These winter preschool themes are a great way to keep your preschoolers excited and engaged during one of the most wonderful times of the year! The cold weather might have you feeling stuck indoors with kids full of energy, just itching to do something new. You will love our endless winter theme ideas, along with other themes perfect for any time of the year! Check out our ultimate list of preschool themes for even more ideas.
Winter Preschool Themes
We may speak fondly of summer days and warm weather, but the winter season has its own share of awesome activities, themes, and just plain icy fun!
Winter is full of excitement with snow, arctic animals, fun holidays and winter sports. There are so many different ideas for learning during wintertime and they are sure to please even the youngest learners! Supplement your theme with these wonderful winter books for children, and take the kids outside for some winter nature observation. Sing winter songs and dance off some of that winter chill! Or for even more fantastic ideas, see the winter lesson plans in our store.
Bundle up to learn about the extreme places of the world, and the animals that live there (as well as the ones that don’t). This December preschool theme is the perfect time to enjoy activities with ice. Or find a plethora of ideas in this Arctic lesson plan!
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.
Cold and Hot Theme
This is a great hands-on science theme that will have your kiddos jumping for joy Who knew playing with ice could be such great learning? This theme also lends itself to discussions about the weather outside or the changing seasons, and of course what it means to touch hot water or cold ice. Need some more weather ideas? Check out this weather lesson plan.
Kids sure love to be in the kitchen! Following recipes and cooking with an adult builds math, language, and literacy skills, all while having so much fun! Make bread in a bag, homemade ice cream, or even have an entire dramatic play cookie shop! This is also a perfect time to cook up some fun treats for the holidays. Check out all of the great cooking and baking hands-on activities in the lesson plan over at Planning Playtime.
Dental Health Theme
It’s time to make caring for your teeth fun with these hands-on dental health activities. Dental Health Month is in February, so it’s a great time to talk about cleaning teeth, flossing, and eating the right foods for healthy teeth. Have even more fun with this theme and grab a hands-on dental health lesson plan.
Dr. Seuss Theme
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss…make a wish! Did you know March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s birthday? March is the perfect time to read through some favorite Dr. Seuss books, enjoy some Green Eggs and Ham, and celebrate the zaniness of Dr. Seuss’s stories!
Family is the perfect preschool theme that can tie into All About Me, Thanksgiving, or Christmas themes. This simple and fun sorting game using people and animal counters develops counting and language skills! 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!
Fine Motor Theme
Preschoolers need strong muscles to help them learn to write, tie shoes, button clothing, turn pages, use scissors, and so much more! Utilizing a sensory table for open-ended fine motor practice is a great way to engage students and hone these crucial skills for development.
It is so critical to help children navigate through the important foundations of friendship and learn the challenges of being a good friend themselves. Sending friendship letters is a great tie-in to this theme, as well as a wonderful way to practice writing and name recognition. Snag an entire friendship theme lesson plan to get even more great ideas.
Who doesn’t love that silly old gingerbread man! He keeps us on our toes with his runaway plans and now there are so many silly tales with even more gingerbread characters to enjoy! A new must-have is The Gingerbread Baby with its clever plot twist on just how to catch that gingerbread cookie. And of course after reading The Gingerbread Man, it’s time to make gingerbread slime or a gingerbread ornament to extend the fun and learning! If you need an entire gingerbread lesson plan, we highly recommend this one from Planning Playtime.
Gross Motor Theme
A gross motor preschool theme or unit is perfect for those weeks when you need new and unusual ways for kids to get moving. Whether it is too hot or too cold to go outside, or even if it’s field day (or week), plan a unit on getting children to move those large muscles.
Help children learn even more about animals by learning about 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. Or you could do an actual hibernation! Have your students bring in a stuffed animal (one they’re not too attached to) and put their stuffed animals in a safe place for a month, then bring the animals “out” of hibernation! Incorporating our animal preschool lesson plan would be a great addition to this animal unit.
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!
Kindness is such an important value to teach children. The earlier they learn, the easier it will be for them to spread kindness throughout their lives. One of our favorite ways to teach and model kindness is with kindness books. Singing hello songs is a great way to promote kindness toward other students. We also love to teach kindness with the Kindness Elves.
Help children learn to be more calm, intentional, and understanding. This is a perfect theme for introducing yoga, whether through books or kid yoga videos. It’s also a perfect theme to introduce brain breaks! Or, take the learning outside with these five simple outdoor mindfulness activities.
Penguins are such a fun animal! You can learn about where they live, what they eat, how they behave, and 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 they LOVE to talk about them! A pet theme is so fun and interesting for little ones and helps to build language and teach responsibility. Since dogs and cats are the most common pets in our households, why not talk about some more unusual pets? Where’s the iguanas and parrots! Don’t worry – our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have a pets lesson plan in their store for planning the perfect pet theme.
Polar animals are so interesting, 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. You can bring it in as a real snow sensory experience or if you don’t get snow, you can make a snowman sensory table! We especially love singing winter songs and making these snowman name crafts. Even without snow you can make these winter STEAM snowflakes out of marshmallows. No matter where you live, you can get so many great ideas from these fun and inviting 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.
Preschool Holiday Themes
Of course, winter is home to some super fun holidays!! These special celebrations can be an awesome preschool theme, too! Check out these music, craft, and lesson plan suggestions for each.
What fun is it to incorporate the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas into your preschool day! Start with a jingle bells math station, make candy cane science experiments, create simple Christmas ornaments, or have an advent calendar countdown. Don’t forget the Christmas music, of course! If you’re in need of even more great ideas, you can find them in this Christmas lesson plan.
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! If you need some extra ideas, check out this lesson plan.
New Year’s 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.
A fun holiday theme that helps promote love, kindness, sharing, giving and friendship. Plus, this is a wonderful theme for making gifts that parents or other caring adults will cherish. Check out these Valentine’s Day games, crafts, number recognition activities, sensory bin play, and other Valentine’s Day activities like science experiments! Or check out an entire Valentines lesson plan.