Water is a very important element for people and the planet! Without water, life as we know it would not be possible.

 Water is the most abundant element on the planet Earth! That means that there is more water than anything else. All living things need water to live. Plants drink it, animals who live on the land drink it, and animals who live IN the water need it to be able to move and breathe.
What kinds of things do you use water for?
1. Drinking
2. Bathing
3. Washing dishes
4. Washing clothes
5. Flushing the potty
6. Brushing our teeth
7. Watering our gardens
8. Keeping our pet fish in
9. _______________

Imagine if there was no water! Water is very special because it can come in different forms, such as ice and steam. It is also very powerful! It can carve canyons. Watch this short video about how water can form canyons in the rocks:

Water can also be very gentle. When it falls as rain, it will gently water the plants, trees and flowers. Water can be a helpful tool. We can use it to power items and to put out fires.

Water is very important!


Genesis 1:6-10
God creates water
Use this awesome lesson from Ministry To Children for your bible lesson!


Carving Canyons

This is a powerful lesson about the power of water! We are going to perform an experiment which will demonstrate how the power of water can change the way the Earth looks.

Materials Needed:
Play Sand
Fresh leaves
Large plastic tub

This will take some prep! In your tub (I find that the plastic tubs sold in the washing dishes section at Wal-mart work great and they are only a couple of bucks) place a layer of pebbles. Pour play sand on top. It should be a good sized pile. You will need room on top to pour water. Also, make sure there is a slope downward on one end for runoff and a small amount of room at that end for water collection. You can also poke a small hole under that collection area for drainage if you wish. Now place some pebbles in random locations around your sand hill. Also drop some leaves on top. Carefully splash a little water on the sand to help it stick together and allow it to dry.

To begin, remind the kiddos about how water can carve canyons. You can re-watch the video from the circle time section. Gather the kids around the tub and explain that they should pretend that this is a hill side in the country. Ask them what they think will happen if it starts to rain. Allow them to come up with their hypothesis and discuss the reasons they think what they do. Begin to slowly pour water at the high end of the sand hill and watch it run down. You should be able to see some results immediately! Continue to pour the water and watch it run down the hill, carving deeper into the sand as it goes.
Explain what is happening. As the water travels down the hill, little bits of sand, leaves and rocks get carried away in that water. Eventually, a canyon will be formed. In a hill made of rock this takes much longer, hundreds and thousands of years, since the rock is a much harder substance than the sand in your hill. It works the same way, though!

READING - Name Recognition

Sticker Writing

For each child, you will need:
A piece of paper with their name written on it in large letters
Star stickers

The idea of this is to get them used to seeing their names spelled out and even give them the chance to "spell" it themselves. Provide the kids with their paper and enough star stickers to cover all their letters. I like the foil stars for this because the stars make them feel special and also they are dirt cheap! This is also great for fine motor skill development. Demonstrate how to place the stickers on the letters in their names in order to "write" their names with the stars. Once they all have their names completed, ask each child to spell their names out loud for everyone.


Water Drop Counting

Print out the 2 worksheets HERE.  The first page is a raindrop with a number written on it. The second page has raindrops with different numbers of stars on them which correspond to the written numbers. You can have them do this in 2 ways. Either give them the sheet with the written numbers on them and cut out the drops with the stars on them and have them match the number of stars to the written numbers OR you can cut out the written numbers and have them match those to the numbers of stars.

A great way to be able to use these again and again is to laminate them and use Velcro dots to attach them to each other!

Goldfish Counting

Materials Needed:
Small, white styrofoam cups OR muffin liners
Goldfish crackers
Black sharpie marker
Muffin tin

Inside the bottom of each cup or liner, write the numbers 1 - 12. Use a little bit of tape to stick each cup to the muffin tin cups. You can put them in numerical order or mix them up. This depends on what kind of skill level your kids have. Provide the kids with crackers. The goal is to place the corresponding number of fish into the cups. Great for counting practice!
(Fish swim in water so that's how I am connecting them!)


Blowing Bubbles

This is very simple and just plain fun! Provide each kid with a water bottle that is only about ½ full. Insert a straw and allow them to blow bubbles! Water can be fun.


