Are you starting the year off with an All About Me theme in your preschool classroom or homeschool? Keep reading for the most engaging All About Me preschool activities around!
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ALL ABOUT ME PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
One of the best ways to start a new school year (whether you’re homeschooling or teaching in a preschool or kindergarten classroom) is with an All About Me theme. Little ones LOVE to share all about themselves, and it’s a great way to have classmates get to know one another.
Keep reading for over 20 All About Me activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. These ideas include printables for math & literacy, fine motor, gross motor, sensory play, art, and more! Oh, and there’s a freebie, too!
If you want a copy of my yearly themes (including an editable version where you can type in your own themes), check out this freebie. (*Please note: You will need to download this file to your computer and then open it with Adobe in order to add your own themes. You cannot add your themes from your web browser.)
ALL ABOUT ME PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: LITERACY
Before you get started with your All About Me theme, make sure you have your books all ready to go! You can check out our favorite books for this theme in this post. There are over 40 books for you to choose from! Make sure to request these from your local library (or order them from Amazon) a few weeks before you start your theme.
Phonological awareness skills are the key building block to reading success, which is why they should be practiced a little bit every day. In order to keep things fresh & engaging, I like to use phonological awareness games that go along with my current theme. Click here to check out these All About Me phonological awareness games that will help your little ones become strong readers in less than 10 minutes a day (and with zero supplies!)
You’re definitely going to want to start your All About Me theme with these vocabulary cards! These are the perfect way to introduce your little learners to the vocabulary they’ll need for the different activities in this unit. You can use these words in your writing center, as a Write the Room activity, or as a picture match.
Another way you can use these vocabulary cards is by making a scavenger hunt! I tape the words all around the room and have my preschoolers search for them. Then they color in the matching pictures on the Color the Room paper (or write them on the Write the Room paper if they’re ready for that.) This gets them up and moving while still learning!
Names are one of the most important skills to teach our little ones at the beginning of a new school year. There are so many different skills within the broad category of “names” that we want our little ones to master: recognizing their name, spelling their name orally, identifying the letters in their name (& letters not in their name), spelling their name with letter tiles, and writing their name. These name templates are great because you type in each preschooler’s name, and they can use these name cards to do LOTS of name activities throughout the year. You can also send them home so kids can practice their names at home.
This activity (along with all of our freebies!) can be downloaded from the Free Activity Library. If you’re already a member of our email community, you can click HERE to head to the Free Activity Library, enter your password (it’s on your most current email from me), and download your copy!
If you’d like to join our email community & receive the password as my way of saying THANK YOU for joining, you can click HERE to subscribe. Once you enter your information, the password will be emailed to you within minutes.
To start the year, I like to have my preschoolers learn to sing their name by using this song from Patty Shukla on You Tube. Then I like to have them sort the letters in their name vs. the letters not in their name. This is a great way to get kids interested in learning letters (they’re much more invested in learning about letters when those letters are in their names!) These are my favorite letters to use for sorting & other literacy activities.
We all know how important learning the alphabet is for our little ones. But we want them to do SO much more than just sing the ABCs song. This activity is great because it gives students a chance to match uppercase & lowercase letters together. And remember, you don’t have to put out ALL the letters at once. Just start with 5-7 letters (3-4 they know well & the rest they’re learning) and have them match those up. (I also don’t recommend following the “Letter of the Week” routine. You can read this post I wrote for my friend Kristina’s blog or check out this book to find out why that’s an outdated practice that is not effective for kids.)
You can also focus specifically on the basic vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and have your little one match those up. We love this Vowel Song from You Tube to help learn the name & sounds of the basic vowels.
As a preschool teacher and a parent, I can tell you that one of my absolute favorite things to do in an All About Me unit is have each student create a time capsule. These time capsules capture what our little ones love at that age, and they become the most precious keepsake!
The time capsule I’ve included in the All About Me printable pack has a variety of pages that your preschoolers can fill out. It’s editable so you can add their name & year to the cover. (There’s also a “preschool” and “pre-k” version.) The pages include Interview Questions, My Family, Let’s Have Fun, When I Grow Up, My Name Is, My Handprint, & This Is Me.
I always teach the Five Senses as part of my All About Me theme since it fits in so perfectly! I love to use this Jack Hartmann song from You Tube to introduce the five senses. Then I follow it up with this picture sort. This activity includes so many different pictures for little ones to sort into Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, or Touch. And what I love MOST about this activity is that there’s no one right answer…each picture could fit into multiple senses! This type of activity encourages our little ones to use their flexible thinking skills, which helps develop their executive function skills.
