Spring Circle Time Lessons with books to match { FREE Printables included! }

circle time lessons for preschool

I LOVE circle time. I get very excited about circle time when I have thought of a great lesson to pair with a lovely book. For my class of 3 year olds we start the year off with very very short circle times. We read short books and have an even shorter matching activity. As the year progresses I read longer books and have longer lessons knowing any day may be the day where all plans must go out the window to meet the needs of the students in my care. Always be flexible – even if you were super excited to share this lesson it’s more important to meet their needs than stick to the plan.

Whenever possible include movement ( even if it’s just getting up and putting a magnet on the board) and don’t shy away from reading the same book multiple times over a short period of time.

**To print the printables please click the image until it’s full size then SAVE the image to your computer then print. They will be the correct size if you follow those steps.**

This post of spring circle time lessons includes affiliate links

butterfly colors

Book :Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horaeck

Activity : Sorting Bugs With and Without Wings

Activity Set Up :

wings and no wings

  • Print the first page out by clicking on the image and selecting print.
  • Cut the bugs out and laminating. Add magnets or velcro if you want to do this activity on a magnet or felt board.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Talk about all the different bugs in the garden and how some have wings and others do not. Encourage students to share any other observations.
  • Tell your students that you have a bag full of bugs and they need to help you sort them into two groups. Bugs that fly and bugs that do not ask the how you could tell that from a picture?
  • Hand the bugs out to each child. Invite them one and a time to place the bugs on the board or into baskets.
  • After all the children have had their turn count each group.

little gardener

Book: The Little Gardener  by Jan Geradi

Activity : Acting Out How A Seed Grows.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Ask your students what they think it must feel like to be a flower.
  • Tell then that they get to imagine what it must be like to be a flower and ask then to stand up. Make sure you have space for any student who may need to move a little bigger than their spot at circle.
  • Lead every action. Do not worry if a child is not 100% into it. Just by watching and listening they will be introduced to a plant lifecycle.
  • Start by crouching into a tiny ball saying ” We start as tiny seeds that someone planted in the dirt in their garden.”
  • Say that with sun and water you are beginning to grow. Start wiggling saying ” We are starting to grow roots.”
  • Reach up one arm saying you are starting to sprout.
  • More sun and water makes you grow even taller. Reach your hands to the side saying ” We are growing leaves!”
  • ” Oh no it’s very windy!” sway in the wind.
  • “The sun is back out and our flowers are ready to bloom.”

earthdaybigearth

Book: Big Earth, Little Me by Thom Wiley

Activity : Sorting Planet Earth by Size

How To Set Up The Activity : earth sort by size

 

 

 

 

  • Print out the sheet of different sized earths by clicking on the image, saving to your computer, and printing.
  • Laminate and add magnets or velcro if you want to do this activity on a magnet or felt board.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Talk very briefly about how large the earth is and how small we are.
  • Put one earth ( of various sizes) on the board or into a bowl if you are sorting into a bowl. Show your students that you have all different sizes and you need their help to sort them by size.
  • Invite each child to come choose an earth and sort it into the correct bin or space on your board.
  • After every child has had a turn ask them which group has the most. Count each as a group to see if they are correct.

the earth book

Book: The EARTH Book by Todd Parr

Activity : Can I Recycle This? Learning what you can and can’t pop into the recycling bin.

How To Set Up The Activity :

  • Gather different items that you can and can not recycle in your community. If you have food waste in your area include that with a third container. Have more than you think you will need ( more than one per student).
  • Have two containers one with a recycle sign and the other with a garbage can. If your community uses different colors for your garbage and recycling use the same color containers for this activity. We want this to be a practical lesson as well as a problem solving one. You will also want a bag to hold the items before the children sort them.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Tell your students that you need help. You have a whole bunch of garbage in your bag but aren’t sure what you can and can’t put into the recycling bin.
  • As a group start sorting. Ask the children if each item can be recycled or put in the garbage. If your children are into it keep going until you have no more items. If not choose a few of the most common items like water bottles, aluminum cans and newspaper and sort them into recycling and some common non recyclables like bottle tops and sandwich bags.

 

bugs bugs bugs

Book: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner

How To Set Up The Activity :

  • Gather some plastic bugs in 3-4 different colors or use the printable from above print out and laminate each bug.
  • Pop them in a butterfly net like this or a bug house. A little novelty goes FAR!
  • Gather bowls in the same color as the bugs. We have these bowls at school and I use them daily!

