Preschoolers are not babies anymore...and they will often be sure to remind you of that! Preschoolers tend to use the word as though it is a "yucky" word. "THAT'S for BABIES...I a big girl".
Use this theme to:
1. Remind them that we were ALL infants once!
2. Celebrate the things they can now do that they could not when they were younger and
3. That as big girls and boys, they can help teach younger ones to learn new things!
This theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Our Infant Blanket
Materials Needed: precut pictures of infants and young toddlers faces from magazines, construction paper, markers, scissors, glue sticks.
The children glue the infant's head on their paper and then use the construction paper and markers to decorate a special blanket to cover the little one with.
This is a great time to talk about a special blanket they may still have from when they were little and they still use.
VARIATION: Provide magazine pages and let the children cut out their own pictures.
Baby Lotion Fingerpaint
Add some fingerpaint to baby lotion feels great, smells great and looks great!
Me As An Infant Classroom Quilt
Materials Needed: White construction paper and markers (or crayons, or paints!).
Encourage the children to paint a picture of themselves as an infant. When complete, display side by side as a quilt.
Puffy Paint Bottle Painting
Materials Needed: small, plastic bottles (make the hole in the nipples a little larger), shaving cream, white glue, cardboard (to paint on)
Mix equal amounts of shaving cream and white glue in each bottle. Mix in a few drops of paint or food coloring.
Squeeze the paint as designs onto cardboard or heavy tagboard. Let dry--it puffs up and looks pretty cool!
Theme Block Center Ideas
Add a dollhouse and people to the block area or just add people and have the children make houses for the families.
Theme Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
What do you know?!
Hang a large sheet of paper at circle. Tell the children what your new theme is. Ask them what they know about infants. Write everything down.
Ask lots of open ended questions to get them thinking:
What kinds of foods can they eat?
How do we know what they want when they cry?
What kinds of toys are safe for them?
Who is THAT?!
Bring in an infant picture of yourself to introduce the theme. Ask them what the picture is that you are holding. Discuss infants with them:
You were ALL infants not too long ago! What types of things to babies like to do? (peek-a-boo, eat, go to the bathroom --you KNOW they will say this one!, sleep, spit up, etc.)
Tell them the picture is an infant picture of someone in their class and see if they can guess!
Ask them what things they can do now that they could not do when they were very little.
I have a poem and do not know who wrote it, but think it's very cute:
I am growing, look at me!
I am no longer a little baby!
I can run and jump and play!
I learn something new every day.
I am growing look at me!
I'm no longer a little baby!
Present a puppet show at Circle time. Have your puppet pretend to be a new parent of an infant (a newborn puppet!). Have the parent puppet ask the children to help him/her decide what the puppet needs.
I have a newborn! His/her name is _________. But, he/she keeps crying! I don't know what to do, he/she needs something--what do you think it is?
Have the parent puppet ask if any of the children have a newborn at home. Discuss newborns and their needs.
Fingerplays, Songs and/or flannel board stories! Adapt them in any way!
There were 5 in the bed and the little one said (hold up 5 fingers)
Roll over, roll over (roll your hands).
So they all rolled over and 1 fell out (show 1 finger).
There were 4 in the bed and the little one said (hold up 4 fingers)...
There was 1 in the bed and that little one said "GOODNIGHT!"
5 Little Infants
(You can do this one as a fingerplay, holding up the appropriate number of fingers or choose 6 children to act it out--5 to be babies and 1 to be the Mommy or Daddy).
5 little infants were playing one day.
One saw a ball so he crawled away.
4 little infants were playing one day.
One saw a rattle and she crawled away.
3 little infants were playing one day.
One saw a kitty and crawled away.
2 little infants were playing one day
One saw a teddy bear and crawled away.
1 little infant was playing one day
he cried and his mommy came and they both played.
Pat-a cake, pat-a cake baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it, pat it, mark it with a _____ (fill in first letter of one of the children)
Put it in the oven for _______ and me (continue until you have used all the children's names)
Rock a bye baby on the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall and
Down will come baby, cradle in all.
(This makes a cute flannel board song. Make hill, a cradle, a wee one in the cradle, a wind symbol and a parent (to catch the baby and cradle when it falls
This Little Piggy
Of course, sing this one!!!
