These December preschool themes are a great way to keep your preschoolers excited and engaged during one of the most wonderful times of the year! It is just one preschool theme of our ultimate list of preschool themes.
There’s so much to love about December: the holiday season, the decorations, the extra activities, and the time spent with family and friends. But there’s no doubt that it can get a little bit crazy too! December seems like one of the busiest months of all! Sarah Kay said, “It’s December, and nobody asked if I was ready”. I think we all can relate to that!
December is a great time of year to be a teacher because we want to pass on the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells to the children. Children can feel the excitement too! They see the Christmas decorations pop up in the stores or in their homes and know that the magic is right around the corner. Family might be coming to visit. There are trips to see Santa, and extra activities to enjoy.
The closer we get to Christmas, the more we lose the attention of our students. They’re excited, off their regular routines, eating extra sugar, staying up late to visit light displays, and counting down for the big day. Whenever I don’t plan ahead for December, I always feel like I’m in survival because there’s just so much to cram in — both in the classroom and at home.
December Preschool Themes
That’s why I love using this December preschool themes list to make sure that each year flows as smoothly as possible. These preschool themes for December are all tried and true in my classroom or in the classes of some of my teaching friends. I’ve worked in classrooms where I couldn’t have Christmas as part of my December lesson plans, so I made sure to include themes without holidays too.
Having your December themes planned and ready to go will save you precious time so you can get your Christmas shopping in or attend the Christmas parties without worrying about what you need to have done in the classroom.
The closer we get the Christmas, the more it feels like herding cats! In my classroom, I always bring in the more “educational” activities at the start of December and we use the super fun activities as the month goes on so I can try and keep their focus as I battle all the other distractions that are inevitable.
However you decide to approach your December lesson plans, these December Preschool themes are sure to make life a little easier for you. And don’t forget to use these Christmas songs for your circle time!
I’ve made a free printable preschool theme list to help with all your planning!
Bundle up to learn about the extreme places of the world, and the animals that live there (as well as the ones that don’t). This December preschool theme is a fun time to use games and activities with ice. Or find a plethora of ideas in this Arctic lesson plan.
Make lesson plans based on your program’s philosophy. I’ve done Christmas as a faith-based preschool theme as well as one that incorporated the more generic Christmas themes. I love to make a jingle bells math station, have candy cane science experiments, make simple Christmas ornaments, or have an advent calendar countdown. If you’re in need of even more great ideas, you can find them in this Christmas lesson plan.
Christmas Around the World Theme
Learn about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and other cultural holidays around the Christmas season. There are lots of different foods and traditions to discover! Ask the families in your program which holidays they celebrate in December and bring that into the classroom!
Make bread in a bag, homemade ice cream, or even have an entire dramatic play cookie shop! This is also a perfect time to explore the fun treats around the holidays. Some of my classes have watched the Polar Express and had hot cocoa or made our own holiday trail mix. We love all of the great hands-on activities over at Planning Playtime.
Family is a perfect preschool theme that can tie into All About Me, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. We love this All About Me and family color sorting game. A family theme is also a great way to help build community and to get to know more about your students. Get an entire family lesson plan theme from some of our favorite teachers!
Each year in December I love to read some of our favorite gingerbread books, The Gingerbread Baby and The Gingerbread Man, and we turn this entire study into a theme. This is a great time to make some gingerbread slime, a gingerbread ornament! If you need an entire gingerbread lesson plan, we highly recommend this one from Planning Playtime or this one from Preschool Teacher 101.
Back when I was in middle school, my closest friends would get together to make graham cracker gingerbread houses. Though our baking skills have vastly improved since then, twenty-four years later, we still get together every year to make gingerbread houses. It’s our Christmas tradition. I think this is a huge part of why I love to share a gingerbread theme with each of my classes.
Help children learn even more about animals by teaching which animals hibernate and why. Some hibernation animals include bears, bats, hedgehogs, squirrels, groundhogs, and more! Bring in some special cozy blankets and make nap time extra fun. Or you could do an actual hibernation! Have your students bring in a stuffed animal (one they’re not too attached to). Put their stuffed animals in a safe place for a month and then bring the animals back out! This would be perfect to go along with our Animal preschool lesson plans.
If you live in the right part of the world, you might be lucky enough to get an entire season of snow. It is beautiful and so fun to play in. You can bring it in as a real snow sensory experience or if you don’t get snow, you can make a snow sensory table! We especially love singing winter songs and making these snowman name crafts. Even without snow you can make these winter STEAM snowflakes out of marshmallows. No matter where you live, you can get so many great ideas from these fun and inviting snow lesson plans.
Winter is full of excitement with snow, arctic animals, fun holidays and winter sports. There are so many different ways this preschool theme could go, but all are going to help your students learn! Supplement your theme with these wonderful winter books for children, and take the kids outside for some winter nature observation. Sing winter songs. Or for even more fantastic ideas, see the winter lesson plans in our store.
December has a way of sneaking up each and every year. I hope these December preschool themes will help you feel a lot more prepared for your December lesson plans. Enjoy that extra time and do something fun like visiting a local light show or enjoying a fun Christmas party.