate fine motor skills. This gives your students another chance to improve their hand strength and coordination during the school day. Plus, these activities are generally more hands-on and engaging for students.

5 Engaging Activities for Fast Finishers in Kindergarten

With all of these tips in mind, I wanted to share the best activities to help you create individual fast finisher activity tubs in your classroom. These are engaging activities that incorporate fine motor practice but are also quiet and easy to clean up. Plus, you can keep the general activities the same all year long and just switch them up a little bit for different seasons.

1. Pattern Blocks

Pattern blocks are always a hit with students! They can build letters and numbers with the different shape blocks as they are learning to identify them at the beginning of the year. As the year progresses, you can swap out letters and numbers for seasonal pictures that students can recreate.

2. Snap Cubes

Similar to pattern blocks, students can also build letters, numbers, and pictures with snap cubes. You can also create other fast finisher activities using snap cubes. For example, students could choose a number card and then build a tower with that many cubes.

Building an ice skate picture with snap cubes

3. Hole Punch

Hole punching is a quiet activity that helps students build their hand strength! You can provide scrap paper for students to punch or print off task cards that are created specifically for hole punching. Either way, students will love this fine motor activity! You can also increase or decrease the difficulty of this activity by your choice of hole punch. Some hole punches are made to be easier to squeeze!

Punching holes in a winter themed task card

4. Play Dough

With the right preparation, your students can effectively use play dough options in fast finisher tubs. There are many different printable mats that you can use for students to form letters and numbers or for counting practice. Just be sure that students know how to put the play dough away in order to keep it from drying out.

Adding play dough to a task card

5. Tweezers and Pompoms

Finally, tweezers and pompoms can be used to create many different meaningful fast finisher activities for kindergarten. You can use a variety of pompom colors and have students sort them using tweezers. You could also give students numbered task cards and have them transfer the correct number of pompoms to each task card. Students can also create pompom patterns by using tweezers to line up the pompoms in different combinations.

Play dough, pom poms, tweezers, and a counting task card

For even more ideas, be sure to check out my blog post that’s full of must-haves for fine motor practice in kindergarten.

Printable Fine Motor Activities for Fast Finishers

All of the fine motor activities pictured above (and more!) can be found in one easy-to-download resource. These winter fine motor activities are full of engaging activities that your fast finishers will love. The best part is that you can use these fine motor activities throughout your daily routine, depending on what works best for your students. If you’d like to take a closer look at these activities, you can find them in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on TPT.

Other Tips and Ideas for Using Fast Finisher Activities

There are other things to consider when it comes to using fast finisher activities in kindergarten: What do you do if students rush through their work to get to the fast finisher tub? What if students argue over certain activities? What should you do if you have students who never get a chance to use the fast finisher tubs? Check out this video where I share tips and ideas for these situations!

Save These Activities for Fast Finishers

Be sure to save this post so you can find it later! Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these tips and ideas when you’re looking for fast finisher activities to use in your kindergarten classroom.

Engaging Activities for Fast Finishers in Kindergarten


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