There's something wonderful about being a preschooler during the month of November. Long-gone are the days of summer, and the wonder and excitement of the upcoming winter holiday season is looming. Get your classroom ready with the many lessons, activities and teaching themes in this guide.
Thanksgiving Themes and Activities
Thanksgiving is the first thing that pops in most minds when they think of November. This American holiday signals the beginning of the festive winter season and conjures up all sorts of warm feelings and grumbling tummies. For preschoolers, Thanksgiving is not only a time to give thanks for those around them, it is also a time of celebration.
While schools are typically not in session the couple of days leading to Thanksgiving, many preschool classrooms are still decorated. Classroom curriculums focus around "Turkey Day" and the children spend their time creating various craft projects to bring home as holiday decorations and gifts. They may also dress up as pilgrims and Native Americans and recreate the first Thanksgiving. Here are a few more Thanksgiving activities and games designed with preschoolers in mind:
The Wild West
Cowboys (or cowgirls) and farmers go hand-in-hand in a preschool classroom decorated in this theme. Besides having a special "Western Day" celebration where the children dress up in their favorite gear, teachers could also have fun planning activities and projects around farms, barnyard animals, scarecrows and more. This type of festivity is typically held outdoors so items such as bales of hay could be included in the fun. These articles can give you some ideas of how a Western theme would work well in your classroom:
Lessons on Autumn Leaves
For most of the United States, November signals the time of impending snow. However, early in the month, many trees still have bright and colorful leaves. What better way to liven up a preschool classroom than with a theme centered around autumn leaves? From collecting real ones to drawing some of their own, preschoolers can have fun and learn about colors by studying foliage. Take a nature walk throughout the playground to see how many leaves each child can find. Incorporate autumn leaves into your preschool classroom with these activities:
Apples, Apples and More Apples
Similar to the timing of harvest celebrations, apple festivals honor the cultivating of apples. Many preschools offer a variety of activities to teach children about apples, including making applesauce! Apples are great learning tools, educating children about counting, colors and shapes. As for classroom themes, you can never have too many apples around for decoration. Check out these apple activities that would be perfect for your next classroom celebration:
Celebrating Nature's Harvest
While harvest celebrations are typically celebrated in September and October, warmer climates tend to hold these festivals well into November (close to Thanksgiving) when the weather is cooler, yet still pleasant. Harvest festivals typically include hayrides, pumpkin picking, face painting, games and a variety of arts and crafts. These articles can help you bring this fun into a preschool classroom:
Don't Forget Winter
For most of the country, November also symbolizes the beginning of winter, which to many means cold weather, snow and ice. Depending on when your students' break begins, teachers may want to get their classrooms set up for the December holidays before Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that when kids come back to school after vacation, they will only be thinking about one thing: Christmas! Get your decorating done before you actually take the Thanksgiving break. Some great ways to bridge fall and winter in a preschool classroom are creating themes that encompass weather, science and the four seasons.