Our January preschool themes are a great way to keep your preschoolers focused and engaged following one of the busiest times of the year! It is just one preschool theme from our ultimate list of preschool themes.
January is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. I think many of us are hoping that this new year is better than the last and all of the crazy struggles along with it.
Charmaine J Ford says,
January, The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes.
Let’s begin this New Year off with a hopeful anticipation and help children love learning, whatever capacity we’re teaching in.
January Preschool Themes
January can also come with its challenges. The days are short and cold in many parts of the world. It can be difficult to come down from the excitement of the holidays and all the extra things to do. January preschool themes are a great way to get back on track, to re-establish the routines and schedule and start fresh.
Having your lessons and themes planned will not only save you time, but will also bring structure and more peace to your classroom, helping your preschoolers stay engaged and learning. Something we all need this year!
I’ve made a free printable preschool theme list to help with all your planning!
100 Days of School Theme
Get those creative juices flowing by celebrating the 100th day of the school year, which typically falls in January. Outfits, decorations, small themed snacks…the possibilities are endless! Bonus points for being a fun way to get kids counting.
The world is your oyster here (possibly literally!) So much to choose from: mimic animal movements, learn about habitats, read some of the million books starring animals, talk about different sizes, listen to rare animal sounds, or make an animal! Make a small world play or put your favorite animal figurines in the sensory table. Grab our animal lesson plan here!
A perfect study for the birds in your area and chances are that you might be able to see some of their nests if you do it at the right time of year. Or call them right to your yard with a classic pine cone bird feeder. The amazing teachers at Preschool Teacher 101 even have a bird lesson plan in their store. This is a great theme to use to celebrate National Bird Day on January 5.
Gingerbread is a theme that works for so many months! 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! If you need an entire gingerbread lesson plan, we recommend this one from Preschool Teacher 101.
Take your animal studies further by teaching children about which animals hibernate! Our friends at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds have an awesome list of hibernation activities. As many animals are snoozing in January, this is a great month to take hibernation studies a step further and learn about where the animal are sleeping, or their homes or habitats. If you need more ideas for a habitats unit, we a habitats lesson plan available in our store.
Penguins are a favorite winter theme. You can learn about where they live, what they eat, how they behave, and all things winter. In our list of Winter Songs for Kids, you’ll find 3 fun penguin songs, including one by our favorite Jack Hartmann! Additionally, there’s a whole Penguin lesson plan over at Preschool Teacher 101.
Kids love their pets, and what a better way to talk about them and their own lives by bringing it in as a preschool theme. It’s the perfect way to get your little learners excited whether they have a cat, dog, guinea pig, bird, lizard, or any other fun animal. Our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have a pets lesson plan in their store for planning the perfect pet theme.
Polar Animals Theme
Polar animals are fun, especially when you start talking about how they can survive and stay warm, even when living on snow and ice. This is a perfect theme, even if you live in an area that doesn’t get snow! There are lots of fun science experiments to try with a polar animal theme, such as this polar experiment that shows how blubber helps insulate polar animals. Or check out this Arctic theme lesson plan, including lots of information and activities with polar animals.
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, as well as a great learning tool for science and snowman sensory play! We especially love singing winter songs. Even without snow you can make these winter STEAM snowflakes. No matter where you live there are these fun and inviting winter and snow lesson plans.
There are so many ways outer space can be a ‘blast’. Stars, moons, and planets are just some of the miraculous things you can teach kids about space. Make a night sky sensory bin for some themed sensory play! You can incorporate math by using these space-themed number writing practice cards, making a rocket ship out of a cardboard box, or doing constellation activities. If you’re in need of an entire space lesson plan, we’ve got you covered in our store.
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. Or see the winter lesson plans in our store.
January Holidays for Preschool Themes
There are also several holidays in January, which you can incorporate into your January preschool themes. These are days to highlight or days that are great to read a book about them during circle time.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year, one of the world’s most celebrated festivals, happens each year between January 21st and February 20th. This is a special time for families to gather together and honor deities and ancestors, as well as lots of other fun cultural customs. Need some more ideas? Try these Chinese New Year songs and rhymes.
New Year Theme
Talk about old and new, incorporate calendar and time concepts, make New Years slime, or have a Noon Years Eve party. The possibilities are endless! We, of course, always include copious amounts of glitter in our New Year’s celebrations, like in these calming glitter jars.
Groundhog day is a fun way to remind preschoolers that winter never lasts forever. You can explain the history and tradition behind Punxsutawney Phil and what it means if he does or doesn’t see his shadow. Leading up to Groundhog Day, you can even ask your kids to vote on whether or not he’s going to see his shadow, sharing the results with them on Groundhog Day.
Martin Luther King Jr Day
Martin Luther King Jr Day is a great way to remind preschoolers to treat everyone with kindness, and equality. You can explain to your kids what equality means and why it’s so important. This is also a perfect time to emphasize how important it is to stand up for equal treatment and rights of everyone. Here are some great kindness books to go along with it.
These January preschool themes are a great way to get you started on your planning For even more ideas, activities, and themes, visit The Ultimate List of Preschool Themes.