Rainbow Resource Room
MY FAMILY THEME
|Here's lots more preschool and
kindergarten activities that promote children's self-esteem and self identity.
First graders will enjoy many of these activities too!
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to Know You
Preschoolers and kindergarten children become Shinning Stars and share information about themselves when S.T. promotes self identify and self esteem during this activity.
Materials: Yellow poster board, glittery stars, markers, letter to parents, photo of students and curling ribbon.
Description: Send a letter to the parents of the child the day before they are to be a Shining Star. This letter outlines the project, it's purpose and engages the family in sitting down with the child to fill out a questionnaire. Provide spaces for the parents (or students) to answer.
After the student shares this information with the class, mount the photo on one side of a large star cut from the yellow poster board, mount the info sheet (no last names) on the other side. Have the student decorate, write his or her name, glue stars, etc.Do you have brothers?, sisters? Pets?
Cover with clear shelf paper, punch holes along the bottom and have the student choose colored ribbons. Hang the stars around the room.
I did this activity to get aquatinted with the parents and children in a preschool that I joined after the Christmas holidays. It helped everyone warm up quickly. Everyone, parents and children, still study the hanging stars and point to theirs.
For picture books about Me
& My Family go to
Materials: Dolls, photographs of children as babies, water table, soap, wash clothes, towels etc.
Description: Allow children to wash, clothe, and feed their babies. In advance collect pictures of the children as babies and discuss the baby pictures with them. Have a parent come in and talk about how babies are so important and that you must be gentle, careful and at times quiet with a baby.
& Family Rhymes, songs and fingerplays are in the
Families in the Preschool Experience
Materials: Kids, parents, diplomacy and cooperation.
Description: At the very beginning of the year, I sent home a piece of construction paper with each child. I attached a note that asked for pictures of the child's family, home, pets, any special family hobbies or recent vacations, etc. Then the children and I examined each contribution at circle time. After that, I mounted all the "quilt squares" on a large sheet of white bulletin board paper and stuck in on the wall. It's still up, six months later and visitors to our school still comment on it. Just be sure to give any new students a chance to contribute to the quilt when they join your class, too!
I have multi-cultural class. Out of fifteen children, almost half are from another country. All year, I have tried to include their cultures in my program. During February, our African American family did a presentation (preschool level) on slavery and African American traditions. We've also had a presentation on Ramadan (spelling??) and it's traditions. One of our mom's also came in a read a book to us about a ESL child who was having a hard time fitting in with her class. The teachers, as well as the children, found these presentations very interesting and showed to the parents that they are as valuable an asset to our class as their children!
Comments: It is a good idea to ask each family personally if they would like to share their traditions with the class. Sending out a general note about this has little effect and generates little response. When you ask the parents personally if they'd like to do a presentation, it makes them feel like you really care if they do it!
Materials: Large sized paper plates, markers, magazines, glue, and scissors.
Comments: Parents were surprised to see that
the children found pictures from
Materials: One piece of poster board per family, yarn, hole punch, crayons, paints or markers.
Description: Have each of your children take home a piece of construction paper as a weekend family homework project. Tell the parents and the child that they are draw, paint or color their family engaging in their favorite activity. And then if the children are young have Mom or Dad write out some of the fun things they do together as a family and who are their family members, like brother and sisters etc.
Next when you have all the posters together
take a hole punch and punch holes on
Materials: Large piece of construction paper,
copy or coloring page of a tree and
Description: The amount of pictures depends upon the age of the child. Smaller children should only bring in pictures of immediate family and self, while older kids can expand this to aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Scrapbook tools such as frames, special scissors and stickers may be helpful and allow for more creative efforts.
Have child's picture in the center and title this "My Family Tree". Have each child explain each picture and who each family member is. Glue them around the tree. Depending on age, either have child title who each person is, or let the teacher do this. Then have children show and share they're family trees with the class.
of Luther Bear
Materials: Stuffed Bear and bag to carry him in and a notebook.
Description: We send home Luther Bear to each child one at a time. They tell their adventures during his stay. Parent records and child brings notebook back to school and teacher reads. Child then adds to his or her story while holding Luther in front of the class. This makes the child feel very special.
Comments: Children can not wait until it is their turn to take Luther home.
Materials: Poster board and a note home to the family
Description: Cut poster board into
large triangles to resemble pennants, write a
Comments: I hung the pennants on a large
bulletin board with the caption "Hurray
and People Blocks
Materials: 4x6 lumber, photos of each child, small containers such as a film canisters.
Description: At the beginning of each year I have a friend cut a class supply of house shaped blocks out of a 4x6 piece of lumber and I add each child's name and address on the individual blocks. Then I attach a photo of each child to individual film canisters or pill bottles with clear contac. We use these to help learn everyone's names and addresses as we play in the block center. At the end of the year they each take them home.
