If you’ve sung the ABC song to death and might just scream if you practice counting to 10 with your child one more time, you need a school theme. School themes for preschoolers are a great way to liven up your preschool homeschool curriculum. With topics that include babies, pioneers, volunteering and more, you can use the entire year’s worth of preschool themes, preschool homeschool activities, and field trip ideas listed below to get you and your child having fun with learning again.
1. 100 Day
100 Day is a favorite with preschoolers everywhere. This day, sometimes stretched into a week, celebrates the number 100 (usually on the 100th day of school) by practicing to count to 100 and counting and sorting 100 small objects like pennies or M&M’s.
2.Amphibians, Reptiles and Pond Life
It’s time to get slimy! Teach your child the difference between an amphibian and a reptile, learn about what kind of creatures call ponds their home, and if you can, visit a local pond, nature center or fish hatchery to show your child what pond scum looks like, firsthand.
This is a fun school theme, and can focus on tons of different areas. Learn about baby animals, encourage your students to bring in baby pictures of themselves, grow plants from seed so you’ll have “baby” seedlings for this special week, and more.
4. The Beach
Learn about oceans, lakes, tides, seashells and marine life. Visit a beach as a field trip, if the weather is right, or have a pretend beach picnic on the floor of your living room, talk about creatures that live in oceans and lakes, and learn about the importance of sunscreen.
Spend a week on all things avian! Study different varieties of birds, visit an aviary if there’s one in your area, and learn just what it is so special about birds that makes those feathered critters fly.
Have some creepy, crawly, slithery, slimy fun and check out some buggy picture books from the library. Cover this preschool theme during a warm-weather season, and you can host a bug catch, identify, study and release expedition.
Head to the library and check out a picture book on clothing from other countries. If your child hasn’t mastered the art yet, this is also a good time to work on shoe tying. As a hands on project, have your child learn to sew a button onto fabric or as another craft project, decorate t-shirts together with iron-on designs.
Do you have a preschooler or kindergartener ready to learn his colors? Spend a week exploring colors with a visit to an art museum, experiments with color mixing, finger painting, and learning about rainbows.
Teach your child the basics of using a computer. Explore word processing software, paint programs, email, and of course, fun kids’ sites on the internet, like www.pbskids.org and www.nickjr.com.
Studying your community for a week will give you and your child a great opportunity to see the place you live from a whole new perspective! Learn about your community and what makes it run by visiting a local restauraunt, the fire station, city hall, the police station and the library.
Foster an appreciation in your child early for the differences that make us all unique. Learn about different types of disabilities and how people overcome them, research the Special Olympics, and talk to your child about the proper way to behave when meeting someone with a disability.
12. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday
During the week of March 4, celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved childrens authors of all time by visiting your library and checking out a few of Dr. Seuss’s books, watching the DVD, Horton Hears a Who, and making your own version of Green Eggs and Ham with a little green food coloring.
Teach your child about family units and the important role they play within theirs. Interview older relatives, hunt through family albums, and talk about different types of families (kids with one parent, kids raised by grandparents, etc.).
Learn about where food comes from, the different types of animals found on a farm, what a day in the life for a farmer is like, and how to milk a cow, if you can – this is another great opportunity for a homeschool field trip!
15. Fire Safety
Does your family have an evacuation plan in case of a fire? This would be a good opportunity to make one and practice it! Schedule a time to stop by your local fire station – education and prevention are a big part of their role in the community and most firefighters are happy to talk to kids about fire safety.
Celebrate the preschool theme of friendship this week by talking about friends and how they are important to our lives. Let your child have a friend over for a sleepover, watch a movie with a strong friendship in it, like The Fox and The Hound, or find your kiddo a penpal through a site like www.friendship-by-mail.com.
This might be a good follow-up to the Farm theme if you do them both in the spring. After your child learns where food comes from, give them an opportunity to get their hands dirty and grow some of their own. Even if you live in an apartment, you can still plant a pot of tomatoes!