Fine - Playdough
Get or make some blue playdough and have the kids make raindrops, a river, a swimming pool or whatever they like with water!

Gross - Water Balloon Spoon Races
Fill up some water balloons with water. Make them small so this won't be too difficult for the kiddos. Provide them with spoons. Make a race track for them outside. I like to use empty cereal boxes for my track markers. You can make this a relay-type race where 2 kids race one direction and tag 2 more at the end to run back again OR you can just have them all race together. The idea is to complete the race without dropping their water balloons which are balanced on a spoon. If they drop it they will incur a penalty such as having to return to the start and begin again or just have to stop to pick it up before they can start again. You can really do what you want with this and it will be fun! Great for developing hand-eye coordination and patience.


A great story to explain what happens in water's great journey!

Explains the water cycle in the perfect way for young children to understand. A great book to read aloud!


The Itsy Bitsy Spider
"The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
 Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Up came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again"


Art - Kool-Aid Art

You can use Kool-Aid drink mix to make watercolors!

Materials Needed:
Small cups for the "paint"
A couple of different flavors of Kool-Aid
Q-Tips or Paint brushes

It is fun to allow the kids to help make the paint. Place the drink mix into a cup and add a small amount of water. You want it to remain somewhat thick, if it is too thin you won't be able to see the color very well.

Once the paint is made, allow the kids to paint a water themed picture using colored water!

Craft - Rain Globes

Materials Needed:
Small baby food jars with lids
Small plastic figures (you can get these at craft stores)
Super glue
Rain drop stickers

Allow the kids to choose the figure they want in their globe. They will need help to glue it to the inside of the lid. While those dry, give the kids a small container of water and let them fill their jar. They will then need to add a spoonful of glitter to the water. Screw the lid on the jar and then turn the jar upside down. The kids should decorate their jars with some rain drop stickers. Shake the jars and it will look like sparkly rain!


Jello - made with Water!

Just to make sure it follows with our lesson you should make blue Jello!

You should start this cooking project early in the day so that it will be ready in time for snack. Depending on how many kids you have, you may want to make several separate bowls of the Jello so it will set up in good time. Allow one child to pour the mix into the bowl and another to add the water. Since the water will be hot, use caution here. 

When you are eating it, you can talk about how you are eating something that was made with water! 


Reptiles are a great subject for children of this age! This is a great time to learn to appreciate these ancient animals!


Reptiles are animals that lay eggs, have scales, and must use sunshine and water to help maintain their temperature. Some examples are turtles, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. You will often see these animals laying in the sun. They do this to make their bodies warm. When they get too hot, they will go under a rock or into some water to cool down.

Let's play a game! Print out these FLASHCARDS to get started:  Animal Classification Game

Make a box or a folder for the categories. Make a category for Reptiles, Fish, and Mammals. We have already discussed what a reptile is. A fish is an animal which lives its whole life in the water. They breathe through gills. Mammals are animals which have live babies and feed them milk produced from their bodies. They are also warm blooded, like people. This means they can keep themselves warm or cool and the outside temperature does not determine if they are cold or hot.

Cut out the flashcards and mix them up. Show the kids each animal and talk about which pile it should go into. Talk about why each animal has been classified the way it has.


Name Recognition
In order to continue in learning how to recognize their own names, we will do this fun art activity. Prior to class, use wax crayons to write the children's names on a sheet of paper. Provide the kiddos with water color paints and allow them to paint over the picture however they wish! Their names in wax will resist the water color and show through no matter how much they paint. They will be amazed how their name cannot be covered up by their painting! Once dry, talk about their names and how they are spelled. Post these in the room!


Cold Blooded

For this we are going to use thermometers to show how temperatures can differ from place to place and how reptiles use the different places to warm and cool their bodies!

If you need to purchase some thermometers for your class, this is a great deal and you can buy as many or as few as you need:  http://www.k12schoolsupplies.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=LER0380&click=2128&utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=Free&utm_campaign=Bing_Learning_Resources&gdftrk=gdfV2544_a_7c642_a_7c6518_a_7cLER0380

Humans (people) and other mammals are able to regulate their body temperature. That means that people stay at a constant 98.6 degrees all the time. It doesn't matter if it is really hot or really cold outside, we can keep out temperature the same. The air may feel cold or warm to us, but our body temperature will stay the same.

