Circus Theme

Crafts & Activities

Clown Faces
Give each child a white paper plate. Let the children paint a clown face, encouraging them to use many different colors of paint. When the paint is dry, glue on a red pompom for a nose. Add yarn for hair.

The Circus Band
Invite the children to be in the circus band. Provide them with musical instruments. Play a record of circus music and let them enjoy playing along.

Clowning Around - Dressup
Bring in a variety of things that children can use to dress up, like: funny hats, ties, ribbons, bows, big shoes, wild print shirts, baggy pants.  Add some face makeup for more fun!

Circus Tent 
In the dramatic play area or outside set up a tent using an old blanket or parachute.

Circus Train
Provide the children with an animal outline or have them draw any animal they wish.  Color and cut out the animal. Paste the animal cutout onto a styrofoam meat tray. Add pipe cleaners, ribbon or paper strips across the tray as bars on a cage. Add black circles for train wheels to the bottom of the tray.

Clown Hats
Give each child a piece of light colored butcher paper. The children can add "fingerprint" spots to their paper with a darker color paint.  When the paint has dried, cut
the papers into semicircle shapes. Roll the shapes and tape them in place to form pointed clown hats. Make tassels from the remaining paper or ribbon and tape them to the tops of the hats.

Funny Clown Bows
7X12 in. pieces of tissue paper (all different colors)
pipe cleaner, string or ribbon
Fold 2-3 strips of different colored tissue paper together, accordian style.  Secure around the middle with pipecleaner, string or ribbon.  Fan out the folds.  You could also use crepe paper, construction paper or wrapping paper!

Animal Training
Let the children pretend they are circus animals who have been trained to jump through hoops. Have the children line up in a single line and take turns stepping or jumping through a hula hoop. Adjust the height of the hoop according to the age and skill of each child.  Or let the children take turns throwing stuffed animals through a hula hoop or other
large ring.

Ringmaster Hat
Measure a piece of black construction paper to form a tube to fit the child's head. Staple. On another sheet of paper, draw around the tube to form a circle, then draw another circle about two inches larger. Poke a scissors through the center of the small inner circle. Cut wedges to the line of the small inner circle. Fold the wedges upward and paste to the inside of the tube to form a  hat with a brim.

Silly Clown Shoes
gummed paper reinforcements 
2 shoe boxes (clown shoes)
2 60-inch lengths of ribbon or yarn 
colorful pompoms 
Punch holes along the top of the boxes and glue the reinforcements over the holes for eyelets for the laces.  Fold the front end of each shoe down into the box. Lace the shoes, Pull the laces firmly to pull in and fold down the sides. Tie laces in a bow. Decorate with pompoms. 

Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes

~ Did You Ever See a Clown? ~
Sung to: "Did You Ever See A Lassie?"
Did you ever see a clown,
A clown, a clown?
Did you ever see a clown
Move this way and that?
Move this way and that way,
Move this way and that way.
Did you ever see a clown
Move this way and that?

~ Wiggles The Clown ~
I wear a funny little hat.
I have a funny nose.
Sometimes I'm thin.
Sometimes I'm fat.
My shoes have floppy toes.
I wiggle, wiggle all about.
I jiggle up and down.
I make children laugh and shout.
It's fun to be a clown.

~ Four Little Clowns  ~
   This is cute on a felt board
This little clown is jolly and fat.
This little clown wears a big red hat.
This little clown is strong and tall.
This little clown is wee and small,
But he does the funniest tricks of all!

~ Five Big Elephants ~
   (Change the numbers depending on number of children in your group!)
Five big elephants.  Oh!  What a sight,
Swinging their trunks from left to right!
Four are followers, and one is the king.
They all walk around in the circus ring.
(To pantomime, the children crouch over and clasp their hands, then move arms left and right as they walk. Choose the children to be elephants who follow one chosen to be king. The 'elephants' walk around the room several times as the rhyme is recited.)

~ This Circus Clown ~
This circus clown shakes your hand. (shake hands)
This circus clown plays in the band.(play flute)
This circus clown has enormous feet. (show foot)
This circus clown dearly loves to eat. (pretend to eat)
This circus clown has a round red nose. (point to nose)
This circus clown has white teeth in rows. (point teeth)
This circus clown has very sad eyes. (look sad)
He laughs, and frowns and then he cries. (demonstrate)
This circus clown bends away down. (bend down)

~ We Are Clowns Today ~
   Sung to: 'The Farmer in the Dell'
We are clowns today,
We are clowns today,
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
We are clowns today.

~ Clown Song  ~
   Sung to: I'm a Little Teapot
I'm a little circus clown, short and fat
Here is my tummy, here is my hat
I can do a trick as you can see
Just turn around and look at me
   (point to a child to do a trick)

~ Circus Song ~
   Sung to: "I've Been Working on the Railroad"
I am walking through the circus,
Happy as can be.
I am walking through the circus,
Just to see what I can see.
I can see the clown laughing.
I can see the elephant, too.
I can see the lion sleeping.
Look out! He sees you.

