These favorite October preschool themes are perfect for keeping your little ones engaged and excited during this busy month! For more theme ideas for any time of the year, check out our ultimate list of preschool themes.
October equals a celebration of nature and tradition. During this month, we begin to welcome fall crops like pumpkins, gourds, apples, and winter squash. We welcome the subtle season change and the gorgeous golds and reds of the falling leaves. It’s also the beginning of a very busy holiday season beginning with a childhood favorite holiday, Halloween.
As educators, we bring the season alive through October themes and lessons that acknowledge the beauty of nature and the outside world. I have included the themes that I wait all year to bring to the classroom, that celebrate the fall colors, tastes and smells, and of course, holidays.
Favorite October Preschool Themes
An animal theme is so much fun for children of all ages. Whether you focus on pets, farm, or wild animals… there are so many fun learning options! Start with reading some of the many animal books on our list, including Wild Animal Babies: An Alphabet Book, written by our very own creator of Preschool Inspirations. Add in some lively animal songs that kids will love!
Run over to our store and grab our animal lesson plan for toddlers or preschoolers and enjoy lots of great ideas and activities!
Applesauce, apple pie, apple jam… apples are so yummy and versatile! October is the perfect month to celebrate the apple because National Apple Day is October 21st. Plus, preschoolers love learning about how apples grow, enjoying a yummy taste test, and reading apple books, like Apples by Gail Gibbons. Infuse this theme with fine motor fun with this apple lacing activity and sorting apples for math
Visit our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 for an entire apple theme lesson plan!
As cool weather (hopefully) approaches in October, it’s the perfect time for a camping theme! Host a reading camp and set up a reading tent or make some gooey s’mores. Your preschoolers will love this theme and love learning more about nature. Join Llama llama on a camping adventure in this adorable book, Llama Llama Loves Camping.
Or get lots more ideas with these camping lesson plans.
Community Helpers Theme
A true preschool favorite…this theme spotlights all the amazing role models in our communities! Learn about health care workers, firefighters, garbage collectors, police officers, teachers, and more. Use clean-up songs to teach how kids can be helpers, too! This book, Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, is a great introduction to all kinds of community careers.
Preschoolers are fascinated by big vehicles! The noise, the mess…. it just makes it so interesting! Introduce big vehicles and bring in some hands-on fun with a construction sensory bin. Read Might, Mighty, Construction Site, and learn how even construction vehicles work together.
Dig up some more ideas in our construction theme lesson plans available in our store.
Little hands love anything that involves making food! October is the perfect month to introduce a cooking unit because it is National Cookie, Popcorn, and Pizza month! Plus a cooking theme is a great way to infuse math, literacy, and science concepts while making something yummy and encouraging little ones to try new things. Get creative and make homemade ice cream, a tasty snack for tea time, or any other favorite kid recipes. Enjoy Lois Ehlert’s book, Eating the Alphabet, and encourage some yummy fruits and veggies into those little hands!
We also love all of the great hands-on activities over at Planning Playtime.
Dinos are totally rawr-some! Celebrate this favorite preschool theme during October and observe National Fossil Day on October 14th with a dino dig! Play some dinosaur games and get musical with these amazing dinosaur songs! Don’t forget the dino-tastic books.
Emotions and Feelings Theme
No matter the season or month, this preschool theme is great for social/emotional development and benefits young students as they navigate their feelings and emotions. This calming glitter jar is loved by kids…and adults too! Use music and silly songs to talk about all kinds of feelings, too.
Preschool Teacher 101 has developed an amazing emotions themed lesson plan unit.
Fall is one of the most fun October preschool themes, with tons of possibilities! Hopefully, the season is starting to change wherever you live and resemble fall weather! Fall books, art activities, sensory bottles, and simple science activities are perfect for making this theme so engaging. Don’t miss our fall songs!
Fall into our store for an entire fall lesson plan.
Fantasy and Fairy Tales Theme
This theme is so much fun! Using classic stories, this theme is a great option as a Halloween alternative or even after Halloween. Kids love dramatic play and pretend role play. Encouraging young children to pretend and make-believe is so critical for their imagination and developing language. Check out this fantastic fractured fairy tale, The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark.
Make your theme even more magical with this fairy tale lesson plan from Preschool Teacher 101.
A farm theme is one of the most beloved October preschool themes! October 2nd is World Farm Animals Day so it’s the perfect month for a trip to the farm. There are so many fantastic farm books perfect for read-alouds, including Duck on a Bike, which is full of silly farm animal antics! You can even use the animals as a fun farm math activity!
Fire Safety Theme
October is the perfect month to teach fire safety and all about the role of firefighters in our community. October 9th is Fire Prevention Day so it’s an ideal time to talk to your preschoolers about how to prevent fires, as well as what to do if one occurs. Plus, a trip to the fire station would be a super fun and informative field trip! Don’t forget to read the kid favorite, Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete by Eric Litwin.
Five Senses Theme
Learning about our five senses can be so much fun…especially in the fall! Taste yummy pumpkin and smell spicy cinnamon. Touch a bumpy gourd or smell apple pie. Listen to the crunch of fall leaves. There are so many ways to explore the five senses and it’s perfect for student-led exploration. Read My Five Senses and invite your preschoolers to use their five senses in new ways!
It’s always a great time to make new friends! October 19th is National New Friends Day and the perfect theme for preschool. Help children learn how to be a friend and navigate conflict strategies. Read friendship books, write and send friendship letters, and share the wonderful characteristics of each other. Plus, it helps children practice writing and develops name recognition.
Snag an entire friendship theme lesson plan from Preschool Teacher 101 to get even more great ideas.
