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 Arbor Day Theme!
Materials Needed: Chart paper, marker, a slice of a tree (ask around at garden centers on where to find one of these. If you can't find one, bring a wood block to circle time).
Ask children what they think trees are used for? What do they like about trees? There could be many answers such as: hanging a tire swing, climbing trees, used as birds' homes, squirrels live in them, paper is made from them, wood to build with is made from them.
List all of their answers on the chart.
Show them the tree ring round. Explain the rings...that trees grow more layers just as we grow new layers of skin! If you don't have one show them the wooden block. Explain that blocks are made from wood.
Way Up High
This is a favorite fall action poem, but appropriate for Arbor Day as well!
Way up high in the apple tree (reach both arms up to the ceiling)
Two little apples smiled down at me (make fists with both hands)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake the tree)
Down came the apples (make fists fall to the floor)
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Arbor Day 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!
Bring in snacks that look like trees for the children to try such as celery stalks, broccoli, cauliflower, a pineapple, etc.
EXTENSION: Have a taste test and list on chart paper which foods each child likes and which they don't!
Arbor Day Theme Large Group Games To Help Your Preschoolers Build Their Muscles While They Have Fun Together!
Materials: paper and crayons with the paper removed
Show the children how to rub the crayons on the paper that you hold over the tree trunk. Observe the tree with the children: Are there leaves? What types of leaves (big, small, colorful)? What types of animals could live in this tree?
How wide is the tree? Measure with tape measures or with the children! How many children does it take to surround the tree?
Bring the trunk rubbings inside and discuss the trunk bark: discuss the color, texture, etc.
Tree to Tree Races
Have the children run from one tree to another and then gently touch it and say something about the tree (big leaves, no leaves, etc.)
Water The Tree
Materials: small paper cups, water
The children walk as fast as they can from one end of the play area to the tree and water the tree. They return to the starting point to get more water while the next child does the same!
Arbor Day Theme Activities to Help Your Preschoolers Develop Their Math Skills and the Small Muscles in Their Hands!
Materials Needed: Different colors of construction paper, leaf stencils (or real leaves to trace), markers and scissors.
Have the children trace and cut leaves. They can print their names on the leaves or decorate them. Hang them around your classroom or on a classroom tree that you have taped to a wall!
Leaf Sorting and Matching
Materials: You can use either real leaves or purchase artifical leaves of different colors and sizes. If you use real leaves, you could laminate them so that you can use them from season to season or year to year!
Place all the leaves in a basket or bin. Provide bowls or plates for the children to sort the leaves by their different attributes.
You can also program some activities such as: Place a small, medium and large leaf on the fronts of different bins. The children then sort by that attribute.
Write the numbers you are working on with the children on the fronts of different bins. The children then place that number of leaves in each bin to work on counting and one to one correspondence.
Arbor Day Activities for Your Sand and Water Table!
Pretend Tree Planting
Materials: Add artificial mini tress, dirt, leaves and forks to your sensory table. The forks can be used to dig holes and plant the trees as well as to rake up the leaves! Add some plastic animals that might live in or around the trees.
Arbor Day Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
What Belongs To A Tree?
In advance, try to find the following items to place in your science center: leaves, twigs, pine cones, sticks, bark (that has fallen off a tree), birds nest, etc. Add magnifying glasses for the children to check out the finer details of these items.
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Arbor Day Theme!
Materials Needed: Leaves, paper, large crayons with paper peeled off.
Tape leaves on the table. The children use the sides of the crayons to rub back and forth all over the paper to "reveal" their leaves! We have also done this on the easel! Encourage the children to tell you a story about their leaves and attach the story to their pictures.
Hey there! Welcome to Preschool Plan It! I’m Cheryl, a preschool teacher of over 20 years.
I KNOW, I know, you spend hours of time developing your preschool themes, activities and preschool lesson plans each week. You are commited to planning preschool themes and activities that are engaging hands-on, interactive, fun AND meet the goal of supporting each child’s level of growth and development.
I am commited to providing you, the preschool teacher, with everything you need to develop preschool lesson plans and preschool activities for your classroom all in one place!
You’ll receive a weekly email with planning tips and teaching ideas. You'll also receive (on the 1st of each month) a free theme starter pack with some printables and activity ideas to get you started planning a theme!