Boats Preschool Lesson Plan

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Find a full-page size picture of a boat in a magazine and cut it into an 8-piece puzzle. Help the kiddos assemble the puzzle.  Ask them what parts of a boat they see.  Point out the anchor, steering wheel, and engine/sail/oars.  Ask who has been on a boat before.

3.  Song:  Row, Row, Row Your Boat, A Sailor Went To Sea

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a dream.

A Sailor Went to Sea

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea

To see what he could see, see, see

But all that he could see, see, see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea!

4.  Story: The 100-pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling and Rebecca McKilip Thornburg.

5.  Craft: Tupperware Boats. Use cleaned tupperware containers (like what butter or cold-cut meat comes in) to make boats.  Each child tapes straws to opposite sides of the “boat” and then tapes a “sail” between the two straws.  Make your sails from paper or cloth.  If you use cloth, you may need to glue it.  If you choose, you can paint on tupperware with acrylic paint (or you can paint the tupperware with acrylic white paint in advance and then let the kiddos use normal paint on top of the white).  Fill a large container with water and let the kiddos take turns racing their boats or having them travel across the “river” with different cargo.

6.  Learning Activity.  Boat Match MemoryIn advance, print two sets of six different kinds of boats on one page (a page will hold 12 pictures, laid out in three columns and four rows).  You could use cruise ships, ferries, tug-boats, submarines, sailboats, and canoes.  Cut the cards apart. Tell the kiddos that there are many different kinds of boats and see if they know or have ridden on any of the boats you have pictured.  Play memory.

7.  Snack:  Banana Boats. Let the kiddos put a graham cracker “sail” into a banana “boat” and enjoy!

8.  Learning Activity.  Boat Float Sorting. Fill up a container with water and collect an item or two that float and an item or two that do not float.  Prepare two labels:  “Float” and “Sink.” Boats float–demonstrate in water!  Other things float too–demonstrate in water.  Some things do not float; they sink.  Demonstrate items that sink.  Place labels on two separate tables (or in two separate containers) and help the children correctly sort the items you chose.  Ask them what other items they think will float or sink.  Let them find items, experiment, and sort them.

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin with an imaginative adventure on a boat to a volcano island to collect magic flowers.  After collecting the flowers, the volcano explodes and you need to ride the boat back home.  Then freeplay.

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

boat puzzle

The 100-pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling and Rebecca McKilip Thornburg

a tupperware container for each child



acrylic paint

paper or cloth flags

container for boat races

boat memory cards

bananas and graham crackers

“float” and “sink” signs

items that float and sink

tub to test items to see if they float or sink

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Airplanes and Helicopters Preschool Lesson Plan

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Begin by playing “Guess What I Am?”  Give the kids clues to guess what you are–you are an Airplane.  (for example,  “Guess what I am…I can fly very high, I can carry people when I fly, etc.)  Also, be a helicopter.  Let the kids each “be” something.  Then play “Airplane Freeze” — the kids all fly around the room while you play music.  When the music stops, they must freeze.

3.  Song: If You’re Flying On An Airplane. (tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re flying on an airplane clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you’re flying on an airplane clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you’re flying on an airplane, then a lot of altitude you’ll gain,

If you’re flying on an airplane, clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you’re flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp),

If you’re flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp).

If you’re flying on a helicopter, your propellers never falter.

If you’re flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp)!

If you’re flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump).

If you’re flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump).

If you’re flying on a rocket, do not hide in your pocket,

If you’re flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump)!

4.  Story: Airplane by Caroline Bingham, The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Fred Stillwell, DK Big Book of Airplanes by Caroline Bingham, Budgie at Bendick’s Point by Duchess of York.

Read Budgie and act the story out.  If the kiddos have the attention span, read one or more of the airplane books as well.

5.  Craft: Styrofoam Airplanes. Use styrofoam (from egg cartons, packing material, or cleaned meat trays) to make an airplane!  DLTK has a pattern and step-by-step instructions.

6.  Learning Activity.  Helicopter, Helicopter. Tie one end of a jump rope down, stretch it out, and hold the other side.  Have all the kiddos stand on one side of the rope.  Shake the rope so it vibrates like a snake (or helicopter propellers).


Helicopter, helicopter over my head,

I choose a color and the color is (red).

All children wearing red must jump over the vibrating rope.  Repeat with different colors.  Let the kiddos take turns choosing the color.

7.  Snack:  Graham Cracker Airplanes. Give the kiddos a graham cracker to form the airplane and a triangular piece of cheese for the front propeller.  Review the shapes and eat up!

