And Eric Carle Preschool Theme could last all year long!
Eric Carle is pretty much a preschool and household name when it comes to children's books!
TRIVIA QUESTION #1: Eric Carle's most famous book was published in 1969.
Can you guess what it is? You will find the answer on this page!
In addition to this famous book, he has illustrated more than 70 books.
Most of these books Eric Carle authored as well!
Choose some of your favorites for this week, 2-week or month long preschool theme!
Let the Eric Carle Preschool Theme planning begin!
I have tried to include activities to go along with many of Eric Carle's books. There are just so many (over 50 in still in print right now!) to choose from! I may have to add more later!
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 lesson plans and activity types you are looking for.
Before we begin planning:
Here is Trivia Question #2 for you!
Eric Carle had created a red lobster for an advertisement he was hired to do.
A famous author saw the advertisement, loved it!
This author contacted Mr. Carle and asked him to illustrate a new book he had written.
Do you know who this famous author was? (Again, the answer can be found on this page!)
Eric Carle Preschool Theme Art
Eric Carle's use of water color and collage are pretty amazing! Get creative and see what items your preschoolers' can use to create with!
Materials Needed: tissue paper, watered-down white glue, white construction paper.
The children create their own collage with the tissue paper. I find it easier if the children "paint" the glue on their paper first and then place the tissue paper.
VARIATION: Place small pieces of tissue paper into a tray, bin cover or cookie sheet.
The children "paint" their paper with glue. They then flip the paper over and press into the tray of tissue paper (or other collage materials)
When providing different mediums to paint with, provide a variety of tools to paint with such as:
Which famous book did Eric Carle write and illustrate in 1969?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
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!
Whenever you do an author theme, talk with the children about what, exactly, an author is and what an illustrator is! Eric Carle was BOTH! Sometimes he authored and illustrated books, sometimes he only illustrated books!
When done with the cooperative story, put it together in a class book. This book will become the hit at Circle Time and in the Library.
EXTENSION: I recommend getting colored copies of the book made so each child has a copy to take home at the end of your unit!
Read, Read, Read!
Take time during this unit to read two or more of Eric Carle's books during Circle Time.
You might choose books that are related in theme (such as The Grouchy Ladybug and The Very Busy Spider.....both critters!) or that are related in the same type look with regard to the illustrations.
Point those things out to the children.
There are many items available to use at Circle Time for this theme that can also be used throughout the year!
Click the pictures below to read more about a few of my favorites!
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Eric Carle Preschool 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!
Eric Carle Preschool Theme Large Group Games to Help Your Preschoolers Build Their Muscles While They Have Fun Together!
Provide buckets of water and brushes for the children to paint the sidewalk, or your building (if it is brick) with! It's awesome to see the designs and then see them evaporate!
Caterpillar, Caterpillar, Butterfly!
Play duck, duck goose using the words Caterpillar, Caterpillar, Butterfly instead!
Include props and furniture (such as going under and around chairs) for the children to go on a hunt for a surprise!
If you don't have a crawl tunnel, I HIGHLY recommend that you invest in one!
You will use it ALL YEAR LONG for gross motor development! You can use them as a way for the children to come into the classroom once in a while for a fun surprise. Use them for some indoor play time on inclement weather days. There are so many uses!
I use the first one (on the left). Here are just a few choices from Amazon. They range in size and price. My favorite is the first one (on the left) and it has been used for YEARS! Click on any of the pictures to read about each one!
Find the Cat!
After reading Have You Seen My Cat?, play a fun sorting game outside! (This link is for the "slide and peek" board book version, which is SO much fun! The "non-peek" version is beautiful and shows Eric Carle's great illustrations and can be seen by CLICKING HERE.)
Hide many different types of stuffed animal or toy cats outside. As the children find them, they can sort them by type of cat!
Eric Carle Preschool Theme Ideas for Your Library Area
Throughout this Eric Carle Preschool Theme page, you will find at least 40 of Eric Carle's books referenced by me! However, there are SO many more! Here are some books I have not referenced that would be great to have available in your Preschool Library for this theme all by Eric Carle!
Make a few discovery jars or bottles made with water and place glow sticks in them. Seal the jars. Provide flashlights and a nighttimme space, such as a small tent or blanket fort for the children to see them glow in!
Make some fairy jars. I must admit, I have NOT tried this yet, but it looks fun!
Here's an example:
And of course, make lots and lots of discovery bottles!
Fill bottles with grass and play/toy fireflies and other bugs or insects.
Fill bottles with colored water (2/3 full) and vegetable oil (almost to top....leave some room at the top of the bottle for air). Move it slowly back and forth for waves.
Make another like the one above but add some sand. Shake it up and watch as the sand, water and oil slowly separate into layers again!
I LOVE the ones below......just keep in mind, they will be a bit dormant when you receive them. I, being the city girl that I am, thought most of them arrived "dead". It was sad. I placed the ones who did not survive the trip outside. Let's just say that when we went out to play later, I thought we created an infestation in our town! They were flying around everywhere!
You will need: clear cups (we used lots and lots of paint cups!), pipettes, water, food coloring and a big bin to empty the cups into.
In advance, place many clear cups in a row with water and food coloring...make many different colors of water.
Give each child their own cup with water in it (about 1/4 cup full) and a pipette.
Tell them they are color scientists! They are going to drop different colors into their cups and see what colors they can create!
They love this! Eventually their water turns muddy. Let them empty into the big bin and start over if time allows.
EXTENSION: We gave the children child sized goggles to wear to be scientists for fun!
Sorting and Planting
Follow up the reading of The Tiny Seed by planting with the children!
Provide small cups, soil, seeds and water for them to plant seeds.
Provide lima beans, paper towels, spray water bottles and ziplock baggies. The children place a few beans in a paper towel, fold the paper towel, spray it with water until it is completely wet, place in baggie and hang on a window (using tape) that gets a lot of sunlight. They should sprout in about a week.
Answer to Trivia Question #2: Which famous author contacted Eric Carle to collaborate with him on his new book because of Mr. Carle's red lobster?
Bill Martin, Jr.! Thier collaboration resulting in the famous book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Eric Carle Preschool Theme!
One of the Circle Time activities was to write a cooperative story together. Help the children to illustrate the story and print their names on it here!
After reading some of the stories from All in a Day, have your children write and illustrate something about their day.
Encourage them to draw a picture and then print the words or names they can such as: Mom, Dad, dog, me, and their name!
Me and Dad
Or Me and whoever is important in their life! Read the story Mister Seahorse to the children.
It is a story of fish fathers caring for thier soon-to-be children! Provide watercolor paints, markers, colored pencils or crayons and stencils and stickers for them to illustrate their own story of them!
I found the following in my perusing through Amazon! Click on either of the pictures below to read more!
Miscellaneous Activities for Your Eric Carle Preschool Theme!
If you live in Massachusetts, a trip to the Eric Carle Museum might be in your future and the perfect compliment to your Eric Carle Preschool Theme!!
Or, check out all of the information on the Museum's website!
There are a couple of books that you might really enjoy about Eric Carle! Click the pictures below to read about each one!
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!