Pull out the board games and a deck of cards, and have some fun with your child. Learn the rules to different games, how to be a good winner (or loser), and research some kids’ games played in different countries.
19. Harvest Festival
Celebrate the beginning of fall with a field trip to a local apple orchard for a hayride, cider, doughnuts and pumpkins. Teach your child to recognize signs of the changing seasons, like colder temperatures and colored leaves. Make a leaf collage to hang in the window by carefully ironing pretty leaves between two sheets of wax paper.
You can time this preschool theme to hit around late fall, and maybe prevent a seasonal cold. Teach your child about how good handwashing habits can keep them healthy, as well as what kinds of foods and exercise their bodies need to stay strong.
A good companion to the Health theme, you can time these together and hopefully get a chance to take your child to a hospital for a field trip. Or, find out if a local ambulance company will let you bring your child by for a look inside one of their ambulances.
Halloween and Christmas are probably the most popular holidays for kids, but how familiar are yours with Hanukah or the Chinese New Year? Take a week to study some holidays from different cultures, try a few traditional holiday recipes, and hit the library for some good holiday reading materials.
23. Jungles & Rainforests
This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to some Rudyard Kipling (like his Just So Stories), watch a version of the movie, The Jungle Book, study jungle animals and reptiles, and learn about what rainforests are and how important it is to preserve them.
In most parts of the country, April is a great month to do a kite theme. Learn to make your own kite, find out about kites in other cultures, like Chinese Dragon kites, what a kite runner is, and more.
25. Kitchen Fun
Spend a week in the kitchen, learning about food safety and preparation. Plan some simple snacks that you and your child can make together, learn how to cook from a recipe, and try new and different foods. For a weird lunch that your kid will get a kick out of, stick raw spaghetti noodles through hot dogs and cook according to spaghetti directions. Serve with ketchup and giggles.
Most parents work on manners with their kids year-round, but if you choose to do this preschool theme, make manners fun! Stage a formal tea party with your best china (for boys or girls!) to learn table manners and take a trip to a restaurant to practice your child’s skills in public.
The “Me” theme is a great opportunity to celebrate everything you love about your kid. Dig out old baby pictures, and as many details as you can remember about the day they were born (save the gory ones for when they’re older), make lists of favorite things, and on the last day of the week, let your child be in charge (pick the meals, do something fun, etc.).
28. Medieval Life
Knights, fair maidens and castles: there’s a lot you can cram into a week of medieval fun! If you have a Renaissance Fair in your area, try and time this theme so you can go, but if not, read fairy tales, watch movies, collect boxes and other household items to make a suit of armor, and spark your child’s interest in this fascinating historical period.
Talk with your child about why we need money, and practice learning how much coins and bills are worth. Work out a chore chart with your child and give them the opportunity to earn a small allowance. Teach your child the value of saving money to buy something that they really want and take a field trip to your bank to open her a savings account.
Explore different kinds of music with this fun theme: country, pop, rock, disco, oldies, classical, ragtime, tribal, and any others you can think of. Head to the library and pick up a few childrens music books or CD’s, make your own instrument (an empty, lidded oatmeal container makes a great drum), and if you can, catch a live music performance with your little one.
31. My Body
Even younger kids can start learning the basic systems that make up their bodies, as well as parts of the brain and the names of some of their more common muscles and bones. You just might find you have a budding doctor on your hands at the end of this theme.
Math lovers, rejoice! Spend a week on number appreciation with math puzzles, games, story problems, counting, sorting, measuring and more. Don’t forget to show your child how math applies to other parts of life, too, by ordering a pizza (fractions) or baking a batch of cookies together (measurements).
33. Nursery Rhymes
Nursery rhymes are a great way to give your child his first taste of poetry. Celebrate a Mother Goose week with movies, books, games and skits in a nursery rhyme theme.
34. The Olympics
If you happen to be homeschooling during the right year, the Olympic Games present a great opportunity to learn about sports, different countries of the world, physical fitness, the history of the games and the meaning of good sportsmanship.