8.  Learning Activity.  Airplane Light Patterns.  Explain to the kiddos that airports have many lights that the airplanes follow to help them land.  The lights are arranged in patterns.  We are going to make some light patterns.  Prepare construction paper circles (lights) in at least three different colors.  Make several different patterns on a run-way with the kiddos–only use 2 colors in each pattern.  Let them make patterns.  Each time you complete a pattern runway, let them fly their styrofoam airplanes down them and safely land.

9.  Freeplay outside.

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

music (ex. CD and player)

Airplane by Caroline Bingham, The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Fred Stillwell, DK Big Book of Airplanes by Caroline Bingham, Budgie at Bendick’s Point by Duchess of York.

styrofoam, scissors, pattern, paint/markers  (DLTK has pattern)

jump rope

graham crackers and cheese

construction paper circles in at least 3 different colors

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Trains Preschool Lesson Plan

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Use a toy train to introduce the topic.  Show the engine, cars, and caboose.  Ask kiddos to guess the purpose of each part.  Show them pictures of trains that carry different things (freight trains, passenger trains, etc.).  A library book may be helpful. Make a group train where each child decorates a paper car and then assemble the train on a wall.  (To prepare for this, you will need a blank coloring-book-style car for each child to color/decorate/fill, markers, a paper engine and caboose, and tape to put it on the wall.)

3.  Song:  Little Red Caboose. As you sing the song, line the kiddos up like cars on a train.  Give the last person a red sweater…let them take turns being the caboose!

Little Red Caboose

Little red caboose, chug, chug, chug.  (repeat)

Little red caboose behind the train, train, train.

Smokestack on my back, back, back, back,

Coming down the track, track, track, track,

Little red caboose behind the train! (clap, clap)

4.  Story: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.  Who helped the toy train?  Why was it hard?  What do you do that is hard?  Chant, “I think I can, I think I can!”

5.  Craft:  Construction Paper Shape Trains. Make the following construction paper shapes available to each child:  a large circle or square (for front of train), a large rectangle (for train body), a small rectangle (for smokestack), two medium circles (for wheels), and a long skinny rectangle (to connect the wheels). Let the kiddos assemble the train with glue sticks and color it with markers.  Review the shapes as you assemble.  Also compare the circles and rectangles using words like bigger and smaller.

6.  Learning Activity.  Numbers Train Ride. Arrange enough chairs for each child like the chairs on a train.  Wear an apron and a hat–you are the conductor!  On the back of each chair place a tall number.  Give each child a “ticket” with pictures of trains on it.  Welcome all your passengers and instruct them to find the seat that matches their ticket.  If their ticket has two trains, they need to find the #2 seat.  If their ticket has 6 trains, they need to find the #6 seat.  Pretend to take a train ride to see an elephant.  Collect the tickets.  Look at the elephant, then play the game again to go home, giving each passenger a new ticket.  Play the game again, letting the children take turns being the conductor and deciding where to go.

7.  Snack:  Train Crackers. Use crackers (one square or rectangle and one circle) to make a train.  Spread peanut butter on them!  Use banana slices  (or more round crackers) for the wheels.  Eat up!

8.  Learning Activity.  Train Tracks. Use a low profile ladder (or rope, or brooms, or sticks, or markers lined up, etc.) to make a train track.  Set up a destination (an imaginary park, waterfall, party, etc.) at the end of the track.  The kiddos are each a train and must travel along the track by walking over each rung.  As they pass each rung, they must count it.  For the return trip, count each rung in Spanish.  If you repeat the game, have the kiddos jump over each rung (or walk backwards, or elephant-walk, etc.).

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin with Hiding Train Cars.  All the “cars” hide and the “conductor” finds them all.  Take turns being the conductor.

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

toy train

train pictures–perhaps a library book

red sweater or scarf

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

construction paper shapes (a large circle or square, a large rectangle, a small rectangle, two medium circles, and a long skinny rectangle for each child)

glue sticks




train tickets (with different numbers of trains on each ticket)

numbers for train seats (corresponding to train tickets)

crackers (round and square/rectangle), peanut butter, bananas

ladders or other props for train tracks

props for destination at end of train tracks

blank coloring-book-style paper car for each child

paper caboose and engine



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Planning: Preschool Themes I Intend To Write

This post will be updated frequently as I have more ideas for themes that I intend to write for Preschool.  As I complete these themes, I will remove them from the list.  As long as I have not written them, they will remain on the list!  The list of themes is not necessarily in the order that I intend to write them!  Feel free to comment and suggest changes or additional themes.  Each bullet point begins with the theme; inside the parentheses are individual topics for each day of the week.