The Halloween holiday is one of the most popular October preschool themes! Halloween doesn’t have to be spooky, rather it can be silly and all about pretend play! Holiday preschool themes are just right for enjoying a special week while still actively learning. Check out this cute ghost sensory smash and a last-minute pumpkin craft sure to excite! Sprinkle in the Halloween songs and have a dance party. And don’t forget the not-so-spooky monster books or pumpkin books full of fun characters that are just plain silly!
Did you know many animals begin hibernating in September or October? As they prepare for winter, many animals including hedgehogs, bears, bats, and even bees, begin to curl up for a long winter’s rest. Help children learn even more about animals by teaching which animals hibernate and why with this book, Over and Under the Snow.
Hot or Cold Theme
Encourage your budding scientists with this theme! Discuss the weather outside or the changing seasons, and of course what it means to touch a hot sidewalk or cold ice. Preschoolers love this playing with ice sensory activity that’s easy to set up and tons of entertainment. This theme ties in nicely to weather and the fluctuating temperatures throughout the year.
Need some weather ideas? Check out this weather lesson plan available in our store.
Leaves make a great preschool theme during the month of October. During the fall months, colored leaves are absolutely magical and perfect for science experiments or nature observations. There are so many leaf science experiments your littles can do! Don’t forget to read this classic, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, and encourage your preschoolers to make some leaf art of their own!
The month of October is the start of the holiday season and it can get kids pretty amped up! Mindfulness is perfect to add to your October 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. Introduce yoga to help find purposeful movement, whether through kid yoga books, kid yoga videos, or printable yoga cards and posters. It’s also perfect to use brain breaks and can even be used outside.
Not all monsters are scary and cause a fright! This theme is perfect around Halloween, and a great way to dissipate fears and anxieties. Check out these adorable monsters in our not-so-scary monster books list.
Or grab an entire Monster lesson plan in the Preschool Teacher 101 store.
Space is certainly full of endless learning opportunities! World Space Week is October 4th through the 10th and is a great time to learn all about the moon. Whether you are studying space or just the moon, this is always a fun theme with so many ways to supplement it including a moon phase activity with Oreos. Enjoy this classic Eric Carle book Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me.
Music is simply amazing. This theme is perfect any time of the year, but why not celebrate in October during International Drum Month? Learn about various instruments and use your sense of hearing to distinguish between different tones and sounds. Not to mention, it’s been proven that music actually makes children smarter! There are plenty of songs that teach a variety of concepts. Music can be used anytime during the day: to say hello or goodbye, during circle time, to transition from one activity to another, and to introduce or reinforce new concepts. Check out this handy ultimate guide to preschool songs list!
One of the easiest and most loved preschool themes is a nature theme. It’s the perfect way to get children to connect with the world around them, as well as to use natural materials in new ways. Objects found in nature can be used in numerous art projects and learning activities. Spending time outside is SO good for children – read about the benefits of Forest School!
Outer Space Theme
3, 2,1… Blast off! There are so many ways outer space can be a ‘blast’. Stars, moons, and planets are just some of the mysterious and magical aspects of the night sky. October 4th through the 12th is World Space Week so it’s the perfect time to make space your October preschool themes. Make a night sky sensory bin, or incorporate math by using these space-themed number writing practice cards. Don’t forget this 3-ingredient galaxy sensory jar! Get creative and make a rocket ship out of a cardboard box and read Roaring Rockets for some astronaut inspiration.
Plan your whole space theme with our entire space lesson plan, available in our store.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and it’s a great theme to share our love for pets of all kinds. Pets are so special to us and children love to play, interact, and be big helpers with their pets. Create a dramatic play area with a pet clinic or pet store to get your preschoolers excited about their new pet theme! Read The Pigeon Wants a Puppy for some extra silly giggles.
Our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have a pets lesson plan in their store for planning the perfect pet theme.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice, this season is full of fall traditions! Pumpkins are the symbol of fall and they are so handy for all kinds of projects. Whether you dig in and explore the pumpkin itself or for a little less mess, check out this pumpkin writing center. Enjoy pumpkin crafts and pumpkin art projects because this theme is certain to be a hit. Don’t forget the pumpkin books and while you’re at it…make a fun pumpkin book character!
Pop over to Preschool Teacher 101 and grab a whole pumpkin lesson plan!
Pick a favorite season or learn about them all… this is a great theme for teaching kids about the weather, plant life, temperature, and more! Learn about the characteristics of each season and how the outside world changes with this informational book, Watching the Seasons. Add in an art project to celebrate each season, winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Drift into our store for our entire seasons lesson plan.
Spiders can be spooky, with their many eyes and legs, but they can also be so cute (see the pet spider craft!). Learn more about these interesting arachnids with these great spider facts. Add some spiders in the sensory table for some fun and eerie exploration.
Crawl over to Preschool Teacher 101 and snag the fun spider lesson plans.
Squirrels are super cute with their fluffy tails, their incredible climbing skills, and their quick nature. This theme is perfect to include with an animal theme, fall theme with a counting activity, or even physical activity!
Weather is an endless theme with numerous activities! Consider learning about all types of weather – sunshine, rain, snow, etc. Use weather songs during calendar or transition time to make this theme even more exciting.
Grab more weather ideas in our weather lesson plan in our store.
We hope these October preschool themes excite and engage your little ones. For even more themes and ideas, visit The Ultimate List of Preschool Themes, or see our library below!
Themes by the Month
- November Preschool Themes
- December Preschool Themes
- January Preschool Themes
- February Preschool Themes
- March Preschool Themes
- April Preschool Themes
- May Preschool Themes
- June Preschool Themes
- July Preschool Themes
- August Preschool Themes