Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about families
Check here for a complete list of Books about Families!
Nursery rhymes that go well with a Families Theme:
- There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
- Every Mouse and Bumblebee
Look for printable posters of these rhymes on the Nursery Rhymes Page.
Old Woman in a Shoe: Word Card Game
My Family’s Day: A beginning sequencing activity, personalized to the individual child.
Bear Family Sorting Mat
Baby Grid Game for math skills.
PowerPoint and printable song book for the Raffi song, All I Really Need.
Baby Blanket (or Family Quilt)
Children glue small squares of fabric to a piece of felt to make a “baby blanket”. Children use it with the classroom baby dolls to role play taking care of a baby. Or, if you prefer, you can call it a family quilt.
Children use multicultural paint to paint a small paper plate, add yarn hair to match the color of their own hair, add wiggle eyes, and draw a nose and mouth. These are taped to a craft stick to make a puppet.
Paper Bag Puppets
Children make a puppet of one of their family members using a paper bag.
[Art, Social Skills]
Children draw a picture their family members.
Bear Family Play Dough Cutters
Add bear family cookie cutters (made by Wilton) to the play dough area. Children use these to cut out the different sizes of bears to make the bear family.
Play Dough Family
Children can make people with the play dough. Encourage them to make a family. Add Barbie shoes to the area for the children to add to the feet of their family. Be sure to include shoes for women, men, and children.
Animal Families Class Book
After we read the book, Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?, by Eric Carle, we made a our own class book. Each page of our book says, “A ____ has a mother, too. Just like me and you.” Children cut a picture of an animal from a magazine and glued it on the page. I found great animal pictures in Your Big Backyard magazine. To make our class books, I use “presentation book covers” from an office supply store or Walmart. It has a sturdy plastic cover with a clear insert, and the pages are also clear inserts. I just slip in a page for the front cover, and slip in the children’s pages inside. These can be reused.
[Math, Fine Motor, Social Skills]
Children cut out pictures from magazines, and glue them on paper divided into two sections: “children” and “parents”. They decide which category to glue the people cut-outs. An alternate activity would be to classify the pictures as “boys” and “girls”. I have done both.
People Object Graph
[Math, Social Skills]
We use the floor graph and people figures from the block center. We graph how many boys and girls are in the class, each child placing a people figure on the graph to represent themselves. We count and compare most/least/same. We make other graphs: Do you have sisters? Do you have brothers?
Gift for Family
Children decorate a cookie or cupcake to give to a family member. Give each child a cup of white icing and allow them to stir in their choice of food coloring. Have a variety of toppings for the children to choose from: gummy bears, sprinkles, M&M’s, dried fruit, etc. (They can make one for themselves and one for a family member.)
This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling
Children bring family photos to school to share with the class. I add these photos to the children’s portfolio notebooks.
After reading the book, Jonathan and His Mommy, go through the book once more, and have the children walk in the same ways that Jonathan does.
Baby Care Prop Box
[Social Skills, Creative Play]
Include: Dolls, Doll clothes, Velcro diapers, Bottles, Baby blankets, High chair, Doll crib, Empty baby food jars, Baby spoons, Rattles, Small stuffed toys, Empty powder & wet wipe containers, Bibs
Baby Bath Prop Box
[Social Skills, Creative Play]
Include: Plastic dolls, Hand towels, Sponges, Dish pans or water table, Water smocks, Water, Liquid soap, Diapers
Add people figures that represent different races and ages to the block center.