Five February Preschool Themes for Your Class
February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s chock full of holidays and national observances that offer great learning opportunities. And as teachers, we love fun themes that we can tie to specific moments in time.
Below are five February observances to incorporate into your lesson plans this month.
Black History Month
Honoring Black culture should be part of your planning year round, but February is the perfect time to teach about diversity since children are likely to be exposed to programming and events outside the classroom as well.
One of the easiest ways to celebrate this observance is by choosing books and stories that feature diverse characters that help introduce kids to different backgrounds.
Another way to highlight and celebrate the many accomplishments of African-Americans is by identifying your childrens’ interests and introducing them to corresponding trailblazers. For instance, if they enjoy music, listen to jazz and talk about the musicians. Or if they like sports, share inspirational stories of well-known Black athletes and have them draw portraits of these sports icons.
By promoting diversity in your classroom, you’ll help your students improve their critical thinking, creativity and confidence.
Dental Health Month
The American Dental Association (ADA) promotes National Children’s Dental Health Month every February to raise awareness about oral health and encourage good practices. It’s also a good time of the year to promote since it coincides with Valentine’s Day (which means lots of candy!).
One of our favorite ways to promote this observance is by hosting an oral hygiene drive — collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and other items that are then donated to a local charity.
Not only is it a great way to highlight the importance of good oral health, but it’s a fun and easy way to positively impact the community, and it teaches children the importance of giving back.
In addition to the month long observance, the ADA also recognizes the first Friday of February as Give Kids A Smile Day, an opportunity for kids who can’t afford to see a dentist normally to get free dental care. Look in your area to see if any dentists are participating, and if they are, share this information with parents in case there are any underserved families in your class that can benefit from free care.
Make a Friend Day (Feb. 11)
National Make a Friend Day encourages people to create new friendships. Since children begin to play more with one another and make friendships at age three, this is an excellent observance to incorporate into your lesson planning.
Promoting friendship helps develop social and emotional skills, increases a sense of belonging, decreases stress and helps children develop their own identities.
One of our favorite activities is playing the song ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, and then asking your students, “What makes a good friend?”. Then discuss related themes such as kindness, sharing and teamwork.
For a hands-on activity, have your students make friendship bracelets they can share with each other.
National Library Lovers Month
Observing this month-long celebration of school, public and private libraries is a great opportunity to encourage and nurture literacy skills in your students.
Use this observance as an opportunity to promote a love of reading and books. A great way to incorporate this into your classroom is by having children bring in their favorite book to share with the class.
As a side note, while some might think libraries don’t have a lot to offer toddlers, more and more are offering programs, including storytelling, aimed at 18-to-36-month children. See what your local libraries are doing and include any relevant programming in your classroom newsletter.
Presidents Day (Feb. 15)
While your kiddos don’t fully understand the ins and outs of American politics, this is still a wonderful chance to introduce them to our nation’s most important leader.
Begin by explaining who the president is and what he does. Then introduce them to George Washington (whose birthday is Feb. 22), and share how he helped create the country.
You can then talk about the kind of hat he wore (a tricorn) and have your students make their own as a fun arts and crafts activity.
Finding fun ways to incorporate activities in conjunction with these observances throughout the month is the easy part. Keeping track of everything is another story. That’s where LifeCubby comes in; we make classroom planning a breeze. Whether it’s our integrated lesson plans, keeping parents in-the-know with an interactive events calendar or sharing activity photos with them, LifeCubby’s software gives your staff the tools they need to succeed and keep everyone connected and engaged.
Want to learn more about how LifeCubby can help make center life simpler? Click here to schedule a free demo!