Polka dot art is a fun exploration with paint for prekinder kids and it’s also a great fine motor activity. I was originally going to call this pointillism art, like the technique used by Seurat. Then I decided that polka dot art would sound more interesting to preschool kids. I still think it’s a great idea to teach them the word pointillism and show them some paintings by Seurat. I chose
Here’s how to make DIY giant letter tiles for your Pre-K, Preschool, or Kindergarten students. Children can use these in the block center or as a table activity. Kids could spell their name, spell words, match letters to letters, match objects to letters. In the state where I teach, we have to have classroom materials that are “real and found” objects and something to promote literacy in every center. For the block
These blindfold games will help your students explore the sense of sight while learning about the five senses. These activities help children understand their sense of sight is important, and what it’s like without seeing. Check out more of my Five Senses activities here. How to make Blindfolds An easy way to make blindfolds is with stretchy knit fabric (like T-shirt material). You can purchase it at a fabric store or even cut old T-shirts.
These two taste testing activities will help your students explore and learn about the sense of taste. Check out more of my Five Senses activities here. Salt & Sugar Test The salt and sugar test is a very simple, quick activity to explore how our sense of taste can detect a difference between two things when our other senses cannot. Give each child about a 1/4 teaspoon (or a couple of pinches)
This 5 Senses activity teaches children about the sense of smell in a fun way. It’s similar to write-the-room, only in this game, children smell the room! In this game, children will move around the room, sniffing pictures posted around the walls and/or furniture, and decide whether it has a scent or not. Check out more of my Five Senses activities here. Prepare the Scent Hunt Game To prepare this activity, you
These gummy bear math printables will help your Pre-K and Kindergarten kids practice sorting, counting, and patterns. Its a quick-prep activity (as long as you have gummy bears on hand). Just print the pages, add gummy bears, and you’re ready. I used the “classic” gummy bear colors of red, orange, yellow, green, and clear. These colors won’t be difficult to find, although there are some brands that make other colors. I
Here are a few of my favorite teacher tips! Some of these you may have heard of, some maybe not. Please add your own helpful tips in the comments section below! We can all help each other out. 1. Use felt scraps for dry erase lapboard erasers. I cut felt scraps into squares for the children to erase their lapboards. They work great and are very inexpensive! I’ve also heard
I have been planning to buy one of these Cricut machines for a long time, but hadn’t yet. Recently the Cricut company sent me one, along with a ton of tools and supplies to go with it, in exchange for sharing what I created on my blog. I don’t write about products for companies very much, and I only do so when I really like something. Now that I have a Cricut Explore,
We have open ended art materials and opportunities to use them every single day in my classroom. Open ended art means that a variety of materials are provided and available for children to choose. They choose the materials they want to use, how they want to use them, and what they will make. All too often early childhood educators and parents do not value open ended art because it doesn’t
Children love “I Have, Who Has” card games, and you can find many of them online to teach a variety of skills. You can find my “I Have, Who Has” games for Numbers and Shapes at these links. Before I play skill based “I Have, Who Has” games, we play a “fun” version first so that children can learn how to play the game and they can see right away how
I know many teachers are already back in their classrooms getting things prepared for their students. Birthday things are something that I always put off to the last minute because of all the other things I have to get ready (cubbies, folders, centers, and all). Then I always have a child in my class who has a birthday during the first week of school and I’m not prepared! So here
There are 5 mistakes Pre-K teachers typically make in the first week of school. After years of trial and error, I now avoid doing these five things. We preschool teachers typically do these things because it’s tradition, or it’s cute, or because Kindergarten and First Grade teachers do it (and we want to do it, too). This is all simply my opinion, and I know there are Pre-K teachers who will vehemently
These 4th of July treat bag toppers are a fun, simple gift to put together for your students, kids, friends, or for a party. If you’re in school during the summer or running a summer camp, this would be an inexpensive gift for the kids in your group. Treat bag topper gifts are quick to make. All you have to do is print the topper, cut, and attach to a
Today, I’m sharing our Pre-K End of Year Celebration, along with printable certificates. Several people have asked me to share ideas for Preschool Graduation, but to be really honest, what I do is really simple. I also know this will be late for some teachers and not for others — if so, I hope you will pin it for next year. End of Year Celebration Some teachers call it Graduation, but I call it our “End of