* Simple Machines

* Construction

* Reptiles (intro, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and alligators)

* Dinosaurs (intro, plant-eaters, meat-eaters, flying)

* Trees (parts of trees, fruit trees, evergreen trees, using trees, animals and trees)

* Backyard Birds (mockingbird, robin, blue jay, cardinal, house sparrow)

* Pumpkins (parts, growing, eating, decorating, playing)

* Teddy Bears

* Space (stars and suns, planets, comets, moons)

* Fall

* Winter

* Spring

* Summer

* Flowers (parts of a flower, daisies, roses, marigolds, tulips)

* Indian Jungle

* Farms

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Bugs and Insects Preschool Theme Complete!

I have finished creating the Bugs and Insects Preschool Theme!  I am excited about the materials in them and am looking forward to working on them with my daughter and friends!  The five lessons are meant to fill about three hours in the morning.  Additional activities occur in the afternoons–see Afternoon Preschool Plans.

Each day has a slightly different focus.  There are lessons for Bugs and Insects–introduction, Ants, Bees and Wasps, Butterflies, and Spiders.  The lessons cover basics such as numbers, counting, shapes, colors, reading, writing, science, geography, and social studies.

Feel free to comment and make suggestions–I would love to have additional ideas available.

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Insects and Bugs–Introduction-Preschool Lesson Plan

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group:  A Bug Field-trip. Take the kiddos outside and find bugs.  As they find bugs, draw a picture or brief sketch of each bug type on a sketchbook page.  When you are finished bring the page full of drawings inside and talk about them.  Do you know what any are called–if so, label them.  What do they have in common?  What is similar?  What is different?

Use a second sketchbook page to make a small Insect Poster.  Diagram an insect as you discuss the identifying characteristics of insects–be sure to discuss three body parts, antennae, and wings.  Did you know that insects have compound eyes and see dozens, hundreds, or even more copies of everything?! Cut up the first sketch page so each bug is separate from the others.  Distribute the bugs to the kiddos and ask them which are insects and which are not.  Make two piles–insects and other bugs.  The insects could be placed on the Insect Poster.

3.  Song:  Insect Hokey Pokey. Set up a Hokey Pokey circle and “Do the Hokey Pokey!”  Take turns making an insect by having kids group together in groups of three to form an insect (3 body parts, 6 legs…the front child can make two antennae with their arms!) and have the “insect” do the Hokey Pokey!

Hokey Pokey

You put your right arm in, you put your right arm out.

You put your right arm in, and you shake it all about.

You do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around.

That’s what it’s all about!

(Repeat using left arm, right leg, left leg, head, and whole self instead of right arm.)

4.  Story: Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries.  Have you ever seen a dragonfly?  How are dragonflies like you?  How are they different?  What other animals are like a dragonfly?  Why?

5.  Craft:   Make A Bug.  Give each child a paper plate and access to craft supplies like popsicle sticks, googly eyes, pom-poms, yarn scraps, cloth scraps, paper scraps, markers, tape, and glue.  Encourage them to create their own bug.  Make up a name for it.  Where does it live?  What does it eat?

6.  Learning Activity.  Insects and Bugs. Create a board game by gluing pictures of insects and bugs (for example, lady bug, grasshopper, mosquito, cicada, fly, butterfly, ant, wasp, bee, spider, worm, potato bug, snail, slug, etc.) to a manilla folder and drawing a path connecting the pictures.  Put at least one blank square between each bug.  Have the path end at a log where bugs live.   My path travels along a river, crosses a bridge, and has a slide for the bugs to go down. Show the children the game and let them choose their markers (each child will need a different colored paper to represent themselves…alternatively, you could purchase cheap plastic bugs and let each child choose a bug!). Let the children take turns rolling a dice to see who can roll the highest number and start.  For each turn, the child rolls the dice and moves forward the appropriate number of squares.  If the child lands on a picture, he/she needs to decide if it is an insect or not.  If they answer correctly, they can move forward one more square.  The game ends when all children arrive “in the log.”

7.  Snack:  Bugs on a Boat.  Put peanut butter on a celery stick to make a boat.  Let the kiddos place raisins (bugs) on their own boats and eat them!

8.  Learning Activity.  Bug Obstacle Course.  Place different colors of paper (food) at one end of the room.  Set up an obstacle course where the children have to climb over things like chairs, under tunnels (you can use nap mats), and jump over things like a broomstick.  At the other end of the room place whole sheets of paper that match the colors of food.  Tell the kiddos that they are bugs gathering food for the winter.  To safely save the food, each child needs to pick up a piece of food, identify the color, travel the obstacle course, and put the food on the corresponding paper (in their home).  Watch out for birds that want to eat you or steal your food!  (Use a bird puppet to chase the kids occasionally!)