35. Pajama Day
You might just want to stretch this day into a whole month! Stay comfy in robes and pj’s while you do your homeschooling, have a pajama party, and learn why getting a certain amount of sleep is so important to the human body.
Caring for a pet is a great way to build responsibility in your youngster. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one – even if it’s just a goldfish. Teach your child about different kinds of pets, visit a pet store, veterinarian’s office or animal rescue, and learn what pets need to be happy and healthy.
Many children are fascinated with pioneer life. Teach your children what life was like for early American settlers by cooking pioneer meals, reading one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books together, building a covered wagon with chairs and blankets, or watch a few episodes of Little House on the Prairie.
Show your child the importance of caring for the environment by having a recycling week. Learn about where paper, plastic and glass come from, and what happens to it after we use it. Together, start recycling at home if you don’t already. Collect pop cans together, return, and donate the deposit money to a homeless shelter.
Take a week to learn about what faith is and how different people believe different things, depending on their religion. If you’re open to it, visit a few churches of different faiths and see what they’re like. Teach your child to respect others’ religious beliefs, no matter what they are.
What’s your child’s favorite season? Learn about all of them this week. Best of all, be sure to take advantage of some of the fun activities your current season has to offer.
Have fun with this preschool theme by spending a week exploring your senses. Taste different foods, take a walk and explore your sense of sight, play a guessing game with smells (use a blindfold and guess scents like vanilla or onion), listen to music, and talk about deafness and blindness.
Try starting this week off by watching WALL-E if your child hasn’t seen it yet – it’s a cute movie and a good way to kick off the Space theme. Learn about the planets, the moon, the sun and the stars, and if you have one in your area, take a visit to a planetarium.
While this school theme will probably send shudders through a lot of people, spiders play a hugely important part in our ecosystem. Teach your child about why spiders are helpful and how they spin their webs. Try making your own spider web with yarn and popsicle sticks.
Dental hygiene is important to your child’s health and well-being, and it’s best to learn the proper way to take care of your teeth at a young age. Try to coincide a checkup at the dentist with this themed week.
45. Teddy Bears
This preschool theme would go well if done near Pajama Day or Christmas. Spend a week learning about toys from around the world, and teddy bears specifically. Learn about Theodore Roosevelt (the teddy bear’s namesake).
It’s time for planes, trains and automobiles! Teach your child about all of the ways people use to travel, how travel has changed in the last hundred years, and how travel might change in the future, and where our fuel comes from.
Teach your child the difference between deciduous trees and evergreens. Take a nature hike and collect bark rubbings (rub an unwrapped crayon over a piece of paper pressed against tree bark), practice identifying different trees, and make a scrapbook of different leaves and pine needles, labeled with the name of the tree they came from.
Teach your child by example how important it is to volunteer in the community. Volunteering activities you could do together might include picking up trash along your street, visiting with senior citizens in a nursing home, or doing errands for someone who is housebound.
Weather is a fascinating subject. Teach your child about different cloud formations, what conditions make for bad or good weather, track the weather for the week, and learn how to navigate the National Weather Service’s web site to see the forecast for the week and radar data.
50. The Wild West
Got a little cowboy or cowgirl on your hands? Learn how the wild west was fun through books, dress up, and movies. Touch on the history of the Gold Rush and if you cover this theme in the spring or summer, take a mesh strainer to a stream and “pan” for treasures.
Winter is a season that deserves a preschool theme of it’s own. Teach your child about what animals do during cold weather, how some animals camouflage themselves in the snow, and all the different sports and activities you can do in the winter. Don’t forget a lesson in how to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
If you’ve got a zoo nearby, be sure to work in a field trip with this theme. If not, you can still learn about zoo animals and where they come from, read zoo books, and watch a fun zoo-related movie like Madagascar.
If you are considering homeschool as an option for your little one or have already decided to homeschool and are interested in creating your own preschool curriculum, be sure to check out my article, Design your own Free Homeschool Curriculum. There, you’ll get tips on developing a tailored educational program that will help you create a fun and effective preschool curriculum for your child.