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Sticky Theme for Preschool

There are so many things that stick! If there is something sticky to be found, our preschoolers will be the ones to find them! Children are fascinated with how and why things stick. This theme has so many directions it could go in!

What types of sticky things can you think of to add to your theme! Have fun with it and don't forget to ask your students about items they know of that stick that perhaps we haven't thought of!

While looking through my notes, I am seeing a reference to a book, so in fair disclosure, please know that the name of this theme and some of the activities come from the book ThemeStorming by Joni Becker.

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.

STICKY Art Activities Block Area Circle Time Activities Cooking Recipes Dramatic Play Ideas Easel Ideas Gross Motor Games Library and Literacy Math And Manipulatives Activities Music and Movement Sand and Water Table Science Activities Writing Activities Miscellaneous Ideas
Art Activities

Themed Art

Sticky Side Up

Materials Needed: contact paper, miscellaneous craft items that are flat (confetti, scraps of construction paper shapes, colored tissue paper, etc.), a picture of each child

Place a square of contact paper on the table (tacky side up) with the corners folded under (this is so that the paper sticks to the table without moving).

The children place their picture on the contact paper and then place the craft items wherever they want.

Cover with another piece of contact paper and hang in the classroom.

You can also use these as placemats or to identify their spot at Circle Time, at their Cubbies and more!

Rainbow Glue

Materials Needed: paper plates, white school glue that you have colored with tempera paint

The children use their muscles to squeeze globs of different colors of colored glue on different areas of the paper plate.

They then hold up the paper plate to tilt it and let the glue slowly drip down the plate.

Keep moving the plates around until they are happy with the design. Let dry and display!

Tape Tangles

Materials Needed: LOTS of different types of tape and styrofoam trays.

Let the children practice ripping tape off the dispensers (or tearing of pieces of painters tape).

They can squish it with their hands or try building with the tape!

Most times, adults rip off tape for the children when they need it. This is the opportunity for them to use what they never get to use!

Eat It Up!

Materials Needed: precut bread slice shapes, plastic (Saran) wrap, red and yellow colored glue

The children use the glue to put condiments on thier "sandwich"! Yellow is mustard, red is ketchup, etc.

They squeeze glue onto their bread papers. Cover with a piece of Saran Wrap!

Bird Feeders

Materials Needed: We have no Peanut Allergies in our classroom this year. However, because of the high number of children who develop this allergy in the preschool years, we are a Peanut Free classroom. Therefore, we do not use peanut butter for bird feeders.

Materials needed: maple syrup, bird seed, cornmeal, yarn or string, large craft sticks, paint brushes.

The children paint maple syrup on the craft sticks and then dip the sticks into the other items. Tie or glue yarn to the edge.

Take home or hang up outside of your classroom (do NOT leave in your classroom overnight or you will end up with an Ant Theme potential the next day!)

Jello Stickers

Materials needed: Flavored jello (already made but not refrigerated...still liquid), small white paper (like photocopy paper, not construction paper), crayons

The children draw on the white papers any way they like.

They then brush the liquid jello on the opposite side of their drawing. Let dry.

Then, the lick and stick onto other papers!

Lollipop and Jelly Painting   submitted by Chrissy

Materials needed:  fingerpaint, jelly, lollipops, paper, save the sticks and wrappers from the lollipops.

Mix the jelly with fingerpaint.  The children use the lollipops to paint pictures.  

Together, we painted a large picture to serve as the centerpiece sign explaining the kids art work.  The sticks and wrappers were used to make a border around the sign.

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Block Area

Themed Block Center Ideas

Add tape dispensers and painters tape or masking tape for the children to tape to the carpet to make roads and signs.

Don't worry, it tears right up from the carpet! Just don't use duct tape!

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Circle Time Activities

Themed 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!

List of Things That Stick

Materials Needed: Large sheet of paper to display and a marker.

Introduce the theme and ask the children what types of things they can think of that are sticky! Encourage ideas such as foods, nature items, things we use in the classroom, etc.

Add to this list throughout your theme as children think of additional ideas.

Lollipop Flannel Chart

In advance, color, cut out and laminate lollipops of different colors.

Use these at circle time to talk about their favorite colors, to sort or to tell a story about pops!

Tell a story after giving each child one color or type of flannel pop. As you name their type of pop in your story, they come up and place it on the board.

Use velcro or dryer sheets on the backs to make them stick.

Boo-Boo Stories

All of your children will have stories of thier own Ouchies! Read the story The Prince has a Boo Boo.

Engage in a conversation where each child gets a turn to tell about one boo boo they had.

Use this information to encouarge the children to draw a picture about their Boo Boo story at the Writing Center! Add a bandaid to their picture!


Read the story Mouse Paint. Talk about the different colors the mice made. Encourage the children to mix these colors while fingerpainting at the art table!

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Cooking Recipes

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!

Ice Cream Social!

Mhmm...Really!!!! Invite families to provide ice cream and all the fixin's and invite them to an Ice Cream Social!

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Dramatic Play Ideas

Themed Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Ice Cream Shop

Materials: Add empty ice cream tubs (donated by your local ice cream shop), ice cream scoopers, bowls, spoons, aprons, chef hats, table and chairs, menus, cash register, etc.!

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Easel Ideas

Themed Ideas for your Easel

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

They're Stuck!

