Preschool and Childcare Classroom Environmental Blog Hop

Preschool and Childcare Classroom Blog Hop
photo credit: YannGarPhoto (Where are the stats??) via photopin cc
I Love Colors

I have the privilege of blogging today with a wonderful group of homeschoolers, childcare providers, and classroom teachers who are bringing YOU a little environmental inspiration!  Others always ask what curriculum and philosophy we use at home.  My answer is that we use LOTS of inspiration and playful learning activities.   Just as I think it takes a community to raise successful children, it takes a “tribe” of playful learning activities to teach children well.  In our classroom, we present materials with Montessori, Reggio, and Waldorf inspirations as well as theme-based learning activities.  If you teach at home or in the classroom, we hope that you might find something that your own kids will like as you browse through the different classrooms and home environments!

I have taught children at home for the past 30 years.  I own a private group licensed childcare home/preschool that serves children ages infant to age 6.  We operate 49 weeks out of the year and are open from 700 am to 430 pm M-F.  This year, our group of children range in age from 2-5.  We hope you enjoy a partial tour of our own setting and a little glimpse of what our kids do each day!

Preschool and Childcare Environmental Blog Hop

This is a limited view of our home preschool classroom from the doorway.

Fall Sensory Sorting

Nature Sorting – this table changes every week (sometimes every other week). Currently, our kids are sorting nature items by size:  small, medium, and large.  Mirrors are great for learning; our kids love looking as we play!  The kids sort the items by hand or with various transfer tools.

Texture and Size Sorting Nature Table

Learning and set up doesn’t have to be expensive.  The leaf-themed sorting tray was a Goodwill bargain at $2.99.  It’s perfect for sorting small, medium, and large nature objects!

Nature Size Sorting Table

Another sensory size sorting tray:  the kids use tweezers or tongs to transfer (and sort by size) the leafs, pine cones, and miniature pumpkins to the containers.

Practical Life_SciencePractical Life/Cross-over Activities (Pre-Writing/Science):  Our practical life skills table changes weekly.  This week our kids are washing, drying, and shining apples. Our kids will also do apple coring and serving, washcloth folding, and peanut cracking/making peanut butter throughout mid-October (we have no children will allergies this year)!  We often use cross-over activities at the same center/wall due to space limitations.  Currently, we have Apple Life Cycle creations and an Apple Scented Playdough/Wikki Stix Pre-Writing Tray.

Alphabet Shelf

Alphabet Shelf:  We do not introduce letters in alphabetical order.  Each week our kids hunt the classroom, magazines, and outside play areas for items that begin with any of our six focus letters.  We add to our trays daily (where possible) to enhance letter recognition and beginning sounds.  We accompany any letter introductions with various thematic literacy activities.  Since our kids are together from the time they are infants, we have many opportunities to explore literacy, letters, sounds, and beginning words.

Maths Home Preschool

Maths:  Our math center and shelves have a variety of manipulatives to cover a wide-range of objectives.  The baskets and table games change frequently as the children gain skills throughout our year.  We have mixed ages in our classroom and the kids learn alongside each other everyday.

Fine Motor Trays

Learning Trays:  We have 4 shelves that house our activity trays.  Our kids know which tray requires a table or can be done on the floor.  The trays consist of many fine motor activities at the beginning of the year.  Later, our activity trays will contain literacy, writing (pre-writing/stamping), math,  science, and other seasonal thematic activities for explorations and playful learning.

Blog Hop DocumentationDocumentation:  We have several inexpensive cameras in our home classroom.  Our preschoolers take pictures of their learning and projects then post to their own clipboards in various display locations.  It’s a fun way to integrate technology and allow them to own their learning documentation.

More photos of our home environment:

Outdoor Nature Play Center

If you ask our kids, the outdoor play center is one of their favorite activities!  We are “cooking” nature soup this week and beginning a carnation coloring experiment!  As the weather gets colder, we’ll make scarecrows/pumpkin stew and have ice/snow explorations (amongst other creative play ideas that only our kids could imagine)!

