Preschool themes make learning easier and keep your classroom engaged.
As an educator, using themes is a creative way to plan what lessons or skills to cover with your class and incorporate fun into the learning process.
Preschool classroom themes also help parents and teachers keep up with their child’s learning and monitor their progress.
Here is a list of some of the best preschool themes that will improve your child’s learning:
1. All about me
This popular preschool classroom theme is great to introduce at the start of a new school year as a way for everyone to get to know a little bit more about each other. Children love sharing about themselves, and giving them the opportunity will create a sense of openness and curiosity in your classroom. With this theme, children can display their special and unique personalities.
This theme will also allow you to learn more about each child's interests and life experiences, giving you important insight into other topics and subjects they might find engaging.
Make a card and divide it into areas where children can write about their families, what they love, and their hobbies.
The alphabet theme helps children identify each letter, both lowercase and uppercase, and the sounds each letter makes, which develops their overall literacy skills. This is a foundation of children’s learning, so the earlier a child can recognize these letters, the higher the chances of academic success they stand to achieve.
This preschool theme can be taught through preschool songs and rhymes. For example, children can sing as they find their way through an alphabet maze, either by walking through it or with a toy.
You can also have the children stack up blocks labeled with the letters in order, either from A-Z or vice-versa.
Getting the children to match uppercase and lowercase letters will also go a long way in reinforcing what they are learning. You can also get printable road letters and ask children to drive their toy cars on each letter. This is a fun activity for children who love cars.
Autumn is a great September preschool theme as the seasons begin to change from the heat of summer. You can incorporate pumpkins, leaves, apple picking, and lots of outdoor activities for your children.
Consider introducing games like the “I spy” game with fall-themed decorations in your classroom. You can say, “I spy with my eyes, something yellow.” The children will look for anything in the classroom that is yellow and identify it. Repeat it several times with different colors and objects.
You can also collect as many leaves as possible and ask children to arrange and stick them on paper. This activity will develop their fine motor skills. Songs and autumn-themed picture books will also help children learn more about the season.
Children get intrigued by the world around them and like to learn how it works. They get particularly fascinated by the birds as they begin nesting during the spring season. This theme helps children learn more about different types of birds, their migration patterns, what they feed on, egg-laying, and other aspects of a bird's life.
Draw a bird on paper, cut it out, and provide different colored feathers that children can stick on. This activity incorporates different shapes, textures, and colors. During circle time, read bird-themed books and also sing songs.
5. Bugs and insects
This theme can help children learn about common bugs and insects such as spiders, butterflies, bees, and ladybugs.
You can use toy insects to teach concepts about each bug’s different characteristics, the roles they play in nature, and how to examine them under a microscope. Or plan a sensory or art activity centered around the insect theme.
Promote children’s ability to differentiate between colors as this helps them develop their visual memory, focus, and pattern skills. This theme can be taught at any time of the year, on its own, or combined with other themes, like snow, to teach children about the color white.
During circle time, read picture books about colors or use playdough to introduce different color concepts.
Give children objects such as legos and ask them to match them by color. You can also ask parents to dress their children in a particular color and make it the focus of study throughout the day or week, depending on how long you want to study the color theme.
7. Community helpers
This theme helps children understand and appreciate the different roles that people within their community play. For example, the police ensure that children are safe at home and garbage collectors pick up their trash and keep the community clean.
Try a community helpers sorting activity to show each community helper and the tools and objects they use in their professions.
Do a role play activity with the children and ask them to dress up, for instance, in a fireman’s suit, and have them act like they are stopping a fire. You can also take a field trip to a local fire station or recycling center.
The construction theme helps children understand how things like roads and buildings are built. It also helps them understand the role of builders in the community and the heavy equipment used.
Using letter stamps and toy hammers, have children hammer letters onto flattened playdough. They can practice their motor skills and letter recognition at the same time!
9. Dirt and worms
Dirt and worms themes simplify the seemingly challenging science concepts. Most children love to play with the earth and the worms and creatures that live in the dirt, making this theme a favorite. Have children explore real earthworms in real dirt or have children use playdough to roll out thin “worms” and practice measuring them.
10. Farm animals
Introduce the farm animals theme by having children match animals to the sounds they make or reading picture books about farms. This theme can also help children learn where the food they eat comes from.
Incorporate a farm animal craft to encourage your children’s imagination and creativity.
11. Five senses
Children use their five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to understand the world around them. Teaching your children about the five senses helps to develop their fine motor skills and also helps them understand how their bodies work.
Print out body parts cards for your preschoolers and have them match the correct body part with the sense. Have textured items in the classroom and ask children to describe how each item feels.
Friendship skills are essential for social growth, and the earlier a child learns these life-long skills, the better. You can even devote a week or month to teaching children how to get along with others.
You can also teach your children the importance of kindness, make friendship bracelets, or try an ice cream sharing activity.
Gardening is a relevant theme for spring and summer months. Explore the art of gardening and caring for plants with simple, collaborative activities. Indulge your children in a creative activity of sorting and counting different flowers, fruits, vegetables, or seeds by color, size, or shape. This is a fun activity that will help them to practice their concentration and math skills.
14. Light and shadow
This preschool theme involves many hands-on activities to teach children about science. They will have fun exploring and experimenting with different sources of light and how shadows form in different ways. Have children trace the shadows of various objects or even trace their own shadow outside using sidewalk chalk.
15. Music and movement
This popular preschool classroom theme supports children’s creativity and physical development. Encourage your children to get their bodies moving by clapping or dancing to the beat, shaking an instrument, or banging on a drum. Choose songs that focus on the sounds that different musical instruments make and teach sing-along songs like the Hokey Pokey or Itsy Bitsy Spider that incorporate movement with the lyrics.
Use this theme as an opportunity to explore the natural environment in your local region. Maybe you live close to the ocean or have access to the mountains—use your landscape as inspiration! Get outside for a nature scavenger hunt or collect different objects like rocks and leaves and see which items sink or float.
The beauty of this theme is that it can be taught any time of the year, using whatever nature you have access to. Encourage sensory exploration, such as creating a sensory ocean bin if you live near the coast or plant seeds and watch them grow!
17. Our neighborhood
This theme helps children learn about their neighborhoods and local public places.
During circle time, ask children what they see on their way to school. For example, which stores do you have in your neighborhood? What color is your neighbor’s house? Recreate your local neighborhood using simple materials like cardboard or paper bags, and build houses, roads, street signs, and more.
Even if children don’t have pets at home, teaching preschoolers about this theme helps them learn about caring for animals and responsibility.
As seasons change, children get the opportunity to learn and explore the environment around them. Since the temperatures are mild in spring, take children outdoors as much as possible. In most cases, this theme revolves around plants, flowers, and growing, but there are other activities you can explore with your children.
Ask your children to create flowers using playdough. They can practice counting the petals and learn about the different parts of the flower. Or follow this tutorial to engage your children in a flower painting activity.
An August preschool theme can revolve around summer and include activities like playing with water, going to the beach, or having a picnic.
The transportation theme helps children understand how different vehicles work and their purpose. This is also the time to teach and reinforce essential concepts such as road safety when walking or riding a bicycle in the neighborhood.
Simple paper airplanes are another creative way to incorporate the theme. Children can also dip toy cars in paint and roll them on paper to make tire tracks. Use different paint colors and car sizes to encourage children’s pattern making skills and color recognition.
Once you've chosen your preschool themes, use our free daily lesson plan template to identify learning objectives for each lesson you create.
Preschool themes are a fun and creative way for educators to organize lessons and activities around a subject that will engage their classrooms. With these themes, children will have fun and develop crucial skills at the same time.