Activities for pre-schoolers

Talk about the meaning of Children's Day

Tell the children that Children's Day celebrates the fact that each one of them is unique and special. Let them know that they are important. Tell them that Children's Day is a day to do fun activities with their families. Ask them questions such as ‘what is the best thing about being a child?' and ‘what would you like to do on Children's Day?' and ‘what do you like doing best with your family?'

Colouring in

Download a colouring in picture from the Children's Day website. Get children to colour in, maybe make it a competition and offer prizes for creativity.

Children's Day colours day

Pick one or more of the Children's Day colours and have a colour day! The Children's Day colours are grass green, deep purple, orange and yellow. Have fun with the colour by wearing it, eating food of that colour, and naming as many things around you that are the same colour.

Handprints

Handprints are very versatile. Explain to children that everybody's handprint is unique. You could get children to make handprints with paint, then cut them out to make a number of picture displays. For example, you could make a handprint tree (with handprints for leaves) or a handprint wreath, or a handprint placemat. If you don't want to get messy you could just trace around their hands, cut them out and decorate.

Family photo collage

Send a note home to the parents at least one week before you plan to begin. Ask the parents to help their children put together a poster or a collage of family photos for the children to share with the class. Have each child return their poster or collage to school on a different day to share with the class. Each child gets to stand up in front of the class and talk about their photos. They can answer any questions that the other children might have after sharing their information.

3D pictures

Have children draw a picture with crayons with the theme ‘things I like to do with my family'. Then use miscellaneous decorations to make it 3-D, eg glue fabric scraps onto the person for clothes, tear up green paper for a tree, glue popcorn kernels to fill in a sun, etc. Encourage children to use their imagination.

Trace a shape

Cut out a shape from a piece of cardboard. Give children a sheet of paper that they can trace the shape on to. Let them decorate their shape any way they choose.

Game: Fish in the ocean

Have one (or several children) be the Hector's Dolphin. The rest of the children are fish. They must try to cross the ocean (a set space that you specify) and not get eaten (tagged) by the dolphin. If they get caught then they join the Hector's Dolphin to try to catch more fish. Keep playing until everyone is a Hector's Dolphin.

Tactile sea objects

Bring along things that exist in a sea habitat (sand, small shells, smooth stones, seaweed, etc) for the children to look at and touch.

Science activity: Living in the ocean

Tell the children how some animals live near the top of the ocean where the water is warmer (fish, etc) while others live lower where it is cooler (whales, etc). Then show them that hot water rises by filling a clear container with cold water. Next add blue hot water (dye with blue food colouring). The hot blue water will rise to the top.

Whose baby photo is it?

Ask children to bring baby photos of themselves. Children guess who's who. You could even get parents to come along too and bring photos of themselves to add to the game.

Grandparents' morning or afternoon tea

Encourage children to help make invitations to their grandparents for a grandparents' morning or afternoon tea. Ask around for borrowed items such as tablecloths, teapots, etc, anything you can think of to make it special. Encourage children to help prepare tasty food and decorate the room (set tables, etc). Ask grandparents to tell stories about their childhood and teach the children a game they used to play.

Time capsule

Ask each child to bring along a container with a lid. Explain to them that this is their ‘time capsule'. Encourage them to fill the container with personal items such as a picture of themselves, a drawing, something they've made, etc, with a special emphasis on things they like, what they like doing with their family, etc. Replace the lids and get them to decorate paper to cover the container so that it is ‘sealed'. Ask the child's parents to hide the time capsule away and save it up to open on Children's Day the following year or store them at your centre.

'All about me activities'

  • Record each child's voice. Children listen to the voices and guess which voice goes with each child
  • Play "Guess Who". Pick a child out of the classroom. Tell three clues about the person and have the children guess who the person is
  • Encourage the children to bring a favourite item from home and discuss why it is their favourite object

Friendship quilt

Cut several squares of brightly coloured cardboard. Give each child one of the squares. Have them decorate the square or even glue a picture of themselves, glitter, beads, sequins, wool etc to the square. Staple the squares, side by side to make a ‘quilt' and hang it up.