Reptiles are very different! They are "cold blooded". That means that their bodies will be the same temperature as the air around them. So if they are laying in some snow, they will be just as cold as the snow is. It is hard for these animals to be comfortable because they are always trying to find a place to lay where they can be just warm enough, but not too warm, and just cool enough, but not too cool.

In order to see just how different the temperature can be from place to place, we are going to test some areas with our thermometers. Lay the thermometers on the table and check the temperature. The room temperature will likely be in the 72º to 75º range. This is likely too cold for most reptiles! Take your thermometers outside and check the temperature in the shade. Then check in the sun. There is likely a difference of several degrees (especially here in Houston).  You can then place the thermometer in the freezer and find out how cold it is in there. The temperature changes from place to place and this is why all reptiles must actively find a place to hang out where they will be comfortable!


Alligator Teeth Math Mats

Print the mats. You can laminate them or place them in a sheet protector. Provide the kids with playdough and have them give the alligator the number of teeth listed on the page. This is a "counting in 2's" lesson!

Alligator Math Mats

Snake Pattern Matching

Print out the worksheet pages. The first pages have the patterns and the second pages have the pieces to use to complete the patterns. Patterning is a great skill to master. It can help children understand how things work together and how to solve problems.

Snake Patterning Worksheet


Craft - Chameleon Paper Craft

From DLTK's website! A chameleon is a type of lizard. They are really amazing because the will change color to match whatever they are sitting on. Their eyes are also really neat because of how they move. Check out this short video chameleon and it's funny walk, and his eyes moving in their super cool way.


Now that you know what a chameleon is, you can do a cool craft!

Materials Needed:

Paper plates (paper, not foam or plastic)
Markers, crayons or paint
Glue sticks

Color or paint the bottom side of the paper plate. Choose any color, chameleons can change their color so be creative! Print the template below for each kid. Color the template pieces and cut out. If your kiddos are too young to cut them, help them out! Make an example for them to follow and allow them to glue their pieces to the plate.


Art - Squishy Snake Painting

Materials Needed:
Rubber snakes from a dollar store

Pour some paint into bowls big enough for the snakes to fit into. Provide each child with a squishy snake and some paper. Allow them to place the snake into the paint and create a masterpiece! When children are able to use something unusual for an activity like this, it makes it much more interesting!


Act Like A Reptile

This is a super fun game! Totally unorganized and crazy and that is what makes it so great! Get the kids in a line or circle. Shout out the name of a reptile and the kids should act like it! SLITHERY SNAKE! CHAMELEON! ALLIGATOR! So much fun and so silly.


Cutting Practice

You will need some child's scissors for this. Cutting a circle is pretty tough, so if they can't get it, don't worry. This is more about the practice than perfection! You may want to cut one out yourself to show them what is supposed to be the end result!


Download and print the template from firstpallet.com.



This is a very cute book with interactive pull out pieces. Great for our lesson this week!


Great book which talks about characteristics of many animals and also has a lesson about loving who you are!


A very informative book about turtles. Has great illustrations!


Reptiles They Have Many Scales

Reptiles they have many scales
Some reptiles have long, long tails
They lay eggs and like the sun
Some have legs, some have none
Reptiles they have many scales
Some reptiles have long, long tails


Snake Sticks

Bread stick Dough (the kind in a can that you can mold)
Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Butter, melted

Each child should make their own. Make sure they are making their creation on a piece of foil so you can move it! The idea is for the kids to make a snake out of their dough. They can keep it straight, make it curvy, curl it up, or whatever! When they have it the way they want it, use a pastry brush to spread melted butter on the top. Then allow the kids to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top. Bake them as instructed on the package. Once cooled, you can all enjoy eating your snakes!

First Week of School!

Back to School is an exciting time! Each year brings new and interesting things to learn about. My son is 3½ right now, so this school year will be tailored to his age range (3-4). Please look back at some of the past lessons from the 2012-2013 year for lessons for ages 2-3.

This week we will be focussing on learning about the class rules, the expectations, and what is to come!