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin by chanting/singing, “Who Eats Bugs?” and acting out each verse.

Who Eats Bugs

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?

I do!  I do!  says the bird!

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?

I do!  I do!  says the lizard!

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?

I do!  I do!  says the fish!

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?

I do!  I do!  says the spider!

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?

I do!  I do!  says the bear!

Do you eat bugs?  Do you eat bugs?


10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

2 sketchbook pages (perhaps a clipboard) and a pencil


Hokey Pokey Circle

Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries

paper plate for each child

glue and tape

googly eyes

other craft supplies for bugs

Insects and Bugs game board, individual markers, and a die


peanut butter


obstacle course objects (chairs, mats, brooms, etc)

colored paper–matching torn pieces and whole pieces

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Butterflies Preschool Lesson Plan

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Bring children to school table full of books and pictures about butterflies.  Ask them to figure out what the lesson is about.  Ask them what they know about butterflies.  Are they insects?  How can you tell?

3.  Song:  The Butterflies Go Flying.  Follow the melody and format of The Ants Go Marching.  For example, “The butterflies go flying one by one.  Hurrah, Hurrah!…”  Stand and act out the words.

4.  Story: Adios, Oscar!: A Butterfly Fable by Peter Elwell.  What did Oscar want to do when he got older?  How did he do it?  What do you want to do when you get older?  Act out the story.

5.  Craft:  Butterflies.  Each child needs a piece of coffee filter paper.  Let them paint lightly with water-soluble paint on the filter paper (drops or lines!).  (Or let them draw using watercolor markers.) Gently mist the filter paper with water from a spray bottle.  While it dries, children can use markers to decorate a popsicle stick like a butterfly body and head.   Be sure to include antennae!   (Alternatively, while it dries you could make pom-pom caterpillars.) When the filter paper is dry gather it across the middle to make butterfly wings and glue or tape it to the popsicle stick.  (You could also twist it in a wooden clothespin or a pipe-cleaner, but be aware that they have sharp ends.) Voila!  A beautiful butterfly!

6.  Learning Activity.  A Butterfly Garden. (You can purchase the kit from  The kit comes with a certificate that you mail in to receive your caterpillars.  Toys R Us also carries these kits.  Take care of getting these supplies in advance!)

Guide the kiddos in telling the process of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.  You can use Oscar or another book for pictures of the steps.  Tell them that we get to watch real caterpillars grow into butterflies!  Assemble the habitat as a group and discuss the food that the caterpillars will be eating.  Ask the kiddos to guess how many days it will be a caterpillar and record the guesses on an observation page.  (note:  The entire process from caterpillar to butterfly usually takes about three weeks.) Prepare an observation page in advance.  (The observation page should include a space at the top for guesses, a column to record the day {ie. Day 1}, and a column to record the stage the butterfly is in {ie. Each day that it is a caterpillar, draw a simple caterpillar.  When it is a butterfly, draw a simple butterfly.} Make the Day 1 entry and tell the kiddos that each day they will be checking on the butterflies and feeding them right after Weather (after their naps).

7.  Snack:  Caterpillar Carrots and Crackers. Cut carrots into “pennies” and cook very briefly in the microwave to remove some crunchiness.  Give each child several carrots, several round crackers, a large drop of ranch dressing, and a spoon to create their caterpillars.  They can “draw” features with the dressing and spoon, then eat their caterpillars!

8.  Learning Activity.  Butterfly Camouflage. Tell the kiddos that butterfly colors often match the places they visit.  This is called camouflage.  It makes it hard for animals to see (and eat!) the butterflies.  Camouflage.  It is a lot like hiding.  Today we are making camouflage butterflies.  Give each child a cut out butterfly.  (Prepare these in advance by cutting out coloring-book style butterflies for each child–you can print 4-9 on a sheet of copy paper.) Tell them to pick somewhere to hide their butterfly and color it to help it hide.  Demonstrate by coloring and “hiding” a butterfly on a table, wall, or object.  Give kiddos crayons or colored pencils and time to color.  When they finish, let everyone “hide” their butterflies and then look for each child’s butterfly.

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin by playing Hide-n-Seek.  Camouflage is like Hide-n-Seek.  Let each child take a turn finding the hiding “butterflies,” then freeplay.

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

butterfly books

Adios, Oscar!: A Butterfly Fable by Peter Elwell

coffee filter paper

paint or watercolor markers

popsicle stick

glue or tape

water in a spray bottle


optional:  pompoms

Butterfly Garden Kit

Caterpillar to Butterfly Observation Page



Ranch dressing


Butterfly cutouts

crayons, colored pencils, or markers

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