Place paper on the easel and provide Wikki Sticks. These are wax sticks that can be shaped and bent over and over and will stick to paper!

More Things are Stuck!

Provide glue sticks, colored craft sticks and colored straws cut into different sizes!

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Gross Motor Games

Themed Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Sock Walk!

Use large adult white socks. Place them OVER the children's shoes. Go for a walk and check out what stuck! Hang and display socks in the classroom!

Jump The River

Place wide masking tape, sticky side up, in a long line in a large area. Make several lines of it.

The children try to jump over the "river" without landing in it. Of course, half the fun and landing in it and getting stuck!

Tacky Ball

Cover a ball with tape (tacky side up) and let the children try to toss it off their hands (I had just one strip area that had no tape. They did figure out how to hold it without getting stuck!)

Velcro Ball

Cover a large piece of fabric with strips of the loop side of velcro.

Cover ping pong balls with the hook side.

The children toss the balls to the fabric.

Bear Hunt, Dr. Jean Style!

Play Bear Hunt with the children using the Dr. Jean version. This is a GREAT sticky version!


Use bubbles outside!

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Library and Literacy

Themed Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom

Book Suggestions for the Library

Bartholomew and The Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

Bear With the Sticky Paws by Clara Vulliamy

Bubble Factory by Tomie dePaula

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler

Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy

The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord

The Icky Sticky Frog by Dalmation Press

Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch

Sticky Goes Camping by Ken Trimber

Sticky People by Tony Johnston

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Math And Manipulatives Activities

Themed Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!

Band Aid Match

Make a match game by sticking different colors and designs of bandaids on a file folder or poster board.

Laminate matching bandaids and have the children match them up!


Provide plastic lids (butter lids, yogurt lids, etc.), white glue, beads and beans.

The children fill the lid and use their small muscles to pick up and place beads and beans to make a design.

Let dry. Hole punch and hang from windows with yarn or ribbon!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Game

This is a great board game for non readers!

Sort the Stickies!

Provide 2 large bins and lots of items from your classroom or pictures of items. Include sticky and non-sticky items or pictures for the children to sort.

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Music and Movement

Themed Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Bubble Gum

Teach the children this fun song/chant!

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum,

Stickystickystickysticky bubble gum!

I want it, I want it, that stickystickystickysticky bubble gum!

OH NO! IT's IN MY HAIR! (Hands on head)

Sing song again.

Have kids choose where it will get stuck next!

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Sand and Water Table

Themed Activities for the Senses!

Bubbles and Sand

Mix bubble solution with your sand and add sand toys to make castles. Be sure to provide a large bin with water for the children to swish their hands in when they are done and towels to dry their hands with!


Add water, mild dish detergent, a cloth and some of your dramatic play dishes!

Sticky Ice

Materials: Ice cubes, tables salt, string/yarn

Have the children place a 6 inch piece of yarn or string on an ice cube. Sprinke salt over the cube and string. Have the children join you in counting to 20 and then, poof--lift the ice cube by picking up the string! The salt will make the yarn stick!

Does Water Stick???

Provide different types of paper (photo copy, construction, etc.), and spray bottles with water.

The children spray each type of paper and try to stick it to windows! See how long they stick!!


In your sensory table, provide velcro, burrs, seeds, scraps of fabric (such as burlap) and magnifying glasses.

Sticky Scientists  submitted by Chrissy

Materials needed:  Bowls with various sticky substances (maple syrup, jelly, ball of tape, window stickies, etc.)

The children close their eyes and feel inside the various bowls.

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Science Activities

Themed Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Hair Gel Bags

Pour colored hair gel into ziplock baggies and tape shut.

The children can use their fingers to make designs on the bags!

Goop 1!

Mix equal amounts of white glue and liquid starch together. Stir, drain out excess liquid. Very cool!

Goop 2!

Mix equal amounts of water and corn starch. This is very awesome! The mixture will be solid in the container. Once you pick it up, the body heat from your hands will literally melt it into a liquid as it falls between your fingers and then turns to a solid again!

Magnet Bottles and Wands

Fill plastic soda bottles with items, some magnetic and some not. The children will LOVE using the magnet wands to see what sticks to the sides of the bottle.

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Writing Activities

Writing Activity Ideas for Your Theme!

Window Clings

Provide plastic lids (from yogurt containers, butter tubs, etc.), craft glue, paint with eye droppers and toothpicks.

The kids squeeze glue into the lids. They drop some paint in the glue and then use toothpicks to make letters or swirly designs in the lid.

Let dry (may take several days), peel out and hang at the windows (they should stick directly to the window).

Lick 'Em and Stick 'Em!

Have children cut out magazine pictures or words.

Have them brush the backs of the pictures with jello (that you have prepared as directed but not chilled).

Let dry. Provide the "stickers" one day with blank paper. The children like the backs and stick to the paper!


Provide sticky notes, tape, markers and paper!

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Miscellaneous Ideas

Miscellaneous Activities for Your Preschool Theme!

Masking Tape Hunt

Wrap a loop of masking tape around each child's wrist (sticky side out) and let the children collect items from outside!

Display them in your science center.

Sticky Walk  submitted by Chrissy

Go on a sticky walk!  Wrap the children's sneakers in painters' tape and walk around the classroom and hallways.  Cut the tape off and laminate.  Display for review and observation!

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