Monday, October 18, 2010

Airplanes and Helicopters Preschool Lesson Plan

Colors, patterns, music, books, a craft, and games all focused on airplanes and helicopters make this preschool lesson plan one your home will remember!

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

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boats Preschool Lesson Plan

This preschool lesson plan is all about boats.  It includes boat songs, a boat puzzle, a boat story, a boat snack, a boat craft, and more!

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 Memory. In 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

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cars Preschool Lesson Plan

Here is a preschool lesson plan about cars.  It includes an original car song, games, math sorting skills, a car craft, and other activities centered around cars.

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Go outside and look at a car. Let the kiddos climb in, turn on lights, and ask questions. If possible, get a police officer to visit and show the kiddos his car.

3. Song: Traffic Lights (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Can you see the traffic lights, traffic lights, traffic lights,

Can you see the traffic lights and how the colors hop?

When the light is turning red, turning red, turning red,

When the light is turning red we know it's time to stop!

Yellow is a very short light, very short light, very short light,

Yellow is a very short light and means it's time to slow.

Green lights are the very best, very best, very best,

Green lights are the very best because it's time to go!

4. Story: Cool Cars by Tony Mitton. What are your favorite cars? Have you ever been in a police car?

5. Craft: Tire Tracks. Let the kiddos dip different toy cars in a tray with paint, and then "drive" the car on their page. Talk about tire prints. Let them see different prints from different cars. Point out size and shape differences and similarities.

6. Learning Activity. Red Light, Green Light. Use a red circle and a green circle cut from construction paper. If desired, glue the circles onto puppet sticks. Review how red means go and green means stop. Face the kiddos, hold the circles behind your back, and have the kiddos line up in a row at least 10 feet away from you. When you hold the green circle out, say "green," and let them come towards you. When you switch to red, say "red" and have them stop. Continue until they reach you. Repeat, but say "verde" and "rojo" for the colors. Let the children take turns being the stop light. If you like, you can change how they walk: they must elephant walk or hop or crawl.

7. Snack: Car tires. Serve muffins...or car tires!

8. Learning Activity. License Plate Sorting. Every car has a license plate on it. License plates have numbers, letters, a state, and sometimes pictures. Make 10-12 little license plates...these can all be printed on one sheet of paper. Let the kiddos find similarities and differences, then assign them to sort all the license plates with a "2" into one pile or all the plates with two letter "T"'s into another pile.

9. Freeplay outside. Begin by "driving" around the yard and "picking up" the kiddos and taking them to the circus. Imagine all the animals you see! When you're done, drive them all back home. Freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

your car

police car (optional)

Cool Cars by Tony Mitton

various toy cars that can be rolled in paint

paint on a tray

paper for kiddos

red and green circles cut from construction paper


little license plates for sorting

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trucks Preschool Lesson Plan

 Trucks! Trucks! Trucks!  What more could a preschooler ask for?  How about a truck craft with clay, a truck song, a truck graph, a truck snack, a truck story, and a truck race?  It's all about trucks!

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: There are many different kinds of trucks! Use a variety of books to show different types of trucks and talk about them. If you have toy trucks available, see if the kiddos can figure out what kind of trucks they have.

3. Song: My Big Truck (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

My big truck is coming fast, coming fast, coming fast,

My big truck is coming fast,

Oh, hear its horn! (beep! beep!)

Watch out for its big round wheels, big round wheels, big round wheels,

Watch out for its big round wheels,

Oh, hear its horn! (beep! beep!)

other verses: My big truck can carry cars.

My big truck can make cement.

My big truck can drag airplanes.

My big truck has a bed inside.

4. Story: My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis. What is the truck carrying? How did the hole get in the road? What are those groundhogs doing?

5. Craft: Tire Print Art. Give each child a small ball of air-drying clay (DLTK has a recipe if you want to make it at home. Alternatively, Model Magic by Crayola is a great commercial product for this activity.) and a small toy truck. Instruct the kiddos to flatten their clay and then carefully drive the truck in the clay so it makes tire prints. When they are happy with their prints they can paint them or color them with markers.

6. Learning Activity. Truck and Car Graphing. Instruct kiddos on street safety. Prepare a simple graph in advance. Put numbers along the y-axis and label two columns on the x-axis: cars and trucks. Introduce children to the graph and explain how it works to keep track of observations. Go outside and count all the cars and trucks you can see. As each car or truck is noted, have the children sort it as either a car or truck, then let one of the kiddos mark it on the graph. When you come back in, ask which you saw more of (cars or trucks). Alternatively, your graph could be of colors of vehicles.

7. Snack: Trucks! Use a large graham cracker, a square cracker, and 2 round crackers to make a semi-truck. Top with cream cheese or other toppings.

8. Learning Activity. Ramp Action! Set up ramps for the kiddos to race toy trucks down. Hypothesize--which trucks will go fastest? How can a ramp be arranged to make the truck go faster?