Childcare Blog Hop

All of our kids come together in a common area at various times throughout our day to paint, read, sing, dance, practice fingerplays, play games, and explore instruments!

Common Area

Childcare and Classroom Blog Hop

Home Preschool Set-up

Home Preschool Set-up

Home Childcare Set-up

 Some years are better than others for organization.  I’ve planned to paint storage shelves in our preschool classroom for the past month.  They are STILL ugly, but I LOVE the storage space!  I did get all of September’s monthly activities sorted into baskets, but obviously didn’t bother to DUST the shelves as well as I thought I had!:)  I thought about re-taking the photo, but this is real.  Sometimes DUSTING just doesn’t make our to-do list.  That’s OK…we accomplish MANY things during our days!

Childcare Storage ShelvesThanks for sharing a little of our home learning environment with us!  Playing to learn is FUN when you have special friends to share it with!

Childcare and Classroom Environmental Blog Hopt

For great inspiration from other homes/classrooms, check out the wonderful bloggers below:

 Classroom Tour Blog Hop Environments:
Katie at Preschool Inspirations
Jamie at Play to Learn Preschool
Sheryl at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Amy at Child Central Station
Mary Catherine at Fun-A-Day
Deborah at Teach Preschool

Posted in Back to School for Preschool and PreK, PreK, Preschool and Kindergarten Skills | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves PowerPoint & Sequencing Cards #PlayfulPreschool

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some LeavesHarvest Theme for #PlayfulPreschool

This week’s #playfulpreschool theme contains activities centered around a HARVEST THEME!  All throughout the school year, the Playful Preschool blogging team will be working behind the scenes to offer activities and suggestions just for your students or children.  Please visit the home page of this blog each Wednesday morning to see new theme-based ideas for playful learning!

For other posts in the #playfulpreschool series, visit:




Disclosure:  This post and others within this blog contain affiliate links.  Please see the ABOUT section at the top of this page for full disclosures.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves:  Sequencing Cards and PowerPointThere Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro is one of our favorite harvest books.  It is meant to be read with a good dose of humor as the old lady swallows the various items.  Your kids will love reading (and SNEEZING) until the harvest surprise comes at the end of the story!  It’s a FUN book for fall/harvest themes at home or in the classroom!

Preschool Extension Activities for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Story CardsWHAT COMES NEXT? – Predictions and Reading

Purpose:  To encourage kids to higher level thinking strategies when listening to a book.

Before reading There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, have the children make verbal predictions about what they think the story is about.  Invite the children to look at the book cover (front and back) then write down all the predictions the children give.  While reading, stop several times and ask the children again what they think is happening in the book.   The answers will differ slightly from the predictions at the beginning.   Did any of the children predict what the end character would be in the story? Prediction is a great strategy for engaging preschoolers in the story as well as encouraging them to think about what the author is doing through the text and how the book will end.

Extension Activity:  Creating a number timeline for events

Materials needed:  one story timeline printable (linked here – There Was An Old Lady Story Timeline, scissors, and glue sticks.

Invite the children to cut out the cards and sequence the cards in the blank boxes according to the story’s timeline of events.  What item was introduced first, second, third, and so on.   After the children are finished with the activity, read the book again and pause to note when each of the objects are introduced.  The kids will have fun following along and will often shout-out the next object that will appear in the story!

Seqencing Activity for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

Some preschoolers may not know that the character at the end of the story is a SCARECROW.  A scarecrow gets its name from the duty it performs; a scarecrow is designed to SCARE away crows (or other birds) from a field or a garden to keep the birds from eating the harvest fruits or vegetables.  To extend the book and help the children sequence the events of the story, the children can create stick puppets to hold up as the story is read.


Materials needed:  One printable ( There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves), glue sticks, scissors, and wooden craft sticks.