Playing with the sounds in our language (called phonological awareness) is an important skill for little ones to develop in order to become strong readers later on. This activity helps them develop those skills by spinning & creating CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. First, your preschooler will spin the spinner (we love these clear spinners from Amazon). They’ll say the sound represented by that letter, not the letter name (such as /k/). Then they’ll combine that beginning sound with a word family ending (such as /at/) to create a new word (such as “cat”). They can cover up a box in the bar graph each time they create a word.
For little ones who are ready, they can write the letters in the boxes on the graph. Once they’re done with an entire column, they can read all the words they created and talk about how they rhyme (since they’re all part of the same word family.)
I love thinking of new ways to practice handwriting that go beyond worksheets. These letter strips are perfect since they combine handwriting with alliteration (the child’s name & animal both start with the same sound that’s on the card). Depending on your preschooler’s level, you could have them: write the uppercase letter and/or lowercase letter, write the animal, write the child’s name, or write the entire sentence. We also played a sound game with these cards: I read the sentence and we talked talked about the target sound (ex: /l/). Then I said 3 words out loud, and my preschoolers had to jump when they heard a word that didn’t start with the /l/ sound. It was a blast!
ALL ABOUT ME PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: MATH
Anytime I want to practice a skill with my preschoolers, I see if I can turn that skill into a board game. Games are SO much more engaging that traditional worksheets. This board game gives preschoolers a chance to practice identifying numbers 1-5 without having to count each item (subitizing). I broke this game up into two games so each of my preschoolers could work at their level. The yellow & orange “It’s Time for School” game works on numbers 1-5.
The purple “It’s Time for Bed” game works on numbers 6-10. In both games, your preschooler will choose a card and identify the number. There are hand cards, dice cards, dot cards, and ten frame cards. Then they’ll move their game piece to that number on the board. We had a blast playing these games & my littles didn’t even realize how much they were learning!
It’s common to see preschool classrooms focus on counting and number sense, but it’s easy to forget there are other crucial math skills to work on, too, such as patterns. It’s important for our preschoolers to be able to do different skills related to patterns: identify patterns, match patterns, repeat patterns, fill in the missing parts of a pattern, create patterns, and name patterns. This button pattern activity gives preschoolers the chance to duplicate, extend, create, and find missing patterns in a hands-on way.
I love teaching about tallies because it helps little ones learn to “count on.” When they can identify a group of five tallies as “5,” they can then count on without having to count each tally in the group of five. This tally activity is fun because the tally marks are made out of popsicle sticks! So your little ones can recreate the tallies out of their own popsicle sticks and practice matching up the puzzle pieces in a hands-on way.
Want to know another great benefit of this popsicle stick activity? You can take it with you to go! In this picture, my preschooler (age 3) is working on this activity while waiting for his big sister to finish her dance class. Just a reminder that learning can happen anywhere! We’re intentional about bringing games and books whenever we have to wait somewhere…and this game was a great way to pass the time!
I have to let you in on a little secret…teaching shapes is my least favorite thing to teach. Maybe it’s because I hated geometry in high school (and still do!), but teaching shapes is usually one area of math I tend to avoid. Because I know this about myself, I do my best to make teaching shapes FUN and hands-on…which is why I created this dot shape activity! Preschoolers will love using dot markers to dot the shapes. This helps them with shape recognition, but it also helps them see the attributes (how many sides, how many corners, etc) of each shape.
Here’s another activity where there’s no right answer, which is great for developing flexible thinking…plus preschoolers get to share their opinions, which we all know they LOVE to do! Little ones will first sort the food pictures into “I Like” and “I Don’t Like” by feeding the correct face (which I taped to empty tissue boxes). Then they’ll use that information to fill in a graph and compare numbers. So much mathematical thinking in one play-based activity!
Teddy bears are such a big part of preschool, and these colorful teddy bears make this math game more fun! There are two ways to play this All About Me game. One way is to play “Roll & Cover.” Preschoolers will roll a die, identify the number, and then cover that many teddy bears on their mat. They could use gems (like we used), mini-erasers, balls of play dough, or cross them off with a marker.
Another way to play is “Roll & Circle.” This version was inspired by friend Neily over at Counting with Kids. (She’s a wonderful resource if you’re looking to help your preschoolers develop their mathematical thinking). Your preschoolers will roll the die, identify the number, and circle that many teddy bears. The only catch is the teddy bears have to be touching. Circles can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal (kind of like a crossword puzzle). This leads to creative thinking and gives preschoolers the chance to strengthen fine motor skills.