Lesson :

  • Read the book.
  • Tell the students that you have caught a bunch of different color bugs but you need to put them into these bowls.
  • Invite the children to come reach into the net or bug house and sort the bug into the correct bowl.
  •  In groups where sitting for longer periods are OK you can go by each child and ask them to take two different colored bugs to place in the bowls.
  • If your group can stay seated long enough to count each group of bugs together then please do.

 

i love bugs

Book : I Love Bugs! by Phileomon Sturges

Activity : Matching Butterfly Wings – matching patterns and colors.

How To Set Up The Activity:

butterfly match

  • Print out the Butterfly Match sheet by clicking on the image and saving it to your computer then printing.
  • Laminate, cut the butterflies out, then cut down the middle.Add magnets or velcro if you want to do this activity on a magnet or felt board.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Ask each child what their favorite bug is.
  • Tell them you like many bugs but butterflies are one of your favorites. ( If this isn’t true say something that is but seriously who doesn’t LOVE butterflies??)
  • Have one half of each butterfly on a board or lay them out in the circle. If you choose to lay them out you may want a tray or a solid color piece of fabric so the patterns and colors pop out for the students.
  • If this is a new concept for your class do 3-5 butterflies together as a group. Hold the wing up to a few butterflies that aren’t a match and ask the group if it’s a match. Don’t aim to trick anyone but let them feel like they are teaching you from time to time.
  • If you are teaching master matchers hand one wing to each student and have them find the correct match. As they do label colors and sizes from time to time saying things like ” Wow Bobby you found the match for that bright pink butterfly!” or ” Suzie your butterfly is really large!”

eating the alphabet

Book: Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert

Activity : Making Fruit Salad

How To Set Up The Activity:

  • I like doing this activity at a table but it’s not a must.
  • Any fruit can be used . I like to use apple, pear, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes, pineapple, and mandarin oranges. You will also need small bowls for each and one large salad bowl.
  • You will want some whole fruit to examine like a pineapple, apple, mandarine orange, and kiwi.
  • Have one serving of each fruit already chopped( during free choice have the children help you do some chopping).

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Ask each child which fruit or vegetable is their favorite.
  • Pass around the whole fruit you have and talk about how the fruit feels and smells.
  • Remind the children about the chopping they did earlier. Explain that they will now make a salad with the fruit.
  • Invite each child to come pour one bowl of chopped fruit into the bowl.
  • Serve and enjoy.

planting-a-rainbow

Book:Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert

Activity : Color Matching Flowers and Stems

How To Set The Activity Up:

planting a rainbow

  • Print out this printable by clicking the image, saving to your computer, then printing.
  • Laminate the flowers and stems then cut out.Add magnets or velcro if you want to do this activity on a magnet or felt board.
  • Have the stems on the board before you read the book.

Lesson:

  • Read the book.
  • Ask the children what their favorite color is. Ask if they would like to help you plan a rainbow flower garden too!
  • Show the class the stems on the board and explain that you have the flowers in your basket. You need their help matching them.
  • Invite each child up to the board to choose a color and add it to the stem.
  • Once the garden is complete count to see how many flowers in total are in it.

 

Do you have a favorite spring lesson or activity for your class? Besides circle times like these my class will be cutting flowers, beading with bug beads, making bug prints in play dough and SO much more. April is going to be a blast!

 

LEGO Game – Roll, Build, and Create!

DIY LEGO game for kids LEGO is huge at our house. Even if some of their marketing to girls efforts miss the mark ( did you read this?), the toy is still amazing for boys and girls. LEGO is creative as well as great for spatial and fine motor skills. This LEGO game is super simple and my kids play it often building on to their creations or making new ones. What I love about this game that wasn’t really part of the design was that it’s a great way to kickstart LEGO creations. When kids feel like building but don’t know what to build this game acts as kindling and helps start the fire for bigger ideas. Of course players are also working on subitizing skills ( recognizing amounts without counting – on dominoes, dice, tally marks etc…)  and number recognition. If that is your goal you could use multiple dice for older children and have the add or subtract and match up the sum or difference to the numbered sections. It’s so versatile!