~ Funny Clowns ~
   Sung to: 'Frere Jacques' ('Are you sleeping?')
Funny clowns, funny clowns,
Jump around, jump around.
Sometimes making faces,
Sometimes running races.
Funny clowns, funny clowns.
Funny clowns, funny clowns,
Spin around, spin around.
Sometimes with a big nose,
Sometimes with two big toes.
Funny clowns, funny clowns

~ Let's All Go to the Circus Today ~
   Sung to: Mary Had A Little Lamb
Let's all go to the circus today,
The circus today, the circus today,
Let's all go to the circus today
And watch the animals play.

See the lions jump through the hoops
Through the hoops, through the hoops.....

See the big seals spinning balls.....
See the little dogs jump and twirl.....

~ Little Clown, Little Clown ~
   (Makes a great felt story!))
Little clown, little clown with a big red nose,
Little clown, little clown, with funny clothes.
Little clown, little clown with a suit of yellow,
Little clown, little clown, a happy fellow.
Little clown, little clown with a blue pointed hat,
Little clown, little clown, short and fat.
Little clown, little clown with a fancy green collar,
Little clown, little clown, wants to be taller.
Little clown, little clown with hair orange and bright,
Little clown, little clown, a jolly good sight.
Little clown, little clown with two purple feet,
Little clown, little clown, a real circus treat!

~ Under The Big Top ~
   (Another great felt story!)
Under the big top, what will I see?
Look there's an elephant smiling at me.
Behind the elephant, what will I see?
Look there's a bear dancing for me.
Behind the bear, what will I see?
Look a wild lion is roaring at me.
Behind the lion, what will I see?
A little seal doing tricks for me.

~ We Are Clowns Today ~
   Sung to: The Farmer in the Dell
We are clowns today,
We are clowns today,
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
We are clowns today.

Additional verses: 
We do tricks today....
We make faces today....
We fall down today....


Big Top Treats
Mix 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup peanuts*, 1 cup animal crackers, 1 cup chocolate pieces.  Put in a ziploc bag and shake. You can decorate bags with colorful stickers before filling.

Big Top Treats II
Mix 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup peanuts*, 1 cup round toasted oat cereal, and 1 cup raisins.

*You may wish to substitute or omit the peanuts for younger children.




Ice Cream Theme


Crafts & Activities

Here's the Scoop!
Cut out several ice cream scoop shapes out of white paper; cut out a cone shape with 1 scoop of ice cream shape . Let the kids decorate their scoops of ice cream in the flavor of their choice.  Some ideas:

1.  Use a tropical crayon color to represent flavors like:  orange, lime, pineapple
2.  Use a sponge or cotton ball to lightly paint the scoop a solid color
3.  Use a cotton swab to paint on chocolate chips or rainbow chips; or to paint on swirls for flavors such as fudge or strawberry ripple.
4.  Glue on pieces of paper to represent sprinkles, nuts or flavored chips
5.  Use a fingerprint to resemble fruit chunks or nuts.

When they are finished decorating their scoops; cut them out and glue them on another piece of paper.  Let them glue their decorated scoops onto the cone.

Taste Test
Ask parents to donate a variety of different flavored ice creams.  Ask each child to sample each flavor.  Which one do they like best?  Record it on a graph.


Make an Ice Cream Cake
Using your favorite cake recipe, make an 8 or 9 inch round cake and an 8 or 9 inch square cake.  Follow the
Ice Cream Cake Pattern to assemble cake.  Makes 2 single layer cakes; or 1 double layer cake.  Decorate with your favorite icing!

small can ( a one pound coffee can works great)
large can (a three pound coffee can works great)
1/2 cups of rock or kosher salt
20 cups( about 7 1/2 lbs) of crushed ice

Ice Cream: 
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup of chocolate chips

In the small can mix cream, milk, beaten egg, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips.  Place the lid tightly on the small can; set it in the center of the larger can. Layer half the crushed ice alternately with half the salt all around the smaller can. Place the lid tightly on the large can.   Choose a hard level surface like a cement walk way and roll the can back and forth for about 10 minutes. Remove old ice/salt and small can.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the small can; stir and replace the lid. Put small can back inside larger one with the remaining fresh ice/salt. . Cover and roll for 5 more minutes.

Ice Cream in a Bag
For each child you will need:

1 small ziploc bag (pint size)
1 large ziploc bag (quart size)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoon salt (regular table salt that pours will work)

In each small bag add the milk, vanilla, & sugar; seal the bag. Fill the large bag half full with ice; add salt.  Place the small bag inside the large bag and seal.  Shake until mixture is the consistency of ice cream takes about 5 minutes.  



Bugs Theme

Crafts & Activities

Simple Egg Carton Caterpillars
Cut the bumpy botton of an egg carton in half.  Let children paint or decorate with felt pens and stickers.  Attach pipe cleaner antennae, and draw on eyes and mouth.

