Our January preschool themes are a great way to keep your preschoolers focused and engaged following one of the busiest times of the year! This is just one of our amazing preschool themes 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 with 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 get back on track from the excitement of the holidays and all the extra things to do. January preschool themes are a great way to refresh and re-establish the routines and daily schedule.
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 that it’s 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.
I also hope you’ll love my new book Wild Animal Babies: An Alphabet Book, which is perfect for an animal theme as you learn about new and unusual animals and their babies!
This theme lends itself to 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. National Bird Day falls on January 5, so this theme is perfect for learning about the bird species.
The amazing teachers at Preschool Teacher 101 even have a bird lesson plan in their store.
A dinosaur theme is one of the most beloved preschool themes of all time. Kids are naturally mesmerized and intrigued by these prehistoric giants and there are so many fun and engaging ways to enjoy this theme. Have a dino dig in the sandbox or snow or play some dinosaur games. Enjoy the best dinosaur books and sing along to these rawr-some dino songs!
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! If you’re learning about bears, make sure to read our bear facts that are perfect to talk about during circle time.
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.
Looking for more planning ideas? We have 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 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.
Compare their sizes, what they eat, and you can even set up a vet clinic for dramatic play.
Our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have a pets lesson plan 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 a marshmallow and toothpick snowflake STEM activity that is sure to be a blast!
Or check out this Arctic theme lesson plan from Preschool Teacher 101, which includes 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.
No matter where you live there are these fun and inviting winter and snow lesson plans from Planning Playtime!
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, making a galaxy sensory bottle, or doing constellation activities.
If you’re in need of an entire space lesson plan, we’ve got you covered in our preschool 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. These winter activities are chock full of ideas that little ones will love!
This theme could stretch on for a while since there is so much amazing learning to cover! Check out our winter lesson plans in our preschool store and toddler store and make planning this theme a breeze!
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 Year’s 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.
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 the 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, check out our monthly preschool theme ideas below.
Monthly Preschool Themes
- February Preschool Themes
- March Preschool Themes
- April Preschool Themes
- May Preschool Themes
- June Preschool Themes
- July Preschool Themes
- August Preschool Themes
- September Preschool Themes
- October Preschool Themes
- November Preschool Themes
- December Preschool Themes
Check out our Ultimate List of Preschool Themes for any month of the year!