Gather your materials. You will need some LEGO or DUPLO , a divided tray or individual bowls, a die, and a permanent marker.

lego game for kids

Write the numbers 1-6 on the divided tray. Don’t worry you can use a dry erase marker to remove the permanent marker when you are done playing. boost creativity with lego

Fill the sections of your tray with different types of LEGO bricks. You can have your children help you sort them as well. Sorting is an important skill so any time you have to practice is worthwhile. I included a lot of mini figures because in my experience kids tend to create more stories with the figures and my daughter loves to make stories with her LEGO.

lego game for children

Once they are all sorted it’s time to play. Use the center section to roll the die and whatever number they roll is the type of brick they get to build with. lego game for preschool

She was into it immediately.lego games for kids Soon she had an audience and hearing her explain the game to her dad was awesome. lego game for families Understanding multiple steps is important and when she taught her dad she had all the steps down pat! LEGO roll and build math game

One of the great things about this activity is that there is no strict ending point. Kids can stop when they feel their creation is complete or pop it to the side and come back another day. Ours is STILL in our sunroom two weeks after getting it out. I find both my kids playing with it most days.

 

Spring Break Bucket List { FREE PRINTABLE }

spring breka bucket list My kids an I were writing out all the ideas we had for spring break and I decided to pop them all into a fun spring break bucket list to share with all of you. Our winter break bucket list was a huge hit and if you are still in the middle of snowy weather – you might want to print it out instead.  My kids are 4 and 8 which is a pretty good age range for this list as well. Everything on the list are things that BOTH my kids will have fun doing.

spring break bucket list for kids

Click on the image above ( yes the one right above here) , save to your computer, and print!

What would you or your children add to the list?

Shamrock Number Line Scavenger Hunt

number line activity This number line scavenger hunt activity took only minutes to throw together and while we used shamrocks for a St.Patrick’s Day theme you could do this any time of year with any theme your child likes.  If they are still learning number order write the numbers on the tape and have them match the numbers, if 20 is too much try with 5 , 10 or 15. This is such an easy activity to adjust to your child’s ability and to repeat over and over. This would be a fun group activity as well, have each child search for one number and place it on the line.

Gather your materials. You will need something to write numbers on like foam shamrocks, shapes, or post it notes. You will also need some painter’s tape and a marker. st. patrick's day math

Start by writing your numbers on the shapes. number line activity

Next lay out the tape and write the first and the last number, for us that was 1 and 20. Make dots of write the numbers in between. math activities

Hide the numbers all around your house! math activity for preschool

Invite your little mathematician to search for the numbers and place them on the line. Give them a hand if needed but also give them time to figure it out on their own best they can before you step in.

She searched for a handfulmath scavenger hunt then placed them on the number line and then went back for more. math scavenger hunt

I never get bored of watching my children or my students make great connections and I was wowed watching my youngest find the right spots of all these numbers without any help . math activity for children

She thought she had found them all but there were a few missing. A quick trip into the kitchen and she popped them right on the line! math activity

All done and pretty darn proud ! number line

Listen & Erase – Listening and Reading Game For Kids

reading games for kids

This is a mini version of a game I played with my son and before him with my 6th grade class when I was student teaching many many years ago.  I created the game for my 6th grade class because the kids weren’t paying attention while I read Holes aloud to them. A day after the class started playing the game while I read the kids were hooked. I knew they would love the book if they actually listened to it! This little version of the game gives younger children a chance to have some say in the game ( they pick the book) and you can make it as easy or difficult depending on who is playing. Reading games like these should be very short for little ones, not pose too much of a challenge if reading is still emergent and above all else be fun. Reading can be a big challenge and making it fun at the start can help color your child’s view of it being a great activity vs being one filled with frustration.

 

Gather your materials. You will need a little chalk board or little white board, some chalk or dry erase markers, an oddball sock ( please tell me I am not the only mom with more oddball socks than ones in pairs! ), and a book of your child’s choosing.listen and read reading game

Start by flipping through the book and finding words that your child can read. They can be anything from the book. For my daughter I chose six total, five I knew she could read because I’d seen her read them recently and one I wasn’t sure but was prepared to help her with. Lots of opportunity for success and a little challenge too.

Write the words on the board.listening reading game

Invite your little reader to snuggle up and read with you. Read over the words together. Let them try to read them all, if any are too tricky adjust the list before you start the game.

As you read the book tell them they need to listen for these words and erase as you read. Pop the sock on their hand and get ready to read.reading game

Read the book , making sure you don’t read it too quickly and they miss a word or two. listening game for books reading gameMake sure to use clear annunciation as you read. I never realized how much I mumble some words until I started reading aloud so often.reading game listening game for kids

Read , listen, erase!listen and erase reading game

After it’s all erased it’s time to draw with the chalk!reading and listening game reading game

 

Fun, simple, and it uses a book they already love and feel connected to. All of these work together to deepen learning by making a memorable and positive experience.