Mail Carrier Story

Begin a story about a mail carrier delivering mail. Pass a small box around and allow each child to add to the story by telling what the mail carrier delivered to them. You can make it a more interesting story by having each child give clues about what they got and letting the other children try to guess what it is.


talks about personal situations

takes turns listening and speaking

Bridge Building

Small groups work together to build a bridge out of unit blocks across a river made out of masking tape in a large area. Each child can take a turn adding one or two blocks to the bridge. Encourage them to talk to each other and work together to use the fewest blocks possible to build their bridge. If your area is large enough and you have enough blocks you could let each group build their own bridge and see how far each group can go. You could then spend another large group talking about why some groups made it across and others did not.


works and plays well with others

responds to suggestions of others

negotiates with others

Classroom Jobs

Create a list of jobs that need to be done around the classroom. If possible try to come up with enough jobs so that each child has one, or make some jobs for two or more people to perform. Assign a dollar amount to each job. As the children remember to do their jobs during the day give them play dollars for them to collect throughout the week. Each day allow children to select a different job if they want to, or let them switch jobs with someone else. On Friday, after everyone finishes their jobs, allow them to use whatever money they have earned to buy something that is pre-marked with prices. Some children will have more money than others if they remembered to do their job every day. Just be sure that there are items for all dollar amounts so everyone will get to buy something.


participates in class jobs

understands job roles

Worker Charades

Have pictures of people doing particular jobs like doctor, vet, dentist, police officer, etc. Go through the pictures one by one with the group and talk about how you could act out each job. Then take turns choosing a picture secretly and acting out the job for the others to guess.


understands job roles

Money Story

Use play dollars to tell a story about where the money goes. Start the story by saying "Once upon a time there were four (or how many you have in your small group) children. Each one had a job and made 5 dollars a week." Give each child 5 play dollars. Continue the story by having the children go to different places and spend their money on different things so that by the end of the week they are out of money. Then ask, "Where did all your money go?" and have them try to remember.


counts objects
recognizes numbers

Reading Maps

Draw a simple graph. Mark the top with a N for North, bottom with an S for South, left side with W for West and right side with an E for East. Where the lines cross, randomly place 3 or 4 house stickers or use the toy houses from a Monopoly game. Start a car somewhere on the edge of the grid where a line meets the edge. Have the children take turns moving the car as you give them oral directions. They should move on the lines and count where the lines cross. See the house map for an example. You can also print out a blank house map grid.


uses words to describe position and direction

understands direction words

Job Sequence Cards

Create a set of job sequence cards for each job you will discuss with the children. For example, you could draw a firefighter with different stages of getting dressed or a baker doing the steps of a recipe.


puts pictures in sequential order

recognizes changes over time

Vehicle Patterns

Create three sets of different vehicle picture cards so that each child has 4 or 5 of each picture. Use the cards to create a pattern in front of you. Have the children one at a time continue the pattern by using their own cards. Then make a pattern for the children to copy with their own cards. Then have each child take a turn to create their own pattern with a few cards for others to copy. Younger children can use 2 sets of picture cards while older children may be able to use 3 sets to make patterns.


copies, continues or creates patterns with objects

Travel Sort

Create a felt board out of a large piece of cardboard by attaching a piece of light blue felt to the top third, a piece of green to the middle and a piece of dark blue to the bottom. Attach pieces of rough Velcro to the backs of pictures of different types of travel. Children choose one and place it in the air, on the land or in the water. Some of the pictures you may want: air-hot air balloon, plane, jet, blimp, parachute; land-car, truck, train, motorcycle; water-sailboat, ship, skier, rowboat.



sorts objects

Hurry Hurry Drive the Car

Bring a collection of cars to a floor area. Also provide some blocks, boxes, toy people and other props. Have each child in your small group choose a car. Tell a story about the cars. The children listen to the story and act it out while you are telling it. Be sure to use the props when possible and include position words such as on, over, under, below, beside, etc.


follows oral directions

Remote Control Car Obstacle Course

Provide a toddler or preschool remote control car. In a large floor area, place a few objects to go under or around. Have one child drive the car, following your directions. If they do not follow your directions they must pass the remote control to the next person. Have them go under chairs, around blocks, up ramps, etc.


follows oral directions

Silly Sports Rhymes

Say a sentence to one of the children about a sport, but instead of saying one of the words use a rhyme of that word. Have that child try to figure out what the correct word should be. Be sure to use really silly words! Such as "Once a went to play raceball." The child should say "NO! Baseball!"


rhymes words

Car Parts

Bring a large toy car that has realistic parts. Pass the car to the children one at a time and ask them trivia questions to answer by pointing to the car part. For example, ask "Which part keeps the windshield clean when it rains?" and they should point to and say "wiper". Younger children can just point and you can name the part for them.



Sign Identify

Bring a collection of homemade or store bought toy signs to group and place them in a small pillow case. Have the children take turns pulling out a sign, naming it and telling why it is necessary for cars. For example if they pulled out a stop sign, they would name it and tell why it is important for cars to stop when they see that sign. If children are unfamiliar with signs then let them take turns pulling signs from the bag, but allow the group to work together to figure out what they mean.


recognizes symbols and environmental print

recognizes some letters and words

Packing List

Pretend to go on a trip. Talk about where you want to go and what you will do when you get there. Explain that before you go you have to pack and it is a good idea to plan out what you need before you begin packing. Pass around a clipboard with lined paper and a pencil. Each child should name something they want to bring on the trip, figure out what that word starts with and write the first letter on the paper. When the everyone has had 2 or 3 turns go back and "read" the list with them to see if they remember the letters and what they stand for.


imitates writing in play

writes letters

There and Back Again

Before small group time give all of the children a ticket and tell them to put it in a safe place because they will need them for group. Pretend to be a bus driver, plane driver or taxi driver. Set up one chair in front and have other chairs set up behind you. Invite one small group to bring their tickets and get in your vehicle. Ask the children where they want to go and decide together on one destination As you continue on your journey be sure to turn fast, stop suddenly, take off quick, brake hard for ducks crossing the street, etc. so that the trip is more interesting. Encourage the children to really get involved in this by telling them ahead of time what you are going to do (Like: "Hang on tight! I'm going to have to stop quick!") and then do the actions so they can mimic your movements. When you get to where they want to go let them out and invite the next group to come onboard.


participates in movement activities

Fire Safety Inspection

Spend a few minutes talking about the importance of staying safe from fire. Then create a chart with the children of things in the classroom that help them stay safe from fire such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, exit signs, doors, windows that open, fire alarm pulls, even water faucets. Expect the children to need a little help coming up with things to add on to the list. If you don't have all of the items in the classroom then take a tour of the building to see the other ones.


practices and understands safe conduct

identifies tools that keep us safe

Stop, Drop, and Roll

Cut a flame from felt. Explain to children that Stop, Drop and Roll is what you do when your clothes catch on fire. If you run the fire gets worse. Demonstrate the technique first. Stop means do not run. Drop means fall to the ground. Roll means roll back and forth or over and over. Then have the children take turns putting the felt fire on their clothes, then going through the technique. As they are rolling on the ground the flame should fall off. When it does it will be as though the fire is out. Success!


demonstrates safe behavior