For the month of May, we have an Ice Cream Shop Dramatic Play center in our preschool classroom. I have many more Dramatic Play centers here. At the bottom of this post, I will share where I got each item. This is the front of our Ice Cream Shop. The top shelf has ice cream bowls, spoons, ice cream scoops, chalkboard sign, and a tub of craft pom-pons. We used the pom-pons for
A lot of people ask me how I store materials in the classroom, and many people want details. Here are some photos that show ways I organize the “hidden” materials, and in a future post, I’ll show our everyday supplies. The simple trick to organizing is to put like things together. I know that sounds so obvious. In my Pre-K classroom, the main things I need to store are: materials for each center
These Pond Life Picture Word Cards will work well with a Pond Life Theme. Included words are turtle, fish, duck, frog, tadpole, dragonfly, swan, alligator, salamander, snail, water bug, heron, lily pads, cattails. There are a total of 14 words. Find more word card sets in the Picture Word Cards collection. How to use the word cards: During each theme we do in my classroom, I put a pocket chart of word cards related to
Little bug enthusiasts will enjoy counting and fine motor practice with this set of Ladybug Play Dough Math Mats. These will go great with a Bug or Insect Theme. Find more of these mats on the play dough math mats page. To prepare these play dough mats, print them on card stock paper and either laminate them or slip them into page protectors. I always use page protectors so I can hook them
In my classroom, we’ve had a Doctor Dramatic Play Center for the month of March. Look for more of my Dramatic Play centers here — I’ve been sharing one each month this year. At the bottom of this post, I will share where I got each item. In this photo, you can see the shelf where all of our Doctor Dramatic Play things are displayed for the children to use. We have
Try this Easter Counting Activity for your pre-k students to practice counting skills with stickers. Also, find more Easter Activities here. Prepare the Easter Counting Activity To prepare the activity, cut a large egg shape out of white construction paper. Use colored masking tape to make the dividing stripes across the egg. (I used light blue masking tape here). Label the white spaces with the numerals you want your students to practice.
Making transitions from one activity to another in the classroom often takes some trial and error. Transitions are an important part of our day in pre-k, even though they seem like minor moments that don’t even make it onto our written schedule. Recently I got emails from teachers asking me how we transition to small group. I thought it might be helpful to post it here, but I know so many of you teachers out
In time for Spring and Earth Day, I’m sharing these play dough counting mats with worms in the dirt! Your prekinders will enjoy practicing math and fine motor skills while making something creepy! Look for more of these play dough mats on my play dough math mats page. To prepare these play dough mats, I print them on card stock paper and slip each page into a clear page protector. I hook them
What preschool kid doesn’t enjoy collecting rocks? Here’s an integrated science and math activity where kids have the opportunity to work with one of their favorite treasures. This is an activity you can have in your science center, or it could be used as a small group activity. For this activity, you’ll need a balance scale, rocks collected by the children, and an assortment of objects found around the classroom. These are the
This set of Weather Picture Word Cards can be added to your Writing Center during a Weather Theme. I have included all kinds of weather, with words like sunny, cloudy, stormy, as well as blizzard, flood, hurricane, the four seasons, and others. There are a total of 20 words. Find more word card sets in the Picture Word Cards collection, and more weather printables here. Using the word cards in the classroom: You can use
These Dinosaur Play Dough Counting Mats will help your pre-k kids learn counting skills while playing and exercising their fine motor muscles. These will go great with a Dinosaur Theme. You can also find many more Play Dough Mats here. To prepare these mats, just print and either laminate or slip them in clear page protectors. I always choose to put them in page protectors and then I bind them
This month, we have a Post Office in our dramatic play center. February is a good month for this because the children “deliver mail” on Valentine’s Day, so it ties in well. Look for more of my Dramatic Play centers here — I’ve been sharing one each month this year. At the bottom of this post, I will share where I got each item. This is the front of our Post Office. The
The newest set of picture-word cards for the Picture Word Cards collection is the much-requested dinosaurs set! There are actually two sets. One set has 12 dinosaur cards with their looong names and pictures. The other set has a variety of words related to dinosaurs (egg, bone, claw, volcano, etc.) which are shorter and probably easier for prekinder kids. However, you may have some young paleontologists in your class who will want to write (or
Here are some favorite picture books about Valentines Day for Pre-K kids. I only list books my Pre-K students and I truly enjoy and find educational. Visit the Valentine Activities page for lots of Preschool & Pre-K lesson ideas. Search for these at your library or click the book covers to go to Amazon. All book links are Amazon affiliate links. (Don’t forget to look for used or paperback books to lower the price.)