Materials: Construction paper, yarn, cutout pictures from magazines, family photos, glue and hole punch. Glitter, sequins and other decorative materials are optional to decorate the book.
Description: Children can help plan and then execute a "Me" book which helps to describe them, their family, their interests and their community. Included in this book can be photos of the child's immediate family (parents, siblings) as well as the extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins). Also photos of the child them self and any other special people or pets.
Then pictures representing the child's life including: favorite activities, sporting activities, school, hobbies or favorite books and videos, anything special to that child. The book can be "narrated" either by the child (if old enough to write) or by the parent. Glitter or sequins can be added for decoration if desired.
At the beginning of the school year, or when a new child joins your class, ask the parent to bring a disposable camera for you to use. Put the child's name on it and keep it handy. Take the camera out at special opportunities to snap a memory for the parent. At the end of the year, give the camera back to the parent. If comfortable enough ask for copies for your school album.
Materials: Camera, film, empty cd case and old puzzle pieces.
Description: Each month I take a picture
of the kids doing our monthly theme. Example our theme for March
was St. Patrick's Day. We made hats out of newspaper, vests out of
brown paper bags and leis out of construction paper shamrocks. I
dressed up the kids took pictures and put the picture in the empty cd case
Comments: Parents have an idea of what is going on and they appreciate pictures of finished projects.
Materials: Pictures, folder (the kind students use), copy paper - I buy the kind with decoration on them (at Walmart you get 25 for $1.47).
Description: As a working Mom I know how hard it is to be away from your children all day and wonder what they are doing. I teach two year olds so I am sure they do not remember what they do all day. I came up with an idea to help the parents know or at least see some of the things their children do. Pictures capture so many wonderful memories.
I take pictures of my students doing their lessons or just having fun during the day. And at the end of the year I put together a little album of each one of the children, for their parents to see what they do all day. It is a little time consuming but when the parents had tears in their eyes, I knew it was well worth the effort.
Comments: The parents will thank you a million times!
Materials: Tape recorder, blank tape and free time with Mom or Dad.
2. When celebrating each child's birthday,
invite families to purchase
Watch the lines at check out time, children will want to check these items out more often because they helped create them.
Comments: Families loved this! Total participation.
Materials: Photos of each child's family.
Description: Send out a letter to parents a week (or more if it takes parents a long time to respond) asking them to send a photo of their child's family. Also have them write on the back who is in the photo and their relationship to your student. In my letter I told them it didn't have to be their entire family, maybe just siblings or parents.
Next, discuss with the class different types of families. For my two year olds, I asked who all lived in their houses. When the day comes to present their pictures, set up one chair in classroom. Take turns having each child share their own picture. Help them tell who is in the photo if necessary. After the lesson, hang on colorfully decorated poster board showing each picture with "Jimmy's Sisters" written neatly near that picture.
Comments: They loved sharing their pictures with EVERY visitor in the classroom. I put mine on the outside of the classroom door. Parents loved it! Make sure to hang the pictures in a safe place!! These are families' memories! Return the pictures after a couple of weeks with thank you notes for their participation!
Materials: Magazines, scissors, large pieces of paper with an outline of a house on it.
Description: Explain to your class about
the different rooms in a house.
Afterward, break up into groups, I recommend
putting children into groups
Comments: Children may have trouble with scissors, just be prepared for some to be frustrated. Have your own scissors ready to help!!
Materials: Picture of child's family, tag board and bags for pieces
Description: Take the child's picture and glue it to a piece of tag board and let the children cut it into pieces (teacher can help). Let children put the pieces back together again in a puzzle type activity.
an Important People Collage
You will need: magazines, scissors, tape and a large piece of construction paper.
Talk with a small group of children and ask
them to tell you about people in their families. Begin the discussion
with short sentences, "My dog Pebbles
Young children need and like to talk about
those who care for and are close
Next: Bring out magazines and give preschoolers time to look through them for pictures that remind them of their families. Encourage children to continue the discussions as they cut out their pictures. Tape/glue the pictures on the construction paper and ask children to point out and name the people in the pictures.
Write the names exactly as each child says them, next to the appropriate person or animal. Hang the collage at the children's eye level and let it remain so that youngsters can add neighbors, friends and other important people over time.
Teacher Tip: Make certain to have magazines that have pictures depicting all the ethnic groups represented in your group. But don't be surprised if children choose people who are not the same age, sex or race as they are, children often see people differently than adults.
You may consider asking adults to help in
the housekeeping area, block area
Reading a book during story time provides
a wonderful way for adults
Related themes in the Rainbow Resource Room:
in this theme!
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