Have you seen the blog Fantastic Fun and Learning? You’ll feel like you’re looking at a magazine; Shaunna’s photography is stunning. More importantly, her education and experience as an early childhood teacher mean that you will find countless fun, educationally-sound activities. I hope you’ll visit and look around… grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate because you’ll be there a while (be sure to follow along with me)! I’m so honored that Shaunna is guest posting at The Measured Mom while we stay busy with our new baby girl.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share today, Anna! We love using themes as the framework for our home preschool activities. Not only do the kids have a chance to explore the theme in detail and make various connections that enhance their learning, using themes is also a lot of fun! I’m always so excited when one of the kids mentions a theme we learned about long ago and can recall the activities in detail. I know those are the ones that have made a lasting impression.
Choosing Themes for Preschool Activities
There are limitless possibilities for selecting a theme. When choosing a theme for my little ones I focus on these criteria:
- Does it relate to something the kids are interested in?
- Does it lend itself to cross-curricular explorations and activities? Can I incorporate literacy, math, science, sensory exploration, pretend play, etc?
- And although it isn’t a primary consideration, I do think about whether we have most of the materials on hand. Many of our themes utilize natural materials and craft items we already have.
Great Spring Themes
Now that spring is here there are many wonderful spring themes to explore. If your kids are anything like mine, they are probably getting really excited to see flowers, bugs, new produce at the farmer’s market and other signs of spring outdoors. I like to take that enthusiasm and run with it. Below is a glimpse at some of the spring themes we’ve explored so far.
Spring themed learning
We learned about seeds while exploring the letter S. You might have fun:
- Reading books about seeds.
- Investigating which foods have seeds
- Collecting and comparing different kinds of seeds
- Counting and sorting seeds
- Planting seeds
- Creating letters and art with seeds
Fun with Flowers
We’re just getting started exploring flowers this year. For your theme you might try:
- Creating a play dough garden with fresh flowers.
- Using flower petals for sensory water play.
- Going on a flower scavenger hunt. You might look for a certain number of flowers, specific types of flowers, or flowers in every color of the rainbow.
- Using flower petals to make letters or spell names.
- Experimenting to see what kinds of marks you can make with wet flower petals.
Learning with Vegetables
As new seasonal vegetables start showing up at the farmer’s market, in the grocery store, and in our gardens, it’s a great time for kids to learn more about vegetables. Some of the activities we’ve tried include:
- Reading books about vegetables
- Creating a fresh produce stand for pretend play
- Practicing math with vegetables by counting, comparing, and sorting in this grocery shopping game.
- Exploring colors and vegetable prints with a collaborative big art painting project.
Rocks are available year round, but spring can be a great time to get outside and collect rocks for this preschool theme. During our rock theme we tried:
- collecting rocks. It was so much fun to see all the rocks we found, and the kids continued collecting rocks long after our official rock theme was over.
- washing rocks for sensory play.
- sorting and counting the rocks in our rock collection.
- making letters, patterns, and designs with our rocks.
- Reading books about rocks.
- Investigating the strength and make up of rocks with a little rock demolition.
- Making a rock with this easy science experiment.
- Exploring gravity by painting with rocks.
- Investigating our sense of hearing and creating a “rock” band.
And those certainly aren’t all the themes you can choose from. Your little ones might like to explore birds, butterflies, ladybugs, worms, trees, rain, clouds, mud and more. Ooh, I get excited just thinking about all the possibilities!
More Fun with Preschool Themes
You can find even more of our theme activities on our theme main page. We’ll be adding new activities and themes as we explore them.
Now that I’ve shared a few ideas, I’d love to hear yours. What are some of your favorite spring themes to learn about with kids? Which themes have really made a lasting impression on your kids?
Shaunna created Fantastic Fun and Learning to share the hands-on activities and crafts she does with her 2 daughters and 2 little boys who join them for at home preschool. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and she enjoyed teaching kindergarten and first grade for seven years.
Grab our spring plants and gardens theme!