9. Freeplay outside. Begin by acting out My Truck is Stuck--use sticks for props! Then, freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

truck books

My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis

Model Magic or other air-drying clay

trucks to drive in clay

paints or markers for clay

car/truck graph

crackers and cream cheese


trucks to race on ramps

Friday, August 13, 2010

Trains Preschool Lesson Plan

This Trains preschool lesson plan is great for imaginative youngsters who love trains!  It introduces a variety of trains and their different "jobs," includes two crafts, a song, action, dramatic play, numbers, counting (in both English and Spanish), a snack, and exercises for both large and small muscles!

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.  This classic story both introduces several different types of trains and teaches the value of believing in yourself.  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



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Insects and Bugs Theme Loaded

Yay!  I've finished loading the preschool lesson plans in the Insects and Bugs theme.  They are designed to be used in the following order:  Introduction to Insects and Bugs, Ants, Bees and Wasps, Butterflies, and Spiders; however, each lesson can also stand alone. 

Spiders Preschool Lesson Plan

This Spiders preschool lesson plan introduces Anansi stories and the Ashanti culture.  It allows preschoolers to practice counting and numbers, includes a story, writing, craft, snack, and even a little geography!

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Show several large pictures of spiders (a library book may help) and discuss observations.  Some spiders hunt for their food, some jump, some spin webs, and some dig trap holes!  Are spiders insects?  Why not?  Let kiddos tell stories about spiders they've seen.

3.  Song: The Spiders Go Crawling–follow the melody and format of The  Ants Go Marching.  For example, “The spiders go crawling one by one.   Hurrah, Hurrah!…”  Stand and act out the words.

4.  Story: Anansi does the  impossible! : an Ashanti tale retold by Verna Aardema.  Before reading the story tell the kiddos that the story is about a very smart spider named Anansi.  The story was first told by the Ashanti people.  The Ashanti people love to tell stories about Anansi the spider.  The Ashanti people live far away in Africa.  (Show how far with a globe.)  You would need to fly on an airplane all day to get to Africa.  Let's pretend to visit the Ashanti people for this story.

Move chairs, or use pillows  or anything else to represent an airplane, and fly to Africa.  Give everyone brightly colored fabric, scarves, or clothes because the Ashanti wear bright clothes that the men weave.

Once everyone is "dressed" and situated, read the story.  Ask the children what difficult things Anansi did.  What difficult things have the children done?  Act out the story.

5.  Craft: Anansi Spiders!  What color do you want your Anansi spider to be?  Help the kiddos glue two small styrofoam balls together to make a spider.  Spiders have eight legs. Thread four pieces of yarn through the body with a needle to form eight legs.  Children can color the spider with paint or markers.

No foam balls?  An alternative is to make the spider webs!  Give each child a black plastic plate (or piece of construction paper) with slits cut around the edge.  Let each child string a white piece of yarn through the slits in whatever pattern/arrangement they would like their spider web.  You can even glue little spiders on if you like!

6.  Learning Activity.  Anansi Stories! Explain that the Ashanti tell many stories where Anansi does something smart or hard.  Today we will write our own Anansi stories!  This will be the children's first prompted writing project, so they may need a lot of help.  Each child will need an empty "book."  (Preparing the book:  use a word processor to make a table with two columns and three rows that fills an 8 1/2" x 11" page.  In the top right hand square, print: "My Anansi Story."  Below that, print: "By ______.") Help each child cut out their book, layer the three rows on top of each other, fold them in half, and place two staples right next to the fold.

Begin writing by demonstrating the process.  Make up a short Anansi Story.  For example, One morning, Anansi wanted to play with his friend, Turtle.  Turtle needed to water his flowers, but it took a long time because the flowers were down the path from the pond.  Anansi wanted to help Turtle water faster.  Anansi had an idea!  Anansi and Turtle dug a path for the water to flow from the pond to the flowers.  Turtle was done watering his flowers and could play with Anansi now!  As you tell the story draw a simple picture on each page.  Then show how you can go back and write in the words.  Let the children take turns telling stories and drawing pictures.  You can write in the words for them one at a time.

7.  Snack:  Spider Toast.  Give each child a piece of toast with butter, 8 pretzels, and two raisins.  Let them make and eat their own Spider Toast!

8.  Learning Activity.  Spider Bowls. Prepare small spider cards by printing a sheet of paper with 20-30 spiders and cutting them out in small squares or rectangles.  Also print out number cards with numbers 1-10.  Place three bowls on the table with a number card by each bowl (ie. 1, 3, and 5).  Let the children work together to put the correct number of spiders in each bowl (ie. three spiders in the bowl with 3 by it).  When the correct number is reached, cover the bowl (with a lid or paper or book).  When all three bowls are filled correctly, empty them, change the numbers, and repeat the activity.

9.  Freeplay outside. Send your "little spiders" out for some sunshine!

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

spider pictures

chairs for "airplane"

bright colored cloth

Anansi does the  impossible! : an Ashanti tale retold by Verna Aardema

styrofoam balls



yarn needles

paint or markers

If doing the alternative craft, replace italicized supplies with black plastic plates (or construction paper), white yarn, and scissors.  Little spiders and glue are optional.


book pages for each child


crayons or colored pencils





little spider cards

number cards 1-10

3 bowls