View Full Version : Preschool Themes????

05-16-2004, 07:51 PM
For those of you that have preschoolers, are you working on any specific "themes" for the summer? My twins are 3 and I'd really like to do some outside things with them. Thanks for any ideas!!!

05-16-2004, 08:35 PM
I wouldn't focus so much on "themes" with a 3 year old. :D It'll just drive you crazy.

PreK ideas for outside...

squirt bottle full of water to spray whatever they encounter.;) If you want to make it more exciting put some liquid watercolor paint (or dry tempura paint - which I can never seem to find) in the water and then hang, or lay flat, a big piece of butcher paper and let them spray away.

If you have a smooth table or smooth concrete outside you could make colored shaving cream and draw letters, numbers, etc...

They could make sand creations. Glue on paper, spread sand, let it dry. A thing I found very helpful in keeping the sand on is after the glue has dried use a liquid hairspray and cover all the sand. It will keep it from falling off - not completely but...pretty good.

We have an inexpensive sand box with a tight lid. I bought one of those rubbermaid under the bed storage boxes (approx. 1.5ft x 3ft) and a bag of play sand at Lowe's. Probably all together set me back...$12-$15. You can bury things in the sand and then *find* them

Hunting for *things* in the yard. I spy something that is orange.

Is that what you were looking for? Just remember they are 3 and learning is fun. :D

05-16-2004, 09:12 PM
Thanks She,

We already do those kinds of things and I agree learning should be fun:D I do think that you can make learning fun and focus on a specific area though. I used thematic units all the time with my Pre-K classes and the kids really enjoyed them & learned a bunch:D

I was just looking for some fresh ideas for summertime.

05-16-2004, 10:21 PM
Hey Heather

Year before last we did a watermelon unit. We counted the seeds and read some about how they grew! We even tried to figure out the shape of the watermelon. We learned about *hard* for the outside rind and *soft* for the inside. Then of course we ate it!

I also did a ice cream unit! We have a local manufacturer of icecream. So it made for a nice field trip.We made some homemade icecream, hand cranked. Someone here though posted making icecream in a ziploc bag..Great idea!

Have you done the freezing the fruit/ice pops? We talked some about measuring tools and use plastic popsicle containers to learn about liquids and then look solids *its frozen*

We did baby chicks too. We talked some about growing chickens. My oldest figured out we ate chickens, so that one *went south a little bit* when they all started to cry because we ate *baby chicks*..LOL. So I approached that from a different angle with my 3yo that I have now. LOL. We did a farm theme. i had a barn and puppets and sang Old macdonald and stayed off what *purpose chicks serve* hee hee.

I also made paper dolls one year and talked about seasons. We are in summer, what do we wear? Where is the bathing suit,sunglasses,sandals? Would we put a coat on? No....thats for winter... I used a poster board that I had divided into 4 equal squares. Thechildren looked through magazines and I cut out pictures to go with each season and they glued. Then I made a boy doll (I have all boys)out of construction paper. I cut clothes out of the old sears catalog. We put him in each season then dressed him.

Those ideas come off the top of my head....

05-17-2004, 06:24 AM
I love the watermelon idea!!! My guys are crazy about watermelons:D:D:D I plan to do the homemade ice cream and thought having grandma and grandpa over to help would be kinda neat, make it a family thing;)

05-17-2004, 10:58 AM
Here are a few ideas to get you going...
Ice cream
Beach Week
Summer fruits
The sun
Summer Olympics

You can do so much with these themes or just keep them simple. Have fun!

05-17-2004, 01:57 PM
My daughter is into gardening, you will be amazed how much they'll learn from it.they learn the kind of plants.flowers,roses,vegtebles,etc.they learn about soil and what it's for. they even learn about warms as they find them in the soil and of course the fun part WATERING their plants. It gives them also a sense of accomplishment as they see THEIR plants growing
good luck

05-17-2004, 03:40 PM
Those are great ideas thanks!

05-17-2004, 09:59 PM
Silly me! :)

I thought you were looking for specific things to do outside.

I have an EXCELLENT theme book it is TCM146 Early Childhood Themes Through The Year. One of my Half Price Bookstore steals :D

I love this book because it gives
Sharing Time, Art, Story Time, Circle Time, Food Experience, Theme Activities ------ for each theme. :D :D :D

Summer themes that it list for the teacher to develop a lesson for are:
fairy tales
big & little
Father's Day
nursery rhymes
Fourth of July

It really just depends what things you already did or want to do in a different month. Here are the themes in the book:

Sept----Getting Acquainted, pets, apples & worms, fall
Oct --Community places & people, senses, Halloween
Nov -- Colors, self concepts, children of the world, Thanksgiving
Dec -- Mother Goose, shapes, winter holidays, Christmas around the world
Jan -- Snowmen, bears, birthdays, monsters
Feb -- shadows & groundhogs, Valentine's Day, Time, Dinosaurs
Mar -- Pigs, nutrition, St. Patrick's Day, Easter
Apr -- Spring, Farm, Frogs, Butterflies
May -- Mice, families, circus

Better? :cool: ;)

05-17-2004, 10:52 PM
I've been collecting, and making themes off the net for my daughter for sometime next year when she is 3, or whenever she seems to show an interest. Most are just loose collections under my favorites menue
under headings such as
animals-farm animals, pets, wild animals
insects-lady bugs,spiders
About me- I am special, health, my family
Dr Sues
nursery rhymes

I have put together the 'colours unit' in word under each colour with a list of books, poems/songs/rhymes, food, activities, on line games, other games, sheets and heaps of craft. It's huge and would probably take a month to do if she stays interested. Even if they 'know' it already I still think these units are fun to do, especialy the cooking and craft. I've encorparated parts of other units in this one, such as snow men craft for white, green monster craft for green ect.
I have started doing the same with the 'About me unit'
I'm planing on putting a lap book together at the end of each unit study as a way of review and a type of portfolio as well as a keep sake.

I'm also collecting book type studies/ideas of the net along the lines of before Five In A Row. Thats a 'curriculum' you can buy which has a list of books to read, one book for 5 days, and a list of things to do that go with the book. http://www.fiveinarow.com/before/booklist.html is the book list for Before FIAR.


05-18-2004, 12:05 AM
LOL.....thanks Sheila I will definately be on the lookout for that one:D

Jo-- Thanks for the link, very cool :D

06-02-2004, 02:01 PM
I came across this site and had remembered someone, Heather, was looking for themes. They do have a summer/beach one that had some cute ideas.


06-02-2004, 06:10 PM
Thanks Sheila, that site has a ton of wonderful ideas:D:D:D

06-02-2004, 06:39 PM
You might find some ideas on my link of links for themes...



06-04-2004, 11:21 AM
I came across this site and had remembered someone, Heather, was looking for themes. They do have a summer/beach one that had some cute ideas.


Sheila, that site was great! Thanks for sharing. You know, it's amazing. I think I have most all the great sites saved and then someone introduces you to another one. That one will really be helpful for us.


06-04-2004, 01:34 PM
The biggest secret with themes and preschoolers is to find out what they're interested in and run with it, until they start showing an interest in something else. Make sure it STAYS FUN; don't let the "learning" interfere with their enjoyment. If you can get hold of Monarch caterpillars or eggs, they are VERY EASY to raise. The kids are fascinated by them. I now know what to look for, and will stop and turn over just about every milkweed leaf I see. My girls grab me by the hand past the plants, saying very patiently, "NO, MOM!!!", LOL.