Print the sequencing cards and have the children cut out each card.  The children can then glue the individual picture cards to craft sticks to create their own stick puppets.  Invite the children to lay the stick puppets in front of them as the story is read.  As each item appears in the story, have the children locate and hold up the corresponding stick puppet.  The children might also use their stick puppets as they watch the PowerPoint below!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves – PowerPoint for Preschool


Sensory Stick Puppet ScarecrowsMaterials needed:  heavy paper (any color for the shirt/pants), twine or yarn (rope), hay or raffia, leaf stickers or leaf confetti, seasonal straws or wooden craft sticks (pole), poster putty, markers, and miniature craft pumpkins (head).

Prior to the activity – cut out a basic shirt/pants from any color of heavy paper and set aside.

Discuss all of the items on the table with the children.  Invite the children to feel the different textures and try describing how the items FEEL.  Help the children increase vocabulary skills by exploring various descriptive words (for example:  bumpy, shiny, smooth, scratchy, sticky, gooey, and crunchy).

To make the textured scarecrow puppets:  Have the children tear small pieces of poster putty to attach the craft leaves to the paper shirt – adhere the paper shirt/leaves to the seasonal straws with additional poster putty.  Invite the children to draw facial features on the miniature craft pumpkins with the marker.  The pumpkin can then be attached to the straw with poster putty.  The children can add the pants, raffia/twine, and hay to complete the stick puppet.  Read the story again and ask the children to point out the puppet parts as they appear in the story.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is a fun book to read for a Harvest Theme in Preschool!  The kids will have fun sequencing the story and playing with the created puppets while making predictions about what character the items will make at the end of the story!

Playful Preschool BloggersPlan your PRESCHOOL Harvest Theme Learning Week with Activities from the Playful Preschool Education Team:
Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall by Still Playing School

Corny Science: Will it sink or float? by Capri + 3

Plants We Eat {which are roots, stems, leaves, fruit} by Raising Lifelong Learners

Harvesting in the Carrot Patch by Powerful Mothering

Preschool Math: Measuring Pumpkins by Mom Inspired Life

Making Bread by Rainy Day Mum

#PlayfulPreschool Harvest Time Math by Tiny Tots Adventures

Alphabet Activities: Letter Harvest by Growing Book by Book

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Sequencing Cards & Power Point by The Preschool Toolbox Blog

Go Global: Harvests Around the World by The Educators’ Spin On It

Harvest Time: Jamaican Style Music by Learning 2 Walk

Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin: Practicing Matching with Preschoolers by Life Over C’s

Little Red Hen Activity – Retelling through Sensory Play by Fun-A-Day

Posted in Fall Theme Activities, Halloween Theme for Kids, Literacy, PreK, Thanksgiving Theme Activities | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Fall Theme for #Preschool: 50+ Pumpkin Playful Learning Activities {+ $2000 Total Cash #Giveaway} #KBN

Fall Theme for Preschool:  PUMPKIN Activities for Playful Learning Round-up!

Fall Pumpkins Theme for PreschoolToday, we are honored to join bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network  to bring YOU the largest collection of FALL THEME ACTIVITIES for Preschool ever in one event!   This round-up includes over 50 PUMPKIN ACTIVITIES for playful learning!  The other activity round-ups will be linked below to provide great resources centered around a fall theme.  In addition to all the round-ups, we are offering a MEGA CASH GIVEAWAY with FOUR $500 CASH PRIZES!   We hope you’ll find a wealth of inspiration to use at home or in the classroom (and take a chance to win some CASH along the way)!

The following post consists of 3 main sections:

  • Pumpkins Playful Learning Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten:  Pumpkin Books, Pumpkin Literacy, Pumpkin Math, Pumpkin Science, Pumpkin Sensory and Play, Pumpkin Large Motor Games, and Pumpkin Treats to make with kids!
  • Links to all participating FALL THEME round-ups from the Kid Blogger Network.
Disclosure:  This post and others within this blog contain affiliate links.  To see full disclosures, visit the ABOUT US section at the top of the page.