The Class Rules:
1. We are nice to each other
2. We play safely
3. We help keep our classroom clean
4. We use our walking feet
5. We use our inside voice
6. We listen to the teacher(s)

Discuss what each of these rules mean and how they are applied. For the whole week (and really, all year) we will refer back to these rules as necessary!  It helps to post these rules in the classroom where they can be referred to. Once the rules are well established, you can refer to them by their number.

What a teacher should expect of their students:

1. The children will respect each other, the teacher, and class materials and equipment
2. There are class rules and they will be followed
3. Physically or emotionally hurting someone is unacceptable
4. There is an awareness of time and can distinguish between work time and play time
5. They understand how to take turns, share, and work together
6. They do their best at all times

Talk to the class about these expectations. As long as each child knows what is expected of them, they are more likely to adhere to the rules. Talk about Good Choices and Bad Choices. Remember that the student is not bad, their choices are.

Introduce the Daily Calendar

In order to help young children understand the concept of time, it is important to have a Daily Calendar in the room which is reviewed each day. This will help them understand the days of the week, weeks of the month, and months of the year. It is also useful for learning about the Seasons and Holidays. You can make your own, which I have demonstrated HERE.  There are also many kinds you can buy pre-made. Here is one I like! http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Calendar-Weather-Pocket/dp/B000P86RMC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376322712&sr=8-1&keywords=preschool+teaching+calendar


Color Mixing

For the first week we are going to do some extra fun activities, just to get everyone into the groove. Color mixing is a great first week science lesson because it is fun, messy and very colorful!

Materials Needed:
Plastic Paint Trays OR Ice Cube Trays
Large Bucket
Food Colors
Eye Droppers
Small, Clear Plastic Cups
Paper Towels, white

Mix the food colors in water in the clear, plastic cups so that they are vibrant. Give each child a mixing tray and an eye dropper.

Discuss how the 3 colors in front of them are called "primary colors". This means that they are the colors that will make all the other colors when you mix them together. For example, yellow and blue will make green and red and blue will make purple. You can make ALL kinds of colors by mixing colors together!

Allow them to explore this themselves. Show the kids how they can draw colored water up into their eye dropper and then drop it into a compartment of their mixing tray. Now add another color and see what happens! They should continue this and make as many colors as they wish. The large bucket is there so they can dump their mixing trays out and start over if they want to. The paper towels are for dropping a small amount of the colors they create onto them so they can be kept.


Introducing Transition Songs

Transitions are when we move from one activity to another. A really great way to help the class know what to do next is to have different transition songs designated for certain transitions. Singing can usually get everyone's attention easily and without having to yell.

Since the children will beging the morning by having some free-play time, we need a song to let everyone know that it is time to get together for Circle Time! Here is a good one:
(Tune: "Oh, My Darling Clementine")
Time for circle, time for circle,
Time for circle time today.
Let's sit down, let's be quiet,
Wonder what we will do today?

When the children are very active, or when you need them to settle down after an active activity, you can use this one:
Wiggles Out for Quiet Time (Tune: "Jingle Bells")
Clap your hands, stomp your feet,
Wiggle all around.
Reach your hands high in the air
And now let's touch the ground.
Hold your hips, hold your head
Give yourself a hug.
Sit right down, eyes to look,
It's time to read a book

When it is time to clean up whatever mess may have been made, use this:
Clean up, clean up
Everybody everywhere.
Clean up, clean up
It's clean up time.

You can also use hand gestures. I like to clap 5 times when changing gears. It means "mouths closed, ears open!".



Puzzles help kids in many ways! They help them learn to solve problems, coordinate their thoughts and actions, and begin to learn that the sum of parts make up a whole.

Today set out some age-appropriate puzzles and allow the kids to complete them. Once done, you can discuss the puzzle rules, such as making sure all the pieces are put back for each one. If you lose any pieces to a puzzle, the puzzle can no longer be used.


Name Recognition

Over the next month or so we will work on teaching the kids to recognize (or read) their own names! For the first week, make a sign for each child with their name on it. On the first day, take a picture of each child and add it to their name sign. Place their sign somewhere that it will be significant. They can be where the kids should sit, where their back pack should go, where their nap place is. Wherever you think works. You could even put a sign in each location. During the course of the week you should ask the kids to find their "spot". Associating their picture with their name will help them begin to recognize how their name is spelled. We will work more on this during the next few weeks.


