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.
We’ve got some extra special themes this month that are perfect for the holiday season! Your students will love:
- Christmas Theme
- Gingerbread Theme
- The Mitten Theme
- Snow Theme
- Winter Theme
Additionally, we are including some themes that are perfect any time through the year! Don’t miss:
- All About Me Theme
- Colors Theme
- Family Theme
- Mindfulness Theme
- Numbers Theme
- Outer Space Theme
- STEM Theme
- Tree Theme
December Preschool Themes
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! But sometimes 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 mode because there’s just so much to cram in — both in the classroom and at home.
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.
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
All About Me is a great theme for anytime during the year! All About Me allows students to talk about themselves, their interests, and learn what they share in common with others. Make it easy with done-for-you all about me lesson plans! We also have a whole list of all about me activities, all about me books, and all about me songs that are perfect for circle time. The 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 winter themes. Either way you’ll want to sing Christmas songs, and here some great activities for both!
- Christmas Tree made with puffy paint
- Christmas Tree Letter Formation Mats from our store
- Candy Canes Science Experiment
- Candy Cane Counting Busy Bag
- Jingle Bells Discovery Bottle
- Jingle Bells Math Station
- Peppermint Slime
- Pom Pom Christmas Tree Ornament
- Christmas Tree Fine Motor Window Activity
You’ll want to snag a set of free Christmas-themed 10-frame Counting Mats! Just fill out the info below and we’ll send numbers 1-10 straight over.
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.
A color theme is one of the best-loved! Help your preschoolers identify and match colors, learn about primary and secondary, and discover color magic when we mix colors! This color sensory bottle is mesmerizing as we watch colors mix to form new colors!
This is a perfect time to mix up a color-changing volcano, too! Giggle along with the crayons in, The Day the Crayons Quit, and learn about how the world is a better place when we have color and joy. Or sing these color songs that children absolutely love!
See our color lesson plans in our store for even more 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!
Make sure to see the gingerbread fine motor mats for working on letter formation in our store!
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.
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! Make sure to make some sensory bottles like calm down bottles or even this galaxy calm down jar.
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.
Outer Space Theme
3, 2,1… Blast off! There are so many ways outer space can be a ‘blast’. October 4th through the 12th is World Space Week so it’s the perfect time to make space an October preschool theme. We’ve got you covered with:
Try some space-themed number writing practice, or grab our free space ten-frame counting mats for additonal themed math! Sign up below to grab your free copy. Numbers 1-10 are included and there’s a differentiated set for both preschool and pre-k!
If you live in the right part of the world, you might be lucky enough to get an entire season of snow. You can bring it in as a real snow sensory experience and sing lots of winter songs! We’ve also got a host of snow-themed activities, including:
- Melted Snowman Sensory Activity
- Paper Plate Snowman Craft
- Snow-Themed Name Writing Activity
- Snowman Letter Formation Mats from our store
- STEM Toothpick Snowflakes
Our winter ten-frame counting mats are snowflake-themed and perfect for incorporating extra math practice this season. Grab numbers 1-10 by filling out the form below!
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.
Pine, oak, maple… no matter the tree type, they are fascinating and beautiful. They are home to so many animals and insects and provide us with so much! This theme is full of endless learning… how we use trees to make paper and furniture, as well as, the importance of trees for the air we breathe.
Our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have even more learning ideas in their tree theme lesson plan.
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.
I hope these December preschool themes will help you feel a lot more prepared for your December lesson plans. Happy Holidays!