Pumpkin Books for PreschoolPUMPKIN BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL

From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

5 Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis

Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon

Pumpkin Literacy Activities for PreschoolPUMPKIN LITERACY ACTIVITIES for PRESCHOOL

5 Little Pumpkin Sitting on a Vine – a created storyboard for Preschool

Pumpkin Patch Letter Hunt (Literacy and Gross Motor Game)by Mamas Like Me

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything – sequencing cards to accompany the book

10 Little Pumpkins – a created felt storyboard to accompany the poem by Love Play and Learn

Pumpkin and Harvest Word Cards – a Montessori-inspired Clothespin Literacy Tray 

5 Little Pumpkins – an original poem for use with Pumpkin Stick Puppets (Wikki Stix)

Pumpkin Activities for Playful Learning in EVERY subject –Literacy, Writing, and MORE

Pumpkin Math Activities for PreschoolPUMPKIN MATH ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL

Pumpkin Patch Candy Math Game by Toddler Approved

Pumpkin “MISSING NUMBER” game with Miniature Pumpkins

Playing with Number Combinations #’s 1-10 – Free Printables for Decomposing numbers with Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Numbers Busy Bag by Coffee Cups and Crayons

Pumpkin-Themed TEEN Numbers (Wikki Stix)

Pumpkin Estimation Book for Preschool and Kindergarten – free lesson plan – (Wikki Stix)

Printable Pumpkin and Fall Theme Playdough and Counting Mats

Hands-on Geoboard Explorations with Real Pumpkins by Fun-A-Day

Fall and Pumpkin Inspired Montessori Counting Activities by Preschool Inspirations

Pumpkin Roll and Cover Math Game

Pumpkin Science Activities for PreschoolPUMPKIN SCIENCE ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL

What Happens to a Rotting Pumpkin? – Science and Discovery from Kids Activities Blog

Paper Plate Pumpkin Life Cycle and Printable Sequencing Cards

Pumpkin Math and Science by Stay at Home Educator

Dissolving Pumpkins – Forming Predictions and Making Observations with Pumpkin Science by Lemon Lime Adventures

Pumpkin Science Investigations by Coffee Cups and Crayons

Pumpkin Science and Cinnamon GOOP! by Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Fall and Halloween Tasting Experiment and Printable Recording Sheets

Pumpkin Unit Study (including the Life Cycle) by Natural Beach Living

Exploring a Pumpkin Life Cycle with Real Pumpkin Parts! by Teach Preschool

Pumpkin Guts and Seeds by Mama Papa Bubba

Fall Sensory Science Tasting Investigations

Pumpkin Sensory and Play Activities for PreschoolPUMPKIN SENSORY and PLAY ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL

Pumpkin Pie Clean Mud Sensory Play – Recipe by Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Pumpkin-Themed Invitation to Sensory Play by My Nearest and Dearest

Egg Carton Pumpkin Fall Sensory Bin by Sugar Aunts

Pumpkin Pie Playdough by Your Modern Family

Pumpkin Sensory Play by Sugar Aunts

Mr. Pumpkin Head Play by B-inspired Mama

Pumpkin Window Crafts for Book Play by 3 Dinosaurs

Pumpkin Themed Play Date – lots of pumpkin play ideas by Coffee Cups and Crayons

Pumpkin and Apple Small World Sensory Play by Little Bins for Little Hands


Handprint and Thumbprint Pumpkin Crafts

Pour Painted Pumpkins by Simple Fun for Kids

Pumpkin Mosaic Craft with Beans and Candy

Marbled Pumpkins by Simple Fun for Kids

Pumpkins on a Vine Paper Plate Craft

Thumbtack Pumpkins by Simple Fun for Kids

Jack-O-Lantern (and Frankenstein) Cereal Box Crafts

Paper Clip Pumpkin Art


Pumpkin Gross Motor Games for PreschoolPUMPKIN and FALL GROSS MOTOR GAMES for PRESCHOOL

Large Motor PUMPKIN Relay

PUMPKIN CHUCKIN’ by B-inspired Mama

AUTUMN YOGA POSES for KIDS by Kids Yoga Stories

Pumpkin Bowling by P is for Preschooler

Fall and Pumpkin Foods to Make with PreschoolersPUMPKIN and FALL TREATS to MAKE with PRESCHOOLERS