Art - Draw Me A Picture!

This is an easy one, but great for getting to know your kiddos. Give them a piece of paper and crayons and ask them to draw one of their favorite things! Unless you have an art prodigy in your midst you will have to get them to explain what they drew. That is ok, because they just love doing that! Be sure to write their name and what it is on the back. These are great to store and look back at later in the year.

Craft - Garden of Friendship
This is great for helping the class to feel like part of a team!

Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Pictures of the kids

Trace each child's hand and their feet with the pencil. The hands will be the flowers so make them pretty colors (you could let them choose so it will feel like it's "theirs") and the feet will be the leaves so they should be green. Make a rectangle (stem) for each child. You will also need a yellow circle for the center of the flower. If they are old enough, allow them to cut their hands and feet out or you can do it. Show them how to put their flower together and let them craft theirs. Once dry, add their picture to the center of the flower.

When all the flowers are done, create a garden on the wall. Call it your "friendship garden"! This is where all the new friends in the class can be together.


Here are some great books about school:

David's teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David's high-energy antics fill each school day with trouble-and are sure to bring a smile to even the best-bahaved reader.

There are lots of things that regular people can do, but teachers can't. Teachers can't ride a bike or scooter to school. And they can never be tardy. Teachers can't buy their own apples. And they can't teach their best without flowers on their desk. But first they really need some help cleaning the blackboard. And the erasers!
It's a wonder they come back to school at all!

If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he'll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he'll need a notebook and some pencils. He'll probably want to share your backpack, too . . .

Getting to Know You Activity

You will need a soccer-sized ball for this. Get the kids in a circle and show them how to play the game. Toss the ball to someone in the circle and ask them a question about themselves, such as what their favorite color is or how many siblings they have. Once that child answers they get to toss the ball to another person and ask a question of them. You may need to help them with the questions, but this is a great way to get everyone together and learn some things about each other!



Super easy! Give the kids some playdough and let them create! Also provide some cookie cutters, plastic knives, forks, spoons, straws, and anything else you can think of for them to manipulate the dough. In case you want to make your own, here is a super easy way: http://nothingbutmonkeybusiness.blogspot.com/p/basic-time-fillers-for-your-preschoolers.html

Scroll down a little on the page for the recipe. It is definately cheaper to make your own!


Cereal Necklaces

These are fun and easy! Provide a couple of different kinds of "o" cereal and some twine. Tie a plastic spoon to one end so that the cereal won't slide off the end while stringing on more! Let them make their necklaces then put them on. They can snack on them during storytime!

Sample Daily Curriculum

Again, if you are using this as a teaching site, this is a basic outline of how your day should be structured:

Make sure everyone has had breakfast and a little play time before beginning the lessons!

Begin the day by having "circle time".
You can call it whatever you like, but the basic idea is to bring everyone together and discuss what you will be doing during the day. Young children really benefit from having an idea of what they are going to be doing, they really don't respond well to surprises!

I have a Circle Time Planner HERE.

Split up the day by planning 20-30 minute segments. Children between 18 months and 5 years can't really focus on a given task for longer than that. Your lesson may actually run a bit shorter at times and even a bit longer, if the lesson is really grabbing their attention. The most important thing with children this age is to BE FLEXIBLE!

Another important tool for a smooth day is to make transitions really easy and clear. Transitioning between lessons and free play or from lunch to nap time need to be clearly defined for children. It is important to be consistent. Have a specific song or gesture, such a clapping 5 times, that indicates to the children that it is time to move from the current activity to another.

Example of a Basic Day using the Weather and Seasons theme:  Weather & Seasons Lesson

8:00     Circle Time (Talk about one of the 4 seasons and what the weather should be like. Include the    holidays of that season. Also use the weather chart. Ask the children where the arrow should point and talk about why.)

8:20     Flow the 1st lesson of the day from the circle time discussion. (If you talked about Spring, it rains in Spring to help the flowers and plants grow. Do the Rain Cloud in a Jar Science activity.)

8:40     Transition to free play (cloud dough - it is really fun and is called "cloud" dough. since you just discussed clouds and rain, this flows well!)

