These toddler lesson plans and themes are sure to fill your days with fun activities and best of all, learning opportunities!
Toddlers — so full of life, energy, and curiosity. Their energy is both a joy and a challenge! With seemingly endless interest in everything, 1 and 2-year-olds begin soaking up the world around them through their senses. You’ve probably noticed that the toddlers in your life want to touch, taste, smell, and see everything around them.
As a parent and teacher, this is wonderful…but exhausting! Anyone else ready for nap time??
Having ready-to-use toddler activities and ideas at your fingertips is a game-changer! It allows us to continue playing and interacting with our toddlers instead of spending countless hours searching for new, engaging, learning activities to keep them entertained AND support their growing brains!
To save time and energy, use age-appropriate toddler lesson plans and themes! There are lots of fun toddler themes that will engage 1 and 2-year-olds.
Now, onto our favorite toddler themes!
Toddler Lesson Plans and Themes
All About Me
As toddlers learn more about the world around them, one of their favorite topics is themselves! That makes All About Me a perfect toddler theme. There’s tons of fun themed activities you can use to teach your toddler about themselves, including physical attributes, parts of the body, emotional attributes, likes and dislikes, and more! Helping them fill out an All About Me Poster is a wonderful addition to this theme and makes a treasured keepsake for parents.
We’ve got an entire all about me lesson plan in our toddler store that’s packed with activities, songs, and games to support this theme.
Animals are everywhere! This is a great toddler theme with endless opportunities for learning and playing. Toddlers love learning different animal sounds of course, as well as identifying features like eyes, ears, mouth, and nose for common animals.
This is a great time to pull out some animal songs and fingerplays! Additionally, you can explore different types of animals: animals who live close by and animals who live on the other side of the world, animals who are active during the day and animals who are active at night, animals who fly and animals who swim, or animals who walk on two legs, four legs, or no legs. Make it fun and interesting with a variety of activities – use this book list to discover farm animals , talk about all the different zoo animals, and even bring in some sensory fun with this ocean creature sensory bottle!
Don’t forget to check out our toddler store for an entire animal lesson plan!
Balls are amazing! They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some balls are made for bouncing and some are made for rolling and throwing. Playing with different types of balls is a great way to get your toddler up and moving around. This is also a great theme in which to incorporate colors. If you’re able to gather balls in different shapes and sizes, like tennis balls, baseballs, soccer balls, and footballs, you can also focus on the different shapes and textures of each ball and engage your toddler in tactile fun!
If you’re in need of some more ideas, our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have an awesome ball lesson plan.
Bugs, Butterflies, and Insects
Love them or hate them, kids are intrigued by insects. Spiders, butterflies, and other creepy-crawlies are everywhere! You can begin teaching your toddler about the life cycle of butterflies, (check out these fun butterfly facts!) or you can focus on the important role bees play in pollinating. Reading aloud The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is bound to be a hit during this toddler theme! Or discover another Eric Carle book, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, and let your kids explore some process art by painting their own chameleon. Additionally, this is the perfect time to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
For more hands-on activities and learning opportunities, visit our toddler store for a bugs, butterflies, and insects lesson plan!
Toddlers love things that go! They are so intrigued by how vehicles move and the sounds they make. There are so many learning opportunities with this theme: why do we need vehicles? What special features on a vehicle make it move? Your toddler will learn a ton of new vocabulary! Throw in some car art and watch the excitement as they learn that four wheels on a car only leave two tracks! Additionally, it’s never too early to discuss car safety and why it’s important to wear our seat belts when we are on the road.
Visit Preschool Teacher 101 for an awesome cars lesson plan for preschoolers that can be modified for toddlers too.
One of the earliest, and most fun, things a toddler can learn are colors! There are a variety of awesome activities to learn each color’s name individually, or put them all together and make a rainbow! You can start by singing color songs and then add some rainbow songs. Make sensory bottles that mix and change colors or that are a rainbow! Art activities are a must in a color theme: paint with marbles, make a rainbow with a rolling pin, or make a rainbow weather craft. Be sure to keep talking about each color as you do each activity! You can even have the kids point out different objects in the room that are a certain color, or talk about the colors in the clothes they’re wearing.
For more fun color theme ideas and learning activities, check out our preschool colors lesson plan! All of the activities can be easily adapted for toddlers.
Early on, 1 and 2-year-olds tend to be enamored with community helpers. They are mesmerized by the uniforms and the unique vehicles and tools. This is a great theme to focus on the work of police, firefighters, emergency medical services, and construction workers, to name a few. However, it’s also a beautiful opportunity for teaching love, respect, and appreciation for others and sharing in the work of keeping our neighborhood clean and inviting.
We’ve got some more great ideas and activities, geared specifically to toddlers, in our community helpers lesson plan.