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Buttermilk Glaze

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Crystals Tiny Treasures

Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

Fall (Sweet Potato or Pumpkin) Cake

Fall Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten

The Fall Theme for Preschool contains 3 different themes in one (100+ page) unit:  Trees and Leaves, Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns, and Non-scary Halloween.   The suggested activities are designed for children ages 3-6, but extension activities are given where possible for slightly younger or older children.  It contains:  a 49 page instructional manual with songs/fingerplays, literacy activities, math, science, dramatic play, crafts, foods and food crafts, and an extensive book list for hands-on exploration and playful learning.  The theme will download as a zipped file. Once the contents are extracted, there will be a main folder that contains the instructional manual, all 49 pdf files for activities within the theme, and 5  Power Points. The RED links in the main theme are not live, but are there to serve as a guide to tell which file to print for each activity. The GREEN links are for any Power Points.

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Posted in Fall Recipes, Fall Theme Activities, PreK, Preschool Themes, Pumpkin Theme Activities, Reviews and Giveaways, Thanksgiving Theme Activities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Corn Life Cycle & Sequencing Cards for #Preschool! #PlayfulPreschool


This week’s #playfulpreschool theme contains activities centered around a FARM THEME!  All throughout the school year, the Playful Preschool blogging team will be working behind the scenes to offer activities and suggestions just for your students or children.  Please visit the home page of this blog each Wednesday morning to see new theme-based ideas for playful learning!

For other posts in the #playfulpreschool series, visit:



Corn Life Cycle Paper Plate Craft

Corn Life Cycle Paper Plate Craft & Sequencing CardsCORN LIFE CYCLE SEQUENCING CARDS_LABELS

The first corn farmers in the United States were the American Indians.  Approximately 75% of the food we eat everyday contains corn in one form or another.   Teaching young kids about the growing cycle of a corn stalk is not only interesting, but it will help “plant the seeds” (pun intended) for future studies on life cycles and how plants develop.

Please note:  the paper plate corn life cycle above uses Wikki Stix.  Wikki Stix are the original wax-coated yarn sticks made here in the U.S.A.  While I do write for Omnicor, Inc. (better known as the Wikki Stix Co.), this post is NOT a sponsored post.  I’ve have used Wikki Stix for 25+ years with preschoolers and it is, by FAR, the best sensory material for creating life cycles.  In the extra resources section below, you’ll find links to many other life cycle crafts our own students have created.  Wikki Stix can be stored and used over and over again for future projects and learning activities.  Check out the Wikki Stix website, free lessons plans, or the Wikki Stix blog for creative ways to encourage playful learning!

Explain and discuss with the children the growth of a corn stalk from the corn kernels planted in the ground (seeds) to a corn plant that produces more kernels.

  • The corn kernels (seeds) are planted in the soil.
  • With water and sunlight the seed sprouts
  • The sprouts grows and form the corn stalk with leaves and then tassels/silks
  • The silks (inside the corn husks) grab pollen from the tassels to grow the corn kernels.

Remind the children that a life cycle repeats itself over and over again. Have the children divide the paper plate into four sections using Wikki Stix (as shown in photo above).

Materials needed to make the paper plate corn life cycle craft:   Green/Yellow/Orange Wikki Stix, one paper plate (per craft), scissors, and the printable labels (linked at the top of this section).

  1. The life cycle begins in the upper left corner. Have the children cut small pieces of Wikki Stix with scissors and place real corn kernels (or print the photo of corn kernels below and have the children cut out the corn) CORN KERNELS on top of the Wikki Stix inside that section. No glue is necessary as the corn kernels (or paper corn) will adhere to the Wikki Stix.
  2. In the upper right corner of the paper plate, the children can make a small sprout using the green Wikki Stix.
  3. The lower right corner of the plate should contain a corn stalk with silks/tassels (the silks grab pollen to make the corn). Have the children create a larger green stem and leaves to resemble the corn stalk and cut small pieces of yellow Wikki Stix for the silk/tassels.
  4. To complete the life cycle, the children can make the corn lower left hand corner of the plate.

