Early childhood education activities and lesson plan ideas that enhance preschool curriculum during the beginning of the school year and help young children become familiar with their classmates and classroom environment. Lots of songs and teacher tips that are especially suitable for beginning the school year and when "new" children enter your class.
Back to Preschool Activity Theme
Materials: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, white construction paper, paint, and paint brushes.
Description: I read the story The Kissing
Hand using a raccoon stuffed animal.
Back to School
Materials: Folder with clips inside, clear plastic insert sheets, camera and film, (Polaroid if possible).
Description: Prior to the
children arriving I type a page for each child.
On the bottom of the page in
large letters I type "My name is____________. "
Comments: I like to read this
book the first few weeks of school during circle.
It only takes a few days before
the children are reading it with you. I also put it on the book
rack for the children to "read."
Materials: 1 ziploc type bag per child
Description: At the beginning
of the year I assign one bag to each child. On it
I write: Take
Home Bag; the child's name and Please
return every school day!
Comments: I use these bags in my Junior Kindergarten class but you could use it with younger or older students.
Gayle's Note: Two picture books that help with separation anxiety.
Cool Cooking: School Bus CakesThe Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Preschool children create their own school bus treats during this preschool activity by Robyn B.
You will need: One Twinkie snack cake per child, yellow frosting, 1 bag Gummy Lifesaver candies.
Description: Cut out a small rectangle from one end of the Twinkies to make it look like the hood and windshield and so it is shaped like a bus. Spread yellow frosting on the Twinkies and add Gummy Lifesavers for the wheels. Now it looks like a bus! Serve with milk and fresh fruit.
Description: Two simple ideas for job charts
for 2 year olds employ a very familiar
2. I have also set up mailboxes, similar
to those found at the end of a
the name and a picture of each job. Each child's name is on an
envelope that I
can place in the mailbox as a way to show who has the job.
Materials: 2 puppets, similar, but not the same.
Description: Each year, I use my orange and purple hairy puppets to model "good choices". Usually, purple is the one who makes the "not so good "choices! This is fun, and it works great with the 4 and 5 years old youngsters.
I start talking with the puppets and they
are talking to each other.
I then stop and I start talking as myself
asking if that was a good choice, etc. It is a riot, and the kids
do offer better choices and we model the better choice.
I often catch the students playing with
the puppets during free choice, making
good and not so good choices!
Back to School
Materials: Large poster board.
Description: We always have our Open House before school starts to give children a chance to meet their teachers and explore their classroom. On that night, I also give each child a large poster board cut-out of a person with instructions for them (and family) to decorate it to look like the child. They bring it back on the first day of school and I hang them all along one wall with their names underneath. They stay there all year and get sent home on graduation day.
Comments: Parents and children loved this!
The kids love to point out themselves when we have guests in our classroom!
Name Tag for
Desk or Table
Materials: Polaroid film (one per child), white paper, crayons or markers, contact paper, glue or tape.
Description: I let the kids color and decorate their picture. Put the child's name at the top in big letters. Take a picture of each child (waving, thumbs up or just acting goofy). Glue or tape the child's picture underneath their name. Apply to a clean dry surface and cover with clear contact paper. They will say. "Hey, that's me" and smile!
Lots of Name Recognition Activities are in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Look Who Came
To School Today!
The child named gets up and dances as children clap. Repeat with all the children's names, including the teacher's name.Look Who Came to School Today
School Brown Bear Book
Materials: Photos of each person the children will come in contact with at school, construction paper, binder or rings.
Description: Make a book based on the Brown
Bear, Brown Bear book. Fill the book with the names
and a photo of each person the children will come in contact with during
their school day. For example: "Children, children, Who do you see?
We see Ms. Kim (the director) looking at us." Include yourself in
the pages. You can also make a book using the names of the
children in the class.
Pick Up Toys
Description: When toys or manipulatives fall to the floor, the teacher or children can begin singing this song softly to remind others that there are items on the floor that need to be picked up.
Sung to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
Preschool Rhymes for Transition Times.
Circle Time Song
While singing this song children will search for each child by name, color of clothing, and delight in hide and seek.Circle Time Song
Comments: I often hear my students singing this song on their own to their friends. Lots more activities for very young children are in Activities For Toddlers
Circle Time Rhyme
What I made todayTeachers encourage young children to talk about each item. Examples: "What did you use to make your__? What classroom area/center did you work in in? What colors did (child's name) use?" etc.
the Preschool Rainbow