Here are some Valentine’s Day Play Dough Counting Mats that will help your prekinders practice math and fine motor skills during your Valentines theme. You can find more counting mats on my play dough math mats page. I decided to create these mats with The Queen of Hearts since my class learns the nursery rhyme during February. With my class, I print these mats on card stock and slip each page into a clear page protector. I hook
Our Dramatic Play Bakery Shop has been a fun center for the children to learn and play this month in January. Each month, I have been posting dramatic play centers from our classroom. Look for more Dramatic Play centers here. This is the front of our Bakery. I changed our awning to blue and white (this is bulletin board paper that I used to cover the awning). I added a “Bakery” pennant banner
Here are some animal cards for the flannel board that you can use with the story, Annie and the Wild Animals, by Jan Brett. To prepare these cards, print onto card stock paper, laminate and cut. If you want to use these on a flannel board, attach the hook side of velcro to the back of each picture. If you want to use these on a magnetic board or cookie sheet,
Here is my newest set of picture-word cards to add to the Picture Word Cards collection. This set has 13 Arctic animal cards. These word cards would be useful to use along with books and songs about Arctic animals, such as The Three Snow Bears, by Jan Brett and Baby Beluga by Raffi. Using the cards in the classroom: You can place these cards in a pocket chart on the wall of your writing center.
Here’s a Weather Graph you can print and cut for a simple and quick large group activity. You could use this with a Weather Theme or Winter Theme. Over the holiday break, I worked on a set of printable graphs that would be easy for teachers to print and prepare. I just printed out this graph, “Which weather do you prefer?” to use with my class this week. Coming back
Every year, my class makes these wooden star ornaments. I like these because being made of wood, they are more durable than construction paper ornaments, and will hopefully last through the years. The gold paint makes them look a little more “stylish” and hopefully something that a family will enjoy hanging on their tree. I purchase the wooden stars in packs of 4 at Hobby Lobby for around $1.50 per
During this month of December, we have a Toy Store in our dramatic play area. Each month, I have been posting a different dramatic play center from our classroom, and so far, I’ve shared our Pizza Shop, Grocery Store, and Vet Office. Find all of my Dramatic Play centers here. I chose a Toy Store for December since during Christmas time, children are thinking of what toys they want for Christmas and probably
This weight measuring activity can be a fun preschool center at Christmas time or anytime of the year. In this activity, children weigh gift boxes on a balance scale to see which weigh the most, least, or same. To set up this activity, you will need: Balance scale Marbles Small gift boxes, such as cardboard jewelry boxes Wrapping paper Tape Small cardboard jewelry boxes, such as the ones in my
During the month of November, we had a Pizza Shop set up in our Dramatic Play area. Last month, I posted our Grocery Store. Find all of my Dramatic Play centers here. We will also make real food mini pizzas as a cooking activity after Thanksgiving break. You can find that recipe on the Cooking Page. This is our Pizza Shop’s awning. Our market shelf already has a fabric awning and I
Why do people write? These printables for your Pre-K Writing Center will help teach children the purposes for writing. People write to send messages on greeting cards and post cards, and people write for fun when they fill in crossword puzzles. Pre-writers can have fun spelling out their name with the Pasting Letters, and practice fine motor skills with the Dot-to-Dot page. Find more writing printables here at Pretend Play Writing Printables.
These pretend play printables will encourage your prekinders to practice writing skills while playing. Most importantly, children have fun writing while they play, and they practice skills without even realizing! Here are six printables that can be used in your Dramatic Play Center and/or House Center. Children will practice writing letters and numerals with these printables as they pretend to write phone messages, shopping lists, recipes, calendars, checks, and design their own money.
Here is a simple science center set-up that is inexpensive (or free) and quick. This activity is an exploration of the sense of touch and can be used with a unit on the Five Senses. If you saw the Nature Touch Boxes I posted last year, this is the same idea with a slight twist: these are Texture Touch Boxes. You will need to collect about six empty cube-shaped tissue boxes.