Egg Carton Caterpillars 2
white craft glue
cardboard egg carton (cut lengthwise)
shirt cardboard
pipe cleaner
poster paint or markers

Cut off the lid of the egg carton.  Cut carton cups in half lengthwise.  Cut the shirt cardboard into s strips - long enough to stick out from under the carton on both sides for legs.  Turn the carton over and glue the cardboard strips across the underside of each cup.
Poke two short pieces of pipe cleaner into top of the first cup for antennae.  Paint the caterpillar with poster paints or color with markers. 

Go On An Ant Hunt!
Have an ant hunt....go outside with magnifying glasses and hunt for ants.

For small spiders, use one egg carton cup.  Paint it black and attach pipe cleaners for legs.  For larger spiders, decorate paper plates.  Fold strips of construction paper in an accodian style, and glue to the paper plate.  Attach a string to the body and hang from the ceiling.

Clothespin Butterfly
watercolor paints
container of water
white tissue paper or paper towel
spring-type clothespin
pipe cleaner

Paint with watercolors on tissue paper or paper towel, then allow to dry completely.  Fold paper accordian-style back and forth onto itself like a fan.  Pinch paper in center with clothespin for butterfly.  Wrap pipe cleaner around head of clothespin for butterfly's antennae.  With a marker, add eyes or glue on googly eyes!

Sensory Table
Add some colorful plastic bugs to the sensory table. 

Lady Bug Puppets
red & black felt pieces 
black felt for legs (or black pipe cleaners)
Cut one piece of red and black felt into a ladybug shape.  Attach six legs to the black shape(bottom).  Place the red shape on top and stitch around the outside edge leaving a space to fill with stuffing.  Finish the edge.  Add black felt spots, googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae! 

Paper Caterpillars
construction paper in variety of colors
white glue
pipe cleaners

Cut enough circles in a variety of colors, the same size, so that each child has 8.  Have them glue the circles in line to make a caterpillar.  Add a face, and pipe cleaner antennae to the last circle! 

Butterfly Prints
finger-paint (in a variety of colors)
finger paint paper

Fold paper in half lengthwise.  Open the paper and lay flat on table.  Ask the children to "finger-paint" on one half only.  When they are finished, have them fold the paper onto itself....and press firmly.  Open to let their "butterflies" fly!

Make Potato Bugs
Give each child a potato for the body of the bug. Provide toothpicks, pins with colored heads, pipe cleaners, buttons, and colored paper to complete the bug.

Make a Worm Farm
All you need is a 2L pop bottle and some black construction paper. Lay the bottle on it's side and poke some holes all over the top. Fill with soil and add worms. Cover with black paper (worms like it dark!). After a day or two, take off the paper and observe the worm holes that that they have made. Return worms to your garden. 

Felt Worms
Make felt worms by cutting out 2 identical worm shapes; sew around the edges, leaving a small area to stuff with cotton batton. Complete sewing and add googley eyes. 

Stringy Worms
Dip long pieces of string into tempera paint.  Drag string on on paper to create worms.

Exploring Kit
Place paper, crayon, magnifying glass, tweezers, and anything else you can think of in a small paper bag for each child.  Attach a piece string so that the bag will hang nicely around their necks. Take them on a nature walk and let them explore using their special tools.  They can use the bag to collect "specimens" to take back home or to daycare.

Wax Paper Critters
Shave old crayons and place between a sheet of waxed paper on newspaper. Cover with another piece of waxed paper. Press with a hot iron for a few seconds. Cut into butterfly shape or other critter shape and hang in front of a window.

Feet Butterflies
Have the kids dip their bare feet into a shallow pan of paint. Help them step onto a piece of paper so feet are going outward from the heels together. Allow to dry; add antenna with markers.

Baggie Butterflies
Fill the snack size ziplock bags with scraps of tissue paper and cellophane and then gather them in the middle with a pipe cleaner or piece of chenille stem. Twist and bend the stem into antennae.

Cupcake Liner Butterflies
Flatten out colored cupcake liners and color with markers or crayons many different colors. Pinch liners in the center and wrap with pipe cleaners using the left over to make antennae.

Inkblot Butterfly
Cut out a shape of a butterfly and fold it in the center. Have the children paint on one side. Fold and rub lightly, then unfold. The sides will be identical. 

Pompom Caterpillars
Glue three middle size pompoms together. Glue on googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae. Add a magnet to the back! 

Stained Glass Butterflies
Precut a butterfly shape out of construction paper. After cutting out the shape, cut holes in several spots in the butterfly shape. Glue squares of colored tissue paper over the holes. Trim off any excess tissue paper around the butterfly shape.

Blotto Butterflies
Add paint to one side of a butterfly shape and fold to make symmetrical wings. To make this craft "non messy" just use dabber paints or fill paint into roll-on deoderant bottles (the roller pops off and can be filled with paint - the children simply roll to get the paint onto the paper). 

Tissue Paper Butterflies
Cut butterfly shapes from white construction paper. Set out assorted colors of 1-inch tissue paper squares, small containers of water and paintbrushes.  Have the children paint the butterfly shapes with water and place the tissue paper squares randomly on the shapes. Have them count to ten, then remove the wet tissue paper to view their colorful creations.

