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.

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!

 

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?

Cat In The Hat Word Search FREE PRINTABLE

dr.seuss free printable You can’t throw huge parties for every little event but recognizing fun days like Dr.Seuss Day is a fun way to promote literacy in your home. This Cat in The Hat word search FREE printable is a great after school activity for school age kids perhaps served with green eggs and ham or one of these other Dr. Seuss inspired snacks.  Click on the image below and save the image to your computer then print. It’s that easy!

cat in the hat free printable

 

Need some Dr.Seuss ideas for younger kids? Here are 55 sorted by the book they are inspired by to check out. Click here to see them all

Seuss Activities for class

How are you celebrating Dr. Seuss Day on March 2nd? Tell me by leaving a comment! Or come share on our Facebook page.

Rhyming Board Game – FREE Printable

rhyming printables free Rhyming is one of my favorite literacy skills to work on with children because it’s fun and rhyming is a vital part of literacy development. When children rhyme they play sounds and apply their abilities to new combinations of letter sounds. Rhyming uses a lot of different skills like listening, distinguishing specific sounds (phonemes), and being able to break a word into syllables. Obviously rhyming is important but it’s also fun. I whipped up this super simple printable board game and was so pleased when it was as big a hit with my 4 year old as it was with my 8 year old. Finding an activity that they both love and is educational is like winning the lottery. You can print it out for FREE and get rhyming right now!

Print out the game board.

rhyming game free printable

Gather your materials. You will need the game board ( click on the image above, save, and print) , a die, and some game pieces. We made ours with some LEGO. I also love using a tray with games with dice because it gives my kids a fence for their insanely dramatic dice rolling. This is where I lose my cool , I know it shouldn’t bug me but when dice are flying everywhere I get cranky. The tray keeps it in and keeps me from wrecking the fun with nagging.

rhyming board game for kids free printable

How to play:

Place your game pieces on start.
Roll the die.
Move how ever many squares you rolled.
When you land on the square read the word and yell out a word that rhymes with it.
The first person to get to the end wins.

rhyming board game for kindergarten

They were off to a great start and the game was an instant hit. rhyming board game for prek

When one of us ( yes I was playing too) landed on a word both kids would call out more than one rhyme. rhyming board gameIt was awesome! rhyming board game FREE printable

Luck was on my side and I won, but they kept playing.rhyming free printable game That is a sure sign that it’s a fun game. My son helped his sister reading some of the words on the game board and the majority of the words I’d chosen were words she’d be able to read herself. This built her confidence while having fun and having her brother their to scaffold was a great switch from me being in the teacher role. board game for rhyming free printable

Need some more rhyming activities? Try these 9 Great Rhyming Activities.

rhyming lessons for preschool

7 ways to use this FREE Color By Number Printables

FREE color by numbers My daughter is HUGE into coloring right now. Unlike her brother ( or her mom) she loves the challenge of staying in the lines. I created this simple free color by numbers printables for her to use but the beauty of it is that it’s completely adaptable. The colors are set but you can adjust the way your child reaches that number many many ways.

free color by numbers worksheet

Gather your materials. You will need a light colored pencil for writing the info below into the circles, and markers or crayons. You may also want a clip board to keep it all together! You will also need the printable. Click on the image above and print! free color by number worksheets

  • Use it for reading – Write the word for the digit in the circles. Have your child read the word and color accordingly using the legendcolor by number number match
  • Use it for writing – Write the number and have the child trace the pencil with marker. <— my daughter thought this one up and as you can see loved doing it!
  • Use it for subitizing – Use tally marks in the circles and have your child translate them to digits and color accordingly.
  • Use it for addition – Write simple addition equations with the sum being the number your child must use to identify the correct color.subtraction color by numbers
  • Use it for subtraction – Write simple equations with the difference being the number your child must use for coloring.color by number for elementary
  • Use it for counting – add dots to the circles and have your child count to find out what color they should be using to color in.
  • Use it for number identification/ matching. Simply write in the number and use the legend to find the matching number and what color you need to use.

color by numbers for preschool

So many fun ways to use it! So I think you should print out a BUNCH. I loved watching my kids doing the same activity with their own adaptations together at our sun room desk!

color by nymber working together

Merry Christmas !