Whether you're teaching preschool or looking for fun things to do with your little ones, you can't beat free! Save time when planning, and have a bevy of creative ideas at your fingertips with free printable lesson plans. With each of the following lesson plans, click on the image to open the PDF and print it. If you need help downloading any of the printables, check out these helpful tips.
Stop or Go?
Preschool-aged children must learn when it is safe to cross the street and when it isn't. This printable focuses on the process (look twice) and then offers pictures of scenarios a preschooler might see before crossing the street. The child must choose which ones are safe and which are unsafe.
Sweet Alphabet Picnic
This lesson plan combines the activity of hunting for a list of foods with beginning letter sounds. After the child finds the item that matches the pictures on the list, go over the letter and sound each item begins with. End the activity by enjoying a picnic with some of the food listed.
Teach preschoolers the importance of regularly washing their hands with this activity that shows how easily germs are spread from unwashed hands to surfaces. The activity uses glitter and construction paper for a visual reminder that will get children to soap up.
Plastic Egg Phonics
This fun matching activity teaches phonics while keeping little hands busy. Small items that start with the same letter as is printed on the plastic egg are inserted into the eggs by the child. Alternately, the next time the eggs are used, the letter-matching items can be pulled out of the eggs.
Teach beginning counting with this cute caterpillar printable and small poms. The child glues the poms to the sections on the caterpillar's body. Have the child count as he glues on the poms. This printable will teach numbers one through nine.
More Places to Find Lessons for Preschoolers
Finding creative ideas for teaching preschoolers is a challenge. Infuse your routine with fresh activities, new takes on old themes, and a new perspective with these places that offer the best of the best for online lesson plans for preschoolers.
First-School Preschool Activities and Crafts
First-School offers a large number of free lesson plans grouped by theme. These are designed for ages two to six, which include toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. Fully developed activities and ideas are within each category and may utilize crafts, arts, safety, science, language or math skills. Some of the themes include:
- Olympic Games
- Snow and Snowmen
- Ice Cream
- Teddy Bears
In addition to beginning reading, writing and math, the site also offers lessons in character building, shapes, health and nutrition and the Bible. New lessons are added from time to time, so the list of themes is likely to grow each time you visit the site.
Some of the more unique lessons on this site are:
- Space Day Lesson Plans: For preschool aged children who are interested in outer space, a day of activities centered around space is a dream come true. For example, kids learn about shapes while studying the shapes of the planets. They learn colors by coloring in printable pages of the planets. Finally, children create mobiles and count the planets one through eight.
- Beach and Seashore Activities: Spend a week at the beach with these fun beach-themed preschool lessons. In addition to printable alphabet activities, lessons include seashore crafts where kids can make a crab, or a seashore collage. Download stories about the beach, print activities that teach shapes and numbers, and even study water safety.
This is a good, basic site for teachers and parents who just want to add some spice to their core curricula, and it would be an excellent site for the new teacher who is just starting to build a portfolio of "go-to" lesson plan resources. An attractive feature of this site is the fact that lessons are available in both English and Spanish.
Teachers.Net has over 4,500 total lessons are on the site and approximately 250 of those lesson plans are aimed at preschool and pre-kindergartners. From lessons based on classic children's books to math and music, topics can fit a wide range of curriculum themes. Most lesson plans are short and to the point, leaving room for teachers and parents to expand or collapse plans as needed.
Searching is quick and easy as you can sort results by category, grade level or even specific keywords. Because of the breadth of the supporting materials offered here, you can easily find a lesson plan, craft activity or art project, and even related worksheets, making this a truly one-stop resource center.
Just a couple of the more interesting lessons on the site include:
- Friendship - A Lesson on Appreciating Differences: Children read a book titled "My Friend Isabelle", which is about a girl with Down's Syndrome. In addition to teaching children to accept differences in others, the lesson also integrates math, music and reading.
- A Well Balanced Meal: This lesson uses paper plates and real food to create a balanced meal. Although the lesson suggests using the old food pyramid, simply sub the new USDA Choose My Plate model, which meshes even better with the plate concept of this lesson.
Some features that are targeted specifically to teachers are the peer groups and chat centers where teachers can exchange tips and techniques for handling day-to-day issues such as classroom management or special education needs. Another nice feature for teachers is the ability to strut their stuff and share lesson plans on the site. Although the site is aimed at teachers, parents may also find the site helpful to prepare preschoolers for upcoming kindergarten demands.
Finding physical education lessons plans that are targeted to the preschool years can be challenging. Fortunately, PE Central has dedicated a section of their website to lesson plans just for these little learners. There are over 50 lessons from which to choose that include fun titles like:
- Parachute Color Match: The lesson is presented as a game played with a colorful parachute, but teaches important underlying concepts of learning to follow directions and match colors.
- Carpet Space Sit: This lesson helps preschoolers understand the concept of individual space and not invading the space of others. It also is an important building block toward one day entering a formal school setting, where children will be expected to remain in an assigned seat.
These printable lessons are ready to use, and your students will have so much fun they will never realize that they are also developing their gross motor skills and improving their physical fitness.
Sort the lessons by update date, grade level or title to save time when you are doing your lesson planning. The lessons are written by teachers for teachers, and if you have a lesson that you are understandably proud of, you can submit it for others to enjoy. A nice bonus is the fact that if your lesson is published, you'll win a nice monetary reward. A few of the lessons come with downloadable videos.
Keep Kids Involved
Writing lesson plans for preschoolers is just as important as writing plans for older kids and students. Not only does it give the teacher or parent a clear goal to meet during the day, but it keeps kids interested and involved in learning.