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!
Materials needed: A large bag or box with the following items in it:
Straw mat- Mkeka (em-KAY-kah)
Unity cup- Kikombe cha umoja (kee-KOM-bay chah oo-MOH-jah)
Candle holder for the 7 candles- Kinara (kee-NAH-rah)
The 7 candles (3 red on left, black in middle, 3 green on right)- Mishumaa saba (mee-shoo-MAH SAH-bah)
Fruits and vegetables- Mazao (mah-SAH-o)
Ears of corn- Mahindi (ma-HEEN-dee)
Gifts- Sawadi (zah-WAH-de)
Show each item to the children one at a time. Pass the item around the Circle.
Have the children describe what it is, looks like, feels like, what it's used for etc.
Discuss each item with the children.
EXTENSION: Place the items at your Science/Discovery area this week for the children to explore.
VARIATION: If you don't have access to these items, make picture cards of each to use and discuss.
(Make duplicates of each card to use for the Symbol Matching game in the Math/Manipulatives section of this page!)
The More We Get Together
Day 1 of Kwanzaa is Unity. Sing this song together to remind your students of being a preschool family of friends.
Sung to the tune of Have You Ever Seen A Lassie
The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together the happier we'll be.
Because your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends.
The more we get together
The happier we'll be!
The 2nd day of this celebration is Kujichagulia--Self-Determination
Have the children take off one shoe and place it in a pile in the middle of Circle.
Have one child find the shoe that belongs to the friend to their right. They bring the shoe to their friend and help him or her (if she or she needs help) putting their show on.
The 3rd day of this celebration is Ujima--Responsibility.
Talk with the children about jobs that need to be done in your classroom community that they can help with.
List the names of the classroom jobs on a chart paper.
Some suggestions: "Supervisors" for each interest center (their job is to inspect their center after clean up time. If it is not truly cleaned up, they let the group know and everyone goes and helps finish cleaning it up); table washer (before snack); line leader, door holder, outdoor bag holder (they carry the bag with the attendance in it or the bag of toys you bring outside), etc.
Have children print their names on an index card.
Fold the cards and place them in a jar.
Have a child reach in and pull a card and place it next to the first job on the chart.
Continue until each child has a job.
Collection for Local Charity
The 4th day of this celebration is Ujamaa--Cooperative Economics
Talk to the children about the needs of a local organization.
Organize a donation center for your classroom and let the rest of the school know.
Some suggestions are coat collections; soup kitchen; local homeless shelter, etc.
The 5th day of this celebration is Nia--Purpose.
Hang a chart paper at Circle Time. Make 3 columns and label them:
W=Want to Learn
Under the K (Know) column, as the children to name one thing they want to learn this year.
It might be tying their shoes, counting to 100, etc.
List it with their name.
Hang the chart in the classroom for the year.
Make opportunities for the children to work on the item they listed.
Review it at the end of the year
The 6th day of this celebration is Kuumba--Creativity.
Show the children a collection of miscellaneous arts and crafts items. Ask them what they could use the items for.
Place the items at the art center for the children to create with.
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!
The 6th night of this celebration is a feast night called karamu! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Provide (or ask parents to provide) different fruits for this! Include bananas, kiwi, strawberries, grapes (cut in half) orange slices (or mandarin oranges), melon pieces, etc.
Have the children help to cut the fruit up and place in a large bowl.
At snack time, have them use a large spoon to serve themselves at snack time. OR, have each child serve the friend to their right!
Use your favorite cookie dough recipe or refrigerated dough and frosting. Tint the frosting in separate bowls using red, green and black.
Have the children help you to prepare the dough.
The children decorate the cookies with the frosting.
Activities to Help Your Preschoolers Develop Their Math Skills and the Small (Fine) Muscles In Their Hands!
Make 2 picture cards of each of the following items to use as a match game:
A straw mat, the unity cup, a candle holder for seven candles, seven candles (the order is three red candles on left, one black in middle and three green on right); fruits and vegetables, ears of corn, gifts
The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green. Black represents the color of the people, red for their struggles, green for their hope.
Use black, red and green pom poms, bowls and tongs.
Label the bowls with the numbers you are working on in class (or just have 7 bowls numbered 1-7 to represent the 7 days of celebration).
The children use the tongs to place the appropriate number of pom poms into each bowl.
They can sort a variety of colors into each bowl or encourage them to place same colored pom poms into each bowl.
Provide red, green and black beads and lacing strings. The children can place beads on in order of the colors of the candle (three red, 1 black, three green) or create patterns.
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!