Flying Butterflies
Fold a piece of construction paper like a fan. attach a pipecleaner to the center and twist it at the top for the antennae. The "fans" become the wings. Add a piece of twine or attach to a straw so the children can fly their butterflies.

Butterfly Windsocks
Cut the end off of a paper lunch bag, tape a pipecleaner around one opening for support and attach to a tongue depresser or large popsicle stick. Add tissue paper or construction paper wings to the top of the windsock. 

Foamie Butterflies Magnets
Cut a butterfly shape out of fun foam and have foam shapes available to make the patterns on the wings - Add a magnet to the back.

Lady Bug Pins
Paint half of a walnut shell red for the ladybug's body. Draw a black line lengthwise across the shell to show the divide of the ladybug's wings. Punch some dots from black paper (or felt) and glue them to the shell. Rub some glue inside the shell and stuff it with coton. Cut a head from black paper (or felt) and glue it to the top of the shell. Glue on some eyes from red paper (or felt, or googly). Draw black dots on the red eyes for pupils. Cover the underside with black paper (or felt) cut to fit. Glue a safety pin on the back.

Fingerprint Honeybees
Press your index finger on an inked stamp pad. Then press on a sheet of white paper. Make several fingerprints across the paper. With a fine felt-tipped marker, add wings, antennae and legs to your creations. Try making other bugs - black paint/ink for ants; red for ladybugs; 

Spider Webs
With black construction paper and a white crayon or chalk, the kids can make a "web".  Add spider stickers!

Watercolor Spider Webs
Read The itsy Bitsy Spider then show the children the last page, where the spider lies in the sun and rests. Have children paint with pastel watercolors on white paper. When dry, let them drizzle glue over it to make a web-- put glitter (silver, white or clear) on the glue.

Hatch a Butterfly! 
At the beginning of the week the kids can make a caterpillar from an egg carton; then roll it up in a cocoon (construction paper). Hang them around the room. Read stories throughout the week about caterpillars and butterflies. At the end of the week the children open the cocoons to find a beautiful butterfly!! You, of course, have replaced the egg carton caterpillar with tissuepaper!  
Songs, Finger Plays & Nursery Rhymes

Ladybug, Ladybug
   This is nice with a ladybug puppet. 
Ladybug, Ladybug,
fly away home.
Your house in on fire
And your children all gone;
All except one
And that's little Ann
And she has crept under
The frying pan.

Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider
And sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Fuzzy Little Caterpillar
Fuzzy little caterpillar 
Crawling, crawling on the ground
Fuzzy little caterpillar
   Move hand forward, wiggle thumb.
Nowhere to be found.
Though we've looked and looked
And hunted everywhere around.

Roly Poly Caterpillar
Roly-poly caterpillar
   Creep index finger along arm.
Into a corner crept,
Spun around himself a blanket
   Spin hands around one another.
Then for a long time slept.
   Rest head on hands, eyes closed.
Roly-poly caterpillar
Wakening by and by
   Open eyes and stretch.
Found himself with beautiful wings
Changed to a butterfly.
   Hook thumbs together and wave hands.

Here is a Beehive
   This is nice with fingers or finger puppets.
Here is a beehive. 
   Make a fist.
But, where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Here they come, out of their hive.
    Creep fingers.
1 - 2  - 3 - 4 - 5
   Extend fingers one at a time.
   Buzz away.

Busy Ants
Busy ants are everywhere
Up the tree, and down the stair.
Hiding in the garden hose
And even biting at my toes.

The Bugs in the Garden
  (to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")

The fireflies at night go blink, blink, blink
link, blink, blink, blink, blink, blink
The fireflies at night go blink, blink, blink
Out in the garden.

The bees in the flowers go buzz, buzz, buzz
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz
The bees in the flowers go buzz, buzz, buzz
Out in the garden

Other verses:
ants/in the grass/march
caterpillars/on the leaves/munch
spiders/in the bush/spin their webs
butterflies in the sky/go flit,
ladybugs on the wall/have lots of spots
worms/in the ground/wiggle and squirm
mosquitos outside/they get smacked

I'm A Little Butterfly
  (sung to I'm A Little Teapot)
I'm a little butterfly
I have wings
I fly around
And see all things.
When I see a flower
That looks great
I call out
To all of my mates.

Ants, Ants, 
Rushing here, 
Rushing there. 
Carrying treasures 
To their nest, 
Never stopping 
For a rest. 
Ants, Ants, 
Here and there, 
Hurrying and scurrying 


Ants on a Log
Spread cream cheese, cheez whiz, or peanut butter on celery.  Add raisins for ants!

Butterfly Salad (Serves one)
2 pineapple rings
lettuce leaf
cottage cheese
green olives sliced in 1/2
food coloring
2 celery or carrot sticks

Place lettuce leaf onto a paper plate. Slice each pineapple ring in 1/2 (makes 2 sets of butterfly's wings).  Place on top of lettuce leaf to form 2 butterflies. Place carrot/celery stick in center of wings as the body.  Put a dab of cottage cheese inside each "C" of the butterfly wings. Decorate the cottage cheese with food coloring, pineapple slices and olives.