9:15     Math Lesson (raindrop counting and sequencing. again, flows well with the rain and cloud theme)

9:40     Music (Rain, Rain, Go Away!)

10:00   Transition to free play (allow free toys time or centers)

10:30   LUNCH

11:00   Bible or Story time

11:30   Nap

2:30    Snack

3:00    Outside time (or free play ideas if bad weather)

4:00    Free play toys time before parent pick up

Example of a basic day: Using the Nutrition and Health theme:  Nutrition & Health Lesson

8:00     Circle Time  (Germs Poem and Calendar Discussion)

8:20     Flow the 1st lesson of the day from circle time discussion
                         (How coughs and sneezes spread germs)

8:40        Transition to free play
                      (shaving cream play - great because it smells really clean!)

9:15      Handwashing lesson - works great just after the shaving cream

9:40     Music
             (Head, shoulders, knees and toes)

10:00       Transition to free play
                    (allow free toys time or centers)

10:30    LUNCH
               (another great opportunity to bring up handwashing!)

11:00     Story or Bible Time

11:30     Nap

2:30       Snack (can also incorporate a "cooking" activity)

3:00       Outside play or use a free play idea (free play ideas) if bad weather

4:00      Free toys play before parent pick up

This is just a couple of basic ways the day could go. Of course, if you are using this with your own child there won't be a pick up time and your child may have a longer or shorter nap time. But the basic idea of how to keep the children engaged and from getting bored or antsy is here.

Circle Time Planner

For those of you using this site for homeschooling your preschoolers or running a preschool, this is how your daily Circle Time should be structured.

Circle time is kind of like a morning meeting with the kids. It should come after the children have had their breakfast and have had some free play time so that they are ready to pay attention.

You should have some daily items that are discussed each day and then discuss what is coming up in their lessons that day. Most children this age benefit greatly from knowing what is coming up.


Greeting Songs -
Sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb
We welcome you to school today,
School today, School today,
We welcome you to school today,
Please come in and play.
We're glad to have you here today,
Here today, here today.
We're glad to have you here today.
Yes, it's a special day!

Sung to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Let's see who is here today,
Who has come to join our play?
Everyone sit close at hand,
Say your name, then you can stand,
Let's see who is here today,
Who has come to join our play?

Calendar - Talking about the calendar is a great daily activity! This teaches math concepts and helps them to understand linear time. There are great pre-made teaching calendars you can buy, but (as I am sure you can tell) I like to make my own! I made mine using a large plastic poster frame. I printed out and laminated the Months, seasons, basic weather, days of the week, and holidays. I used paint chips (free!) as the days of the week. Butcher paper is the background that I glued the paint chips to. I also glued the days of the week to the paper.
Everything else goes on the plastic on the outside.  The top middle is the month, the left is the weather and the right is the season. Below that I put "Yesterday Was ________     Today Is _________     Tomorrow Is ___________" so that we can discuss those concepts and have something to change out everyday. I should probably mention I had made 2 sets of the days of the week for this reason!
Write in the numbered days in dry erase marker and then add any holidays. Oh, and I used Velcro dots for everything so it is easy to change anything out as needed.

 Movement - Incorporating a fun little exercise each morning is a great way to keep their focus! Have a routine such as touching your toes, twisting your waists, clapping your hands, and hopping up and down.


 Use this time to introduce the kinds of lessons they will be doing today. Get them excited! It is a good time to read a story or poem or sing a song from the day's lesson. Let them know, "Later we will be doing a cooking activity and we are going to make our snack ourselves!" This will keep them interested and motivated throughout the day.

Talk about the letter of the week. Show them the letter, pronounce the letter, then talk about words that begin with that letter. If you are working on letter groups, work on those! Get them involved. Ask them if they can think of words with the letters you are focusing on. It is very helpful to use a visual aide, such as a posterboard with the letter and objects which begin with that letter!

Having a daily schedule plan is a great idea. This way the children always know what to expect. Review the day's plan with them and talk about what they will be doing. If today is the Science Experiment Day, let them know. In order to reinforce the concepts of "today", "tomorrow", etc, you can also discuss that tomorrow you will be doing a paint craft (or whatever!).