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Taste Testing Thank you to Emily from Iowa for this idea!
What about taste testing baby foods?!
Note from Miss Cheryl: This idea made me think--why not make your own baby food: puree some bananas, apples to make applesauce, etc. and talk to you preschoolers about why baby food is the texture it is (no teeth, etc.)!
Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
Parenting Preschool Style
Provide dolls, blankets, strollers, diapers, diaper bags, etc. and let your little one develop their nurturing skills!
Theme Ideas for your Easel
More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Provide Q-tips to paint with instead of brushes this week!
Theme Large Group Games
that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Crawling Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course in your classroom or in a large room (or outside!) that the children need to crawl through! They need to pretend they are infants and can not walk yet.
Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom
Book Suggestions for the Library
A Baby Sister for Francis by russell Hoban
Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch
Arthur's Baby by Marc Brown
The Baby Book by Ann Morris
Baby in the Box by Frank Asch
The Baby Sister by Tomie dePaola
I Want a Brother or Sister by Astrid Lindgren
Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Nobody Asked Me if I Wanted a Baby Sister by Martha Alexander
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
Poor Carl by Nancy Carlson
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Silly Baby by Judith Casely
That New Pet! by Alane Ferguson
Will There Be A Lap for Me by Dorothy Corey
Wait and See by Robert Munsch
Theme Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Infant Items Sorting
Materials: Provide 2 large bins and items that are needed for infants as well as items not needed or used for a newborn.
Examples: diaper, rattle, bottle, food jar, little spoon, bib
deck of cards, calculator, crayon, marker, glue (not used for little ones)
One teacher cut out and laminated pictures rather than using actual items which worked well also!
Materials: clothing items in two different sizes--infant and preschool
The children sort them by Infant Size and "Big Kid" Size!
Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
This Is What I Can Do
Make up a tune to sing the following lines to. The children take turns teaching their friends something they can do.
This is what I can do (child does and action such as jump, clap, touch toes, hop, etc.)
Everybody do it, too! (the other children copy what the child did).
Miss Susie Had A Baby
Miss Susie had a baby she named him Tiny Tim,
She put him in the bathtub to teach him how to swim.
He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap,
He tried to eat the bathtub but it wouldn't go down his throat.
Miss Susie called the doctor. The doctor called the nurse,
The nurse called the lady with the alligator purse.
In came the Doctor. In came the nurse. In came the Lady with the alligator purse.
"Mumps" said the doctor.
"Measles" said the Nurse.
"NONSENSE!" said the lady with the alligator purse.
"A shot" said the doctor.
"Medicine" said the nurse.
"NONSENSE!" said the lady with the alligator purse!
Theme Activities for the Senses!
Add soapy water, washcloths, towels and dolls to your water table. Oh, and don't forget to put a matt/tarp under the table and have a mop and pail handy!
Provide diapers and water for children to check out what happens to them...how much water can a diaper hold, etc.
Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Infant Food Testing
No, really!! Have several jars of different infant/toddler foods in jars (include one that might be yucky...squash?!). Have a chart prepared with the name of each food going across the top and the children's names going down the left hand side.
Let each child try each one and then list if they liked each one.
EXTENSION: Use the chart at circle time to count and compare, "How many liked the banana? How many liked the squash" etc.
Make a mystery box by cutting holes in the sides of a large shoe box or a boot box. Place a newborn item in the box (without the children seeing you).
Each child takes turns putting his/her hands in the holes and tries to guess what the item is.
Place 5 or more items (rattle, bottle, diaper, etc.) on the table. Have the children close their eyes. Remove 1 or more item and ask them to guess which item is missing.
We are Growing
Provide many pictures of real infants, ultrasound pictures (if you or a parent have some) and books with infant pictures.
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Theme!
Have the children draw pictures of things they can do that they could not do as infants (wear underwear, eat apples, etc.) and write down what they describe.
Miscellaneous Activities for Your Theme!
Who Am I?
In advance of this theme, ask parents to send in an infant picture of their child. Ask that they NOT show their child the picture they are sending in!
Post the pictures on a board and number each one (be sure to write down which child is which number!).
Have the children try to guess their friends' pictures!
Be sure to add your own infant picture to the board as well!
Invite a Mom or Dad to bring their infant to class and talk about being a parent.