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! They are just a sampling of preschool theme ideas from 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. 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. There are tons more theme ideas in our winter themes list!
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! Just fill out your information below and we’ll send it right over!
All About Me Theme
Oh, how preschoolers love to talk about themselves! All About Me allows students to talk about themselves, their interests, and learn what they share in common with others. It’s a great theme for anytime during the year! Make it easy with done-for-you all about me lesson plans! We also have a whole list of all about me activities and all about me books that are perfect for circle time. This catchy book, I Like Myself, is a great read for encouraging differences and self-love.
Grab the free All About Me poster below to guide your preschoolers as they share how truly unique they are!
Bundle up to learn about the extreme places of the world and the animals that live there. We have tons of great polar bear facts in our list of bear facts for kids! 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 from our friends at Preschool Teacher 101.
Make lesson plans based on your program’s philosophy. I’ve done Christmas as a faith-based preschool theme, and also as one that incorporated more generic Christmas themes. Don’t miss the Christmas crafts and themed learning activities! 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, Preschool Teacher 101 has a great Christmas lesson plan. And don’t miss their adorable Christmas 5 Senses Book!
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! Preschool Teacher 101 has a comprehensive lesson plan with some amazing ideas.
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 at Preschool Teacher 101.
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 or a gingerbread ornament! And don’t miss singing adorable gingerbread man songs.
Bring the gingerbread theme into your math center with these themed ten-frame mats! They’re perfect for teaching early number sense skills like one-to-one correspondence and subitizing in a festive and cheerful way. They’re available as a free gift to our e-mail subscribers. Just fill out your information below and we’ll send them right over!
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 for either preschoolers or toddlers!
Jan Brett Author Study
Jan Brett and her sweet winter and Christmas-themed books are a great addition to a cold-weather theme! Gingerbread Baby is a must-read every year, and we’ve created an easy ornament craft to go along with it. If you can’t get enough of the incredible illustrations in Brett’s stories, check out The Three Snow Bears. And of course, don’t miss The Mitten! It’s great for circle time, as part of a winter animals study, or as an entire lesson plan by itself!
Check out Preschool Teacher 101 for a wonderful lesson plan unit on The Mitten.
The holiday season can have your kids pretty amped up! Mindfulness is perfect to add to your December preschool themes – it’s is a great way to help little ones learn strategies to calm, manage energy levels, and relax when they find themselves wound up. This is the perfect theme for introducing yoga, and the easiest way is with our FREE animal yoga pack!
If you’ve already got the FREE animal yoga pack and still want more, you can grab these yoga cards in our store!
Get children counting and learning the foundational number sense skills with a preschool number theme. There are so many ways to make this fun, like with themed ten-frame mats. This can also be a great time to teach children their phone number! Our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have some great math centers that are perfect to use all year.
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. No matter where you live, you can get so many great ideas from these snowflake and snowman lesson plans from Preschool Teacher 101. Just click on the picture to learn more!
Add a bit more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to your December with an entire STEM theme! We love weeks with STEM activities, and they’re perfect any time during the year! These winter STEAM snowflakes out of marshmallows are always a huge hit. Get lots more great ideas in this STEM Challenges Bundle from Preschool Teacher 101.
Winter is full of excitement with snow, arctic animals, fun holidays and winter sports. There are so many wonderful winter learning activities for preschool! Supplement your theme with these wonderful winter books for children, and take the kids outside for some winter nature observation. Sing winter songs. For more winter ideas check out our list of preschool winter themes, or snag a whole winter lesson plan in our preschool store or toddler store!
I hope these December preschool themes will help you feel a lot more prepared for your December lesson plans. Happy Holidays!