Family - preschool lesson plans

Arts and Crafts

Family Tree
Have the children make a family tree with branches and glue. For the purpose of this try to get branches with y's and let the children pick the branch to write the names of their family members.

Magazine Collage 
Have the children cut out pictures of families in parents magazines. Have the children glue the pictures onto a piece of paper. Ask them to name the people in the picture and label them.

Family Puppets
Have the children cut out pictures of family members in parents magazines. Have the children glue them to a piece of heavy paper. When the glue is dry, cut out the pictures from the heavy paper and attach the pictures to a Popsicle stick or straw with tape to make a puppet.

Family Puppets 2
Ask the parents to bring in pictures they no longer want. Cut out the people in the pictures and attach the pictures to a Popsicle stick or a straw with tape to make a puppet.

Paper Bag Family Puppets
Supply each child with a brown paper bag, yarn and other items to make a puppet. The flap at the bottom of the bag is the mouth. Ask the children to give the puppet a name.

Fingerprint Family
Materials: Non toxic ink pad, Paper, Black pen or crayon
Show your child how to make finger prints on a piece of paper. Have your child draw eyes, nose mouth and hair to create a face. Ask the children to name the people in the picture.

Balloon Family
Materials: Balloon, Marker, Yarn 
Blow up a balloon, have your child tape pieces of yarn onto the balloon for hair, and let them draw on a face.

Family Place mat
Have the children cut out pictures of families in parents magazines. Have the children glue the pictures onto a piece of paper. Laminate the paper and use for a place mat.

Paper Plate Faces
Have the children draw facial features onto a paper plate to make a face. Supply the children with yarn or Easter grass for hair.

Paper Plate Faces 2
Have the children cut out facial features from a magazine and have them glue them onto a paper plate for a funny face.

Paper Plate Faces 3
Supply the children with different multicultural colors of paper. Have them tear the paper and glue them onto a paper plate to cover the paper plate. After the glue dries have the children draw on facial features with a marker or crayon, or they hay glue on facial features from a magazine.

Smiley Face Necklaces
Cut out circle shapes from many different colors of paper. Have the children draw a face on a circle. Punch two holes near the top of the circle. Supply the children with noodles, yarn and their smiley face to make a necklace.

Bingo Dabber Family
Supply the children with non-toxic bingo dabbers. Ask the child to dab a piece of paper with the dabber a couple of times. When dry, have the child add a face to the dots. Ask the child to tell you the names of the people in the family in their picture. Label the people for them.

Potato Prints 
Cut a large potato in half from the top to bottom, so it's a really long oval. Supply the children with the potato half, different colored paints, and paper. Have the children dip the potatoes in the paint and press them firmly onto the paper. If the potatoes are not cut evenly the shape will not appear clearly. After the paint has dried, have the children add facial features to the ovals with black markers.

Broom Art
Supply the children with a broom, a large piece of butcher paper and some paint. Tape the paper on the floor and add the paint. Have the children use the broom to paint the paper. You may want to have the children take off shoes and socks, and roll up long pants... this is REALLY MESSY!!!

Bubble Art
Add a little food coloring to bubble mix. Go outside and blow some bubbles. Have your child catch the bubbles on a piece of paper to create bubble art!!

Bubble Art II
Supply the children with a bowl with bubble mix in it and a straw with a hole near the top to prevent children from sucking the soap up. Have the children blow into the straw while it is in the bowl creating bubbles. Then, have the child place a drop of food coloring on the top of the bubbles and quickly press a piece of paper on the top of the bubbles to create bubble prints.

Math, Science and Games

Animal Families: 
Talk about animal families.. what do we call a baby chicken, baby dog and so on.

big/small 
Create large and small animal shapes have the children sort or tell you which is bigger.

Lacing Cards
Cut colored poster board into a baby or face shape and punch holes around the edges. Them let your child lace yarn or a shoestring into the cards.

Bean bag toss
Have your child toss bean bags into a box with pictures of people on it. You can use masking tape to mark where the child should stand.

Laundry Basket Toss
Supply the children with folded socks, (In a ball), and have them throw the socks into a laundry basket. You can use masking tape to mark where the child should stand.

Picture Matching 
Find family stickers. Place 2 identical stickers on the left and right sides of an index card. Cut the index in half, cut in a jig-jag form. Use a highlighter to highlight the edges. Do this with many different stickers. Have the child match the stickers, and line up the two halves of the index card.

Family Memory
Find family stickers. Place 2 identical stickers on the left and right sides of an index card. Cut the index in half, cut the index card in half. You can use these cards to play memory.

Family Bowling
Obtain 10 half gallon milk cartons, or 2 liter bottles. Fill the bottles about 1/8 full with water and seal the lid. Then, decorate the bottles like people, adding yarn for hair, and use permanent markers for the eyes nose and mouth. Set the bottles up like they were bowling pins and have the children roll a ball to try to knock them over. If they don't knock over easily, remove some of the water.

Family Chores
Even toddlers are old enough to take on some of the chores around the family home. Help the children learn about chores with these activities.

Set The Table
Let the children set the table. Have them set out the place mats, cup, plates, napkins, and silverware.

Wash the Dishes
Provide the children with CLEAN plastic dishes in the sand and water table with warm soapy water and sponges.

Fold the Clothes
You can show preschool children how to fold hand towels. Supply them with the hand towels in the dramatic play area.

Clean Up
Explain that cleaning up is a chore as well. Your program should already include this element in your class every day.

Rub-A-Dub Classroom
Spray a little soapy water on the walls, tables or shelves and supply the children with paper towel to clean with.

