This New Year's Day theme is a mini-theme for preschool. Many preschools are closed for Christmas break during the week leading up to the beginning of the calendar year! However, help your preschoolers ring in their own as well!
Time is a very abstract concept for preschoolers. We know this by their comments about their birthday, such as "I'll be 4 next week." (When their birthday was a week AGO!). The idea of this mini theme is not to teach them about "time" or "time of year", but to understand this widely talked about, one day celebration, at their level.
Preschool children learn through play. Providing hands-on activities in all of the Interest Learning Centers in your classroom with a theme in mind will draw them in to play and learn!
This Mini Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom. Let the Year's planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your preschool classroom or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: White school glue; assorted colors of tempera paint; paint brushes; heavy paper (card stock or poster board); glitter
Mix a few drops of paint into each container of white glue. Let the children paint, drip paint onto the paper to make some colorful firework pictures!
When done using the paint, place their pictures into shallow trays and let them generously sprinkle glitter for an extra sparkle!
Materials Needed: shaving cream, white school glue; paint, paint cups, paint brushes, heavy paper
EXTENSION: Also looks great with glitter sprinkled on while wet!
Children build these blocks up as high as they can. Knock them down and start again!
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!
10, 9, 8...Countdown
The children may have missed the midnight countdown ;) Let's have one now!
In advance, fill a balloon with confetti and then blow it up. Tell the children that you are going to count backwards from 10 to 1 and then yell "Happy New Year" and when you yell it, a surprise will happen! Practice once or twice and then go for it! Pop the balloon when they are yelling!
If you have little ones who are anxious about noise, simply hold the confetti and throw it in the air!
This is a great time to teach the children the months of the year Macarena! Dr. Jean has a great CD with this and the days of the week song.
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!
Ingredients and Items needed: vanilla yogurt, fruit (strawberries, kiwi), orange juice, blender.
Seeing as you are counting backwards to ring in the year today, use that skill here as well.
There is no exact science to making a smoothie. I usually start with about 1/2 cup of yogurt, about 1/8 cup of orange juice and a handful of fruit!
Have each child put an ingredient it. Cover the blender, count backwards from 10 to 1.
Noisy blender, but worth it! Enjoy a smoothie!
Materials Needed: Assortment of winter clothing items: boots, scarves (supervise the use of these!), hats, mittens, gloves, hats, coats, snow pants.
Lots of fun trying on different items AND they will be working on a very important self-help skill: Dressing themselves!
Instead of brushes with the paint, provide eye droppers and water down the paint a little.
Show the children how to drop paint at the top of their paper and watch it drip down. WOW!
Continuing with the countdown, place several soft balls or blocks into the parachute. Tell the children they are going to try to get ALL the balls off the chute before they get to 1 in the backwards countdown!
Also, tell the children that they should NOT go after the balls that bounce out of the chute, they should just keep on shaking and counting!
ANY birthday books.....after all--January 1 marks a birthday for the children's town, city, state, country...the world!
Provide many one hole punchers. There are many availble that punch out shaped holes such as flowers, shapes, etc. Let the children "go to town" squeezing these on all different colors of paper. Use the holes to decorate a large banner for your classroom or bulletin board or just to throw in the air!
EXTENSION: For a more organized activity ;) Have the children sort the holes they punch by different attributes: shapes, color, etc.... and THEN throw them in the air ;)
Provide all of the instruments you have to celebrate. Add a FREEZE parade! Parade around with the instruments until you yell "FREEZE". All the children freeze and stop making noise with their instruments.
Provide dancing scarves or long strips of colorful fabric. Wave them around, up down, in circles, to music. You can also make this into a FREEZE parade as instructed in the instrument activity above!
Materials Needed: Water, food coloring or paint and a whisk!
Give the children and assortment of colorful cups and measuring cups to use today!
Cover the table with thick white paper. Place shallow cups or bowls on the table with bubble solution in each. Add a drop of food coloring to each bowl or cup.
Take each straw and cut a small notch on one side near the top (but not where the children hold the straw).
Tell the children not to put their finger on the hole in the straw.
(The hole prevents them from getting a mouthful of bubbles if they happen to breathe in instead of blow out!).
Tell them to blow a beautiful picture! As they blow into the cup, the bubbles will eventually overflow onto the paper. Move the cups around as they do. These are very pretty and very fun!
Ask the children what new words they would like to learn how to write. Print each word on a card and draw a picture of it next to the word. Place word cards into a box for your Word box for the writing table!