Egg Bugs and Toadstools (makes 1 bug and 1 toadstool)
2 cold hard-boiled eggs 
1 cherry tomato
1 medium tomato
4 oz. shredded carrot 
2 inch piece of cucumber, sliced 
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
a few pieces of water cress, optional

1.  Peel the eggs.
2.  Cut the cherry tomato in half and then cut in half into four pieces to make the egg bug.  Cut the big tomato in half for the toadstool.
3.  Arrange the shredded carrot on a plate, spreading it out to that is it flat.
4.  Cut two slices of cucumber to stand the eggs on. 
5.  Place the cucumber slices on top of the shredded carrot, then put an egg on top of each one.  Lay the egg bug egg down and the toadstool egg up on end!
6.  To finish the egg bug:  Using the mayonnaise as "glue" attach the cherry half to the beg end of the egg and the two quarter pieces on top for spikes.  "Paint" on eyes and mouth with mayonnaise!
7.  To finish the toadstool:  Put a blob of mayonnaise on top of the egg and place the larger tomato half on top.  Dot with mayonnaise for spots! 

Banana Bugs
Have the kids poke pretzel sticks into a not-too-ripe banana for legs and antennae.  Use peanut butter for eyes and use as glue to attach a raisin spine.

Ants for Snack!
With cherry tomatoes (3 per child for body segments, and pretzels for legs and antenna, let children make ants for snack.

Worms In Dirt
Make "Worms in Dirt" using chocolate pudding, cookie crumbs and gummie worms.

Spider Crackers
2 Round Crackers
Peanut Butter
8 Pretzel Sticks
2 Mini Chocolate Chips or M&Ms

Spread peanut butter on one side of each cracker. Stick the pretzels on the peanut butter on one of the crackers so they look like the spider's legs sticking out (4 sticking out on each side). Then put the other cracker, peanut butter side down on top of it to hold the spider legs; in place. Using the peanut butter as your glue add two eyes using the chocolate chips

All About Me Theme 
 Crafts & Activities

All About Me Booklets
These are fun to make!  And the parents love them.  The booklet activities are spread out all thru the month.  I printed the pages on 8X10 pieces of colored cardstock.  Each cardstock page has two pages on it. I cut each printed page in half and assemble the book.  I glue the front cover page back to back to page 2, page 3 to page 4..and so on.  The final and back cover page is "Self Portrait". The finished booklets are 5" wide X 8" tall.  Once the booklet is filled, I take it to an office supply place and laminate the pages together and spiral bind the booklets.   

Paper Plate Faces
Give each child a small paper plate.  Supply them with different colored yarn (hair), and all kinds of things that can be used for noses, mouths, eyes...buttons, googly eyes, fun foam, felt, construction paper. 

Foot Print Butterflies
Dip each child's foot into tempera paint and have them "print" each foot on a piece of heavy paper side by side.  Draw on or attach pipe cleaner antennea and add a thick pipe cleaner for the butterflies body.  When dry, cut around the butterfly shape and hang from the ceiling or wall. 

Dramatic Play - A "new" Me!
Supply lots of dress-up clothes; full length mirror; take photos of the "new" me for their booklets. Add it to their "At Daycare I Like to Do" page! 

Dramatic Play - Barber Shop/Beauty Salon: 
cape (to drape shoulders), combs, a towel, hair clips, fake scissors (make out of heavy cardboard and attach two pieces with a fastener), a mirror, empty shampoo, conditioner & hairspray bottles, curlers, barrettes, ponytail fasteners (make sure they are the coated kind), dolls with hair, broom & dustpan, chair, plastic tub for washing hair, old blowdryer with cord cut off, old curling iron with cord cut off, cash register, money, telephone, appointment book, pencils, old hairstyle books or pics from magazines pasted into book, 

Sandpaper Gingerbread Men- Sensory Activity 
Cut out "5" gingerbread men (a cookie cutter works great) - trace shapes out of sandpaper for each child.  Rub each set with (1) lemon (zest only); (2) peppermint extract; (3) onion; (4) baby powder; and  (5) cinnamon.  Let the kids use their "nose" to discover what scent is hidden on the sandpaper gingerbread men.

Body Tracing
Lay a large piece of paper (I pick up rolls of newsprint paper from Ikea - or see if your local newsprint office will donate their roll ends to your dc) long enough for the child to lay down on.  Have another child or yourself trace around the child's body, arms, legs and head.  Give them paint, markers, and/or crayons to add their features, clothing, whatever they wish to their body tracing.  Let them cut it out - hang from the ceiling or tack to a wall.

"I Can Set the Table" Placemats
Draw simple shapes of a knife, fork and spoon for the kids to cut out of construction paper or white paper (to color themselves).  Also do a large circle for a plate, and a smaller circle for the glass.  On an 8.5X11 piece of paper have the kids draw designs with markers, crayons, stickers, stamps, etc. for the base of the placemat.  I pre-cut an oval shape for the kids before they colored the placemat.  When they are finished cutting and coloring, show them how to set a table with real utensils, plate and glass - let them practice using their placemat.  When the lesson is over, ask them to glue their cutout utensils, plate and glass onto their placemat.  You can add their name to their plate, if you wish.  I laminated them after this (or you can use clear contact paper) and we used them for snacks and lunches at the daycare.  (P.S.  You might want to have them make 2 - lol....the kids wanted to take them home as they always do - so we made another placemat the next day to go home!)