The children can use markers to label their CORN LIFE CYCLE or they can cut the labels from the printable provided above. The labels will adhere directly to the Wikki Stix without the need for glue.

Corn Life Cycle Sequencing Cards

EXTENSION ACTIVITY:  Print the Corn Life Cycle Sequencing Cards in the file linked above, laminate for durability, and cut them out.  Invite the children to place the cards in the correct life cycle order from the planting of the corn seed to the actual corn.  If desired, the cards can also be used for a matching game:  print several copies of the sequencing cards and cut out.  Have the children place all of the cards face down on the floor.  The game begins by choosing two cards at a time.  If the cards match, then the children keep the cards.  If the two cards do not match, then the cards are turned over and play continues.  The game is over when all matching pairs have been located.


Books about Corn for PreschoolDisclosure:  This post and others within this blog contain affiliate links.  To see full disclosures, see the ABOUT section at the top of this blog.

CORN IS MAIZE – The Gift of the Indians by ALIKI

CORN by Gail Gibbons

Corn Up Close by Katie Franks

I Like Corn by Robin Pickering

Three Stalks of Corn by Leo Politi

The Life and Times of Corn by Charles Micucci

Life Cycle Crafts for Preschool





WIKKI STIX PARTS OF A PLANT (free lesson plan)







 Playful Preschool BloggersPlan Your Learning Week with Preschool Activities for the Farm Theme

From the ‪#‎PLAYful‬ Preschool Education Team!

Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Art, Sensory, Songs and MORE!!!!

Farm Animal Letter Sounds by Mom Inspired Life
Learning to Write: Labeling the Farm by Growing Book by Book
Make a Who Am I Farm Animal Book by The Educators’ Spin On It
Corn Life Cycle & Sequencing Cards for Preschool by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
While at the Farm:  Children’s Farm Song by Capri + 3
Farm Animal Counting and Sorting Sensory Bin by Life Over C’s
Farm Themed Count and Add Activity for Preschool by Rainy Day Mum
Corn Painting – An Art Activity for a Preschool Farm Theme by Fun-A-Day!
Preschoolers DIY Farm by Tiny Tots Adventure
Preschool Science: Duck Feather Experiment by Raising Lifelong Learners
Farm Animal Sort by Powerful Mothering
Wash the Farm: Fruits and Vegetable Sensory Play for Preschoolers by The Kennedy Adventures

Preschool Farm Activities and Sensory Play for Math, Science, and Literacy by Little Bins for Little Hands


We would like to extend an invitation to join us tonight 9/17/2014 at 9:00 P.M. EST for a live Google Hangout talking about the activities we are doing with our preschoolers for the farm theme. This hangout will be recorded and able to be viewed at a future date.

Posted in Fruits and Vegetables Theme Activities, PreK, Science, Thanksgiving Theme Activities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

My Funny Family: Family Tree Stick Crafts for Preschool! #Playfulpreschool

Family Theme Books for Preschool and Kindergarten

Family Theme Books for Preschool and Kindergarten

MY FUNNY FAMILY – #PlayfulPreschool Family and Heritage Theme for Preschool

This week’s playful preschool theme is:  FAMILY and HERITAGE.  If you’d like to view last week’s APPLES ACTIVITIES, you can view them here.  All throughout the school year, the Playful Preschool blogging team will be working behind the scenes to offer activities and suggestions just for your students or children.  Please visit the home page of this blog each Wednesday morning to see new theme-based ideas for playful learning!

Disclosure:  This post and others within this blog contain affiliate links.  For full disclosures, see the ABOUT page at the top of this blog.

My Funny Family is a wonderful book to use for a family preschool theme at home or in the classroom.  The book has “lift the flap” surprises as the children read about different members of this family.  It is a fun and interactive book with rhyming clues that keep the children guessing as they try to determine what family member comes next.  It is definitely worth the $.01 (yes, $.01) to have in your library at school or at home!