Dinosaurs are a hit with kids of all ages! Kids are fascinated by these creatures from long ago and the fossils they’ve left behind. This is a great theme to consider a trip to your local natural history museum to learn more. Or create your own fossil hunt!
Check out some awesome hands-on dinosaur learning with this dinosaur lesson plan from our preschool store!
Fall is a wonderful time of year with endless possibilities for kids. As the weather gets cooler and your kids are spending more time indoors, you can focus on teaching about the changing season through leaves, apples, and pumpkins. We’ve put together a list of great fall books as well as a list of books about pumpkins that you can read with your toddlers. We also have a great list of fun fall songs! Then, of course, there’s a ton of fall-themed activities like fall sensory bottles, fall science activities and simple fall art activities!
For some more great fall learning ideas, visit our preschool store and discover our fall lesson plan.
Welcome to the farm -where animals roam and food grows wild! Help your toddler learn what takes place on a farm and where our food comes from. You can focus on specific crops, a fruit or vegetable that is in season, do taste tests, and even plant your own seeds! Your child will love learning about farm animals and the sounds they make.
Sing along and stomp your feet to Old MacDonald, Animal Farm, and other fun toddler songs that are farm-themed. Infuse math into your farm activities with these ten-frame math mats and have your little one counting on the farm.
You can also visit our toddler store to find fun farm-themed lesson plans.
Five Senses is great as a stand-alone theme but also ties in perfectly with All About Me. This unit will help your toddler learn how we use our senses to explore the world around us and the parts of our bodies. You can try activities that focus on seeing different colors, hearing the difference between loud and soft noises, tasting foods that are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, smelling things that are flowery, spicy, or stinky, and touching objects with different textures.
Visit our preschool store for an entire five senses lesson plan.
Without realizing it, you’ve likely already introduced your toddler to the idea of space through the songs Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mr. Sun. This is a great week to expand on the idea of space by also talking about the sun, moon, and planets. You can do a bit of stargazing or teach 1- and 2-year-olds the role of the sun and moon here on earth. Take a giant box and turn it into a rocketship for dramatic play. This is also a great unit for space sensory bottles!
If you’re in need of more awesome themed learning for this toddler theme, visit our preschool store for an entire space lesson plan that can be adapted for toddlers.
After a long, cold winter spent mostly indoors, kids can’t wait to get back outside! And what a wonderful world awaits them – the possibilities for spring learning are endless! Start with animals returning after the winter or waking up from hibernation, different plants that are beginning to pop up, or the changing weather. Sing lots of bright and cheery spring songs! Then, of course, there’s all the spring crafts, art fun, and nature activities!
For additional ideas, check out our spring preschool lesson plan that can be adapted for toddlers.
Summer is all about fun… warm weather, beaches, vacations, swimming, and ice cream make this a wonderful time of year! There are lots of fun indoor and learning activities, as well – check out this fun sensory bin that’s perfect for toddlers! It’s a great time to explore the outdoors and enjoy being together. Check out this entire list of summer preschool themes!
Or visit our preschool store for some great learning activities featuring all things summer in a summer lesson plan.
Toddlers love learning all about things that go! This fun theme is great for learning about air, land, and sea travel. Toddlers already have a natural curiosity about transportation because they have first-hand experience! They ride in cars or buses as well as seeing many different types of vehicles when they are out and about. You can sing a silly song about a Butterfly Driving a Truck or Train Song.
For more great ideas and tons of hands-on themed activities geared especially to toddlers, visit our toddler store for an entire transportation themed toddler lesson plan.
Under the Sea
You can focus on sea animals, coral, underwater plants, the different seas and oceans worldwide, or the water itself. Check out this amazing list of ocean-themed activities! You can also tie this toddler theme into a beach or seashell theme. Some great under the sea songs include Baby Beluga and, of course, Baby Shark!
Head over to our preschool store for an ocean themed lesson plan that can be adapted for toddlers.
From jumping in puddles to catching a snowflake, the weather is a huge part of all our lives. And it’s extra magical for children. Who doesn’t love seeing a rainbow?! Explore rainbow colors by making a rainbow in a bottle, bring snow inside and into the sensory table, or make a rain cloud suncatcher.
Visit our preschool store for more ideas, activities, and a weather themed lesson plan that can be adapted for toddler lesson plans.
Winter is a blend of beauty and challenges. The colder weather means longer days inside for those who get snow. A great way to combat the winter blues is to dive into the beauty of winter! Learn about winter animals, snow and snowflakes, cold and ice, and warm hugs. Don’t forget to sing along to these winter songs! As the days become shorter, you’ll have even more time to snuggle up together and read books about winter.
For more fun learning activities and themed ideas specifically for toddlers, check out our toddler store for a winter lesson plan for toddlers.