Farmer in the Dell Circle Game
Children join hands and dance around the FARMER, who stands in the center of the circle as they sing. At the end of the first verse, the FARMER chooses his WIFE, who joins him inside the circle. At the end of the next verse, the WIFE takes a CHILD, and so on, until the last verse when everyone is in the circle except the CHEESE, who stands alone. Whoever ends up being the CHEESE becomes the FARMER for the next round. 
Songs, Finger Plays & Nursery Rhymes

A Great Big Happy Smile
I have something in my pocket
It belongs across my face.
I keep it very close to me
In a most convenient place.
You'll never never guess it
If you guess a long long while
So I'll take it out and put it on,
It's a great big happy smile!

This Is My Family (Fingerplay)
This is my mother. 
   Hold up thumb
This is my father.
   Hold up pointer finger.
This is my brother tall.
   Hold up middle finger.
This is my sister.
   Hold up ring finger.
This is the baby.
   Hold up little finger.
Oh, how I love them all!
   Clap left hand over all fingers and hug!

The Old Mouse Who Lived in a Shoe
(to the tune of The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe)
There was an old mouse who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth
And a big slice of cheese,
Hugged them all soundly
And made them sneeze!!

Body Parts Song
In my mirror 
I can see 
Two little eyes 
That look at me. 

Two little ears, 
One little nose 
Ten little fingers 
Ten little toes. 

One little mouth 
I open wide 
Two little rows 
of teeth, inside. 

A tongue that pops 
both in and out, 
Lots of joints 
That bend about. 

Muscles and bones 
That do most things. 
All held together 
With my skin. 

Hokey Pokey
Sing the Hokey Pokey Song substituting "touch your nose", "touch your toes", etc. for "clap your hands" 

If You're Happy and You Know It
If you're happy and you know it, Clap your hands (Clap hands twice)
If you're happy and you know it,  Clap your hands (Clap hands twice)
If you're happy and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it
 If you're happy and you know it, Clap your hands. (Clap hands twice)

Continue replacing "Clap your hands" with:

 Stomp your feet (Stomp feet twice)
 Shout "Hurray!" (Shout "Hurray!")
 Do all three (Clap hands twice, stomp feet twice, then shout "Hurray!")

Farmer in the Dell
The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

Continue replacing The farmer in the dell with:
The farmer takes a wife
The farmer takes a child
The child takes a nurse
The nurse takes a cow
The cow takes a dog
The dog takes a cat
The cat takes a rat
The rat takes the cheese
The cheese stands alone

Grandma's Glasses
These are grandma's glassess, (makes circles around eyes with fingers)
This is grandma's hat.(use both hands and cup on head)
This is the way she folds her hands, (fold hands)
And puts them on her lap.(put hands in lap)
These are Grandpa's glasses, (makes circles around eyes with fingers)
This is Grandpa's hat. (use both hands and cup on head)
Here's the way he folds his arms And THAT IS THAT! (fold arms across chest)

Grandma Song
(Sung to the Tune of Did You Ever See a Lassie)
Let's clap our hands for Grandma, 
for Grandma, for Grandma,
Let's clap our hands for grandma,
Let's clap them this way.

Clap this way and that way,
Clap this way and that way,
Let's clap our hands for Grandma
Let's clap them this way.

Change "grandma" to "grandpa" and sing again!


Sunny Cheese Sandwiches 
Toast an english muffin half.  Add a slice of cheese (trimmed to fit - tuck pieces under the cheese slice).  Using red licorice and raisins make a face on the "sun"!  Place muffin halves on a cookie sheet and place in oven for a few minutes to melt cheese. 

English Muffin Pizza Faces 
8 english muffin halves
1 tsp of pizza sauce per half
toppings:  pepperoni, pineapple, salami, bacon, vegies, ......your choice!
shredded mozzarella cheese (try cheddar or swiss or ???)

Place 1 tsp. of pizza sauce on each muffin half.  Add toppings and cheese.  Place in a 350o oven just until cheese melts.  About 5 minutes.  These are fun to make...the kids love to help!  We build a face on ours on top of the cheese with cut up toppings - that way the kids recognize their own creations - when they come out of the oven!

Happy Face Pancakes 
Make your favorite pancake recipe.  Give the kids chocolate chips fresh banana chips, etc. and maple syrup to create their faces!

The Beach Theme

Crafts & Activities

Sand Clay
1 cup sand
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup hot water

Mix sand, cornstarch and cream of tartar in an old saucepan. Add hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is very thick. This will only take a few minutes. When slightly cooled, form clay into castles or structures. Allow several days to dry. The children shape their castles and then insert toothpicks for flagpoles where they want flags to go. Once dry, glue felt flags to the end of the toothpicks.

