8 Ways to Make Preschoolers Feel Royal: A Thematic Unit
By Lisa King
Children are fascinated with castles, jewels, dragons, and persons of royalty. This year give your preschoolers a taste of royalty with a preschool theme on kings and queens that will transform your classroom into a royal kingdom. King of the castle and musical thrones are a few ideas listed here.
Introducing Children to Royalty
Before beginning a king and queen unit, show children a variety of pictures of castles, dragons and persons of royalty. Tell students that during the medieval period we didn’t have presidents to create laws. Explain that kings and queens made rules that the people of the land had to obey. Point to England on a map and explain that Queen Elizabeth still rules today.
Children will be interested to learn about Prince George of Cambridge, born in 2013 and pictured at right with his parents, Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, and then Prince George.
Sing a Song of Sixpence Activity
Sing a Song of Sixpence is a cute rhyme to use for a king and queen thematic unit. In this activity students will identify numbers and practice counting skills while chanting the nursery rhyme.
Ten crow cut-outs for each child
One pie cut-out for every student
How to Play:
The students will sit in a circle after becoming familiar with the rhyme. The teacher will give each child a pie cut-out and ten crows. The teacher will hold a number in the air, that number will replace the words “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie." For example if the teacher holds up the number seven, the students will chant the rhyme replacing the words with “seven blackbirds baked in a pie," after they finish singing the new version they will place the correct number of blackbirds in the pie cut-out on the floor in front of them. The teacher will walk around and check for accuracy. Continue with numerals up to ten.
King or Queen of the Castle
This game is a safe alternative to the traditional King of the Castle game. The object of the game is to knock the king or queen off their throne by asking them questions. Kids will love playing this game while pretending to be ruler of the land.
Objects or pictures
Crown and robe for children to wear
How to Play:
One child will be designated to be a king or queen. That child will place a crown on his or her head and sit on the throne (a chair designated for the king or queen). Another student will hold up a toy, picture or prop and ask the child what letter the item begins with. The student will use the child’s name and ask “King Arthur, your majesty what letter does castle start with?" or "Queen Lacy, your majesty, what letter does ring start with?" When the student answers incorrectly he or she must sit down and the child asking the questions now becomes the king or queen. Continue until everyone has had a chance to be the king and queen. If the lesson is too difficult a variation to the game may include holding up toys or objects around the room and asking what color the items are, or holding up color words, or number words etc. If a child does not answer incorrectly after ten questions the next person will take the throne. However, the teacher will present the child with an award stating she or he is queen or king of the skill they mastered.
Digging for Jewels
Students will love digging for jewels while practicing counting, sorting and graphing.
Plastic jewels in blue, red, green, clear and purple
Small container to place jewels in
What to do:
Hide a variety of red (rubies), blue (sapphires), purple (amethysts), green (emeralds), and clear (diamonds) in the sand table. Plastic jewels may be found at a craft store. Designate four or five students at a time to the sand table. Children will dig for the jewels, return to their desks and sort them by color, shape or size. Once all students has a fair amount of jewels instruct them to count the number of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts and diamonds and color the correct number on a simple graph.
The King of France Poem
The King of France
The King of France,
went to the ballroom dance.
But when he bent over he ripped his pants.
The queen laughed with all her might,
to see such a funny, silly sight!
By Lisa King
Royal Students Craft
Totally transform your classroom into a castle and students into queens and kings with this wonderful craft project. Coloring pages for the queen and many other royal theme printables can be found at Color Me Good, and the king printable is located at First School.
Photo of each student
Yellow construction paper
King or Queen coloring page
Crayons or markers
Glitter and other art materials
What to do:
Print out a queen or king coloring page for each child and a small crown from yellow paper that will fit on top of a 4X6 photo of the child. Boys will color the king coloring page and girls the queen page. Decorate the crown using glue and glitter and crayons. Cut king and queen heads off of the coloring page and replace with a photo of the student. Glue the photo of the child to the body and the crown on top of the head. Place on a bulletin board with the heading “Mrs. Smith’s Kingdom of Royal Students."
Children may also enjoy making life-sized replicas of their royal self by tracing their body around butcher paper, and decorating with robes and crowns. Display around the room.
Komodo Dragon Study and Letter Recognition Activity
Studying Komodo dragons is the perfect way to add a little science into your royalty theme. Kids will be shocked to learn that this strange-looking creature is actually an oversized lizard. They are the largest reptiles on Earth and in danger of becoming extinct. Before beginning tell children that legend has it that dragons lived in the moats surrounding the castle. Show photos of legendary dragons and the Komodo Dragon and bring a lizard into the classroom for observation. After the lesson engage children in the dragon activity below.
Several legendary dragon cut-outs
Several cut-outs of fire
What to do:
The teacher will print and cut out several fire and dragons from paper. Write the uppercase letter on the dragon and a lowercase letter to match on the fire cut-out. Children will match the correct fire to the dragon. In addition children may love making dragon crafts to reinforce learning about legendary dragons.
Your little princesses' and princes' will love playing musical thrones while practicing counting skills.
Music CD and Player
What to do:
Place the thrones (chairs) around to form a circle. Place crowns with numbers written on them on the thrones. Students will march around the circle to medieval music. Once the music stops, children must find a throne to sit on. They will then look at their crown , and go to the plastic goblet that is filled with plastic jewels and select the correct number of jewels and place them on the crown in front of their throne. Continue playing so students can continue counting different numbers of jewels.
More Royal Ideas
There are so many additional ideas that would work great for a king and queens thematic unit. Make a castle out of blocks, turn your classroom into a castle with tables set with goblets and pretend food, make crowns out of paper headbands and decorate with jewels, or put silver glitter in play dough to give it the effect of pure royalty. Whichever ideas you choose, preschoolers are sure to feel like kings and queens.