Sweep the Floor
Older children can sweep the floor, clean the lunch tables, and clean up after art projects.

Give the Baby a Bath
Place warm soapy water and waterproof dolls in the sand and water table. Remind the children to be very careful with their "babies". You can also provide clean empty baby shampoo containers and baby towels.

Dramatic Play
You can add these items to your home living area. Make sure all bottles and boxes are empty and cleaned thoroughly.
plastic baby bottles, (preschool and up) detergent bottles, dish soap bottles, hand soap bottles, cereal boxes, food boxes, aprons, hot pads, child safe utensils, (potato masher) oven mittens, hand towels, wash cloths, shampoo bottles, baby soap bottles, cleaning spray bottles, dresses, clip on ties, scarves, shoes, bibs, baby spoons

Group Time

Smiley Face shapes
Cut out circle shapes from large white construction paper. Have the children add facial features to the circles, and after they dry write each child's name on them. Laminate them so you can use them for the activities below.

Smiley Jump
Set out the smiley shapes on the floor. Have the children hop from one smiley shapes to another.

Smiley Musical Chairs
Set out the smiley shapes on the floor in a circle. Have the children walk around the circle of smiley faces. When the music stops have the children race to their smiley shapes. Every child should have an smiley face shape to stand on.

Smiley Circle Time
Set out the smiley shapes on the floor in a circle. Have each child sit on his/her own smiley face for circle time.

I Love My Family Because....
Have the children finish the sentence "I Love My Family Because..." Write down the children's answers and post them on a bulletin board.

Grandparents day: 
Have a grandparents day party, or invite a different grandparent each day to read a special story. Be sure that stories are well rehearsed, and interesting to the children. Talk about members in a family, father, mother, sister, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more.

Mommy says: 
Played like Simon Says. Replace mommy with other family members.

Mother May I? 
The old game, mother may I take three little steps forward? Replace mother with other family members.

Sand and Water Table 
-Have the children bathe the dolls in the water table with soap and water.

Family Duck, Duck, GOOSE!
Substitute other names in this game to suit your needs. Try Duck/Duckling, Cat/Kitten, Mommy/Baby, Daddy/Baby etc.


Family Size Graph
Ask the children "How many people are in your family?" Graph the results. 

Family Songs 


Love Song 
by chicky-ma-ma 
Love my Mommy, 
Yes I do, 
Love my Mommy, 
Yes I do, 
Love my Mommy, 
Yes I do, 
Love my Mommy, 
And I love you! 
Replace mommy with other family members.

Special Song 
by chicky-ma-ma 
sung to "Where is Thumbkin?" 
Daddy is special, 
Daddy is special, 
Yes he is, 
Yes he is, 
Daddy is special, 
Daddy is special, 
Yes he is, 
Yes he is. 
Replace Daddy with other family members.

Two of my Favorite Books:

Song and Dance Man
Synopsis from amazon.com
Presenting the 1988 Caldecott Medal winner in a long-awaited quality paperback edition. Bridging the generations, this picture book shows the warm relationship between three children and their grandpa, a former vaudeville song and dance man who proves he hasn't lost his touch. Gammell's vibrant, whimsical pictures dance across the page in full color.

Activity Ideas

Song and Dance:
Have the children sing and dance like the Grandfather in the story. Play Vaudeville music.

Dress up: 
Provide the children with vests, bowler hats, white gloves, etc for the children to dress up with.

Song and Dance II:
Have a couple children put on a show for the other children. They can tell jokes, sing and dance.

Song and Dance man Art:
Have the children try to guess what the artist used to draw the pictures in this book. Have the children draw a picture using colored pencils.

Are You My Mother?
Synopsis from amazon.com
While his mother is off looking for food, a baby bird hatches from his egg. Embarking on a hilarious, at times very touching, hunt for his mother, the little bird encounters a variety of creatures. Full color.

Activity Ideas


Have parents bring in pictures of themselves. Ask the children to find the picture of their Mother, Father and other family members.

Family Portraits
Ask parents to bring in pictures of their families, or take pictures of the families at the center. You can place these on the walls at the children's eye level by covering them with contact paper. The children will really enjoy seeing their picture and pictures of others on the walls.

Are you my Mother Game:
You can make or buy a game like Memory: mommies and babies. You can play like intended or just take five or so matched out and give each child a baby and place the mommies on a table face down. Each time a child guesses which is the mommy to their card they say "Are you my Mother" and if the card is not the mother the child and other children can say "you are not my mother"

Are you my Mother? Game II:
Play this like doggie doggie where's your bone! Except you choose one child to be the baby bird in the middle and the child with a block or toy is the mommy. The Bird points to a child and asks "Are you my Mother?" the child answers "Yes" if they have the block or "No I am a ___". Fill in the ___ with cat, dog, boat.. etc On the third guess if the child guess incorrectly the child should respond "I am a Snort" and everyone can point to the "Mother"

Book Recommendations

Love You Forever
The Runaway Bunny
Are You My Mother?
Where is Baby's Mommy?
Blueberries for Sal 
Someday 
I'm a Big Brother 
I'm a Big Sister 
Zen Shorts -K and up
The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Friends 
The Berenstain Bears and the Blame Game 
The Berenstain Bears Hug and Make Up 
The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings 
The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Grownups 
The Bears' Vacation 
The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight 
The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five 
The Berenstain Bears No Girls Allowed 
The Berenstain Bears and the Week at Grandma's 
The Berenstain Bears and the Mama's Day Surprise 
The Berenstain Bears and the Papa's Day Surprise