Shell Creatures
Use shells for the base of your creature. Using a glue gun, pom poms, pipecleaners, googly eyes, etc, have the children create a creature to sit on the shell. Crabs, turtles, and frogs are all easy to do.

Sponge Painting
Get a natural sea sponge and have the children dip in paint to make a picture. 

Sand Moulds
Use wet sand to make moulds of hands, feet, or free form moulds that the children create. Mix plaster of paris according to directions on box and pour into mould. Let dry for about an hour and remove the sculpture. Let dry for a day and then brush the remaining sand off the sculpture with a toothbrush. Paint and shellac if you wish.

Starfish Rubbings
Cut a starfish shape out of sandpaper. Have the children put a paper over the starfish and rub with crayons to make the textured picture.

Shell Butterflies
To make a butterfly: Take two shells (like clam shells) and hot glue them together like this: )( and then hot glue pieces of bird feather or pipe cleaner to make antennae

Coloured Sand Pictures
Colour sand by mixing it with dry tempera paint. Put in shakers (I use old spice bottles). Children place glue on their papers and sprinkle the coloured sand onto the paper. Shake off the excess sand when dry. Older children can cut out a pattern picture and place onto another piece of paper. Have them remove one piece at a time and place glue in the area the piece was making sure that the glue is the same shape as the piece removed. Then they sprinkle the sand on just that piece. They continue removing the pattern piece by piece and when they are done, the picture will show up in the coloured sand - these are a little tricky to do so definitely for the school age set, but they are so beautiful when done! The younger children will enjoy gluing and shaking the different coloured sand to make a colourful picture.

Personalized Beach Towels
This will be a reasonably priced craft if you have the parents have each child bring in their own beach towel - plain coloured, can be old or new! Purchase beach oriented stamps such as shells, sun, clams, lobster, fish, etc and fabric paints in a variety of colours. Children use the stampers with the fabric paints to stamp a pattern or picture onto their towels. If you have alphabet stamps, the children can use those to personalize their towels. If not, they can write their names on using the fabric paint. 

Cut a sunglass shape from bristle board. You can cut the whole shape arms and front of the glasses and just bend the arms of the glasses for wearing or bend and attach pipecleaners to fit the glasses on - I find that the pipecleaner arms work better. Cut coloured celophane paper to glue over the hole where the lens would be. These are for indoor play and should not be worn in the bright sun for eye safety reasons.

Sea Shell Mosaic
Use tiny shells or crush big ones.

make little 'thong sandals" out of fun foam.

Eat lunch on beach towels spread on the floor (or outside if you live in a clement climate).

Beach Bingo
Make your own bingo cards with stamps, stickers and/or drawings of sand pails, beach balls, shovels, shells, starfish, towels, bare feet/footprints, kites, beach chairs, umbrellas, whatever you can find or draw. 

Math Activity
Shell sorting. Set up a table with different types of shells and children can sort according to size, shape, colour, etc.

Sensory Activity
Sand Play. Use different sands all week - start with dry sand and let the children dig, sift, and hide objects. Add a little water, shovels, and pails to the water another day. Then finally, really wet the sand and create castles, moats, etc.

Beach Bally Relay
This is SOOOO funny to watch! Have the children place a small beach ball between their legs. They then walk across the room (or yard) and drop the ball into a large pail without using their hands.

Beach Bally Volley
Pass a beach ball around the circle by volleying it in the air and see how long you can keep it up without having it hit the ground.

Beach Bally Volleyball
Set up a net and seperate the children into two teams. Have them volley the beachball over the net to each other.

Special Day
Beach Day. Have the children come in their bathing suits. Set up a beach area and a sand area. Use a balloon or beach ball to play volleyball. Set up beach ball painting (very messy so have the sprinkler ready!). Enjoy a picnic in the sun. Hide shells and plastic creatures such as crabs, starfish, etc. around the yard and have the children go on a hunt for them.


Song - Sing a Song of Seashells
(sung to "Sing a Song of Sixpence")

Sing a song of seashells
waiting just for you.
Some of them are shiny
Some are white and blue.

When you pick a shell up,
Hold it to your ear.
If you're very quiet
An ocean you will hear!

Oh Mr. Sun

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun
Won't you please shine down on me
Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun
Hiding behind the tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so they can play with you
Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun
Won't you please shine down on
Please shine down on, please shine down on me!


Weather Theme

Crafts & Activities

Make windsocks and whirligigs and watch the wind work. Make sailboats and pinwheels. Make parachutes and take them outdoors to play with.

Place one thermometer in a bowl of warm water and one in ice water, observe and record the differences. Make thermometers with a slider so that children can make the thermometer rise and lower.

Set up a season area or a flannel board scene where children can change the elements depending on the season they want ie - have clothes and accessories to dress people or teddy bears. Have a tree that the treetop can be changed according to the season. Make a seasonal book - cut and paste pictures to depict activities and clothing for each season.

Make sunglasses with coloured cellophane paper. Add sun rays to a yellow circle shape. Have a beach party.

Make snowmen sculptures using Ivory Soap Flakes. Cut out snowflakes, fingerpaint with white paint. Make cotton snowmen and a winter mural. Make Rice Krispie snowmen for snack. If you have snow, build a snowfort and have a winter picnic outside for snack - we did this and had a great time... we made snowballs and built a big circle so that it was up to about the child's chin. We added snowball chairs and a table. I filled a thermos with hot chocolate and packed some cookies and cups in a picnic basket. We took a table cloth for our snow table


Crafts & Activities

Peanut Butter Jar Snowman
Fill a peanut butter jar with cotton and attach lid. Glue on a scarf of either paper or material just above the center part of the jar to create a head and body seperation. Add a face, buttons, and orange pipecleaner nose. To make the hat, glue construction paper around the edge of the lid. Cut a rectangle from construction paper and glue or staple into a tube that will fit just inside the lid part, glue on. Cut a circle to fit on top of the tube and glue in place to make a top hat.

Sparkling Snowflakes
Cut a snowflake pattern from a 1/2 potato, dip in white paint, and stamp onto paper. Shake on silver glitter when the paint is still wet. Let dry.

Glitter Snowflakes
Use white glue on wax paper to create a snowflake design. Cover generously with glitter and leave for a day or two. Pour excess glitter back into container and carefully peel snowflake from wax paper. Add a string for hanging.
Dip white twine or white wool in a mixture of 3/4 white glue and 1/4 water. Place on a small balloon (water bomb balloons are the perfect size for this. Let dry. Pop the balloon and hang your snowballs around the room

Bubble Wrap Snow people
Use packing bubbles to make a snowman shape, then the kids paint the bumpy side with white tempera and press onto dark paper.

Balloon Painting
Blow up balloons and give one to each child. Have him/her dip the balloon in white paint and then press three circles onto a piece of paper in a snowman shape. Add the features with collage materials when dry

Shaving Cream Snowmen
Mix 2 parts shaving cream to 1 part glue. Mix until it becomes glossy. The children use their fingers to make snowmen. Use black paper for night, or blue for day, and add small stones, twigs, tiny pinecones, etc, for features.

Sewing Mittens
Children make mittens out of wallpaper samples and tie together with yarn. Or make mittens out of felt. Older kids can help with the cutting, you could do the sewing, and all the kids can decorate.
Snowman Socks
white sock
cotton stuffing
googly eyes
foam shapes (optional)

Take the sock and let the children put cotton stuffing in it. Just fold the top inwards, maybe glue it. Tie the yarn at one or two places for head, middle and bottom. Glue googly eyes, foam shape nose (or anything even markers) and yarn mouth (I put the glue on the sock, then let them put the face on, usually they tell me where to put the glue). Let the children use markers to decorate their snowman.
T.P. Tube Snowman
Cover a toilet tissue tube with cotton balls or balls of white tissue paper. Add a construction paper hat, scarf, eyes, nose, and mouth to make a snowman

On the top of a piece of dark paper, paint a line of white tempura paint. Let the children blow gently with a straw so the paint will run. The result will look like icicles.

Winter Trees
The children cut brown paper, one tall rectangle, add a few branches. Glue them on blue paper, after the glue dries, add snow by dabbing a sponge clipped to a clothes pin all around the paper.

Indoor Snowball Fight
Cut the legs off the panty hose and stuff the toes with pillow stuffing, tie two knots over the stuffing. Cut between the knots and continue doing this until you have a good supply of snowballs... It doesn't snow here so this is our version for snowball fights.


Pretty Snowflakes

Pretty snowflakes are falling
Falling down to the ground
When the wind blows his trumpet
See them dancing around.

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la Tra-la-la-la-la-la
Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la Tra-la-la-la-la-la

Pretty snowflakes are falling
Falling down to the ground
When the wind blows his trumpet
See them sitting back down.

I give each child a paper snowflake to dance with for the song.

I’m a Little Snowman
(Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a Little Snowman
Short and fat.
Here is my broomstick
And here is my hat
When it’s cold and icy I do stay
But when it’s sunny I melt away

Jack Frost

Where did you get that little red nose?
Jack Frost kissed it I suppose.
He kissed it once.
He kissed it twice.
Poor little nose as cold as ice!

Suzy Snowflake

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow-white gown
Tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane
To tell you she's in town.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
"Come out everyone and play with me
I haven't long to stay.

If you want to make a snowman
I'll help you make one, two, three
If you wanna take a sleigh ride
The ride's on me."

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin' down
Bringing joy to every girl and boy
Suzy's come to town.

I'm a Friendly Snowman
Tune of: "I'm a Little Teapot"
I'm a friendly snowman big and fat. (hold clasped hands in front of belly)
Here is my tummy, and here is my hat. (point to tummy, then top of head)
Here are my eyes and mouth and nose. (point to each, in turn)
I'm all snow from my head to my toes. (point to head, then to toes)
5 Snowmen
Five little snowmen round and fat.
Each one wearing a funny hat.
In the morning, out came the sun.
It looked down and melted one.
(Repeat with 4, 3, 2, & 1 snowmen.)
A Sledding We Will Go
Tune of: "Farmer in the Dell"
Oh, a sledding we will go, a sledding we will go
We'll run and s
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