This is one of my favorite math games in the All About Me preschool pack because it requires so much critical thinking (and we can use it to talk about sharing & being generous!) In this activity, preschoolers choose a money card and a friend card. Then they have to decide: “Do I have enough money to give one dollar to each friend?” This stretches their mathematical thinking that goes way beyond counting and one-to-one correspondence.
Now this activity might be SUPER tricky at first, and that’s okay! The goal isn’t perfection. The goal is exposure and creating an opportunity for critical thinking. One way you can work on this skill is by having your little one use a manipulative to count out the money. Then have them put one manipulative on each friend’s face to see if they have enough money or not enough money. (We used these yellow base ten cubes because they were small enough to fit on each friend’s face.) This is a hands-on way to introduce this difficult skill.
Time to practice more critical thinking in this activity! This All About Me preschool activity is all about weight…which group of marbles weighs more? Again, we’re practicing comparing numbers and using our critical thinking skills to solve the problem. This activity also includes an “Equal” scale in case the numbers are equal and the groups of marbles weigh the same. It’s also fun to count out real marbles that go along with each card.
ALL ABOUT ME PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: SENSORY & ART
Teaching about emotions is a huge part of any All About Me theme. These play dough mats are fun because they combine learning about emotions with fine motor skills. Preschoolers roll the emotions cube, identify the emotion, then recreate that emotion out of play dough on their mat.
You can also play this game simply by rolling the emotions cube and placing a gem or mini-eraser on the matching crayon. This is a way to keep track of how many times you rolled each emotion (adding in more mathematical thinking!)
Oh and one more way you can use this activity! After you’re done rolling the cube, your preschoolers can count up how many times they rolled each emotion and put that number underneath the mat. You can also talk about the beginning sound of each emotion word (w = worried; s = sad, etc.)
Since most of us teach our All About Me theme at the beginning of the year, I like to start with a very basic and easy-to-clean sensory bin…pinto beans. Just grab a plastic bin, add uncooked pinto beans, and then add in the cards you’ll be using (we added the Popsicle Stick Tally Cards to this bin). It gives your preschoolers an introduction to sensory bins in way that’s not overwhelming or chaotic.
This one is a blast! Roll out a sheet of butcher paper and have your preschooler lay down on it. Then trace the outline of their body and have them design it to look like them! You can also write different body parts on post-it notes and have them label their drawing as well. This is also a fun keepsake for parents (I still have the one my daughter did when she was little!)
I don’t know about you, but I prefer homemade play dough over store bought play dough! I love the texture of homemade play dough, and I like to add in essential oils to make it smell good, too! Here’s a great recipe for homemade play dough from my friend Kelly from Engaging Littles that you might want to try this year.
School starts in August where I live, which means it’s still super HOT outside! This Frozen Letters activity is perfect for this time of year. I simply freeze letter tiles in an ice cube tray. Then my preschoolers use a spray bottle to free the letters! This is awesome to develop strength in their fingers and wrist (which will help them with writing later on.)
I also like to specifically freeze the letters in their name so they can unfreeze the letters & spell their name. This is another fun name activity that can be added to any All About Me theme.
What’s in the Mystery Bag?! Preschoolers LOVE to guess! This activity can be used in so many ways for an All About Me theme. You can have each preschooler bring in something that describes them, and the rest of the class will guess who brought in the item. Or you can work on their Five Senses by putting something in the bag and having your preschoolers guess what it is based on sound, smell, or touch. So many possibilities with one simple brown bag!
Each month, I like to have my preschoolers write their name and draw a picture of themselves. Not only does this make for a great keepsake, but it’s also a quick way to assess their writing and drawing development. These monthly self-portrait pages are part of my Assessment Pack in my shop.
No matter if you’re teaching in a preschool classroom or at home for homeschool preschool, it’s so important to teach our little ones about friendship and how to act like a good friend. This “Friendship Recipe” was inspired by the book Strictly No Elephants, which is one of my favorite books. You can see this printable (plus other fun activities!) in this blog post.
Here’s another fun name activity that combines art, fine motor skills, and literacy: Tissue Paper Names! I printed out my students’ name on cardstock, then I had them fill them in with tissue paper.
My preschoolers loved this activity! We also used it to talk about how to use glue properly since that’s also an important skill in preschool.
And of course, we bring in the All About Me theme during snacktime with Letter Snacks! There are so many fun Letter Snacks you can create. Check out a few more examples in this post.
ALL ABOUT ME PRESCHOOL & PRE-K FUN
I hope these ideas helped you fill-in your All About Me lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool! All of the printables for this unit can be found in my All About Me Preschool Activity Pack.
What types of All About Me preschool activities do you plan for the beginning of the year? Do you have any fun activities that would be great to add to this list? Comment below or find me on Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and let me know!