Apr 5, 2018

Pets Preschool Theme Ideas

With the popularity of Paw Patrol  and Pete the Cat among young children,  a topic surrounding pets  for preschool aged children is a great idea. This interest or theme gives opportunities for children to learn about different animals and talk about their own  cherished furry friends (scaled friends too!) 


Start a Pet Theme at Circle Time

To begin a theme about pets, ask the children at group circle who has a pet. This question will definitely open up the topic with discussion. Ask questions like:

•Do you help your mom and dad with taking care of the pet?
•Where does your pet sleep?
•Who feeds the pet and what does it eat?
•What kind of pet do you wish you had?
•What does your pet do that gets him in trouble?
•How do you keep your pet healthy?

Math Activity with Pets

At circle time, a great way to teach math concepts and to learn about all the pets collectively owned by the children and their families is to make a pet graph. Before this activity, prepare a graph onto a large sheet of paper with pictures at the top (or bottom) of commonly owned pets, such as a dog, a cat, a bird, a fish, and a hamster.

These animals will make the individual vertical rows. A few blank rows should also be included for other pets that are given. Then take a tally of pets. Each child will say what kind of pets they have at home and as the answers are provided, the teacher will mark off a block. Then, at the end the preschool children can see which pet animal the classroom has the most of. Discuss with the children how one row is the tallest, and one is the shortest, then count the blocks that were made. This graph can be displayed for families to view.

ALTERNATIVE: Courtesy of beaconlearning.com
Pet Art Ideas

There are many preschool craft ideas surrounding cats, dogs, fish and other house animals on the internet.  Here are some open ended art activities for a pet theme...

  1. Painting with dog or cat figurines 
  2. Photos of pets with paper and drawing
  3. Creating pets animals with clay or playdough
  4. Collage material to encourage pet creations: fabric, feathers, paper, yarn, etc. 
  5. Paw stamps or stencils
  6. Pet rocks

Felt Board Activities for a Pet Preschool Lesson Plan

Felts are a great way to tell stories and involve children in learning activities. Felts are easy to make with the right material. This felt activity involves different color dogs with matching dog houses. At circle time have the preschool children bring felts to the flannel board and match the colors together.

Find more stories on Felt Board Ideas

Scat the Cat

Further Reading Suggestions: 

Reptile Preschool Theme

Bird Preschool Theme

Jan 24, 2018

Online Activities for Kids Stuck Inside During Winter

Image Source: Pixabay

Jenny Wise--Guest Blogger has written an article about how to keep children active, while inside, during the winter season.

Most kids love when winter arrives. They dream of snow days, hot cocoa, and getting presents during the holiday season. However, that fades quickly for children, leaving them feeling trapped inside the house thanks to the bad weather. Who wants to play outside when it’s freezing, grey, and dreary?

You can help your children by directing them to some fun and educational online activities. While they need some supervision at first, your kids can find ways to learn, get exercise, and feel better about the winter days.

Staying Inside Causes Problems

These days, lots of children love watching TV and playing video games. Does that mean staying inside most of the winter is something they love? Time Magazine explains being stuck in the house can get to everyone, children included. Everyone needs sunlight. It helps our bodies produce vitamin D, but it also keeps our internal clock on time and helps avoid depression. Adults and kids alike can get seasonal affective disorder by spending too much time indoors.

In fact, staying inside under artificial lights has been linked to an increased chance of obesity, diabetes, and depression. With less time spent outdoors, there’s usually less time spent exercising as well. This can make obesity and depression even worse, as a child’s body needs regular physical activity.

Get Some Exercise

By adding some exercise to your children’s winter schedule, you can help combat the problems of inactivity. No, you cannot expect to play baseball or football inside the home! But thanks to online videos, your kids have many ways to get the exercise they need during winter.

Love To Know shows there are videos online specifically made for children of all ages. Young kids can have some silly fun moving around to weird music, while elementary-age children can do more traditional workouts such as aerobics and strength training. Middle and high school students can use the same online exercise videos as adults, but they can also focus on learning how to dance. This can help them socially and boost their self-esteem while burning off some energy.

Some children need a little motivation to use those online videos for exercise. In these cases, it helps to set a goal your kids want to achieve. Maybe you have a child that really wants a new bike, so you can create an exercise log based on those videos. Each time they work out, they earn some credit towards that new bike. The key is to involve your children in setting the goals, as this is supposed to motivate them.

You can also help their motivation by scheduling the videos at the same time each day. As your kids continue to exercise, they start to turn this into a habit that can carry through the rest of the year.

Learn Something New

Exercise is very important during winter, as it can help fight depression. However, there are only so many exercises your children can do. That’s why you should also use winter as a time to learn something new. Keeping their minds sharp helps them feel better about themselves.

This is when you can turn staying inside the house to your advantage. There are many websites that offer direct learning, educational games, and fun experiments. For example, Earth Science Jr. has a great page listing activities kids can do at home that builds their creativity and learning. Building challenges with Legos, creating their own mazes, and even playing Jenga can help your kids beat the winter blues.

You can also teach your kids many math concepts with stuff you have around the house. Home Advisor lists many websites with math-based lessons for kids in Kindergarten through high school, such as using cans to learn about geometry and cooking to learn about ratios. Even just going through the household budget on the computer can be a great learning experience.

Make Winter Fun & Active

There’s no reason your kids have to feel trapped in the house this winter. You can make it fun and active by looking online. Get your kids moving with some exercise videos and use online lessons to discover math concepts in everyday life around your home. If your kids are happy this winter, that means you will be as well.