Family Tree Crafts for Preschool and Kindergarten

Family Tree Crafts for Preschool and Kindergarten

 My Family Tree Craft for Preschool

After reading My Funny Family, discuss with the children all the different types of families there are!  Some children live with mom and dad and other children might live with just one parent, an aunt or uncle, or grandparents.  There are many different types of families to celebrate in our world.  Allow time for the children to discuss the members of their own family.  Children LOVE sharing and learning about their own family as well as the families of other children.   It is a great way to connect with preschoolers, create opportunities for language and literacy, and to celebrate differences within families.  After discussions, invite the children to create their own family tree craft to display at home or to make a class book!

Materials needed for the Family Tree Craft:  sticks from outside (or craft sticks), one cardboard tube, poster putty, paint smocks (or old T-Shirts), paint trays (or paper plate), white paper, and any color of tempera paint desired to make your family tree craft.

Prior to painting:  Cut the cardboard tubes (across the tube) to make several ovals.  Pinch the oval shapes at the top and bottom to form a “leaf” (see photo below).  Invite the children to create by placing all supplies out on a table or a large tray.

Family Tree Craft for Preschool and Kindergarten

Family Tree Craft for Preschool and Kindergarten

On the white paper, invite the children to use the sticks to create any kind of tree desired.  For convenience, our kids used small pieces of poster putty to adhere the sticks to the paper instead of glue.  The children can then use the cardboard tube leaves to make paint prints on their paper for each member of their family.  Allow the leaf prints to thoroughly dry before labeling the leaves with each family member.

Family Tree Craft for Preschool and Kindergarten

Family Tree Craft for Preschool and Kindergarten

Some children may wish to add photos to their family tree craft, too!  It is fun to use each child’s family tree to make a book.  Children love looking through the books to find pictures of themselves and of their family members.  It is a great way to encourage early literacy for young kids!


Stick Family Craft for PreschoolWe are FAMILY – We always STICK Together! – We are FAMILY

Discuss with the children how family makes them feel.  Family and home should be a safe-haven for all of its members.   It is a place where we are loved by the members in our family and where we work together as a team for common and individual goals.   Our kids loved creating the stick family craft; it is a nice reminder for young kids that they will have other adults (or older family members) to depend on when the going gets rough!

  Materials needed:   sticks, googly eyes (adhesive backed), ribbon, hole punch, and the printable label (linked above).

Invite the children to gather sticks from outside.  Have the children put two googly eyes on sticks for each member in their immediate family.  The children can tie the sticks up in a bundle with ribbon or yarn.  Invite the children to cut out the label and hole punch the brown dot on the printable above.  The label can then be strung from the ribbon or yarn for a cute craft to accompany your readings and discussions about FAMILY!

MORE Great Books about FAMILY for Preschool:

Books about FAMILY for Preschool and Kindergarten

Books about FAMILY for Preschool and Kindergarten

The Family Book by Todd Parr

Who’s In My Family by Robie H. Harris

Me and My Family Tree by Joan Sweeney

Who’s in a Family by Robert Skutch

All Families Are Special by Norma Simon

Playful Preschool Bloggers

Plan your Family Theme Preschool Activities with these ideas from the Playful Preschool Education Team!

Family Theme Learning Activities: Reading – Writing – Cooking – Sensory – Art – Math

Bookmaking for a Preschool Family Theme from Fun A Day

Finding My Family on a Map from Powerful Mothering

Preschool Writing Activity: Letters to Family from Mom Inspired Life

Cooking with Kids: Family Recipe Books from Growing Book By Book

Our Family Tree: Sorting Family Members from Still Playing School

Family Themed Sensory Bin from Little Bins for Little Hands

Tips for Using Skype to Connect with Family from The Educators’ Spin On It

Family Portraits from Rainy Day Mum

Family Counting from Tiny Tots Adventures

Jamaican Games for Fine and Gross Motor Skills from Learning 2 Walk

Family Footprints from Capri +3

Posted in Literacy, PreK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments